Monday, October 11, 2021

Indigenous People's Day 2021

Many of my most treasured memories and have been times when I was a guest for Native American ceremonies. Some of the education I treasure most comes from the wisdom of Native Elders paired with critical study of European- American efforts at Native genocide. I have rarely tried to explain or express the powerful beckoning of my spirit toward Native spirituality. Part of the draw has been Native reverence in relationship to nature. For hundreds of years Western culture has imagined itself superior to Indigenous culture. What we Euro-Americans have tried to obliterate might now be what we need most for survival. As humanity races headlong into greater ecological disaster, I'm praying that we will turn to the spiritual wealth and wisdom of Indigenous Cultures. Through history there have been whites who realized the hypocrisy and brutality of American actions against natives. At most it has been an undercurrent, glimmers of awareness of the worth and dignity of Indigenous Peoples. Unfortunately, nothing has stopped the drive to prove white supremacy. A song from my childhood rings in my ears: "When will we ever learn?" With news of ecological peril becoming unmistakeable, I pray that there might be a dawning of awareness (and healing) of racism toward Indigenous and First Nations People. If we explored it, I imagine we would find at the core of the global marketplace culture, a dysfunctional relationship with nature and life. We have been hell bent on attempted domination and control of nature. We are antagonistic of nature including our own nature. From our self--loathing we project and act out hostility toward natives, (women, Africans, any we identify as been closer to nature or who “fail” to conform with the domination culture.) Whether or not my analysis appeals, hear this: Our culture has failed to see the beauty, wisdom and power of Indigenous Traditions. If we could value Natives and Native Cultures it would help us heal the racism embedded in our culture. It could also help us face and heal the spiritual and physical poverties that keep us divided. Maybe we could even give up our war against nature. More than essay, I wish I was offering a song. My spirit cries out to celebrate and mourn on this Indigenous People’s Day. I would sing out a sharp note to honor my brothers and sisters of AIM, Idle No More, United in Defense of the Sacred, Water Protectors and all who give themselves to the revitalization of Native Cultures and traditions! I would sing to all my relations!

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