No protest, no demonstrations, no apologies or truth and reconciliation committees are going to put aside the damage of the American Indian population or movement towards equality, not for men, not for children and especially not for women. There is too much history, too much sociology. The story since the first day of European contact is too complicated. American Indians need to look inside of themselves and look at the indigenous relationship, especially the relationship of indigenous women to mainstream society.
People do not realize that we have only become recognizable when we are presented or perform as Pocahontas, Dances with Wolves, team mascots and other various characters but the other unrecognizable form is the indigenous men, women and children who live in the inner core of larger city’s because according to society its of their own making, the unemployment, the person lying in the alley, the abused woman, poverty, alcoholism. Those characters in Dancing with Wolves and Pocahontas are pre-European American Indians; it wasn’t until after the arrival of the Europeans and the church that we became a people that struggled simply to survive.
You have to be critical of all aspects of help from; the african American community with its offer of empathy, they cannot possibly be empathetic, our struggle is completely different for the Indigenous nation that still suffers today as our usefulness to them has run out, the hispanic community with its offer of sympathy and willingness to give us a form of acceptance to our identity, I’d like to believe that we are already aware of who we are, or white America and its impact on the indigenous culture and of indigenous people being “colonized” by the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches, teaching that the idealized family of two parents is normal and what deviated from normal was bad. In a community of poverty, unemployment, alcoholism and violence, the church has taught us that suffering in this world is normal and is to be rewarded by a glorious existence in the afterlife
We are told about Diversity and Civil Rights but in most cases we are led to believe that this doesn’t apply to the American Indian people as is reflected in the numbers of American Indian people who have tried to utilize this “right” and yet the Civil Rights act of 1964 is ALL inclusive protection from unlawful discrimination, protection allowing criticism of the government and advocacy of unpopular ideas that people may find distasteful or against public policy are almost always permitted, still yet utilizing these rights are not as equally available to our advantage and has been difficult to say the very least, claiming that there are programs in place for the American Indian is nothing more than a fraudulent image much like television that promotes the “ideals of a real man in a macho capitalistic society with a full-time job, a good job, with a family where the wife probably doesn’t have to work.”
Diversity for all of its good when presented by those that are “diversity managers” “DBE, MBE representatives” will not see the American Indian as a people in need, this has been proven time and again that when a person speaks on this issue and shares the vast disparity for the American Indian in comparison to other races they are trivialized and in many cases ostracized by falsehoods and misinformation but the numbers still remain vast in its disparity for American Indians. What I cannot say loudly or frequently enough is a quote by Stokely Carmichael who stated a long standing issue we have had and stated it in just a way I could never have found the ability to express and certainly something All races here in the United States has forgotten as they profit and thrive in our home:
“They wiped out an entire nation to take the land. Changed the name and call themselves Americans. When you call them American you obliviate the correct history. They are not Americans. They are European Settlers, thats all that they are. If they’re not European settlers, they’re certainly the sons and daughters of European settlers. They’re not Americans. You should not call them Americans. To do that, you misrepresent the red man who owns this land. They are Europeans. They are Europeans”. ~Stokely Carmichael
We have been marginalized and struggle to keep up with mainstream America from family, to marriage, to job and business development but we are also taught to ignore that it’s not alright to be in an abusive relationship with a person that hits you, with a family that wants you to stay in an abusive marriage and become unworthy by your family standards because you decide to leave and a society that will look at the American Indian despite given the circumstances they are in, despite the multitudes of programs that they are not encouraged or informed of to participate in, the barriers laid before those very people they are still thought of as bringing this upon themselves and that’s not all right