ASK YOUR RELATIVE QUESTIONS

I feel like I don’t belong in my tribe

As someone who supports urban natives and advocates for their well-being, I understand the complexity of your situation and the sense of disconnection you’re experiencing. It can be challenging to navigate one’s identity and sense of belonging, especially when cultural traditions and teachings have not been passed down within the family.

First and foremost, it’s important to recognize that your feelings are valid and that many urban indigenous individuals share similar experiences. Many of our Urban Native communities feel a disconnection to their culture and traditions while living in an urban space.  It’s  crucial to remember that your indigenous identity is not solely defined by proximity to your tribe or the practice  to specific traditions.

Finding a sense of belonging and reclaiming your indigenous identity can be a personal journey, and there are several steps you can take to reconnect with your heritage. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Connect with elders: find ways to engage with elders within your tribe or other indigenous communities. Elders have invaluable wisdom and knowledge that can help guide you on your journey of self-discovery. They may be willing to share their experiences and teachings, even if they were not a part of your immediate family.
  • Seek community: Reach out to your tribe, local tribes, indigenous organizations, cultural centers, or community groups in your area. These groups often provide opportunities to connect with other indigenous peoples who may have had similar experiences. Building relationships with community can help create a sense of belonging and provide a support network.
  • Educate yourself: Take the time to learn about your tribe’s history, customs, and traditions. Research books, documentaries, and online resources that provide insights into your tribe’s culture. This knowledge can help you better understand your heritage and develop a stronger connection to your indigenous identity.
  • Attend cultural events: Look for cultural events or powwows happening in your area. Participating in these gatherings can expose you to indigenous art, music, dance, and storytelling, fostering a deeper appreciation for your cultural roots. But make sure you understand protocol before you enter into these spaces.
  • Embrace Indigenous practices: Explore ways to incorporate indigenous practices into your daily life. This could involve starting small, such as incorporating traditional foods into your meals or connecting with creator and your ancestors through tobacco offering and prayer.

Remember, there is no one right way to be indigenous and you are 100% all of your ancestors.

Sutton King

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