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Atsimoihkan: Poems 1 & 2

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By Leo John Bird Atsimoihkan means prayer and is often talked about in terms of apaitapiisin, way of life. For me prayer has been something in my life that I have always felt sure about. Some of my first memories revolve around my immersion school class learning our prayers in our language. To this day when I pray, I hear …

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Root Picking

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By Abaki Beck Memory #1: I am ten years old. I’m hunched in the sun on the side of a mountain, a screwdriver in hand. Cars and RVs of tourists heading to Glacier National Park whiz by on the road weaving below me. I’m annoyed at the dirt blowing in my eyes and the fact that my cowboy boots are …

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THE MURALS MUST GO: AN OPEN LETTER TO FR. JENKINS

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Contributed by Dom Acri & Alan Mychal-Boyd (Sicangu Lakota) This letter originally appeared in the The Observer on November 28, 2017. If you wish to add your name to the many signatures below, please follow this link and your signature will be added within 48 hours. Dear Fr. Jenkins, It is time for the murals to go. The 12 Luigi Gregori murals have adorned the main hall of Main Building …

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#STOPLINE3

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By Curtis Ray Yazzie When your “leaders” drop like flies, surrounded by the compromised, with the traumatized leading our traumatized to trauma units. Who’s real eyes will realize the real lies, who can we rely on to really do this? Tell me who really got a stomach for genocide, without truly turning into the opposite of cupid. I used to …

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Abuse

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By Julia Hayden Wakeford I was born of these lands, of the Alabama creeks and mounds, the Ohio River Valley, the Carolina Coast they each dreamt me, created me, they molded me from their earth, Just as the Post Oak trees and Osage hills of Northeastern Oklahoma birthed me it was from their lands I grew. But I was raised …

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We Are The Guardians

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By Taylor Schad “One does not sell the earth upon which the people walk.” Crazy Horse If you are to know anything about Native America know that wherever you go, you are on Indigenous land.  Although a lot of the tribes that once roamed that land no longer occupy it, it is still sacred. Often it seems like we as …

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The Cheyenne Girl Whose Heart Will Never Be On The Ground

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By Rosalia Badhorse My heart and soul were specially crafted in the hills and pine trees of the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in Montana. Those hills and trees instilled in me a strong love for the land and all the elements of the universe. As a little girl, I explored my ancestors’ land, felt the grasses and soil beneath my bare …

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Intersectionality of Native Identity and Systemic Oppression

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By Celeste Kimimila Terry “Indeed, today it is popular to be an Indian. Within a decade it may be a necessity.” Vine Deloria Jr., Red Earth, White Lies: Native Americans and the Myth of Scientific Fact Vine was onto something when he wrote this passage because as we are amidst climate change crisis and other environmental crises, indigenous cultures seem …

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Our Blood Pulses Resistance

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By Abaki Beck My grandmother once told me she was a class bully at the government run school that punished her for being Blackfeet and buried her classmates on the school grounds She told me she spoke back to teachers and had to be punished The same school trained my uncle to be a butcher trained him to be a …

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Dear America

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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 …

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To All My Native Sisters

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By Mia Ritter-Whittle to all my native sisters,  i cannot gather enough words to explain my thankfulness for you. i think about you often, everyday. i write about you seldom, because i am afraid i cannot find the words to capture your beauty, strength, consistence.  english shows limits for bounds you do not know.  the simple elegance you radiate moves …

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Baa Nits’ínkees

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By Corey Ashley Baa Nits’ínkees… You did not understand So you called us savage and branded us uncivilized   Baa Nits’ínkees… You did not understand So you scorched the land and poisioned the water   Baa Nits’ínkees… You did not understand So you scribbled our treaties and determined our rights   Baa Nits’ínkees… You did not understand So you wrote …

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Hear Our Voices, Uplift Our Stories: Why Native Americans Need More Allies

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Whether we like it or not, we live in a racial binary nation – discussions of “race relations” most often focus on “white people versus black people.” We also live in a settler-colonial nation, founded on stealing indigenous land and erasing the existence of the people who were there first. Because of this, Native Americans are always left out of …

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Mother

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By Kentaro Herder mother, bury me   there is only rain where i am only rain to dilute my tears showers of rain to wash the sand from my brown body   there is no sand where i am no sand to clump my tears not one to mend and blend the scars on my brown cheeks   sand deliver …

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Cultural Dreams Over Coffee and Tea

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By Kentaro Herder I just talked to my mom on the phone and I asked her about the one gray cow on the rug my grandma wove and why the others are red. She just laughed and said it’s beautiful and interesting to wonder what her silly mind thought of. Now I’m sitting here trying to interpret the love my …

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Culture Is Health

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By Karonhiakwe:kon Parker Just a little over six years ago, I left college and entered a training program to become an EMT (emergency medical technician).  I hated college.  I had just moved from my hometown of Kahnawa:ke, Quebec, a small Indian Reserve in Canada to Salt Lake City, Utah, and felt totally dissatisfied and alone.  I spent a lot of time …

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Challenge What You Learn, Challenge What You Teach

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By Talon Ducheneaux I remember being in third grade at a Nebraska school where I was probably one of two children of color, let alone children who were Native. I hated school at that point. I was bullied and outcasted quite often by the entire class, and I remember praying to Creator nearly every day for either an early-dismissal or …

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Standing with Standing Rock Filled My Heart

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Rosalia Badhorse All my life, there has always been a small hole in my heart. This hole is a sense of emptiness I have felt in the realization that I am not the same kind of Indian my ancestors were; the kind of Indian that lived off the land and had a close relationship with all living things in the …

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An Open Letter to President Obama from Natives In America

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September 14, 2016 Dear President Barack Obama,            For the first time in 239 years of United States history, a President and First Lady visited a tribal reservation together. This was on June 13, 2014, where alongside First Lady Michelle Obama, you spoke to the Standing Rock Sioux reservation. It was on this day that the center of the American …