Residential care specialist shares her culture for Native American Heritage Month11/25/20 01:25:pm
Residential care specialist Lindsay Dillon celebrated Native American Heritage Month by bringing in handmade beaded jewelry and sharing her culture with the adult Eating Disorder Residential Center team.
Lindsay was one of 14 adopted children in her family growing up, and she says that she “didn’t know much about my heritage, only that I was Native American.” But in the past year, she has been reading and learning more. As she did, she kept seeing other Indigenous people creating jewelry – which was something she had wanted to learn.
“One day, I went to Michaels and picked up some beads, thread, and different materials such as earrings and bracelets,” she says. “I watched a lot of YouTube videos and would ask my biological grandma for tips as she used to do beaded art as well.”
Her favorite technique so far is using the loom to create bracelets and keychains. “There is so much for me to learn and that is exciting,” she adds. Lindsay and her older, biological sister – who she was adopted with – sell their beaded jewelry on their Etsy shop, IndigenousSisters.
As she has learned more about the traditions and culture of Native Americans, she has also spread awareness to those around her. In October, she celebrated Indigenous Peoples’ Day by sharing information with her team members.
“I wore my Native American sweatshirt and emailed everyone on my team different fun facts about my heritage,” she says. “Such as, our hair is an extension of our spirit. If we allow someone to braid our hair, they need to have good energy because we carry that around the rest of the day.”
Lindsay also shared the true – and heartbreaking – story of Pocahontas and brought awareness to important causes like the Missing Murdered Indigenous Women Project.
Lindsay encourages people not to be afraid to learn about different cultures and offers a reminder that you can’t assume someone’s heritage by the way they look.
“Don’t be afraid to ask questions,” she adds. “Learning is a beautiful thing!”
Lindsay has a simple message for others who are considering sharing their culture and heritage.
“Never be afraid to celebrate who you are!”