American Indian

the Web Editors 08-31-2015
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Photo via FloridaStock / Shutterstock.com

After over one hundred years of being known as “Mount McKinley,” North America’s tallest mountain will henceforth be officially recognized as “Denali.” President Obama announced the change on Aug. 30 in anticipation of his trip to Alaska, on which he will call for aggressive action against climate change.

Alaskan Native tribes have long objected to the cultural imperialism embedded in the name “Mount McKinley,” which commemorates a man who never even stepped foot in Alaska.

Adam Ericksen 11-19-2012
Photo by SSPL/Getty Images

Engraving made in 1847 after Captain Seth Eastman meeting Massasoit, chief of the Wampanoag. Photo by SSPL/Getty Images

"The antidote to feel-good history is not feel-bad history but honest and inclusive history." – James Loewen, Lies My Teacher Told Me, 92.

It’s becoming increasingly difficult for Americans to celebrate Thanksgiving. This Thanksgiving, as we take turns around the dinner table sharing why we are thankful, a sense of awkwardness settles in. The awkwardness is not only due to the “forced family fun” of having to quickly think of something profound to be thankful for. (Oh, the pressure!) The growing awkwardness surrounding Thanksgiving stems from the fact that we know that at the table with us are the shadows of victims waiting to be heard.

Humans have an unfortunate characteristic – we don’t want to hear the voice of our victims. We don’t want to see the pain we’ve caused, so we silence the voice of our victims. The anthropologist Rene Girard calls this silencing myth. Myth comes from the Greek worth mythos. The root word, my, means “to close” or “to keep secret.” The American ritual of Thanksgiving has been based on a myth that closes the mouths of Native Americans and keeps their suffering a secret.

Renee Gadoua 10-17-2012
Robert Bohrer / Shutterstock.com

Statue of Kateri Tekakwitha in front of Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. Robert Bohrer / Shutterstock.com

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Sister Kateri Mitchell was born and raised on the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation along the St. Lawrence River. She grew up hearing stories about Kateri Tekakwitha, the 17th-century Mohawk woman who will be declared a saint in the Roman Catholic Church on Sunday.

She has long admired Tekakwitha for her steadfast faith and her ability to bridge Native American spirituality with Catholic traditions. In 1961, Mitchell joined the Sisters of St. Anne, and since 1998 she has served as executive director of the Tekakwitha Conference in Great Falls, Mont., a group that has spread Tekakwitha’s story and prayed for her canonization since 1939.

“We’ve been waiting a long time for this,” she said of the canonization at the Vatican. “It’s a great validation.”

Matt Hildreth 04-16-2010
After almost a century of debate and a four-year-long legal battle, the North Dakota Board of Higher Educat
Charles Honey 04-09-2010
The Grand River flows through Grand Rapids, Mich. with power and peace on its way to Lake Michigan 30 miles west.
Allison Ash 04-07-2010
Looking at me, pale-skinned and blonde-haired, you would not know that I come from a diverse background with an African-American great-grandmother and an American-Indian great-grandfather.
Edward Gilbreath 02-26-2010

I've kind of avoided the topic of Black History Month this year until now, almost the end of the month. The reason is, I've been kicking around in my mind this notion of "Black History Month Syndrome." Now, stay with me a minute.

LaToya Brown 02-23-2010

We should emphasize not Negro History, but the Negro in history. What we need is not a history of selected races or nations, but the history of the world void of national bias, race hate, and religious prejudice. - Dr. Carter G. Woodson (1875-1950)

Matt Hildreth 12-02-2008

As we reflect on the history, meaning, and mythologies surrounding the season of Thanksgiving, indigenous theologians Richard Twiss, Raymond Aldred, and Terry LeBlanc offer their perspectives on the interaction between Christian faith and Native American identity, and how religions, culture, and the Gospel interact.

Randy Woodley 11-19-2008
I am a follower of Jesus. As such, I understand God to have a special concern for the poor and marginalized of society.
Randy Woodley 11-05-2008
America took a quantum leap forward by electing Barack Obama the first ethnic minority president.

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