Appreciation or Appropriation?


I am awake, I am alive, and today I am lost in thoughts of appreciation and appropriation, and why the first so often leads to the second …

Gawd knows we love when those of non-Indigenous nations appreciate our offerings. Like best friends standing back to back, they understand that we can see what they cannot and vice versa. Through relationship building and time, we grow comfy in knowing that we truly “have each other’s backs” but for some that is not enough.

They want it all. In fact, they have been raised to believe they can have it all. That it is their birthright, whether we are speaking of wealth, access to land or resources, or knowledge.

Is it a lack of trust that drives them to adopt our ways? Is it greed that has them suddenly claiming a distant Indigenous ancestor as permission to appropriate what is not theirs and claim it as their own? Or is it lack of their own cultural pride?

This weekend’s pondering has me thinking the best allies are those with steadfast cultural pride. Those who proclaim they are Greek or Italian or Scottish have no desire to adopt our ways for they have their own but (and this is important) they can quite easily understand why our culture is important to us. After all, their culture is important to them.

It seems to me that it is the lost ones that cross lines, the ones searching for meaning, the ones longing for belonging that adopt without permission, who teach without right, who cause harm even as they proclaim to be the solution.

In this Kwe’s opinion, I do not need someone of another culture learning how to smudge or how to dance at pow wow. All I need is to feel your shoulder blades against mine, defending me against what I can’t see as I do same for you. After all, isn’t that what true partners do?

Food for thought my friend, food for thought.

We CAN travel together, but only if we can respectfully stay in our lanes.



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