“For every human being to feel connected, we must have the feeling of belonging. That is one of the values and benefits of a culture: it creates the feeling of belonging. If for some reason, while you were growing up, you did not develop the feeling of belonging, a search will be triggered and a restlessness will be present in your heart. You will have a hole inside you, something missing, until you find your place and your people.”
It is not the difference between aboriginal people and non-Aboriginal people that is crucial to maintaining Aboriginal identity as much as protecting what makes up that Aboriginal identity.
I got homesick a feeling, which I could not instantly identify. I’d left the reserve in haste, as if fleeing from something. From what, I do not know. Much later I found out what values I’d left behind. The reserve was where I had a sense of belonging. It was where I made connections to the earth, and to the people. I missed speaking my language.
“These white people think this country belongs to them – they don’t realize that they are only in charge right now because there’s more of them than there are of us. The whole country changed with only a handful of raggedly-ass pilgrims that came over here in the 1500s. And it can take a handful of raggedy-ass Indians to do the same, and I intend to be one of those raggedy-ass Indians.”
Anna Mae Pictou Aquash