My Adoptive Culture Made Me Hide My Métis Identity. Reclaiming It Is My Resistance.

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'Aching to embrace my Indigenous roots has filled me with guilt, as if I’m somehow betraying the family that had raised me.' HuffPostPersonal

We sat across from one another in a booth at a Smitty’s in Steinbach, Man., keeping cool from the heat of the July sun in the restaurant and trading stories from our childhoods. Patrons stole glances at my uncle, the only visibly Indigenous man there.

We mixed like oil and vinegar. There were moments of love, of course; together we would celebrate marriages and births, and mourn deaths. But for those of us with different backgrounds who had internalized our unbelonging, we were just thankful when these differences led to some laughter to interrupt our pain. We learned quickly that it was safer to hide our Indigenous selves, and that if we did not, it would be met with discomfort and fear, and often outright anger.

Living these two very different identities, my uncle described years of wreckage on his body and mind, with few opportunities to explore his identity or find healing. About a decade ago, I made the decision to seek closure myself.Since first learning of my birth mother at the age of four, I spent my childhood imagining who she was. I wondered, would I look like her? Would my laugh echo hers? I couldn’t shake my desire to find out who this important stranger was and why she gave me up.

My birth mother told me the length of her labour, the number of aunts and uncles and cousins I had, and that one aunt named her daughter after me — Megan, the name I was also given at birth.

 

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Civilized vs savage... real tough call🤔

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