|4 years ago :: Feb 13, 2009 - 4:25PM #1|
I have a question for those who are from Coast Salish nations or are familiar with them (I haven't seen any on the boards, but you never know, there might be).
Basically I just want to know some of the basic ways that manners differ - not so much, "Stealing our land and children is considered rude in the best circles," 'cause, duh, yeah, but things that make you wince, "Hwunitum/Whites always ... [fill in the blank], it's so rude."
I should maybe say that I think being Native is a wonderful thing to be, but I'm not Native and don't want to be; I'm a Scottish Gael who's relearned his heritage language and is very happy to be what he is (btw, Gaelic wannabes do exist and are desperately annoying, I know several Gaels who refer to the movie Braveheart as "Dances with Tartan"), BUT I live on Coast Salish land and will be around Coast Salish people a lot in a few years, and know a few words of Halkomelem, mostly the Musqueam/Downriver dialect.
I know not to stare people in the eyes and that the best rule of thumb is, "When in doubt, shut up," but that's about it.
Any advice is much appreciated!
Thanks/Hay tseep q'u/Tapaidh leibh
|3 years ago :: Dec 07, 2009 - 3:39PM #2|
Well, I'm a British/Gaelic heritage person myself, but I've spent quite a bit of time with a Native woman from central BC, and I'll give you as much on manners as I can think of.
First, I'd say, is generosity, bringing a small gift, perhaps a bit of food, whenever you visit. Or any tangible symbol of respect. Respect is always important, in whatever way it's shown.
I was told at first, to always take my shoes off, but sometimes I forget and I don't think anyone gets too upset about it.
As you said, listening when in doubt, not speaking too much, but I guess that's showing respect, too. There's a time I regret not speaking, but that was because I didn't point out some food that had spilled.
I was taught to get myself a cup of coffee, get food myself if it's set out, not wait to be served. And, of course, to accept whatever is offered.
I've often found that people in the Native homes I visit are more aware of my internal respect, or lack of it, than concerned with specific manners.
And I've been respected for learning my own language, a couple of them, actually, Irish and Scottish Gaelic, plus some Welsh. I may not speak them particularly well, but it shows that I'm honoring my own ancestors and my own indigenous culture. That matters to them.