Friday, May 16, 2008

have been in california for this week - yesterday was a heat wave; quite the experience for this minnesota body not yet acclimated to summer weather - i wilted by late afternoon in the heat approaching 100 degrees. i have been thinking about indigenous people and how we have our tribal identity - based on language, spiritual beliefs and connection to a particular piece of land, area of land. so many indigenous people have been led to believe, through genocide and forced assimilation, acculturation that they are singularly 'indigenous' - 'native' - or some national identity - this erasing of tribal identity appears to create much internal confusion, and also lessens the ability to relate with other tribal identified folks. it is heartbreaking in the same way of meeting folks who are the product of foster/adoption out who have not figure out how to come home. we recognize them as family but it is like they cannot see us as them.... that was one of the strengths of the indigenous conference - the peoples there KNEW who they were and stood firmly in their selves, their tribal identities and their sense of belonging. this is my hope for all native peoples - that we can all find once again that being, that place, that sureness of being and standing exactly where we are - belonging there/here.

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