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Gwayakotam, She Finds out the Truth

Steele, Shanese Indoowaaboo

How can I identify as an Aboriginal woman if I don't look like one? If I’m only a small percentage in the eyes of others? How do I have the right? It’s the same question I asked myself when I identified with my Latina heritage, with my white heritage. I mean I am French and Irish, I am Venezuelan, I am Cree, Ojibwa and Métis as much as I am Trinidadian, and yet I always feel like I’m a fraud. Although I look black, I don't feel black enough to identify as black. Although I can pass as Latina, I don't feel as if I’m enough. Although I know so much about my Aboriginal culture and I do identify as Aboriginal, I never feel like it's enough. And although I have a rich French and Irish heritage, because I don't look “white” I feel like I will never be enough to identify. So I guess the question I am left with is: will I ever be enough? And are myself and my friend the only multiracial people that feel this way?

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Global Indigenous Youth: Through Their Eyes

More About This Work

Academic Units
Institute for the Study of Human Rights
Institute for the Study of Human Rights, Columbia University
Published Here
October 28, 2019


This is a chapter from "Global Indigenous Youth: Through Their Eyes". The entire volume is available in Academic Commons at