It was earlier this month during a snowstorm that I stumbled upon an interesting tidbit of American history—the kind you’d hope would make it into inner city high school textbooks, but somehow gets omitted like so many other things.
We know that acts of genocide were perpetrated on our people because we refused to be separated from our lands.
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.
Halloween is fast approaching, and little monsters everywhere are scrambling for costumes.
All journeys have a beginning and an ending. No matter how large or small the endeavor, it begins, and—at some point—it will most assuredly come to an end. The substance of the journey is everywhere in between the start and finish of it.
The Cherokee Nation based out of Tahlequah, Oklahoma has decided to strip “Freedmen” of their Cherokee rights and to expel them from their nation. Freedmen are African American descendants of slaves.
We read and absorb as truth the accounts of idealistic observers like Thomas More, Amerigo Vespucci, Las Casas, Rousseau, and others who bolster our view of our ancestors. We paint our people as innocents, pristine in relationship with all of nature, and pure in social structures and systems.
What does it mean to be an American Indian? For some, the answer is simple: one is American Indian if they possess a specific degree of Indian blood. This standard definition originates in the federal government’s enactment of blood quantum law.
In the Greater Antilles, Taino is in the mind. Taino is nation and movement, ancestry and identity. Taino, the term, is mentioned in the early chronicles of conquest, recorded to mean "the good people" or the "noble people."
While the misappropriation of American Indian cultures and imagery by western society has persisted for decades, there's been a gradual uptick in the misrepresentation of Native peoples in the past several years.
Diversity is a prime feature of Native America. This is evident in the impressive assemblage of Native nations that continue to exist, the many languages we speak, the stunning geographical variety that is North America, and the rich cultural mosaic that is in abundance.
The late Seneca scholar and philosopher John Mohawk said: "In order to be free, you must act free." Mohawk was a contemporary of mine, and he knew the struggle for freedom for indigenous peoples is not theoretical, it is real; it is also difficult, constant and requires remembering where we, as A
"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.
Kanatsiohareke, a Mohawk community located in central New York State, is working hard to help revitalize Kanienkeha, the Mohawk language. The community has been offering Mohawk language immersion classes for the last fourteen years.