Dear Auntie, I’m half White Mountain Apache, half Hispanic and neither sides of my family accept me and treat me as if I’m “off”. What should I do?
Not being appreciated for your heritage can be difficult, especially if it’s coming from your family members who you want to love and respect.Not feeling connected to your family because of it can be really disheartening.
There are a couple things you can do:
1.Educate – if you feel up to the challenge; start to teach your family about the things that make you proud to be Native and Hispanic. Speak up when you feel you’re being disrespected. Over time your family members perceptions of your Native heritage may change.
2. Celebrate Who You Are – learn as much as you can about your tribal community. Seek out tribal members, events, talk to your elders, visit your tribes website.
One of the great things about life is that you get to decide the type of person you want to be. When we are younger we live with our families ideas of who they want us to be and sometimes it doesn’t always match with what we know to be our authentic path.
Seek your authenticity, respect yourself and family. Remember it’s not your job to change the way people see Native culture, but it is your job to live your best life possible.