Thanks for reaching out!
Identity and knowing who we are is one of the most important journeys we can walk. I encourage you to explore your identity. This is a great start.
I am always glad to hear when people want to explore their Indigenous identity and heritage. Indigenous cultures are diverse and beautiful. But this exploration should be conducted with respect to our ancestors, past present and future.
To begin, it is important to understand who Indigenous people are.
The American Continents of North and South were populated with Indigenous people long before we were Alaska Native, First Nation, Mexican Indian or American Indian. Tribes and bands moved across the Canadian/ American/ Mexican/ Central/ and South American boarders at will before they became permanent residents of where they are today.
Being Indigenous means different things to each person. For some, it means that they are descendants of the original people of the Americas. For others, it means a way of life or a way of being; a feeling, how one sees the world and one’s self; a way of interacting with nature, family, and Creator. Indigenous cultures are rich in tradition, history, spirituality, art, economics, and politics.
Do your Research:
- 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. If your tribe has an official website, maybe try contacting them 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.