If you are feeling disconnected from your Indigenous culture, you are not alone. Having a disconnect with your Indigenous heritage is actually way more common than you might think.
So… how do you tell if you are “Indigenous enough”?
Here’s the truth: you ARE Indigenous enough.
Sometimes, we feel the need to question our heritage because of generational trauma. Just know that this trauma is collective -- which means you are not alone in this identity crisis!
Let’s first talk about why you should always feel Indigenous “enough” -- regardless of what your brain is telling you! THEN we will talk about how to feel even MORE connected to your Indigenous culture if you are still feeling like you need an extra boost or extra guidance.
The First Reason You Are Native Enough Is Indigenous Culture Does Not Use “Blood Quantum”
Blood quantum is the amount of “Native blood” you have. If you’re Indigenous, it’s possible you’ve thought about this before as a “scientific” way to quantify how Indigenous you are exactly.
Blood quantum was initially a system that the federal government placed onto tribes in an effort to limit citizenship. This system has long impacted identity, Indigenous relationships, and even citizenship.
However, this line of thinking has no place in Indigenous culture. No matter what “percentage” of Indigenous blood you have, you are still Indigenous and should feel comfortable identifying as such. Indigenous people are all part of the same community, no matter each person’s exact heritage.
In moments when you don’t feel Indigenous enough, just remember that your blood doesn’t matter -- what matters is how you engage with, celebrate, and feel connected to your Indigenous culture!
The Second Reason You Are Native Enough Is You Are Already Educating Yourself On The Culture And Learning Ways To Celebrate It
By doing something as simple as watching this video, you have expressed an interest in educating yourself about Indigenous culture and learning ways to celebrate it.
Indigenous culture is all about learning, growing, and celebrating Indigenous practices and teachings. If you’re doing that (which you are!), then you are Indigenous.
Staying open and engaged with the culture can help you feel more connected to your heritage -- and engaging can be as simple as watching a video like this one.
You are already taking amazing steps and that should always feel like a big affirmation of who you are.
The Third Reason You Are Native Enough Is Nobody Can Tell You You Aren’t Native Enough
Ultimately, NO ONE can tell you you aren’t Native enough. No one has that power -- so don’t give it to them.
Culture is intimate and personal and no one besides you has a say in your heritage, how you connect with it, or how you identify with it.
No one should make you feel “not Native enough.” That’s not for them to decide.
So, the sooner you stop listening to what other people have to say about YOUR identity, the sooner you will feel truly connected to your culture.
No matter what, remember that you are absolutely Indigenous enough.
But, if you feel like you are having trouble connecting with your culture and want to work on it further, we are in full support of that, too!
That’s why we have a few “bonus” tips for reconnecting when you feel disconnected -- or ways to simply engage with your culture on a different level.
The First Bonus Tip For Connecting With Your Culture Is Smudge
Not only does smudging offer a way to reflect, meditate, and examine our own beliefs -- but it is also an Indigenous tradition.
That’s why smudging can be an amazing way to dig deeper into Indigenous culture and feel truly connected to it.
Smudging has been practiced by Indigenous people for generations. What greater way to pay respect to your ancestors than by participating, as well?
As you smudge, the process can help you focus on the energy you hope to attract; such as a clearer sense of self, a greater sense of connection to your Indigenous heritage, or whatever else you choose to focus on. Smudging can be very grounding, offering us a clearer picture of ourselves and our lives.
If you haven’t tried it before, now might be the time -- it can be a great technique for connecting more deeply with your Indigenous culture.
The Second Bonus Tip For Connecting With Your Culture Is Continue Learning
The second way to connect with your culture is to do what you are already doing -- continue learning. Learning and engaging is one of the best ways to connect with your culture.
Learn about Indigenous teachings. Learn your history. Learn about Indigenous beliefs and worldview. Take classes, watch videos, read books… whatever works for you!
The more you learn and engage, the more connected you will feel.