We must recognize and honor our indigenous population, we must consider all they gave in an effort to assist those who landed on their land so many years ago, all they lost and the continued struggle that many in their communities experience. November is National American Indian Heritage Month but in all reality we should celebrate our indigenous brothers and sisters everyday. They faced genocide, were treated as less than, referred to as savages and had all their land stolen from them under the guise of colonization. Our history books have failed to recognize the sacrifices our indigenous population had and continues to experience. About half of our native population lives in urban areas while the other half live in more rural areas, with many of those being on reservations. Life on the reservation is not ideal as many are in the middle of nowhere, lack resources and the poverty rate averages above the national average at 28%.
We have seen issues with the displacement of those whose land WE ALL occupy, thousands of missing indigenous’ women, and companies wanting to drill on their land to develop pipelines. Our native brothers and sisters have always been treated as “the other” but they are the original inhabitants of this space we all occupy now. Let’s take this time of year to celebrate the original people whose land we reside on AND figure out how we can be of assistance to them versus a hinderance. We must call out anyone who doesn’t recognize and respect the culture of the original Nations on this land.
“A people without knowledge of their past history, origin, and culture is like a tree without roots” -Unknown.