Balancing Faith and Heritage

Today I sttruggled not to be angry or frustrated but approach a very sensitive topic with an open mind and heart. The topic was that of being First Nations and a Christian. The two don’t seem to go together but they are, in part, who I am. 

Growing up we knew more about my moms family. My maternal Grandfather made a point of sharing with family about our Norwegian and Pennsivaniyan Dutch Ancestors. We learned a lot about Christianity and faith then we were taught the importance of giving back to our community, standing up for others and what was right and being strong in our walk with God. When it came to my dads family we knew we were Metis (Native and Scotish), but we were not taught much about of native heritage and I wish we could have learned more but it just wasn’t how it worked out for us. I truly believed my father wanted to teach us more but perhaps he just needed to learn more himself.

As time went on we all learned more. For me there was a lot of piecing things together and I am still learning and teaching my daughter along the way. Growing up in a small BC town with a large First Nations population not far from a Reservation with an old residential school. I was able to start the process of educating myself about the wrongs done to my people in the name of God. I was devastated at the thought that anybody could consider themselves a Christian while being involved in such terrible genocide that was almost completely dismissed as nothing.

I  have spent so many hours in prayer and council trying to balance my faith while embracing my Native heritage. I have had to struggle with other First Nations people telling me that I can not or should not be a Christian because of the wrongs committed in the name of God and Christianity. I think it is unfair to judge an entire group of people because of the actions of others. This the case in all walks of life. Stereotypes are an unfortunate part of society . 

Be strong in your faith, embrace your heritage, love all human kind, be generous,ecourage others, admit when you are wrong, standup for what is right,  listen to your heart, find comfort and forgiveness in your walk with God, and remember you are not responsible for the actions of others or the wrongs they have done.

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