Native American Heritage Month
Native American Heritage Month should be a time to celebrate the indigenous people of America but instead we have to face other realities: Native Americans are disproportionately affected by police brutality, and they've spent the last several weeks at the #DAPL protest at Standing Rock, North Dakota.
Seventeen years ago this month, I was in the middle of a full-blown identity crisis. I didn't know who or what I was anymore, let alone what to call myself. As our nation turns to observe National Adoption Month, I'm reminded of accidentally discovering, at the age of twenty, that I was adopted.
The month of November is Native American Heritage Month. A recent editorial by Kevin Gover, director of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian, suggests that "the vast majority of Americans have a limited -- and often mistaken -- understanding of Native American history."
Every American Indian person at the powwow is connected, and is making a statement that American Indian people are still here. This is our celebration of life past, present and future.
While I find it hard to believe that No Doubt didn't anticipate this controversy, I can relate to their naïveté and well-meaning apology.
Amid the family dinners, football, and shopping this week, let's take some time to recognize our continent's original inhabitants -- Native Americans, and their many contributions that have greatly enriched the United States.
As we, the American public, hack through thickets of politically enhanced blogoshere-distributed demonstrations and debates about who we are, most of us overlook one factor: We started out as trespassers.