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It strikes me that the Native must finally be sacrificed to save the empire. To be clear, I don't think US empire will survive. But as it declines and desperate Americans get more fearful, they get louder like during the Indian wars to eliminate, displace & become us.
for me, most cities in the US cause me low-grade heartbreak if not high-grade. i look around. I don't see Indigenous people everywhere. I see them in Edmonton everywhere. I was getting bitter living in the cosmopolitan US (e.g. Berkeley or Boston).
i don't mind seeing non-Natives of course--I was raised as a good Dakota to be curious about difference, to make kin. But the fact that Native people do not comprise a statistically significant population is the outcome of genocidal settler policies. i can't unsee that.
i said in a talk at UChicago last night that in Boston or the Bay Area I often only saw other Natives when an elder did a “traditional” blessing at a university event or at a local pow-wow.
It felt a bit like antique china: pull the ornate 19th-century pattern out of the special cabinet for an annual occasion. After the formal meal, put it back carefully until next year’s holiday. I don't want to be the special fragile china. I prefer being the everyday dishes.
In the coastal cosmopolitan centres it’s not that there are no Indigenous people, both migrants like me and First Peoples who still live there within their home territories. I have always worked professionally on Native issues. If Native people are there, we find each other.
Numbers matter. Native people are too easy to not see, not recognize in much of the US. We are then easy to imagine as history. Our identities & lands are then easier to claim as inheritance. I moved back to the explicitly anti-Indigenous prairies b/c we're not yet ghosts there.
they're still working to make us ghosts on the prairies. that's how i grew up. it's more familiar than romanticization, tokenism, assumptions of our already disappearance. (i'm trying to think profoundly in a hotel bar where MSU & Illinois are near tied in bball. much yelling).
This is what I've been reading and revisiting repeatedly the last year. The author, a founder of peace and conflict studies and a global governance systems thinker, predicts the fall of US empire in 2020. I'm trying to see the opportunities in this.
He wrote this in 2009. a lot of his predictions will resonate now, 11 years later. our main job is to caretake one another and the planet this year. not spend so much of our emotional and psychic energy trying to redeem the empire. sure vote, but that's the minimum you can do.
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