by Kim ~
My best friend was married to a Navajo Indian from Gallup, New Mexico. Once, we drove cross country from Ohio listening to Alabama on the radio and stayed on the reservation with his family. The mother was weaving a blanket or rug on a huge loom that reached from the floor to the ceiling and his father was a Medicine Man recognized by the US government. We had no heat, it snowed, just lots of warm blankets and home cooked food. They had so little when it came to things, but big in heart and hospitality, a pleasant and peaceful family.The travesties which the Native Americans suffered are shocking and endless, especially at Wounded Knee, December 29, 1890, twenty five years after America freed slaves we massacred Indians, more than 300. This tragic event is written in Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown.
The references above are my experiences and how they have shaped my views. The organization AIM, should persist in its goals, but maybe take a new direction, a turn, if not accomplishing what they set out to do. First, the return of land probably will not happen, but maybe something even better could happen, like education and understanding of their beliefs. Second, the mascot issue, which contends that sports team logos are disrespectful and oppressive, may have merit, but honestly, I never saw it this way. Through education and enlightenment these indigenous people could teach a new generation and garner support.
Maybe now is the time to learn about the ways of Native Americans, the respect they had and have for the body and the land and apply it to leaving a smaller footprint. Live simply.