I know I’m late. I honestly feel terrible. This is just such a HUGE topic to unpack and I didn’t have the time to give it the credit it deserves, which prevented me from pushing something out on a long weekend granted to us by a holiday that I, personally, will always observe as “Indigenous Peoples Day”.
That said…I’d at least like to address it. A little. And hopefully in the future, I’ll be able to address it again and in a more appropriate manner…where I can ask people who are a part of that community and culture to share their stories and thoughts behind this, instead of just mine. (This meme is from “The Good Place”… please watch it. It’s SO good.”
For now…I just need to acknowledge and thank the First Nations Peoples’ for the life I have now. For the home I have in Minnesota and in America. The traumatic sacrifices that your ancestors and people faced….is an atrocity. I can’t change what happened and I hate that, despite the fact that I’m grateful for the life I have now. I don’t really know how to bridge that dissonance….but I do want to recognize it. And I wanted to share also, that….
I am heartbroken and upset by the address given to the nation on quote unquote…”Columbus day”. (Once again…not representing the US Army, just gotta throw that out there).
We can’t change the fact that all of that happened. But we can acknowledge that it did happen and that it was wrong. And choosing not to….is also wrong.
I am sorry.
I am so, so, so sorry.
I know that’s not enough.
To my white friends…. You may or may not know the following…but…
Colonization was horrible. Our ancestors forced their way to the West coast….through rape, disease (smallpox that we intentionally spread to the Native communities), and destruction of resources (ex- 300 MILLION buffalo strategically pared down to 325. Because they were a resource to Native Peoples).
But it didn’t stop there.
It wasn’t even until the 1970’s (aka when many of the “Millennials” parents were born) that it stopped being legal to coerce mothers into giving their children to white families for the sake of their future success. It wasn’t until, again, the 1970s…that “Boarding Schools” for Native children were finally banned. These schools were created to stamp out their heritage and culture….to destroy their access to their own family members’ language and history. And it wasn’t until the 70s that our country decided to put a stop to them.
There is so much about the history of how we colonized America that is not common knowledge. And that is detrimental to moving forward. THAT is why we just had an address to our nation that says radicals are usurping Columbus’s “accomplishments.”
Our white ancestors took without paying. Present day society is upset that we have a “bill” that we didn’t sign up for, which is understandable…But we are misplacing the blame, by trying to put it on the shoulders of the descendants of First Nations People, instead of on our own ancestors.
The current state of our country is not the fault of the communities who have so far been marginalized, repressed, and discriminated against. And maybe it’s not “fair” that we (now), as a country, are facing the repercussions of our ancestors’ actions when they aren’t specifically ones we made ourselves…. but it also wasn’t fair that our ancestors made anyone else sacrifice for what has, without a doubt, ended up being our benefit.
Maybe we personally have not done anything wrong. But something awful did happen. And acknowledging that and using that to move forward is super different from pretending it didn’t.