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10 Reasons We Love Aunties

photography by D. Daye Hunter

Dominique Daye Hunter

We LOVE us some Auntie energy here at D. Daye Hunter Designs. So when we heard that there were some Auntie haters out there, we had to go off.

Indigenous influencer and founder of Land Back Studies Sarain Fox had, once again, egregiously misrepresented Indigenous people. Fox was the lead consultant for Sephora’s Summer 2021 Indigenous campaign. The campaign was criticized for only highlighted slim, light complected Native models. Many, especially those in the Afro-Indigenous community, were outraged at the lack of representation and reiteration of anti-Black, colorist, and fat phobic sentiments.

The current controversy over Sarain’s work regards her feature in the documentary “The Climate Baby Dilemma” which aired on CBC on November 25th, 2022. “I’ve never met an Indigenous person who didn’t want to have kids because they thought the world was ending,” Sarain states. She shares that the act of having children, for her, is a revolutionary act and “the only was to heal from genocide.”

Sarain’s narrative is harmful as it generalizes Indigenous peoples as one homogenous group with identical values. It also disregards that many Indigenous people are either unable to have children due to genetic reproductive conditions, many which stem from intergenerational trauma and environmental racism.

Also, many Indigenous people have chosen not to have children for a plethora of reasons: wanting to foster or adopt Native children already in the foster care system, economic stresses, and personal preference. My oldest niece was born three months before me. As someone who was born an Auntie and suffers from stage 4 endometriosis which increases my risk of infertility, these words stung when they reached my ears. I was not alone.

Many other Aunties shared their disappointment. “Had to unfollow Sarain Fox after watching a super problematic and triggering video she spoke on for CBC Docs,” Artist Tara Campbell aka Beads Rhymes Life shares, “I should have unfollowed her long ago when my Afro-Indigenous kin

felt slighted by her decisions and words in the past…for her to also be speaking about how not having children is contributing to Indigenous Genocide was the final straw for me. Indigenous [people] who cannot or choose not to have children were not at all considered and that is deeply painful and problematic. Sarain Fox DOES NOT represent me or my opinions as an Indigenous woman.”

“I’m super heated about it,” Taylor Rose, CEO of Khapovi Herbals agreed.

For all the childless aunties who, most of our lives, have felt invalidated and shamed by the opinions of Sarain and others who share these sentiments: this is for us.

10 Reasons We Love Aunties:

  1. Stays up late giving you advice without judging you (most times)

  2. Lets you share things you don’t feel comfortable sharing with your parents, like sex stuff and dating. She also here’s all the dirt on your partner so she’s usually the only one qualified to low-key keep them in check

  3. Picks up the kids from school, and often takes care of them when they’re sick and/or when parents get overwhelmed

  4. Teaches the next generation about climate change and language revitalization

  5. Heals themselves and breaks intergenerational curses

  6. Dries your heart broken tears

  7. Will FIGHT for you

  8. Spoils you

  9. Makes you laugh the way ONLY Auntie can

  10. Doesn’t have to explain to you why they don’t have or want “their own (biological) children”

Keep being your badass selves, Aunties. You are loved and honored here, because Auntie-hood is sacred.

A special thank you to Asia Johnson and Taiyne Juan for modeling our Auntie Power tee for the Spring 2022 line.

Hannah Manuelito photography

Dominique Daye Hunter is a storyteller, advocate, and multi-disciplinary artist of Black/ Saponi/ Nansemond /Irish/ Polish descent. She is the CEO of D. Daye Hunter Designs and has a B.S. in Nonprofit Leadership Management, emphasis in American Indian Studies. Hunter's work explores the complex connections between historical trauma and healing in Black and Indigenous communities. She creates safe spaces for BIWOC, children, neurodivergent individuals, and chronic illness warriors. The author of “Seeds: Stories of Afro-Indigenous Resilience,” Hunter is a sophomore cohort member of the Artist Investment Program, (Arizona Commission on the Arts) and lives between Arizona and North Carolina. Follow her journey on Instagram @ddayehunter and @ddayehunterdesigns.

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