As the holiday approaches, we wish you and the people in your circle peace, health, fellowship, and time for connection. We also hope you join (if you haven’t already) the narrative as our society continues to evolve the meaning of this time in ways that are more inclusive, more genuine.
The past two decades have been revelatory in terms of what we are actually learning and now understanding about the real history of the U.S.
We’ve talked about this before. Jim even wrote a book about how to come to terms with it. Opening our eyes to the uncomplimentary side of U.S. history—in this case, the real history of the relationship between white immigrants to North America and its thriving resident population of indigenous people—is difficult and painful, especially for those of us whose ancestors were observers of the genocide of indigenous people, if not architects.
Given what we now know, it’s hard for us to lean into a celebration that so narrowly describes the full picture.
To augment (not replace) your holiday activities this week, we invite you to consider another case before the Supreme Court – Brackeen v. Haaland. Before the Court is a question has been litigated countless times already: are the tribes of indigenous people considered racial groups or sovereign nations? Specifically, the court is questioning the constitutionality of the Indian Child Welfare Act and if placing orphaned Native American children with Native American families is necessary or discriminatory.
It’s “agonizing,” said Fawn Sharp, vice president of the Quinault Indian Nation. “In every single generation, we’ve had to fight this fight and I’m telling you, spending three hours in this courtroom with the highest court of this land, the Supreme Court, and sit here and still feel that they do not get us, three hours of agonizing argument, agonizing questions where they don’t understand the basic concept, that we have inherent sovereignty, and we have inherent rights to the future of every single Native child born into this generation…”
Learn more about how to support Native communities this holiday and beyond by perusing this list of ideas.
Another way to express our Thanksgiving this week is to do just that: say “thanks” by giving. We’re picking the National Indian Child Welfare Association.
Feel free to join us.
Becca, Jim, Lizzie and Lori