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Old 08-12-2015, 01:45 PM   #11
OLChemist
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Perhaps you need to quit looking in the mirror, except to comb your hair and brush your teeth:)

When I was younger and had just left home and my family and community, I too was very insecure around strange Natives, especially those who looked more phenotypically Indian. I was sure I was just perceived as a white woman. I spent a lot of time on hair, clothes, jewelry... All manner of external markings to announce I really was Native, not a white woman. (BTW, I look at those pictures now and just cringe.)

Then one day a full-blood gentleman approached me at powwow. He asked me to bead for him. While I worked on his outfit, I realized my grandfather, his parents, didn't sit around agonizing about being Native. They were too busy just doing it.

When I bead for my people. When I make silver. When I cook gallons of stew for the memorial. When I piece a quilt top for a funeral. Or buy things for a relative's giveaway. Or try to learn my language. Or sweep a floor. Or take a drink to an elder. Or visit the sick. Or cry with a mourner. Or pray. Then I'm Native. Not when I look in the mirror.

Being Indian is an action. It is in those things you do and the thoughts that drive them. it is in how you contribute to your family and community.
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