I personally believe that Columbus was a tool and if you don't like that.. well.. I don't really care. If you ask me, I don't believe a guy who enslaved, raped, hung and slaughtered innocent people should get a "day".. but hey maybe that's just me.
My father was Native American.
I'd venture to say that's about the only part of him that I am proud to claim.
I wish I knew more about my culture. I know that my mother is white and my father was Cherokee. He wasn't full blood, but I know it's quite a high percentage. I know that my grandma and grandpa were on the Cherokee Dawes Rolls. There families settled in Oklahoma sometime before 1900. I know they lived a few towns from each other. I know that there is a discrepancy on how my grandfather's name entered when they entered and settled in Oklahoma. That is part of the reason I could never prove my family tree.
My grandfather died a long time before I was born. I know my grandma liked to cook and loved my father. I know that she died in her 70's. I think she knew about me when I was a child and maybe I met her, I'm not sure on that. But I remember seeing pictures of her when I was older and she always looked like she had a happy heart. I'm glad to know that at least I came from that smile that I saw in that old photo. Maybe she loved me. I'm not sure.
I've always wanted to know more, but was never exactly sure where to start.
I've always felt proud that I had Cherokee blood inside of me. It's always made me feel closer to nature and to god. I am proud to know that I came from a line of people who fought for what they believed in and where and still are passionate about what was right for their culture. People who believed and still believe in sharing and helping a neighbor.
I found this picture today while looking at some articles about Columbus Day. It's a family from Noatak, AK circa 1929. I love it. The mom is so beautiful!
Being in Alaska, I've met some incredible native people here. There are so many people in this state doing amazing things for the native culture. I wish I could tell you about them all.
The area I live and work in is mostly Athabascan but I have been so fortunate to meet and know people from the Yupik, Inupiat, Haida and Tlingit cultures. My friend Lena often writes her Facebook status with English and Native words. I love learning about the different cultures that I serve in my job capacity. I know about things now that I would never have knew otherwise.
Knowing that in one state each region and culture has it's own way of doing things.. It's so vastly different, but also very similar. It helps me feel more connected something that I've known so little about in my life.
Columbus once said, "The Indian's are so naïve and so free with their possessions that no one who has not witnessed them would believe it. When you ask for something they have, they never say no. To the contrary, they offer to share with anyone...."
It's called being a good human being asshole. Columbus had a lot to learn about that.
As for me, this girl is going to celebrate Indigenous People's Day and Columbus can go suck it.