Letter: Discover your lineage to learn your heritage

I want my children to know who they are and what their heritage is about.

To the editor:

Have you ever been to a powwow? If not, you need to go experience one. It’s a great way to really see what the aboriginal people are all about.

Many people have a bad view on aboriginal people, but rarely think about the hard ways in which they were forced to live. Having to grow up in residential schools where they not only lost their identities, but also lost what was most important to them—their culture.

I’ve never had to experience what it was like to grow up in such a way where you had no idea who you were anymore, however I am part Metis and growing up my mother never let me experience my heritage. I grew up feeling as though a piece of me was missing.

Now that I’m older, I make sure to go to powwows. I’ve also been taught how to make medicine bags and dream catchers and have learned the meaning of both.

I want my children to know who they are and what their heritage is about. I would never trade being who I am for anything. Some of the most beautiful people who I’ve been lucky enough to meet and still know today are those of an aboriginal descent.

So, if you’re not sure where you came from or anything about your history I encourage you to do some research and find out. Who knows, you may have relatives who are aboriginal, and you may be one yourself.

Crystal Rooth, Kelowna