It's a Matter of Identity.
So, I've known I was part Cree since the late eighties, but I look like an Indian that's been painted with Scandinavian colours... Not Indian enough by the old standards in Canada at the time.
A few years ago, there's been a lot of movement towards reconciliation with Indigenous people in Canada which created a lot of change of definitions. And they've re-evaluated what defines an Indigenous person.
Since my grandfather was mostly Cree, and he raised in a Metis culture, that makes me a non-status Indian. --> Regardless of colouring
It's good to know, and explains a lot for me personally, as I have a closeness to nature (shows in my art!) and an Indigenous style that developed on it's own.
Recently, I was contacted by Dalhousie University here in Nova Scotia, and was hired to teach the fall 2018 Contemporary Indigenous Art course.
What an eye-opener! I no longer feel embarrassed by not being raised in my grandfather's heritage/culture. This happened to a lot of Indigenous people. So, I'm not alone, and it's really good because I'm getting to feel like I'm more me after all this
It's a matter of identity indeed!