|Welcome to the land of the free . . . .(V @ UR_Ninja #NoDAPL)|
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It is fortuitous that the protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is coming to a head as we enter November.
As kids across the US turn to making construction paper turkeys and learning the story of The First Thanksgiving, they will inevitably start asking questions.
Asking questions should have become part of Thanksgiving a long time ago.
To borrow a custom from another commemorative tradition, I suggest people everywhere use this time to ask 4 Questions:
(1) How does a person get to be an "American"?
Our children want to know: Is it "I was here first"? Is it "I got here at the right time"? Is it "I was stronger"?
(Is it "I was lucky enough to be born into a group that was stronger"?)
Maybe the way it works in the future can be different than the way it's worked in the past?
(2) Can we settle conflict by force?
Our children want to know: do we believe that, in the end, the way to settle conflict is for one side to overpower the other?
Is that how disagreements end?
(3) Who owns the land?
Our children want to know: what does it really mean for one person to "own" a part of the Earth? How does that get decided? What happens if someone says, "You're wrong, I own all of this?"
How could new people have come to the Americas and become owners of land if there were already people here who owned all the land?
(4) Will there always be enough water?
Our children want to know: I just go to the sink and turn on the tap and the water comes forever, right?
Make the Thanksgiving season a time of learning.
"We need to first acknowledge the genocidal origins of OUR nation’s history of ethnic cleansing and occupation."
(See Native American Rights: Acknowledge the Occupation)
Having recently moved to California, I have a very strong impression that someone was living here before I "discovered" it.
(See DECOLONIZE THIS: The ELCA's Doctrine of Discovery Challenge)
More and more, people are looking to the wisdom of indigenous people to give us strength as we confront the climate crisis and other problems.
(See SDG 15 and Peace: "We are but one thread ... ")
How do you observe Indigenous Peoples Day?
(See Reflections on Indigenous Peoples Day 2015)