Showing up in her “Death to Cultural Appropriation” shirt and long red leather earrings made from a friend, she spoke about the efforts of NAFIIA and the exciting impact it will have globally, specifically in the United Kingdom.
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She told us that even the very word “Indigenous” doesn’t have a lot of concrete meaning for people she meets in Bristol.
“It’s a huge responsibility”, she said, “making sure I speak for myself and my truth and only talk about what I know, not trying to speak for an entire culture that I didn’t grow up with, on the one hand, but on the other, taking responsibility for creating some visibility for an important identity.
I’m trying to explain to people what a Canadian Indigenous person is, and sometimes I’m not getting that glimmer of recognition until I get right down to very old terms that people know, like ‘cowboys and Indians’.
Lots of work to be done, and I hope that in some very very small way, Nafiia is my contribution to the larger conversation.