Why We Need to Stop Using the Word Tribe

I have been hearing the word tribe thrown around for a long time.

In the world I now find myself in of entrepreneurs and solopreneurs, I hear it even more.

Here is why we need to think twice about using the world tribe. Better yet, simply stop using it all together.

It is appropriation.


  • the adoption or use of pieces or elements of culture by another
  • may lead to the new culture being seen as the holder or originator of these pieces/elements 
  • taking components of a culture that are not your culture and adopting them as your own
  • creates a power dynamic in which the dominant culture is taking things from an oppressed culture

Yes, that's right friends, the term tribe is form of appropriation.

Let me break it down for you: when this land was colonized by white settlers, there were tribes. We came, we conquered and we divided those tribes. We colonized the land and disregarded the ways of life that were in place. In doing so, we implied that our way is the right way, that their way of living was unimportant, that their culture was unimportant. Let that sink in for a minute. I know many of you do not believe this to be true. Hear this, that doesn't matter. Take a breath. What matters is that we are a part of the DNA of this country and how it came into being, and it is up to us to change the story. Now.

A step in the right direction is that now-a-days, many of us seem to understand that there is something profound to that way of life. The part to pay attention to is that we want it back and we are used to getting what we want -- comparatively speaking. We want to feel more connected and in doing so, we call ourselves a tribe. Here's the important piece -- we have spent years holding down the systems that were created upon tribalism in order to cultivate a sense of individualism. We need to understand that we have been fighting, literally killing people for a certain way of life -- a more secluded life -- a life that is built upon the perception of freedom. This doesn't mean you shouldn't move towards a more connected way of life, please do! It also means, however, that we need to do this gracefully. We can not just decide to take back the word tribe and use it for our own security, safety and benefit with out being a part of the problem.

Here's what would have been awesome when white settlers landed here. Cultural exchange; an exchange between cultures to provide mutual understanding

Don't confuse appropriation with  assimilation. It's kind of like saying all lives matter. Assimilation; a marginalized culture adopting elements of the dominant culture for survival purposes 

Additionally, it is a form of power abuse to call yourself a leader of a tribe. We imply that people who follow our work belong to us -- and that is an abuse of power. 

You can make big strides today for the state of our world by being an example.


Consider stopping using the word tribe. 

Adopt the use of the word community.

And delete the word MY in front of either.

With Love and Gratitude!