ASK YOUR RELATIVE QUESTIONS

Tags: 10 - Mental Health, 2 - Identity, 3 - Intolerance, 5 - Spirituality, 6 - 2SLGBTQ, Family, LGBT - Two Spirit, Life Transitions, My Culture

Dear Auntie Manda, I have recently started to seriously try to reconnect with my Choctaw culture. My Great-great Grandpa, was an enrolled member of Choctaw Nation. He was orphaned as a child and enrolled in 1903, signing the Dawes Roll and moving to Oklahoma. For some reason, his children we not enrolled, which meant neither was my Nana or my father. My mom is full white and my dad is mixed, which makes me look very ambiguous to people because of my lighter skin and freckles. I’m afraid of overstepping by reconnecting since I’ve been socialized as a white person. I’ve started learning Choctaw and Tribal history, but I’m afraid to openly claim my heritage as a part of my identity for fear of backlash, not just from people who don’t know me, but from people that do. A few times, I’ve had friends and even family ask me, “Why is this so important to you? Why now?” I can’t put it into words, but I’ve always felt so lost and have had no cultural connection to anything growing up. I don’t want to feel disconnected anymore. Also, another thing that complicates my existence is the fact that I’m transgender. Perhaps, this is another reason why I feel lost. Not only do I want to feel like a whole woman, I want to feel like a whole person. Anyway, do you have any advice?

Hi there, Halito relative! Yakoke for writing in – I always get a lil extra excited when I see other Choctaws reach out 🙂 Let’s see where I can support you! I definitely want to acknowledge what youv’e written, because there’s so much there – goodness. I want to give my heart out to you because I am so sorry…

I’m a native American from Nevada. Is it possible to go to rehabs outside my state? How do I reach out for funding? I’m already known as a drug addict but I really need treatment I’m scared.

Thank you so much for writing in. Reaching out for help is something that takes strength and bravery; I’m proud of you for doing that. You are not the only one in this situation. Struggling with addiction is scary, and it’s made even scarier when the people around you don’t understand what it’s like. I want you to know that…

what is the number one cause of death in youth?

Hey there! Thanks for writing in. I’m guessing you might be doing a school project. In any case, I’m happy to help! Here what I could find: Among AI/AN ages 1 – 19 years, the four leading causes of death in rank order are unintentional injuries, suicide, homicide, and cancer. Check out this IHS link. You may not have given…

How do I cope with Abusive/Homophobic parents?

Thank you for writing in. I am so sorry that you are having this experience and glad that you are seeking support. No one should live in fear because of who they are, or be forced to cope with an abusive situation. If your parents are reacting negatively to your sexual orientation, remember that you are valuable despite what anyone…

Ok so, right now there are two major variants in the United States

Hey y’all, it’s Auntie Jane and I wanna talk to you about the current state of corona. Ok so, right now there are two major variants in the United States: our old friend Delta and their new bestie, Omicron. At this point in time we know that delta spreads easily across communities and we’re pretty sure that omicron does, too.…

How do I cope with Abusive/Homophobic parents?

Thank you for writing in. I am so sorry that you are having this experience and glad that you are seeking support. No one should live in fear because of who they are, or be forced to cope with an abusive situation. If your parents are reacting negatively to your sexual orientation, remember that you are valuable despite what anyone…

Culture is not a costume!

Hi there! I’m Auntie Jane and I’ve thought a lot about your question. Your friend thinks dressing up like a Native for Halloween is harmless. At the end of the night, she can take off that costume and get dressed in her normal clothes and for her, life goes on. Cultural appropriation actually causes harm though. Like, real people are…

I just found my friend cuts herself and I also have struggled with self harm for a long time. I know how much it sucks when people point it out do i just wait until she’s ready to tell me herself? How do i talk to her about it?

You’re such a good friend for writing in and for reaching out for help for the both of you! Finding out that someone you care about has been cutting can be upsetting, especially since you have had similar struggles. It’s normal to feel confused, helpless, sad, worried, or mad, especially if you feel you’re the only one who knows what…

Dear Auntie, My uncle is going crazy and he is verbally abusive to my auntie and my first cousins. I’m scared of it becoming physical. I want them to move over here with me and they do too. How do I get them away from this?

I want to first thank you for having the courage to write this question. It sounds like you care for your Auntie a lot. They are going to need your strength and compassion during this time. This question is a difficult question to answer. There are a lot of different and moving pieces here. People’s initial response is to go…
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