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If I don’t speak Spanish, does that make me any less of a BIPOC?

Hey there! Thanks for writing in. 😃

We all come to the places we are currently standing for many different reasons. Part of this is due to the efforts we put forth individually, part due to the support of our inner and outer circles, and the other part is circumstantial; what has been imposed on us or is out of our control.

Learning your native language, whether that be Spanish or your Tribe’s language can be greatly influenced by any of those categories, but usually needs the support of each one in order to thrive. If one of them is missing, this can make things out of balance.

For example, my first language was Zuni. This is what was spoke at home, but as the first generation to be mixed Zuni and white, it was decided that it was best that we speak English (my brothers and cousins). So, this was what we were taught and when we moved off the reservation we no longer continued to speak Zuni and it was lost. Admittedly, my parents and aunties wished they had decided differently knowing what they know now, but all is not lost.

I still speak Zuni to my kids (what I can remember). I still make up phrases, which are probably wrong, but still feels good to try. And, this makes me feel more connected to my culture and who I see myself as.

However, you got to this point, don’t let things that were out of your control take away from your story. Decide how you want to move forward and make a plan for that. Taking control of your path helps you to grow and fight for the individual and community member you want to be.

I hope this helps and thanks for writing in!

Bueno Suerte,

Auntie Manda

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If I don’t speak Spanish, does that make me any less of a BIPOC?

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