Hi Auntie! I’m a white Canadian citizen and I was wondering if it is disrespectful of me or if I am overstepping my boundaries by dating someone who is indigenous? I’ve dated someone for a couple of years who was indigenous and we got along very well, but his mother and friends were not welcoming to our relationship and neither was my mother. His mother preferred that he end up with an indigenous woman in his future and my mom the opposite with me being white. I ended up breaking off our relationship because I didn’t want to cause any hardship between him and his mother and friends, but it really broke my heart because he was also my best friend not just my partner since we were best friends since middle school

Hi there!

Thanks for the question.

When it comes to relationships like these, it sometimes happens that one or both sides of a family do not approve of the union – it’s tough. Unfortunately, this approval should never have anything to do with the color of someone’s skin. So long as you are both respectful of each other’s culture and boundaries, there is absolutely no disrespect in dating someone indigenous or of any color for that matter. Though it seems like you two are very comfortable together, the conversation seems like it needs to switch to your parents. Active listening with the intent to leave the dialogue with a better grasp of the other person’s point of view can go a long way. Is it just about the color of your skin that your parents disagree with? Though it takes a lot of courage to have these conversations, they are the first step in helping others make change.

Here’s a similar question that was also answered that might be helpful too:

Thanks for writing in!

Take care,

Auntie Manda

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Topics: Identity|Intolerance|Non-Native Allies