Identity has always been a big issue for me. I am not sure if I am repeating myself here, but it is something that has always been very close to the surface. I am a Status Indian, but, at the same time, I am light-skinned and could “pass”. As I have argued before, I do not speak my traditional language or practice my Sto:lo culture, preferring to participate in some of the Saulteaux traditions I have learned.
My observations of students have shown all manner of identity politics at play. Some are obsessed with their culture and history, some have no interest. Some students do not know who they are and struggle with their place in the world and their Indigenous identity. They struggle with being told who they are and the accompanying expectations, because it is other people telling them who they are. The government, the school, the Band, the other students. One person tells you that you are this, another says you are not.
I am not sure yet, where I am going with this.