ASK YOUR RELATIVE QUESTIONS

Tags: 01 - Art, Culture, & Language, 02 - Identity, 05 - Spirituality

HI, I want to make a Ribbon Skirt inspired mask to share my heritage and art. I want applique something on top, can it be two columns of a bldg I enter each day? be anything? Or does it have to be cultural? Can I put two coo

I love this idea! Ribbon skirts are about women being empowered and remembering our sacredness, Tala Tootoosis shares that “It’s teaching them [women] to be empowered and that they already are resilient. Women already have power. A woman is protection because she is a woman. And when you have that understanding you learn boundaries.” Ribbon skirts have become a universal…

Why to hawks and turkey vultures keep appearing in my dreams? Why did a vulture actually drop a feather to the ground right in front of me and not fly away? It’s feather landed less than a foot from a hawk feather! I’m not Native American but much respect

Dear Cody, Every tribe has different associations with animals, so what may mean one thing to me may mean something completely different to another tribe. For example, in my tribe owls are considered good luck because they used to warn us of invading tribes. Whereas, the Navajo consider owls to be bad luck. The same goes for feathers. Feathers and…

Could spirits be trying to tell me something? I’m not Native American as far as I know, but things keep happening so often that I can’t ignore it anymore!

Dear Cody, Thanks for writing in. Well, I can’t speak to your experience, only you can do this. What I can say, is that as Indigenous people, we believe that all things both inanimate and alive hold a lifeforce or energy, especially the land we occupy. Many people, including myself have had ‘visits’ from those who have crossed over and…

My father is full native(secwepemc and cherokee) my mother is full white (german) i was born very light skinned. I do not look native even tho i am status indian and live on reserve. Is it disrespectful if i learnt to dance jingle i feel wrong even asking

You’ll find dancers have extensive Indigenous backgrounds. The first thing I would do is encourage you to get a mentor. This person can help guide you through all the things you’ll need to know about jingle dancing. They can coach you on dancing with the traditions of style, meaning, and etiquette. Start making some jingle dress friends! Once you start…

Ever since the birth of my first grandchild, I have been more drawn to my native American side. I am Cree my grandbaby is enrolled Cherokee, would it be wrong for me to make her a ribbon dress when her Daddy’s family disowned them after his father’s death

Over the last few years, after events at Standing Rock, the Ribbon Skirt has been making the rounds on Turtle Island. Ribbon skirts are a symbol of resilience, sacredness and survival and is not bound to one specific tribe, but influences by the Plains Tribes. Water protectors at Standing Rock were advised to wear a long skirt because the grounds…

Can you tell me more about the spider woman legend?

There are many stories about spider woman or grandmother spider. The Navajo believe the Spider Woman (Na’ashjé’íí Asdzáá) is the constant helper and protector of humans. Spider Woman is also said to cast her web like a net to capture and eat misbehaving children. The Ojibwe people (Chippewa) of southern Canada and northern US speak of Spider Woman, known as…

Hello Auntie, call me E. I am a convert to Judaism, but have become fascinated by native cultures and beliefs. My question is if and when a native "prays" to something other than the creator, does that constitute an act of worship? Thank you.

Hello E. This is an interesting question and the answer is based on what your individual understanding of what “worship” means. Worship can be defined as a show reverence and adoration for (a deity); or honor with religious rites. For many American Indian people our connection with the Creator, spirits, nature or other practices can be considered a practice of…

Why would the spirits of Native Americans visit me every night as a child? Every night before my parents moved us they came from my closet and would surround my bed and touch my ears or my mouth. They looked as real to me as my parents. Why???

Wow, how cool! Well, I can’t speak to your experience, only you can do this. What I can say, is that as Indigenous people, we believe that all things both inanimate and alive hold a life force or energy, especially the land we occupy. It is said that when we are younger, we are more tapped ‘in’ and if we…

Hello. At my college there is Native American Burial Ground Hills. I’m simply wondering if it’s considered disrespectful to stand or sit on the hills or relax. I haven’t done it because I’m worried about if it’s distasteful or not.

Well, if you don’t feel comfortable doing it, then trust your instinct. I’m a firm believer of listening to your gut. As Indigenous people, we believe that all things both inanimate and alive hold a life force or energy. So, if your gut is nudging you to stay away, I would listen. Sometimes this negative energy can affect you, so…
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