Tuesday, November 10, 2020
November is Native American Heritage Month. This year readers may be prompted to explore the nature of US relations with Native Peoples from the time of first contact. Many good sources are available, including the The Native People's History of the United States. Black Lives Matters brought a reckoning of what is true, what is not, and what is omitted from the US historical narrative. This crucial examination is long overdue for Native Peoples. That Native Peoples have survived is due to their perseverance and resistance and not due to the acts of white people.
Colonization has had no greater impact in this country than on Native People. Annihilation has been a goal of many US presidents. While that goal has not been accomplished, US policies favor the continued poverty and marginalization of tribal members. The US long history of ignoring treaty provisions, and unilaterally ending agreements with tribes continues.
Reparations, including return of lands, must be considered as part of making right what centuries of violence against Native People has done to destroy Native autonomy and culture.