What is your opinion of Western culture, in terms of its spirituality?
I didn’t have much of a culture; I was what they call whitewashed.
I was raised in the city and never lived on the reservation.
I was never taught about my culture until I got older,
and that’s why I’m pushing it on my son, and I’m very proud.
I would not want to be any other race. If I had to choose,
I’d be Native – we’re a strong nation. And when I think of Native, I think of strength –
especially Mohawk strength.
America is considered a melting pot… on the one hand this appears to be a good thing. Still the individual cultures foster spirituality, custom, tradition, etc. which seems to fade away or melt away if you will, til we have become so politically correct we cannot express what we believe.
Mostly Western culture is about consumerism. As long as you work and buy you’re ok. I work at a Remand Centre in Alberta and the judgement of many people I work with allows them to really think in terms of us and them, good and bad. I’ve always appreciated Jung for identifying how we create the shadow, and he recognized the native cultures knew this. In a larger sense, the overall culture looks to hold up one image, one set of values, and anything that isn’t that is scapegoated.
I’m attempting to validate the earth cultures I hail from – Irish, Scottish and Inuit – and often feel crazy doing so because there is little validation. I am learning though to perform ceremony by attending a sweat lodge and smudging daily – although it isn’t Inuit per se, or Celtic…it feels like slowly I’m getting in touch with my humanity.