Hello, i was taking part in a conversation and I made a reference to the wendigo, the individuals I was speaking to immediately got offended. I ment no offense as I am not native in any way but I do live around the great lakes which is why I've heard of i
I think this is a great question. Even though you meant no offense, you offended them. I think it’s amazing that you are trying to understand the reasoning of why you could have offended them. Your word carries weight, as do your actions.
I’d like to say that when it comes to the reference of “Wendigo”, I am by no means an expert, but what I know is that they are founded in Native and Aboriginal legends, stories, teachings, etc. When it comes to these legends, stories, teachings -- I encourage you look at what the teachings are trying to get across. Is the teaching a positive one? Negative one? Are there taboos involved? How is this perceived? And so on…
It is likely that the offense your friend felt begins with their own individual teachings around the “Wendigo.” You may be curious as to why. But sometimes, we as friends, don’t need to know the answers. We just need to know the impact our actions and words sometimes carry upon others. Understanding offense was taken, can be a bridge for learning and growth to take place. It can also be a place to show your respect and understanding of your friend’s feelings.
I’d encourage you to apologize to your friend. Own up to your offense and misunderstanding. If they are up to it, maybe they can help you understand why your actions negatively impacted them and allow for a teaching moment. My hope is you are able to maintain your friendship, and are able to further develop trust through honest communication.