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Sunday, March 6, 2011

What's under the mask?

Another great weekend for our family and many others at Camp Homewood. Here is a few of us with our Native masks we made. This was one of several different craft activities. We made masks, rattles that consisted of shells, beads and buttons and medicine bags. We also were honored to learn about a family's Aboriginal history, we listened to stories, sang Native songs and danced. Camp Homewood has become a part of one of our families routinely adventures. This weekend was to learn and experience the Aboriginal culture. For myself, I was honored to spend a weekend learning about a culture that is important to our family, a culture that our children should embrace and be very proud of where they came from and who they are. This weekend I realized we should learn more, which brings my inquiring mind seeking Aboriginal history. It starts at home with the parents, I think the more interest, events and education will give our children the confidence needed to strengthen who they are. Honestly I am intrigued by the loyalty different heritages exhibit. There was a story told about how this young man had to canoe to another Tribes territory, prove himself to the woman he loves family (which means the whole family) Grandfathers, Aunts, Cousins, Brothers and In laws by different tasks, answering questions and hoping for approval. His canoe was placed on a blanket until and if he was approved by the tribe. Once accepted, his canoe can touch land. There was much more to his story that I won't dare to try and duplicate. It was heart warming to know that there is meaningful traditions that still happen to prove ones love. To win the heart of the family and gain a beautiful wife. Significantly shows how strong their culture is. I watch and listen, it's a part of my personality. During a story I was listening and watching our children's attention. I found it really interesting that my son with no Aboriginal ancestry was tuned and seemed completely fascinated by what he was learning. One of our sons that has his own Native art placed proportionately on his bedroom wall. A son that doesn't have the benefits of the First Nations Education and Arts at school because he's Caucasian. A son that some if they didn't know him would believe he's part Aboriginal or Metis. I smile that his interest seems so keen. What bothers me is he's left out and with having Brothers and Sisters that have a culture that we're embracing, what about his? For example at school all his siblings have the option for First Nation supports, arts and crafts. I had his teacher speak with me kind of shocked finding out that he doesn't apply for these services after requesting. I had to explain to her that he's not Aboriginal so there isn't any funding for him. "He's not?" Even being his Mother, I see physically he could be, his interest is, the majority of his siblings are, we as a family embrace the Aboriginal and First Nations culture in our home but who is he? Sometimes I wonder who am I? We honorably have adapted our family for our children, our family is an Aboriginal family but to contradict I'm not even Metis. Sometimes as much as I love the Aboriginal culture, I feel being a Caucasian Mother to Native children frowned upon. After all I believe we should be all equal and accepted, sometimes I don't feel that way being Caucasian. Our dynamics are interesting. As an adoptive parent to Aboriginal children we have to sign a cultural plan. We definitely don't have a problem with this of course, I believe that our family embraces the Aboriginal culture more then some strictly birth Aboriginal families do. Actually I know so. I guess my hope is for myself and my Caucasian son is the Aboriginal community acknowledges and embraces us for who we want to be and for who we are. My son is looking for the same recognition as his siblings, I am the Mother of all my children and we are a multicultural family blending together underneath the masks. We're a family embracing each other, now only if the rest of the world can see that, we might not have to wait for certain exceptions because our profile, our family, is also Aboriginal. Who is my Caucasian son.......he's a beautiful little boy wanting to be just like his Native brothers and us as a family accept each other as equal; learning and experiencing our cultures together. That's what's underneath our masks revealed.

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