Is it appropriate for someone who was not brought up in native culture to seek guidance from a native elder or healer?

Dear Bianca,

By asking this question I can see you have concerns. Listen to your gut…and let’s talk this through.

Spirituality and seeking guidance are personal. We all connect to our beliefs and traditions uniquely. However you choose to do, is the right way for you.

I can’t speak to your experience, but I can tell you a bit about Native kinship to help you find your place in seeking guidance. Native family kinship are relationships that embrace immediate family, extended family members, non-blood related relationships, community and the tribal Nation as a whole.

Native kinships also include relationships with water, the earth, animals, air and other elements that give us life. Some tribal nations are matriarchal (women are the lead of the family), while others are patriarchal (men are the lead of the kinship). Because of this tight relationship we are all connected. We have the responsibility to take care, respect, nurture, comfort, discipline, teach, protect and honor one another.

I encourage you to talk with the community you are part of and take guidance from elders you have relationships with.

I hope this helps,

Auntie Manda

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Topics: Education|Identity|Intolerance|Non-Native Allies