A Brief Conversation: Decolonization

A Brief Conversation: Decolonization

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Imagine people are wanting your flesh. Imagine that there’s an award for your skin, dead or alive. Did you know that in the 1800’s, there was an unspoken law stating that if three “Indians,” or Native Americans, were traveling together, they were considered a war party? And that they could be shot down and killed without any legal consequences?

Now, let's push this further: imagine they couldn’t carry your body as proof. As such, Americans thought to rip off the scalp of a Native person, believing it to be sufficient proof of the killing and perhaps meriting some reward--gold, maybe. The point is, R***skin is actually what they called the scalps that were ripped off. Separate the two words and set them in a sentence and you’re right, they are harmless. But the thing is, that word is a representation of a dehumanizing game.

Another name that has to change is, “Harney Peak.” Did you know that the man that this mountain was named after was a murderer? Did you know that he murdered our women and children? That’s another name that needs to change back to its original. The Lakota name for it is “Hihan Kaga Paha,” which means "where the owls dwell"; it’s one of our beloved sacred sites. Every year our people hike up Hihan Kaga Paha to make prayers, and it’s a serene, beautiful and rejuvenating ceremony.

Fast-forward through a slow and ruthless hundred years and imagine you’re being torn away from your mother’s arms. You're forced to go to a place where they slap your hands with rulers for speaking the only language you know as young as five years old. Pretend they cut your hair off, hair that was taught to be your soul.

Now we’re in the present. Pretend your aunt or aunty or woman relative is missing, along with hundreds of other indigenous women, and that no one is saying a word. This is confusing to you because women are sacred. All the while the word feminism is floating around. What is feminism to you, anyway? Your tribe is matriarchal. Balance is essential and validated between both men and women because both contributed towards society.

So what happened?

And then there’s the use of “illegal immigrants” and protecting our country in the GOP debate. I was so confused. This is our country, this is our home. Did you know that during World War II, approximately 25,000 Native Americans volunteered (more than any other ethnicity not drafted) to fight in the war because it was our home? And that many of these veterans returned to continue facing discrimination, despite their sacrifice?

I’m not illustrating these images to guilt trip our non-Natives or scare our Natives, but rather to think about these issues.

And then there’s this statistic: “Research by some scholars provides population estimates of the pre-contact Americas to be as high as 112 million in 1492.”(Denevan, 2012) And today, according to the U.S. Census there are 5.2 million Native Americans. That’s 4 percent of what we were!

Remember what our grandmothers would say: before we were born, we asked the Creator to come here. We wanted to live and to experience what it is like to be human. Remember that we crossed the stars, we chose this life and our parents and our environment because we knew we could handle it. A grandfather has also said that we are spiritual beings. Mithitha kuye le’ wokiksuye. Remember this, my relatives.

Unci also said, “Humor is survival.” Laugh. Have fun, free yourself and know that there are so many cool things out there! One, you get to answer fun questions to people who don’t know about you. Try to be nice though, you might be the only Native American they meet. Two, you get to show your school or college how to build a tipi during indigenous pride day (other tribes vary). Three, you get to dress traditionally on special occasions and be connected with your ancestors. Four, when it gets hard, think of everyone that’s standing behind you! We’re here for each other. No matter what tribe we’re from, we are together.

In the midst of it all, hope is always here. That’s why we’re still here. Tenacity and fortitude is happening. And what’s happening now is decolonization.

Native people are modern, and there are modern issues. We read, write, go to school, speak the mainstream language, and lift up our own language and culture. For example, Lakota is now a language to choose from in the iPhone settings (which I’m super excited about). Native people are in fashion, science, music, art, math, sports, are mothers, fathers, carrying the nation all while maintaining our way of life. It’s essential to be twice the scholar. This is the condition of our state of mind, and I’m very confident in us.
Cover Image Credit: http://www.jumpintoabook.com/2014/05/custers-last-battle-paul-goble/

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6 Things You Should Know About The Woman Who Can't Stand Modern Feminism

Yes, she wants to be heard too.

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2018 is sort of a trap for this woman. She believes in women with all of the fire inside of her, but it is hard for her to offer support when people are making fools of themselves and disguising it as feminism.

The fact of the matter is that women possess qualities that men don't and men possess qualities that women don't. That is natural. Plus, no one sees men parading the streets in penis costumes complaining that they don't get to carry their own fetus for nine months.

1. She really loves and values women.

She is incredibly proud to be a woman.

She knows the amount of power than a woman's presence alone can hold. She sees when a woman walks into a room and makes the whole place light up. She begs that you won't make her feel like a "lady hater" because she doesn't want to follow a trend that she doesn't agree with.

2. She wants equality, too

She has seen the fundamental issues in the corporate world, where women and men are not receiving equal pay.

She doesn't cheer on the businesses that don't see women and men as equivalents. But she does recognize that if she works her butt off, she can be as successful as she wants to.

3. She wears a bra.

While she knows the "I don't have to wear a bra for society" trend isn't a new one, but she doesn't quite get it. Like maybe she wants to wear a bra because it makes her feel better. Maybe she wears a bra because it is the normal things to do... And that's OK.

Maybe she wants to put wear a lacy bra and pretty makeup to feel girly on .a date night. She is confused by the women who claim to be "fighting for women," because sometimes they make her feel bad for expressing her ladyhood in a different way than them.

4. She hates creeps just as much as you do. .

Just because she isn't a feminist does not mean that she is cool with the gruesome reality that 1 in 5 women are sexually abused.

In fact, this makes her stomach turn inside out to think about. She knows and loves people who have been through such a tragedy and wants to put the terrible, creepy, sexually charged criminals behind bars just as bad as the next woman.

Remember that just because she isn't a feminist doesn't mean she thinks awful men can do whatever they want.

5. There is a reason she is ashamed of 2018's version of feminism.

She looks at women in history who have made a difference and is miserably blown away by modern feminism's performance.

Not only have women in the past won themselves the right to vote, but also the right to buy birth control and have credit cards in their names and EVEN saw marital rape become a criminal offense.

None of them dressed in vagina costumes to win anyone over though... Crazy, right?

6. She isn't going to dress in a lady parts costume to prove a point.

This leaves her speechless. It is like the women around her have absolutely lost their minds and their agendas, only lessening their own credibility.

"Mom, what are those ladies on TV dressed up as?"

"Ummm... it looks to me like they are pink taco's honey."

She loves who she is and she cherished what makes her different from the men around her. She doesn't want to compromise who she is as a woman just so she can be "equal with men."

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We Lived To See History Made In The 2018 Election And That's Pretty Freakin' Awesome

Politics aside, we lived to see history.

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November 6th was a very memorable day in US history. Politics aside, election day was a very monumental day of change for the minorities of our country. Several women, Muslims, and members of the LGBT community were elected into office this year which is a huge step for our country.

In terms of women being elected, there was a record-breaking number in this year's election. 235 US house of representatives, 22 US senates, 3379 State of legislatures, and 16 governors (YASSS LADIES).

An openly gay man was also elected governor of Colorado, along with an Oregon governor who identifies as bisexual.

After the major hype of election day results, all headlines read "Midterm election will feature the most diverse group of candidates ever" and "The midterm elections have made history with several firsts". And I think it says a lot that the media is taking notice and praising the diversity.

The steps that we as a country are taking towards openness and acceptance of every individual no matter what their race, gender, or sexuality is something that I am proud to be part of.

Webster's Dictionary defines the term "vote" as: a usually formal expression of opinion or will in response to a proposed decision.

An expression of opinion.

Which everyone is entitled to, no matter who they are or what their opinion happens to be.

Politicians serve increasingly diverse communities with a wide range of different needs. Minorities, people with disabilities, and the elderly have a number of group-specific concerns that should be addressed by people who understand those concerns first-hand.

Think of it like this- who would know better about the healthcare for ***NOT DONE, ADDING ON***

Interested individuals from different minority communities will also draw on a larger pool of candidates. It encourages political participation by giving them a chance to stand up and help bring their particular issues to the forefront.

Diversifying candidates will diversify policy.

And the meaning of "diverse" goes way beyond just race or sex. Having an office of vastly diverse skills and passions is also beneficial because it gives more depth and balance to a department. If everybody political leader came from the same background and had the same morals, we wouldn't be able to properly address the needs of every individual.

In a nutshell, political diversity is how we can fulfill the needs of individuals in every political party. And I hope this election opens the doors for more people to have the courage to stand up for what you believe in and for what you want to do. No one should ever feel like they cannot accomplish their goals while still staying true to yourself.

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