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Be the First Generation

I didn't grow up in a wigwam. Shocking, I know. I grew up on Reservation Road.  That is not a metaphor.  I LITERALLY grew up on Reservation Road.  In my great grandparent’s house using the little yellow outhouse. Saturday I met an elder who very proudly and sweetly glowed about her granddaughter.  She told me she is a sixth generation jingle dress dancer.  I told her that is amazing... and I am grateful their family made it so far intact.  But my reaction to her was tainted with a little bit of jealousy, resentment, and shame.  She left me wondering whether I am worthy of this dress, this dance, this way of life… To my knowledge there are no jingle...

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We are the confluence

We are often referred to as Anishinaabe/Indigenous/Native people as living in two worlds.  I reject this notion and believe we live in one.  We are the people of confluence and adaptation.  Last week during a residency at an elementary school a student asked me "Why do you have the Indian things?"  "Do you have electricity?"  I told her "We are all of these things.  We are living both our ancestors ways and we have internet.  My kids learn their language and play fortnite.  WE GET TO BE IT ALL.  Isn't That amazing??" Instead of seeing ourselves as the recipients of endless trauma and deficit perhaps we should consider how we are the thriving recipients of thousands of years of adaptation,...

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