To The Editor:
Disrespect and continued elimination of Native American Indigenous People in the US by our current Federal Administration is occurring:
“President Trump proclaims November as National American History and Founders Month”. https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/presidential-proclamation-national-american-history-founders-month-2019/
In this proclamation it encourages citizens to learn about and reflect upon how this country was created, from its successes to its “challenges” such as the Revolutionary War and sending a man to the moon. And although November was not rescinded as “Native American Heritage Month”, nowhere in this new Proclamation were Native American Indigenous people, history or US early policy of termination, or 20th century policies of assimilation, mentioned.
To learn about the true history of our country is important - including histories and stories told from the voices of people who were not included in our textbook narratives.
So why create this proclamation in this month of the Thanksgiving Holiday which continues to rely on a tainted recreation of history; where the original Tribes who did help the first colonizers survive when close to starvation were subsequently massacred; when school children still color pictures of happy pilgrims and smiling “Indians” sharing a bountiful fall table; when Native American kids in our own communities have to face ongoing stereotypes of their People to the point of self-silencing their heritage and ancestors to their peers, and sometimes even to themselves.
Why, when Native American Indigenous People finally obtain a month of recognition in the 1990’s, is this month now proclaimed to reflect on this country’s founders? This proclamation attempts to overshadow, belittle, demean and once again erase from US history and from our dominant culture the lives, traditions and truths of this land’s Tribal Nations.
I am grateful to be living in this country, and will share this Thanksgiving Holiday time with friends and family in gratitude for all the people who create this unique and often troubled greater community.
But I am saddened that my country’s Administration can be so insensitive to the implications of this proclamation. I am outraged that it seems to not be due to ignorance, but out of a purposeful act against Native American Indigenous People, their place in US history and in our current wider culture.
I am embarrassed, and once again have to apologize for the actions of some of my people.
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