Hello! I have a question about identity – my great-grandmother (who I grew up close to until she passed away when I was 13) is Algonquin Anishinabe from Timiskaming FN, and my grandpa was adopted out. I’ve had a hard time understanding my own identity.
You are not alone, many Native people struggle with understanding our identity, even when we live within Tribal communities. The separation from our cultural identities is a tool of colonization that has had a long impact on the lives of Native people. It is important to learn about our cultures and histories, not only for our own betterment, but also for the continued survival of our cultures.
There are things that your can do. You can research your tribal nation in two ways:
- Relatives – start by talking with your family and see what you can dig up.
- Internet – Once you have some leads, do an Internet search to find out more about your tribe. Algonquin Anishinabeg Nation Tribal Council has an official website, maybe try contacting the tribal office to see if you can learn more through their records, or if a local library can help.
Make sure through this process of learning more about your culture, the history of your tribe and traditions, that you start from a place of respect and curiosity.
Good luck on your journey.