The search to discover the truth about Indigenous children who never made it home from Indian Residential Schools in Canada continues. As more unmarked graves of their young relatives are discovered, First Nation communities are at the forefront of pushing for accountability and justice.
If you’re learning about Indian Residential Schools in the U.S. and Canada for the first time; it’s critical you're cognizant of the fact that these systems of colonial violence deliberately inflicted intergenerational trauma on Indigenous communities. Navigating our own lack of knowledge about this type of government-backed, church-led atrocity should not be placed on the shoulders of those who bear its scars.
Culture is not an aesthetic, it isn't a theme or a vibe, it's not a costume or a trend. Culture is about heritage, pride, survival, resiliency, life-affirming connections -- and it's hugely significant. It's rich, vibrant, and nurtures vital lifeways. Culture is simultaneously the preservation and celebration of the past, the present and the future. It's not, and never should be, something that's picked apart, stripped of all its meaning, homogenized and sanitized to be used by those it does not represent.
Sports team affiliation, much like political alliance, runs deep and strong within the American psyche. There can be such impassioned fidelity towards it that followers may be left blind to its imperfections.
We all seem to know the story of Thanksgiving that depicts the Pilgrims graciously inviting members of the Wampanoag Nation -- whose land they were on -- to harmoniously sit with them and share food to celebrate the first successful harvest after a tough winter.