So, my first post to introduce myself and my purpose for this blog.
I was born and raised in the city. My parents, were raised in the city too. Totally and completely city “Indians”
But here’s the catch, I was raised in a mostly traditional way. I attended Oneida Longhouse ceremonies from as far back as I can remember.
I learned what little language I could from my grandparents, who were in my younger years, my baby sitters and teachers. They taught me to count in both English and Oneida. As they were re-learning the language, they shared it with me. My grandmother is a survivor residential schools. She never hid this from us. We knew she went to that school, we learned what exactly those effects were, and how they effected us.
I moved from Detroit, Michigan to Windsor, Ontario when I was young, but stayed in Windsor until I graduated high school. I never lived on the reserve ‘rez’ a day in my life until I was in my 20’s.
I loved city life, I loved the convenience of the city and even the noise.
Growing up, I was always one of the only native people in my class or even school. I was used to it, though. I was always asked questions, my mom would come into the school to do a “culture” presentation. I was rebellious to the school system. I didn’t stand for the national anthem, I didn’t observe the morning “prayer” quite the same way. I even recall being asked to read a “native prayer” for the morning announcements. Come to think of it, I don’t really remember what was announced other than the Canadian pledge. Were there prayers in public school?? I can’t remember.
Either way, I grew up going various native centers in both Windsor and Detroit, to mingle with other natives. I didn’t really understand the concept of different bands or reservations, I just thought, oh, we’re native and we live here. I had no idea just how different life was living on reserve. Some of the new city Indians, who came from the rez, had a totally different outlook than I.
Now, as an adult and a parent, I’ve learned so much about the differences. This blog, is to share my perspective. I have so much to say, and so many observations that I’ve made over my years. And I like to talk and could probably go on for days!
Now that I’ve been living on reserve for about 9 years, I’ve learned a lot about what it means to be a Native person in todays society. My husband, has spent his entire life on reserve. We definitely bring a different outlook to our parenting and relationship but, we have the same goals for our children and families.
I hope its not too boring. I might get a little political, or one sided, but that’s the point of a blog correct?