This story is part of Fix’s Mentorship Issue exploring the unique ways climate leaders found their calling, and how new approaches to mentorship are upending old power structures. Check out the full issue here.
The first time Mariah Gladstone attended a bundle ceremony, she had a lot to learn about protocol. “I called my mom, so at least I knew to wear a skirt and bring a shawl,” she says. But she didn’t bring a pin to fasten the shawl, so she had to hold it with her hands to keep her shoulders covered. She didn’t know when she was supposed to get up and dance, and did her best to follow along.
“It’s like if you were to walk into a church, and everyone’s singing the songs, and they all seem to know what’s going on. And you have no idea what’s going on,” Gladstone says. But, after muddling through, she was able to use her experience to coach her cousins through some of their first ceremonies.
In Indigenous ceremonies like the bundle opening Gladstone attended earlier this year, it’s rare for anyone to explain the customs as they’re performed. Traditionally, those rites and other practices ... Read more