Celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day! Why? America belongs to who? Indigenous Peoples’ Day officially recognized in Washington, D.C., the nation’s capital. History in the making! Why? Years and years of activism, protests, workshops, conferences, feedback, misunderstandings, errors, etc.
Celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day! There are some cities in America had removed Columbus Day in respect for Indigenous People’s Day. One day, it will be all over America, the land of freedom. Why? It belongs to Indigenous People. Christopher Columbus was a mass murderer, engineered one of the greatest genocide ever, racism, and it is time to throw Columbus out of the picture.
It is important to recognize Indigenous People’s history, tradition, stories, suffering, positive or negative that should be shared awareness. I remember when I was eight or nine years old kid, I just had a conversation with my dad earlier today, asking him whether he remembered the tepee story I built–and my dad said, “Yeah, I remember you were very skilled with that”. How did I learn?
My grandmother, her mother which was my great grandmother, 100 percent Oregon Cherokee and the entire family as well. I never knew. I never met them. Too bad. Why? My great grandmother died due to a child birth where my grandmother was born. She died right there. My family never discussed about that ever. Best to keep White race that way. Scottish, Irish as I was taught growing up. Then I found out that I have Cherokee until I was in 30’s.
I wish I’d grow up learning food culture, story telling, traditions, events, etc that would have been rich experience. Missed opportunities. Back to tepee story. How did it happen? My grandmother had an old book about Native Americans in drawings, pictures, stories, horses, etc and saw something that caught my attention and that’s why I decided to build tepee by myself.
“Hey Dad, look what I had done!” and I remember that day, my Dad was impressed! He allowed me to sleep there one or two nights. Great experience! I did not realize that I had great passion inside, I did not know that I had Native American inside me, only White–and Deaf.
Due to language deprivation, lack of communication in ASL, never knew the stories…but I felt funny because spirits or souls inside me testing my character, connecting to Native American experience, I would go outside all the time, wood chopping, fishing. My brother and I would go fishing together as kids. That was rich experience I would never forget. Always cherish moments.
I took American Indian Literature course in Oregon. Great storytellers, wrote several essays and how to respect and appreciate Native American culture and language, it was champ! I signed up for ‘Environmental Education through Native American Lenses’. For example, how Native American cooking, making natural tea, life experience stories and it was champ learning experience for me! My Nez Perce/Cherokee professor was phenomenal!
I went to a conference called “Racist Stereotypes and Cultural Appropriation in American Sports” in Washington, D.C. for example, mascots such as Atlanta Braves, Cleveland Indians, Washington Redskins, etc; I was only Deaf there with two interpreters all day from 10 AM to 5 PM. Took a stand and asked a question for panelists at a conference where you can find me via YouTube link below at 1:17:51–
I did my civil duty. Why? I do not support Racist stereotypes, mocking Native Americans. Why? I’ve seen enough stories, for example, Hate Crime.
This book: “Silent Victims: Hate Crimes Against Native Americans” published by Barbara Perry.
2016. I stood in solidarity and marched with Standing Rock Protest in DC. A sign was made: “Hate Crime is a gross injustice which denigrates Native Americans”
2019. It is officially “Indigenous Peoples Day” in DC! History in the making! Important to be aware about activism. Need more of your activism out there, open-minded, understanding that Indigenous Peoples’ Day is important. Christopher Columbus? No! He was a White supremacist, Racist, killing awfully LOT, and he was really hateful towards Native Americans. We do not need a holiday like that. Throw Columbus out! Again, celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day!
Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier
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