“American Indian Race”: Badge of Honor, or a Cattle Brand?

The American Indian Race

While we, Native people, are all members of the Red Race, we all come from different tribal nations with different tongues, differing traditional practices, and different beliefs. Until the arrival of the European there was little conflict between our nations. I am uncomfortable with the terms “American Indian” and “Native American.” America was not here before we were. Tacking “American” onto “Native” is another condition to be administered in the effort to assimilate us into the western culture.

American Indian Race

The print on this 1891 picture says, “Three of Uncle Sam’s Pets. We get rations every 29 days. Our pulse is good. Expressive medium. We put in 60 minutes each hour in our present attitude.” Three Lakota teenage boys in western clothing, sitting near a tree—probably on or near Pine Ridge Reservation.

If I forget the Lakotah and Odawa nations I am loyal to and originate from, I will lose my way. In that “way” is the genetic memory of the life we lived, as Native people, before the arrival of the Waisichu. It was a life of honor and respect for all living and life-supporting things.

America is the European creation on our land. Those who established the United States of America on our land were all of European descent. Their point of reference in establishing such a government came from their origins in Europe and the western influence they lived under. Europe was polluted and life and the living were under threat from the pollution in men’s hearts and the pollution they created in the life support systems of creation around them.

We, as The Indigenous to this Turtle Island (North America), have only to point out the destructive conditions that have developed with the arrival of the European in the rising level of pollution around us in the air, the water, and the earth, as well as in the universe. This kind of pollution came from a pollution of their hearts that has been genetically passed down to them. They are their father’s sons and daughters. Unaddressed historical trauma and its genetic residuals passed down have dictated their conduct. It is the only point of reference they have.

I am uncomfortable hearing more of my Red brothers and sisters referring to themselves with the identity of “Native Americans.” Gradually, the consciousness of who they are and where they come from is being lost and the day will come when they will not be able to find their way home.

To learn more about how I found my way home through generations cultural trauma, read my book, Dancing My Dream. It can be purchased through this web site and through Amazon.com.

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