Indigenous Peoples Day in 2022. We still aren’t learning from the past.

I have reread the 7 October 2022 Proclamation by President Joseph R. Biden. This, the article mentioned in the paragraph above, and many others should be required reading in schools AND for adults. It begins with these two paragraphs:

     “On Indigenous Peoples’ Day, we honor the sovereignty, resilience, and immense contributions that Native Americans have made to the world; and we recommit to upholding our solemn trust and treaty responsibilities to Tribal Nations, strengthening our Nation-to-Nation ties.

     For centuries, Indigenous Peoples were forcibly removed from ancestral lands, displaced, assimilated, and banned from worshiping or performing many sacred ceremonies.  Yet today, they remain some of our greatest environmental stewards.  They maintain strong religious beliefs that still feed the soul of our Nation.  And they have chosen to serve in the United States Armed Forces at a higher rate than any other group.  Native peoples challenge us to confront our past and do better, and their contributions to scholarship, law, the arts, public service, and more continue to guide us forward.”

We can continue to honor the memories of ancestors who immigrated to this country but must not forget the Indigenous People who were already here, were forced westward over and over, children taken away from parents, arrests made for observing their own culture and many other horrific things. When are human beings going to learn to be kind, helpful, and respectful of everyone? Too much of that did not happen in the past and still does not happen today. I will observe Indigenous Peoples Day and continue to research this great heritage which alas, I do not have. 


© 2022, Paula Stuart-Warren. All rights reserved.

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