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White on Red

I don't know how much you know about the effect of colonialism on native Americans, but every time I am reminded, my heart leaks a bit of blood. I recently listened to a podcast called "This Land," in which Rebecca Nagle follows the recent 2020 Supreme Court decisions about native people's jurisdiction over their own nation, and here it came again: a deep ache in my chest, heavier thumps, brimming tears, and overall anguish.

A few years ago I read Neither Wolf Nor Dog, in which Kent Nerburn interviews and lives amidst native people while trying to understand the white/red culture contrast. It kicked my butt and increased my respect of native people a thousand fold. I also felt super sorry. Sorry for not understanding sooner. Sorry for missing the point. Sorry for not making more room for people to be who they are instead of making them fit into a mold.

I couldn't even finish The Frontiersman by Allen W. Eckert. It actually made me sick. It wasn't just the destruction of human beings, it was the destruction of an entire culture, destruction of a whole society, destruction of hope.

If marginalized people matter to you, it is worth your time to educate yourself on the events and emotions of native people. It will hurt your heart. It will make you sad. But it will also honor them. And it will heal us.

(One more incredible rec: Teaching Hard History (podcast and additional resources)

Unsplash photo cred: Karsten Wurth

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