By Doris Nicole Brown
Caution: if you take pride in America and it’s government and influences, click the back button because this may hurt your feelings.
Yes, I am Native. But, I will no longer claim my nationality. I am not American, by choice.
As you all know, Indian Country has been suffering for months to defeat the evil spirits that want to plant destructive pipes upon our land and destroy our identity. Not to mention the endless number of Natives that do not have adequate health care, stable housing, low income, and the list goes on.
The United States of America has turned a blind eye on the foundation of this country. Natives groomed this land, loved this land, and took care of it- even after the Europeans stormed upon it, we did not neglect it. So for America to neglect us and push us inside a box and try to set fire to it is equivalent to someone spitting in my face. America does not want to believe that after trying to massacre us, push us unto reservations, and attempting to starve us, we still survived. Through the poor healthcare and impoverished reservations, America is still trying to get rid of us. News flash, you can’t erase strength, resilience, and a spirit of a warrior. You can try to push us down but you will soon realize we rise and overcome harder and stronger than before. The seventh generation is a generation that our ancestors prayed about and dedicated their lives to. We will change the face of Indian Country, with or without the help of any government officials.
So, no. I, Doris Brown, proud member of the Shinnecock Indian Nation, is Native, but not American. I will not claim, support, love, or show any respect for a nation that does not care whether my people and I die. This nation has tried to wipe away my history. This nation tried to erase our native tongue and cut our hair. This nation tried to allocate land to keep us away from one another. This nation can keep trying and this nation can keep failing because we are the children of warriors. We may bend, but we are not built to break. We, the First People of this land, are growing stronger everyday and when our time has come, we will shine.
Due to the fact that Americans like to appropriate my culture, but when it’s time to actually struggle alongside us, you run- you may not come to our powwows, you may not eat our frybread, you may not smudge or anything ceremonial until you take the responsibility of America’s selfishness towards Native and join with our fight. It takes a village and together, we will stand and fight this modern day fight against colonialism.