ASK YOUR RELATIVE QUESTIONS

Tags: Ask Auntie, Auntie Answers, Identity, My Culture, PowWow, Uncle Answers

Hi! I’m a biracial child (African American & Irish) that was inspired by a past teacher to learn about fancy shawl dancers. I’m an aspiring artist as well, I love drawing the shawls that I’ve seen in past powwows. Is that okay for me to do being non-native?

I’m glad you asked this question, Auntie and Uncle asked me as a Diné artist to respond to your question. Please continue to take these precautions and ask these questions, as an artist interested in another culture’s traditional art work. Good to hear that you have respect for other Native cultures, and as a Native artist there are several things…

I’m 39 yrs old, I want to join to dance.. never dance before

Dear Relative, Thank you for writing in! It’s so exciting that you want to start dancing and it’s never too late to start. You’ve got a long life of dancing ahead of you! Here are some things you can do to get started. Get in Shape! If you haven’t danced before, you’ll want to make sure you’re in tip-top shape.…

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…

Hello I’m Métis. I’ve always felt a strong connection to my native roots. Is it wrong for me to just embrace them and not Métis culture , for example I’d rather learn jingle than jigging

I think people have a right to identify with their culture however they choose to. Go with what you’re feeling. 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…

I have a favorite black polyester skirt, could I turn it into a ribbon skirt by adding ribbon, or are ribbon skirts always out of calico/cotton?

You do you girl! 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…

How do I become a pow wow fancy shawl dancer ? I am 18 and I know how to dance inter tribal dances and my mom was a jingle dress dancer when she was younger and my grandmother was a fancy shawl dancer, how do I register?

Go you! The first thing I would encourage you to do is to get a mentor. This person can help guide you through all the things you’ll need to get started. They can coach you on regalia making, dancing with the traditions of style, meaning, and etiquette. Though you might ask family first about regalia, just in case there is…

Can Metis people dance powwow? Specifically jingle?

Can Metis people dance powwow? Specifically jingle? 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…

How do I start dancing jingle?

How do I start dancing jingle? Go you! The first thing I would encourage you to do is to get a mentor. This person can help guide you through all the things you’ll need to get started. They can coach you on regalia making, dancing with the traditions of style, meaning, and etiquette.   Though you might ask family first…

I wanna make a jingle dress but need help who could I ask for help

I wanna make a jingle dress but need help who could I ask for help   The first thing I would encourage you to do is to get a mentor. This person can help guide you through all the things you’ll need to get started. They can coach you on regalia making, dancing with the traditions of style, meaning, and…
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