As a thirty something woman I am finding I now have the confidence to feel comfortable embracing both the native, and non-native side of my heritage. I find both backgrounds showcase the best of me. The Scottish and Native sides are amazing, vibrant, strong cultures and by extension people.
I am comfortable entering a boardroom and negotiating with a bunch of suits, and I am comfortable pulling out my button blanket and dancing in the big house.
This did not happen over night, and I have had to face much discrimination from both sides. Growing up I was to white looking to fit in on the Rez, and in school I was informed that being 'slow' was what happens when your native. Of course the fact I wasn't slow and a good student did nothing to dispel this 'slow native' image teachers and administrators saw.
As a parent, I want to protect my daughter from what I went through, but I also want her to have the strength of character to fight the stupid people out there. If I could somehow give her the confidence I have now, without the troubles I would be happy.
I feel some days that I am still raising myself, so I worry about how skilled I am at raising her.
When I was at university, I was taken out of my classes I signed up for an put into "library skills", "English for non-English speaker" etc. I have an IQ of 136, and was on the honour roll in public school. When I went to get this 'oversight' fixed, the registrar clerk very sweetly, and with great sympathy, patted my arm and said "It's not your fault hon, your whole race is slow".
As a teenager this was shocking, and horrific to face. I think about how I would react to someone saying this to my daughter, and I wonder if I should start a savings account to be able to post my own bail.
I wonder how we raise our children to be stronger then ourselves, and still protect or train them to deal with the horrors?