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View Diary: You are on Indian Land. (131 comments)

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  •  India and Indian Land... (7+ / 0-)

    not a disconnect, a sarcastic reference to the notion that Chris Columbus didn't discover this land, rather stumbled upon it--lost, looking for the East Indies (the subsequent reference to my discussion with the Chief of Police about "geographic disorientation and dislocation dating back to Columbus" attempts to clarify the register, and the reference.)

    Almost every Native American I know calls him/herself "Indian". It's a little like the N-word that way (though I would probably rank the N-word at a much more egregious  rate of slur and insult than Indian).

    I like the notion of "orphaned ancestors", but my point is: if you (whoever you are) have at least a parent who has died on this land, then you have ancestors here on Indian Land.

    I don't see where I so much as imply that littering is a problem restricted to any one set of people in this country: certainly, on reservations and in many predominately urban Indian environments as well, it's a huge problem--and doubly disheartening.

    That, however, has been changing. It really has.

    •  Whereas I've been informed, when I asked, (7+ / 0-)

      that using "Indian" or NDN/ndn is okay, by several NDNs that I know and highly respect, including Carter Camp and my Nimisenh (elder sister) Aji.

      Organ donors save lives! A donor's kidney gave me my life back on 02/18/11; he lives on in me. Please talk with your family about your wish to donate.

      Why are war casualty counts "American troops" and "others" but never "human beings"?

      by Kitsap River on Thu May 23, 2013 at 03:29:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  what I was trying to say with the (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Wood Dragon, northsylvania

        not-quite-equivalent of using the N-word was that it depends on context.

        Depends on who's speaking and to whom.

        Maybe it would be better put on a par with being on first-name basis with someone or not.

        But it's almost irrelevant, isn't it?

        What I am referring to here is a quote from a bumper sticker, and that quote is what it is.

        •  I always thought it was the R-word that was (2+ / 0-)

          the equivalent of the N-word, and I will not use either. I refer to the DC football team as the DC football team, or by a different pejorative like the Washington Kikes or the Washington Jewboys, just to point out how bad the name is and why it needs to be changed. (These pejoratives are words I get to use by maternal ancestry.)

          I won't use either no matter what.

          Yes, we are all on Indian land because all this land is Indian land. Is it thus not our place, and should we all go elsewhere? No place else where I could get the health care I need to stay alive will take me, even though I have a transplant now and am no longer on dialysis. I have never thought that the one Blackfeet ancestress my family knows of qualifies me to claim owership, but I do claim stewardship over the land to which I hold the legal title. I recognize the land my home is on as Indian land. I'm not sure what you are calling on me to do other than to recognize that and honor the spirits of those who walked it and may have harvested foods from it, probably some of the same ones I do. I honor their spirits every time I make salal jam, because without knowing that the local Nations had/have used the berries to make pemmican, I wouldn't know they were edible. So I'm asking: what else are you calling on us to do?

          Organ donors save lives! A donor's kidney gave me my life back on 02/18/11; he lives on in me. Please talk with your family about your wish to donate.

          Why are war casualty counts "American troops" and "others" but never "human beings"?

          by Kitsap River on Thu May 23, 2013 at 07:24:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not calling on anyone to do anything (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Wood Dragon, susans, Kitsap River


            Nor am I accusing anyone of anything here. I've made some observations about some things a lot of people do (throwing trash out car windows, leaving pooped-up pampers in parking lots--probably without realizing that, even though these places are paved over with asphalt, they are still sacred).

            I've expressed the way those kinds of behaviors make me feel. The people who've acknowledged those sentiments and understood have already done what I wanted this piece to do. This isn't a call to action. It isn't an attack. It isn't anything but an snippet from the life of the individual human being dba on DKos as Grumpelstillchen.

            I'm trying to make the point that everyone's ancestors are (or may be) walking around here on Indian Land--the only point of contention I could see would be whether you believe that when people die, their spirits leave and go somewhere else. So, hey, if you throw your trash out the window (or do fill-in-the-blank), it might not just be MY Indian ancestors you're hitting.

            Personally, I don't believe they do.

            I took the five words that are on a bumper sticker that's been around and is pretty well-known in Indian Country, actually....used it as a title, explained what it meant to me, and, when I was done, decided to dedicate it to my cousin Mel whose passing happened to coincide with my writing of the piece. (I think I actually started working on the piece on the actual day of his death--didn't get the actual news till about 4 days later).

            Thank you for reading and commenting.

            As I already conceded, drawing the analogy to the N-word was a mistake. Sorry.

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