Many people after watching the ABC 20/20 special, “Hidden America: Children of the Plains” may be asking, “What can be done to help?” The special depicted the da
It is predictable. At Halloween, thousands of children (and adults) trick-or-treat in Indian costumes. At Thanksgiving, thousands of children parade in school pageants wearing plastic headdresses and pseudo-buckskin clothing.
The Kumeyaay have no ceremony for reburying the dead. The remains of a Kumeyaay ancestor unearthed by the dominating society are to be given the same ceremony as a loved one who has recently passed on.
Over recent years I have found myself in a position of seeming to defend Indian boarding schools against assertions that depict them as a combination of reform school, prison, gulag, and Nazi death camp.
For nearly forty years Vine Deloria, Jr. stood as perhaps the most recognized and respected figure in Indian Country.
"What is past and cannot be prevented should not be grieved for."
I read that quote on a beautiful card I bought in the gift shop of the Acoma Pueblo’s fine museum in New Mexico.
"...everything on the earth has a purpose, every disease an herb to cure it,
and every person a mission. This is the Indian theory of existence."
Christine Quintasket p/k/a Mourning Dove, Okanagan
Congratulations, all Indian graduates.
Words are sometimes slippery, especially in law and politics. This is not always a bad thing, because ambiguous language sometimes resolves conflict, by allowing people to maintain face while they compromise.
Whether recognized in ceremony by cap and gown alone, or punctuated with eagle feathers, honor songs or star quilts lovingly sown by aunties and grandmothers, graduations are public acknowledgements that students have met academic and professional standards.
Thousands of Navajo, Hopi and Zuni students will graduate this month from high school.
As I write this column it is St Patrick’s Day, and it brings to memory my days at Holy Rosary Mission Indian School back in the 1940s and early 1950s. All my school days, from the first grade to high school graduation, were spent at that school.