With the push for the removal of the racist R*dsk*n name for a professional football team and the fresh, authentic Native representation in Hollywood, case in point, Reservation Dogs – it’s become apparent that Native Americans are still here. We are not the stoic silhouette on horseback riding off into the sunset or the honorable Chief with a headdress seen stoically peering into your soul from a tin type, but rather – we are living, breathing proof of our ancestors’ resilience.
It is with this realization that I am not reducing myself into a historical figure nor easily accepting of forced, systemic assimilation. With my renewed Indigeneity and power, I have stepped up into the role as a creative figure in my community to proudly lead with my cultural values and beliefs at the forefront to create and find solutions to problems that we face.
This recent epiphany or commitment hasn’t come as easily as you’d imagine. It has taken most of my youth and adulthood to work through the trauma and effects of colonization, racism, sexism, and other systemic barriers set in place. I acknowledge that I have an uphill battle but I am embracing my strength and am committed to breaking down barriers for future generations.
I believe that one day we can live full, equitable, productive, and sustainable lives free from systemic oppression.
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With love and blessing,