The Wearing Of Skirts.
I made the choice not to long ago that I would wear skirts. Not miniskirts (which shouldn't be worn by those in their thirties anyway) Not pencil skirts for the board room (can you imagine trying to chase 5 kids in that ROFL). I made the choice to wear ribbon skirts.
My Mohawk Mom in Law, Grandma Claus (oh did you think Santa was white...lol...nope the Claus' are Mohawk). She wears a ribbon skirt everyday with a t shirt, her two long grey braids and a bandana headband. I always admired her look. She looks like such a proud Skindian at all times. I always thought one day I will dress like this too. I didn't know if I was yet ready to give up my jeans and sweatshirts. Not that I look great in them anymore. Some how those low riders struggled to say on my less youthful hips after baby #5. I no longer looked approvingly in the mirror. I looked just OK now a-days. I put on my skirts time to time but never left them on because they didn't look any better with my sweatshirts.
So I happened into the conversation with Grandma Claus and she told me how it took her a while to fully commit to the choice of skirt wearing herself. But eventually she didn't want to wear her jeans any more. She told me how if she were to have something happen to her and she collapsed somewhere at least people would know she was a Native Woman. We talked about how not to many generations ago, where ever you went in the world you could identify the people and the ethnicities and Nations they originated from. Nowadays many think we should all blend for the sake of equality. I disagree. I think we will achieve equality when we are all believed to be and excepted as equals with our differences. When I am dressed clearly as a Native Woman and my neighbors dressed in a way that identifies their ethnicities and these differences are celebrated, and positives. Then our world will have equality.
So I am wearing ribbon skirts with Native prints. I am wearing nice shirts, sweaters and wraps with my own Native design applique work. When I walk down the street I will look like a proud Skindian Woman. I will not be asked "are you Asian, Palistian, Latino..."etc etc. Yes it seems few can identify a Native person. They think we all look like we walked off the set of Dances with Wolves. We don't. We come in various shades from dark brown to light tan. Green eyes to brown eyes. Straight hair to curly hair. Some mixed NDN's even have European colouring...the rare redhead too. So yes we have all been asked if we are every ethnicity under the sun. I have had enough. I will be identifiable.
So I woke up the next morning. Dressed in my modern take on my ethnic style. As if everyday is a powwow as Grandma Claus says and I felt like a million bucks. So this NDN is standing tall in her skirts.