Thursday, May 31, 2007


Did I ever tell you that I am part Tlingit? When I was younger, and my mom was still around, it was a heritage I was proud of, and I celebrated the fact, it made me feel special. I wrote many a term paper on my Tlingit backround, I went through a reading phase which solely consisted of Native American stories and creation stories likes this one.

My mom used to take my brother and I to powwows in the area, to potlatches and a Native American arts and craft workshop. I went to a Native-American camp for a week every summer (and have some of the best memories). I made my own dreamcatcher and started a beaded belt using a loom. My mom made me hand-beaded earrings. When my mom moved out, I felt a bit lost. Not only because I had lost a mother, but because I felt like I'd lost my connection to my heritage. To part of my history.

In highschool I made a half-hearted attempt to re-emerse myself by joining the Native American Student Union. We made elephant ears once or twice as a fundraising activity and that was that. But I wish I could go back and change things. I wish I hadn't walked away from who I was just because I am Tlingit because of my mother. I wish I lived in an area where I could continue my interests in Tlingit arts and crafts, where I could take a Tlingit dance class or traditional Tlingit basket-weaving like my favourite aunt does. But outside of Alaska, I'm sure it isn't possible.

So instead, I'll blog more about it, I'm going to learn more, raise my son to know where he came from, and hopefully save up enough money to buy something from :)


  1. re: post above.
    I know what you are saying. about it all. I have been there, am still not telling for fear of disbelief.
    You can delete this. I just wanted you to know.
    I admire you coming out like this and blogging about it.
    I have often wanted to.

  2. I know you closed your comment for the previous post, but I just want to say that by virtue of you acknowledging that you don't want to be like him is breaking the cycle of abuse. That quote at the top says "they MAY emotionally deprive their own children". It didn't say they would without a doubt. You were very strong in writing this. I applaud all people who recognize the abuse they endured and refuse to repeat it with their own children.

  3. ((((Michelle)))
    I am so sorry for the pain you went through. I want to tell you though - I believe you. And I think posting this and sharing it took so much courage on your part. And I hope that you can heal and I hope that the pain someday won't be so deep for you.
    And although I haven't left a comment before, I have been reading since the blog party. And not to long ago I posted my own hard to post story. and my e-mail is always open if you want someone to listen!

  4. i am native american too! we're mohawk, our relatives are mostly in canada. i just wanted to say about your post above, too, that i am sorry for what you must have endured and still endure emotionally. i am also sorry that people don't believe you, what an awful awful thing. but your blogging friends are thinking about you and sending you hugs. thanks for sharing this with us. xo

  5. I wanted to comment on the blog about your dad.. I was always scared of him myself.. from what you told me back then and from my own judgment of him.. I know I've said this before, but I'm sorry I wasn't a better friend back then. We were all going through alot back then, and I know saying sorry now doesn't add up to much now, but I am sorry..

  6. Hey I love this post about your native american heritage! You'll always be Raven to me :-)

  7. That is so cool to be part of such a fascinating culture!

    And as for your father, it makes no sense to me why people would think a child would make up something like that about their parents. I'm sorry you had to deal with that, on top of the other stuff already going on.


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