By an Adopt4Life member
As a parent of an adopted Indigenous child, I understand the importance and necessity of ensuring that my child stays connected to his community and culture. I know first-hand the necessity of being rooted in my cultures and community. As a result, I have remained committed to making sure that my child is aware, and deeply embedded, in his Indigenous culture, specifically his Lakota cultural heritage. As a family, our own cultural identities, ancestral traditions and communities are key to us. Knowing who we are has helped to ground us spiritually, mentally and emotionally, and provides us with a strong sense of overall wellness. As a parent to my adopted son, I believe that it is in his best interest to have that connection and to be rooted in his community and to have his community rooted in him.
I strongly believe that parents, whether adoptive or not, and particularly parents of Indigenous children, should honour their children by showing their commitment to rooting themselves in communities, whether in the urban context, or the ancestral community. As a family, we see the community as part of our extended family, and we are always happy to make the effort to maintain life-long connections with the community.
I feel it is my child’s right to have this strong cultural connection embedded in his everyday life. For example, we go to and participate in cultural events, such as Powwows; visit with Elders; and participate in Ceremonies. Our family knows that it is important that the child is also connected to other Indigenous children, and so it is important to take part in events where my child can have contact with and play with other Indigenous children.
I believe that it is critical that my child’s formal education is grounded in Indigenous ancestral traditions. Therefore, I send him to schools that use curricula, and engage in activities, which are culturally relevant and meaningful to his everyday life.
As a parent I am passionate about, and dedicated to, facilitating an open culture that allows for my child’s cultural heritage and history to be instilled in him throughout his life. I want to make sure that my son has a strong sense of self and of cultural identity. This is an important and critical aspect of our family life which we remain dedicated to.