Indigenous cultural responsibilities while in the academy

working through the part of the academic journey in which i navigate cultural responsibilities and academic rigor.

one pays my bills which allows me the privilege of travel but also paying rent, car insurance, buying my kid and i necessities, and just plain ol’ living. the other, allows me to be among spiritual people who in turn also help me to navigate the world in which we all live.

writing about this subject is important to me because its something i think many other Indigenous people experience and yet we don’t talk or write about it enough. there is a thread to this because what i was taught, and told explicitly, as it relates to ceremony we are not to talk or post about it on social media. as for work, people post about it daily.

with each passing day, i have become more self aware, and refrain from using “living in two worlds.” my elders and mentors are pretty clear we actually live in one and it is more of a spiritual occurrence that is happening in the here and now. while i’m not here to tease that out, i share a little of that so as to mark how balancing the scales with ceremonial ties and validating academic rigor while in the academy.

it’s a legit occurrence for Indigenous scholars who practice ceremony. we are not only working to dismantle settler colonialism chokehold on our home communities, we are also here to show next gen students, its entirely possible to go onto university. as i muse through social media, i follow a couple accounts that do a good job and make light of this occurrence through Indigenous humor. *check out Indigenous Goddess Gang and DiyinMemeliinii*

at this juncture, i serve in a post-doc position with administrative grant responsibilities as a Native teacher educator. its never been easy for me and at different points of the journey, i veered off at times and created my own pathway and eventually found my way back. through the entirety of my academic journey, ceremony is what held me down. like, literally, it has kept me safe, sane, and sober.

in looking back, i am reminded to stay present as a means to prep for the future. while out on my morning walk, i noticed how in the last week more leaves have fallen and changed colors. the beautiful array tells me its now time to also begin preparing for winter ceremonies. our ancestors told time differently and in the large schema of things, as far preparation goes, i guess this is also what Indigenous futurism looks like?



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