Are you a disconnected Indigenous person who wants to reconnect your sense of heritage?
If you’re interested in reconnecting with your culture but you’re anxious about the process or not sure how to accomplish it, then keep reading.
For more information about indigenous culture and native teachings, subscribe to our YouTube channel or follow our blog for new content every week.
Reconnecting can be a big step especially if you haven’t felt accepted by your community or culture in the past. It can be scary, stressful, and even sad.
All of these feelings are completely normal. Many people experience this rollercoaster when trying to get back in touch with their Indigenous heritage. By avoiding a few common mistakes, you can more easily reconnect with your culture and feel more positive and hopeful about the entire experience.
In this article, we’re sharing 6 big mistakes to avoid when you’re trying to connect with your Indigenous community.
Mistake #1 Holding On To Rules Or Requirements You’ve Set For Yourself
First, remove any requirements or rules you’ve set for yourself for participating in or connecting with your culture. By holding onto these rules, you’re limiting yourself and setting up barriers.
There is no right or wrong way to connect with your culture – so rid yourself of those rules! The tighter you hold onto them, the more disconnected you will feel.
Give yourself the flexibility and the peace of mind to accept wherever the journey takes you and participate in whatever feels right to you in the moment.
If you want a good place to start, check out this article about steps to be confident surrounding Rules & Restrictions for Learning Indigenous Culture
Mistake #2 Inflicting Stereotypes On Yourself
It’s important to deal with any stereotypes you might be imposing on yourself. Deal with these as quickly as possible so you can feel free to relish in and enjoy your Indigenous heritage.
Everyone deals with self-inflicted stereotypes based on our backgrounds, upbringing, what we’re taught in school, what kind of people we spend time around, and more.
While no one can tell you HOW to deal with your specific stereotypes, the first step is to acknowledge them and start working through them.
What Indigenous stereotype is stopping you from connecting with the culture? Check out this article as we talk about Judging who is Indigenous by their appearance
Mistake #3 Holding On To Expectations About How Things “Should” Be
You are on your specific path or journey for a reason. There is no right or wrong journey to be on and everyone has a different journey – so rid yourself of the blueprint in your head that tells you how it “should” be. There is no “should!”
Ultimately, you don’t know how your attempt to reconnect is going to go. If you manage your expectations, it will allow you to accept the outcome of your journey and feel more fulfilled by it.
What’s important is that you are on the journey – not that it follows a specific blueprint or roadmap you have in your mind!
Mistake #4 Closing Yourself Off From Other Communities
While it might be your goal to reconnect with YOUR specific community, it’s also possible that your journey might lead you to a DIFFERENT community.
Sometimes this happens because, as you become more open to connection and new experiences, you find yourself drawn to new communities you might not have considered before.
Don’t make the mistake of closing yourself off to those new communities. Instead, be open to the fact that you might find a NEW community that accepts you, instead of your old one.
There are so many communities out there that would love to embrace YOU for YOU. If your journey doesn’t lead you to reconnecting with your original community, that’s okay. Be open to whatever community comes your way!
Did you know that you can connect with the Indigenous culture through land? Check out this article about connecting with the Indigenous culture through a land based perspective!
Mistake #5 Judging Yourself Too Harshly
Don’t judge yourself for being afraid, needing help, needing time to heal, or just generally having a difficult time with this process.
It’s hard! And there’s no right or wrong way to do it. You are on a journey that is uniquely challenging – be kind to yourself as you go through it.
It’s OK to experience a wide range of emotions and frustrations. Give yourself space to feel all those things and let them guide you down the right path for you.
Being honest and vulnerable will actually set you up for success as you make yourself open to new connections or reconnections.
Mistake #6 Avoiding Helpful Resources Or Communities
Sometimes this journey can feel very isolating or like no one understands what we’re going through. As a result, it can be easy to close yourself off from people or tools that might actually help you.
Instead, it is important to use your resources – especially online resources and communities! There are so many tools out there that can help you with this process – and there are even more groups of people online who have gone through exactly what you are going through.
If you’d like to be part of a supportive and uplifting community of people learning about and reconnecting with Indigenous culture, then check out the Tribal Trade Co Facebook group at the link in the comments below.
Finding an online community can help you feel less isolated and can give you people to lean on or ask for advice. Remember, you are not on this journey alone – even when it might feel like it.
Reconnecting with your Indigenous community is a huge undertaking and you should be proud of yourself for taking the first step or even just considering it.
If you avoid these SIX MISTAKES, you’ll set yourself up for success on your journey and hopefully reconnect with your community or find a new one! Whatever the outcome, always remember that there is a place for you. This journey will teach you so much about yourself and your heritage that you never knew before and that alone is incredibly powerful.
If you want to learn more about indigenous people, cultures, practices, and beliefs, visit our website, Tribal Trade Co., for tons of resources at your fingertips.