“Internalized racism is the personal conscious or subconscious acceptance of the dominant society’s racist views, stereotypes and biases of one’s ethnic group. It gives rise to patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving that result in discriminating, minimizing, criticizing, finding fault, invalidating, and hating oneself while simultaneously valuing the dominant culture” this is how the TAARM defines internalized racism. Métis people from the beginning have been shunned and ridiculed by society. Not fitting with one culture or another can be extremely difficult to understand and deal with. This is my story, the story of becoming Métis after dismissing my real idenitiy.
I am Métis
18 years later, I finally find myself finding the truth about my ancestors. Being Métis has always been a personal struggle of mine, a struggle because my family has never embraced our Métis culture nor have I been taught by my elders’ the truth. The most I knew about my Cree ancestors before I started taking this class was from my middle school and high school history classes, but those glorified the wrong doings of the colonizer and framed it upon the aboriginals to have done wrong.
I was raised as Euro-Canadian as my mother comes from a German/European family, her parents both immigrants to flee World War 2. My Dad’s side is where my Métis heritage lays. My great great grandmother was Cree and she married a French journalist. In the early 1800’s being Métis was still frowned upon, which created the cycle of internalized racism within my own family. Being Métis is hard to identify with, when you know next to nothing about your own culture. Being Métis is not something my family talks about, we have no problem saying “yes I am Métis” ...
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...this vision that remains Louis Riel’s legacy”. Louis Riel is a dominant figure to many Métis people, including my self. Riel shows me that many people have made sacrifices to get me to where I am today as a Métis person.
This is the start to my journey and I can say comfortably now that, I am proud to be Métis. I have a long way to go but I am happy to say that now I can look at my identity with pride, with passion and above all love. The sources I used helped me understand my self in a new light, to understand the struggles of not just my Indigenous ancestors but as well my Métis ancestors as well. Everyone who lays ahead of me in my family tree struggled to get my family to where they are today and I am extremely grateful for that. Understanding hard ship is never easy but through dismissing my own internalized racism, I can work towards helping others.
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