Want to Know Us Well?

What do non-Natives need to know about us? The invisibility pattern sits heavy. Notice that we exist, but initially allow us to decide how visible we want to be. Sexual abuse is a key issue -- the smallness of our communities makes it imperative that allies are familiar with and comfortable with assisting us around incest patterns. Grief, poverty (not just poor), addiction are other key areas of hurt.

Strengths -- loyalty, family, the ability to love deeply -- so that we notice and others notice; we are not fragile -- the ability to endure and endure and endure -- and still keep our sense of humor, love, and compassion for other human beings.

Other things to think about -- non-Natives are trained to lead outfront. Usually the one who is the most outgoing, loudest, most degreed -- will be chosen as leader. In Native communities often times the real leaders are silent in a group. The necessary conversation has happened previously, and the ones who are good speakers will talk for the leader. So non-Natives may think they are dealing with the leader when really they're not, and of course no one will tell them.

Marcie Rendon
International Liberation Reference Person for Native Americans
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Last modified: 2015-07-21 09:57:21-07