by Guest Contributor Anishinaabekwe, originally published at Anishinaabekwe
I need to bring this up. Tired of my issues being swept under the rug. Tired of not being the “apparent minority.” Tired of exclusion in the activist community. Tired of being labeled as a women of color but being treated as otherwise. Tired of judgment. Tired of censorship of Native issues in the mainstream news. Tired of being Invisibly Native.
I have noticed that in the blogosphere that other women of color blogs outshine Native ones. You don’t hear about Native issues in the news. You don’t read about Native issues. You may have never even met a Native person. You may have never been to a reservation or reserve. Then if we bring up issues in our communities we get dissected in our identity, not honored, questioned if we are Native, etc. I am frankly still exhausted from trauma in activism and in the workplace. I feel many Natives choose to remain invisible even if they are visible because they are not taken seriously. They are not even taken seriously in “safe” people of color spaces. I have experienced not being taken seriously in several women of color spaces.
From my experience I feel that other people of color want to blend in with the majority society while the Native community wants to stay out. The Native community has far less money to invest in the majority society so we stay on our own or try to stay together in their communities the best that they can. There is no reason to try and blend with a society that doesn’t care about you.
Some way we need to move beyond this invisibility. I have a few questions that I welcome all of my blog readers to answer, even if you are not Native.
1. What do you know about the term “invisible minority” in the Native community specifically?
2. Do you feel Native/Aboriginal/First Nations women’s issues are not addressed in women of color spaces? If they are addressed, do you think they are addressed fairly and equally? Or do you think other women of color groups outshine Native/Aboriginal/First Nations women’s groups/issues?
3. Do you think the Native/Aboriginal/First Nations communities receive less social services and money for social services than other communities of color?
4. What are your experiences as a Native/Aboriginal/First Nations person in the majority society around other people of color? Do you feel included in your community?
5. Do you feel that your tribal traditions and values in your community/reservation are different than the values of creating change, justice and healing in other communities of color?