A Letter from Quebec
These Native American letters we feel are worth sharing and wondering if this is happening to others.
This letter was writing to a out-of-town traditional dancer met in a Pow Wow this summer (2012), to finish a conversation we had during dinnertime:
Hello again my friend,
Regarding our last conversation, unfortunately, there’s so much racism going on between native and “not-native-enough-people” that my friend Elx is also sharing my opinion (and she has a band # !!). It’s very sad and mostly aggressive.
You might not be able to imagine the phenomenon growing up in a reserve with both parents native, and you can’t be more native looking. But the ones with mixed blood can have very strong native genetic and can “feel” the difference in them and among others. When you notice for years that you “think” and “feel life” differently…
The gatherings can be a happy moment for mixed blood too.. it’s often the only time we can be nourished from what was our core values once but unfortunately, sometimes we have bad welcomes (and treatments).
In one of the Reserve up North of Quebec, a girl took the fork right out of my hand and told me: “no food for you”. She didn’t want me to participate in the community meal after being part of a rain dance ceremony for 17 hours. It was harsh.
This is one example of what happened to me there – and it was with this same energy that I spent 22 hours, in this ceremony I was first invited too. OF COURSE I understand the reasons behind – and I know I have to process my “inner state” so this “rejection” wont hurt me again and again so I can be flooded with strength instead.
Do you know that for the “mixed” – or “non-reserved” – or the ones with lost rights (many in Quebec) – the main pride comes from being a human being with a sense of respect for life, for others, for nature, for animals.. and for the sense of harmony that often comes with it.
What bugs me, it’s that the anger has replaced these values (seems like) in many places. Knowing why doesn’t justify loosing the core values forever and playing “victim” & “perpetrator”… and definitively not with the ones that ventures with respect and open hearts. It won’t help changing the tide. It will just do the opposite. Creating more harms.
Embracing more similar souls – whatever the % of blood – or even the races if the soul presents a similar “capability” to learn, feel, and experience – can only grow a force that would help promote positive changes in the world as it is.
We are in 2012. We can’t re-write the past but we can definitely take it from now: one soul at the time.
Tell me what you think about this? Please, let’s the words flow.. and maybe you could help me promote this speech around the country. You travel so much and know so many people…
Ps: also – have you ever thought about coming up with a way helping “others” understanding your dance? That’d be cool, no? Instead of hating cameras!! 😉
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Richard Thornton is a professional architect, city planner, author and museum exhibit designer-builder. He is today considered one of the nation’s leading experts on the Southeastern Indians. However, that was not always the case. While at Georgia Tech Richard was the first winner of the Barrett Fellowship, which enabled him to study Mesoamerican architecture and culture in Mexico under the auspices of the Institutio Nacional de Antropoligia e Historia. Dr. Roman Piňa-Chan, the famous archaeologist and director of the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, was his fellowship coordinator. For decades afterward, he lectured at universities and professional societies around the Southeast on Mesoamerican architecture, while knowing very little about his own Creek heritage. Then he was hired to carry out projects for the Muscogee-Creek Nation in Oklahoma. The rest is history.Richard is the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the KVWETV (Coweta) Creek Tribe and a member of the Perdido Bay Creek Tribe. In 2009 he was the architect for Oklahoma’s Trail of Tears Memorial at Council Oak Park in Tulsa. He is the president of the Apalache Foundation, which is sponsoring research into the advanced indigenous societies of the Lower Southeast.
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