Originally Posted by theretohere
I'm really sorry that happened to you.
I both am and am not. It was a turning point in my life. It's the point at which I decided that I could continue to proudly define myself as Native and face the opposition or assimilate and truly become a white Indian. I decided that if I continued to define myself as Native, I had better get myself better acquainted with the true *issues* of being Native, since I don't have to deal with the discrimination in the general world which Natives who look Native do. My family did/does deal with that and I've *seen* it, but I had never understood any of it at all. I mean, we're all just people, right? I still don't really understand it, but I have a better grasp of how to deal with it. I still think people are just people.
I'm deeply proud of my heritage, so for me it was really kind of a no brainer. I *chose* not to wear my traditional jewelry (and especially my feather) because of the respect I have for the meaning of it- I don't want it to be disrespected like that *ever again*. I keep it someplace safe and carry it with me if I go to ceremonies and the like- I will not wear it until I am there and amongst "safe" people who know me- know that I know the meaning behind the pieces.
The thing that honestly made (and still makes) me the most angry about the incident is not that they tore things from my person... It's that they threw my feather on the ground and stomped it.
I understand that they truly just didn't understand that I "belonged"- but for them to so disrespect an object which I was taught was to be venerated just made me