ASK YOUR RELATIVE QUESTIONS

I’m embarrassed to share my native culture. Can’t I keep “two different worlds”?

Absolutely….. Not!

What I mean by this is – yes, you can – I have seen Natives keep 2 different worlds their entire lives thinking it will be easy. But, it can be confusing too!

Where I see the struggles in this dual approach, is that by “keeping two different worlds” — native and “other” — you are really splitting yourself in half. You are never truly your real self.

Your Native culture is a strong part of who you are; a part of your identity. And, whether that is embarrassing or not, it is you! Don’t fear it! Embrace it!

With this question, I’d ask yourself what’s embarrassing about sharing your culture? Society makes it so difficult already for us to be our true self. We shouldn’t have to contribute to that. Own who you are! Write your own narrative. You are Indigenous! You are Native! And, you are loved!

If you are revealing this side of yourself to an unsupportive crowd; ask yourself why are you associating with people who don’t truly accept or support you? Find what’s embarrassing you, and gain strength to be real for you! Sometimes it takes more knowledge, more understanding, more humility, we are forever growing. You shouldn’t stunt your growth by allowing half of yourself to be seen at a time. People will gravitate to you. You just have to give them time.

You are part of a strong, resilient people. You are proof that forced assimilation, termination and attempted genocide failed! You are your ancestor’s dreams, hopes and what they fought for. Your struggle in preserving our culture is shared throughout Indian Country and Alaska.

Thanks for this question, either way I fully support you! We R Native!

Uncle Paige

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