I also wore this dress in Washington DC for the opening of the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI). I wore it again in DC when I won an essay contest and at the awards presentation. My dress has been there for me during these sorts of moments and accomplishments.
My dress allows me to present my culture to other people. I wouldn’t say that it is the only piece of culture that I have because I am a very cultural person and I bring my culture with me wherever I am, in my mind and my heart. The dress allows me to communicate my culture in an easy way. When I put on the dress - it’s time to dance, it’s time to sing. The dress has a spirit and life and it aids me in doing these things. At the same time, it’s not the only way to be Native. It helps me; it’s a good part of me but I am this strong, Native woman when I’m wearing it and when I’m wearing work clothes.