In episode 02, I’m joined by guest Medina Maitreya in a discussion about our process of reconnecting with our indigenous cultural roots, our ancestors and the layered politics of the “Indian card”. Medina and I share how we’re working to decolonize our mental health, our medicine and our relationship with our chronic illnesses. Plus we talk personal accountability as well as action items for our fellow BIPOC and our non-POC allies alike.
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00:00:55 – The story of how Medina Maitreya and I met, and the way our hearts crave to connect with our cultural roots.
00:10:05 – What’s Good? The contributions of incredible people who’re keeping old languages and precious cultural practices alive by teaching them to new generations. Medina learns her native languages to be happy.
00:18:04 – As for me, learning about new people while creating the interview list for this podcast has made me more hopeful about the world. There are so many badass women of color and marginalized folk who are fighting colonialism through their work and life. Following them on social media has changed the way I view the world.
00:26:36 – Medina’s experience with reconnecting with her ancestors. How learning about her roots helped her own her identity as a persona of color who has always belonged to this land. Also, the layered politics of the “Indian card”.
00:37:50 – That moment when someone wants to know “what kind of Brown” you are.
00:42:02 – Why Medina feels that it’s her responsibility to be visible as an indigenous person and how taking off the colonial lens helps to take control of our more authentic life.
00:48:20 – How transitioning to working for ourselves has caused a deprogramming in our mindset. We discuss the difficulties of being self-employed. How we get autonomy over our time, yet the work is much harder when you’re in charge of all departments. (Freyja, my lovely dog, makes her opinion known at this point.) Being your own boss is like being a tyrant boss and being your own employee.
00:53:02 – How we’re always the hardest on ourselves. How the current education system creates broken self-worth. It’s important to acknowledge that grades don’t define you or guarantee you success. We each reveal the moment when we realized that high school wasn’t getting us anywhere, and we decided to forge our own path.
00:59:51 – I believe in bringing revolution in life. Right now I’m focusing on decolonizing my mental health and my medicine. After years of struggle, it was getting back to my roots that helped me accept my chronic illness and taught me that I can still live a great life.
01:10:24 – I ask Medina how she was holding herself accountable as she dealt with inter- generational trauma. Her answer was to always stand up for what’s right. If you feel passionate about something and your skin color affords you enough privilege to safely navigate the space, don’t hesitate to participate and make your voice heard.
01:16:23 – Medina has four pieces of advice for our privileged allies, who genuinely want to help us heal. Amongst other gems, she points out how an ally should let marginalized folk have a discussion without needing to add their voice to it since their privilege immediately takes the spotlight. And about cultural appropriation, she says, “You don’t need to own it to appreciate it.”