Our D/Lakota ancestors Vine Deloria, Jr., and Floyd "Red Crow" Westerman warned us of culture vultures. As Westerman sang:
And the anthros keep on digging our sacred ceremonial sites
As the season of Wahta Osis (Maple Sap) approaches I’m reminded of a conversation I had with a friend of mine who has gotten into the commercial maple syrup business.
As I get older the words of my elders ring louder and longer in my mind. “We are an original people. We have always been here. We will survive.” Such messages are proven to me daily.
Indian life is full of incongruences. The sacred lands we live on, the land our ancestors cleared to make our lives livable, is the same land our youth blasts their bass-ridden, misogynistic lyrics on.
Tribes conduct enrollment audits for a variety of reasons. Some conduct them for the right reasons: To clean up their records and to make sure that the errors of the past are not repeated.
The problem with white saviors isn’t necessarily that they’re paternalistic, or dumb, it’s mostly that they aren’t dependable. Where is my white savior when I want a jar opened?
"The New World." This romanticized term inspired legions of Europeans to race to the places we live in search of freedoms from oppressive regimes or treasures that would be claimed in the name of some European nation.
When my sister’s dates pulled into our driveway my mother would yell, “Here comes Honky!” My sister was always livid, embarrassed, but still, she went out with white men most of her adult life. I always thought she was a traitor.
For some odd and stupid reason many of us continue to be color struck. I really think most of us are ignorant or at the very least forgetful. Black people who look “white” is not a new phenomenon.
As the Gregorian calendar winds down, we enter a period when since ancient times we pause to reflect, assess, envision and prepare ourselves for the next cycle of life.
"There are varying degrees of concern when it comes to our Native children, cultural diversity, different learning styles in the classroom, and the reasons so many of our Native students perform poorly, fail or drop out of school.
I’ve heard it dozens of times: folks justify the appropriation of Native culture and the theft of sacred rites and ceremonies by saying there’s no injury; that it’s essentially harmless, or even beneficial.
The name Edward S. Curtis immediately invokes spirited discussions amongst Native and non-Native artists, scholars and just plain folks who are attracted to the historic, romantic and nostalgic.
On November 22, the Minnesota Vikings organization hosted a special halftime event at TCF Bank Stadium in recognition of Native American Heritage Month.