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’ve heard there might be actual nature spirits portrayed in Pokémon. Is this true?

Hey there! Thanks for the question. I’m not exactly sure what ‘nature spirits’ are in this context but I’m certainly familiar with Pokémon. As Indigenous people, we believe that all things both inanimate and alive hold a lifeforce or energy, especially the land we occupy – in this way, I think I know what you mean by nature spirits. I’m…

I’m an native elder (Pomo) my older grandchildren were given a Indian name and younger ones do not. I no longer know of spiritual person to do that. So would love to give my grandchildren a Indian name is it proper for me to have that privilege.

Hello! Thank you for writing in! There are several bands of Pomo Indians that are Federally-recognized Indian Nations, many who have Culture & Heritage departments or tribal programs to provide individual, specific guidance on tribal naming traditions and protocols. Identity and knowing who we are is one of the most important journeys we can walk. My heart is full knowing…

Hello, I am from the San Pasqual Indian Reservation. We had to take are tribe to court to fight to get our Per Cap my question is do you know how long it should take in order for you to get your money. Also do you have to hire a Native America Attorney to help fight case to get your Per Cap.

Hi there! Thanks for writing in and sorry it took a while to get back to you! One of the many strengths of Indian Nations today is tribal sovereignty. Tribal sovereignty means that tribes have the power to govern themselves. Each federally recognized tribe retains the rights of an independent sovereign nation apart from the local, state or federal government.…
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