Prejudice Reversed

I came home one day from school and told my mother that we had show and tell and I told them I was aboriginal and that my uncle was a hereditary chief and she said, “What? You can’t share that. People aren’t going to like you if they know you’re Aboriginal.” And I said, ‘Well, they thought it was great.” She said, “well That wasn’t my experience. Whenever I went to school, they just called me blackface, and didn’t talk to me much, and stuff like that.” As I got older, I told everyone, and I would tell my mother and she’d go, “No, not again!” But nonetheless, I came to enjoy being Aboriginal, because my uncle use to coach me on telling everyone. As I got more into social work and doing workshops, I went to a workshop sponsored by the Native Women’s Centre, and not looking Aboriginal, I didn’t really say anything. I didn’t really think I needed to. So I was doing the workshop, and people were shunning me, and not talking to me very much, and not being respectful in the workshop. So I go home at night and I cry and I think, well, I’m not telling them, because this is like prejudice reversed. I’m the one, the white girl, they think, who’s maybe invading their territory I’m not sure what was going on. So at the end of the conference I said, ‘Well, I have something to share. I don’t look Aboriginal, but I am Aboriginal, and my uncle, Emerson, is a hereditary chief from the Six Nations. So I want to share that now, because I didn’t feel very welcome here.’ And I was surprised, because I thought the prejudice was always going the other way, towards Aboriginals, but obviously not. So that was my experience.