ASK YOUR RELATIVE QUESTIONS

Tags: Ask Auntie, Auntie Answers, History, Identity, Identity and Native Pride, Language, My Culture, Rez Life - Urban Life, Sovereignty, Traditions, Wellness and Healing

Hi Auntie, my grandma’s family is Choctaw and honoring ancestors is important to us. I want to wear their regalia to keep the traditions of my family alive. However, I was told because I’m White and too removed, that I can’t. What are your thoughts?

Hi Relative, It is so wonderful that you want to honor your ancestors through your regalia and traditions! This is so important. I’m sorry that people have said some things to discourage you from participating in these important cultural traditions. The great and challenging thing is, that you’re the only one you need to get permission from. People will have…

I just did my ancestry dna and found out I’m 44% Native American. I was adopted into a family at the age of four. I was always told I was native but I never had proof until last year. How do I see if I qualify for funds?

Hey there, Thank you for your question. I am always glad to hear when someone wants to connect to their culture. The issues around DNA testing are complicated and controversial. The short answer is that there is no DNA test to prove ties to a specific tribe. First off what do people mean by DNA testing? According to the National…

Hi there! I’m currently working on a project for university and I’d really appreciate your input. What is the correct symbol Native Americans used for the sun? Is there a website that contains the proper symbols and their meaning that you could add a link

Hi there! Thanks for writing in! In short, there is no symbol for the Sun that is accepted and used by all Native American Tribes. There are 574 federally recognized tribes with their own religions, languages, art, and customs. Every tribe has different associations with the universe and animals, what may mean one thing to me could be something completely…

I want to learn about the story of the spider catching the snake but I can’t verify or find it. Is this a real Ojibwe tale? I am trying to learn more about my Native American culture.

Hi there! And, thanks for writing in. There are many stories about spiders, like spider woman or grandmother spider. However, I’m not familiar with the spider catching the snake story. Perhaps because it is Ojibwe, which I’m not so familiar with. If it’s possible, try to reach out and start building connections and relationships with Ojibwe family or others, especially…

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…

I’m about 4’11-5ft tall i’ve been trying to lose weight for a long time i weigh about 180-220 I’ve done sports all my life yet still the weight won’t come off I’m only 13 will i grow into it?

This is a very important question. You cannot get the full picture of your health by looking at weight or a single point on a growth chart. Children’s bodies change as they grow, throughout childhood and you may experience “growth spurt” (periods of fast growth). What is important right now is to not just look at your weight, but look…

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…
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