Is it okay to ID as native if I need to relearn my culture? I'm losing confidence despite other natives accepting me and so many posts with positive messages. The judgment always seems to come from non-natives and it makes me want to hide my identity.
Dear relative, thanks for writing in.
Off the bat, I can tell you, you are not alone. Everyone at some point in their lives, especially when we are young, question our identities. Who are we? How do we want the world to see us? Plus, we have the extra layer of confusion when we are of mixed descent figuring out whether we truly belong to one group versus the other. Through my experience it doesn’t matter whether you are full blooded, half, a quarter, or less. We all struggle with finding our place in both worlds.
So, who gets to decide?
The great part about this question is that you get to decide. My advice would be to continue having this conversation with others. When I started to open up to other Natives about the struggle I had with whether I could call myself Native or White, I found that they had similar issues too. This helped me to make up my own mind with where I saw myself in this world. You will have to do the same.
Try to talk to as many people as you can to help you on this journey...know that some people will be at different places in their lives when you ask this question. Meaning some people will have a good understanding of themselves and others won’t. Listen, but also think about where they are coming from and make up your own mind about how you want to use their opinions.
Please be kind to yourself through this time when you’re still trying to figure it all out.
Embrace Who You Are
As you begin to know yourself better and have more confidence in the person you are and want to become, know that wherever you are, is where you’re meant to be. Walk this journey with patience and kindness for yourself.
Ultimately the decision of how you see yourself is yours. I hope you find peace knowing you’re just the right flavor.
I wish you the best of luck on this journey. There will be ups and downs, but that’s all part of the ride. Walk in beauty.