Growing up as a mixed indigenous person, questioning my identity has been a constant. On my father’s side there is Filipino and French, on my mother’s side there is French, Irish, and Mi’kmaq. I grew up in Auburn, Maine primarily living with my mother and her parents; my grandmother being born and raised on the Listuguj Mi'gmaq First Nation reserve in Quebec, Canada and she moved to the United States back in the 1950’s. I grew up traveling to the reservation every summer for the annual powwow and to visit family. Not growing up on the reservation and coming from various ethnic backgrounds, I struggled with feeling that I wasn’t ‘native enough’ to identify as so. I’ve always been proud that my Mi’kmaq heritage has been a constant presence in my life even though there is so much about the culture that I still don’t know. Only within the last few years has it really been a catalyst for how I move forward in my life and through my journey with discovering myself.
Joly, Marissa BFA, "Journey of Discovery" (2021). Written Expressions: Voices from Native American Communities. 4.