This blog was added to the Top 50 Native American Literature Blogs. Scroll down to the "Rest of the Best" after the Top 5

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

2010 Letters by CFT

Dear Claudia,

I came across your blog somehow in my quest for more information on Columbus Day. I felt I needed to educate myself on the "holiday" and understand the true history behind this day. I have passed on all that I have found to my friends via Facebook.

Thank you for your information you have to generously made public and thank you for enlightening me about many things I was unaware of about your culture. I will continue to spread all that I know about the real truth about this day and hope that some day all will know the true meaning connected to the name Columbus and it will no longer be a holiday and one of celebration.

It is strange as I am not sure how to direct this or whom to direct this to, but as a white person, I feel somehow responsible for actions of those from the past. We seem to destroy all that is good. My 20 years old daughter asked me what I thought our country would be like today had the Native Americans been able to defend themselves against the white man or had the white man come in true peace. The thought leads me to so many thoughts as I do believe this was not the path your culture should have been forced to be on and most certainly not the path we should have been on either. Something is terribly wrong with how things are today and how they have been since stepping foot on your soil. Our "now", is the result of our past-this is a sad thought for me. For any responsibility that any of my ancestors had in the decimation of your culture I would like you to know that I feel apologetic and the same for all that continues to happen today. I am ashamed to call myself American, it seems so inappropriate.

I left the US 4 years ago and live in the Basque Country of Spain, another place where people fight to gain and maintain their freedom but have suffered greatly at the hands of the Spanish government. It has been difficult to understand their fight here as a non-Basque but somehow I have a better understanding relating it in some way to that of the Native American.

I am not sure my words are appropriate, but felt I wanted at least one Native American to read what I was thinking on this day.

Best regards,

Rhonda (name changed)

>:<>:<>:<:>:<:>:<:>:<:>:<:>:<:>:<:>:<
Hi Rhonda,

Thank you so much for emailing me! It really made my day. The issue of "re-educating" folks about Native American history, culture, contributions, and systematic genocide is near and dear to my heart.

This is what I always say: There is no other place in the world for us. This is our land. We are of the land. This is where we learned about life from the weather conditions of this country, from the land and from the sea around THESE lands, the indigenous plants that grow here, the indigenous animals that adapted to these conditions, and the conditions themselves, are us. This is our heritage and story. If you are an American who has ancestral heritage in Ireland, you can go to Ireland and still see people and traditions from that heritage. We can't. If we don't keep it alive here and teach others, then we will disappear all together.

We need allies who can help re-educate and inform others. You are doing just what you need to be doing right now! Thank you, thank you, thank you.

From time to time, I post emails I receive on the blog - do you feel comfortable having your message spread in that manner? May I repost it?

Yours,
--
Claudia


>:<>:<>:<:>:<:>:<:>:<:>:<:>:<:>:<:>:<

Dear Claudia,

So nice to hear from you. I was not sure if my email was appropriate as I wanted to be sure my words were proper and fitting.

Your analogy of Irish Americans vs the Native American people is so true. Here in the Basque Country this is the fight of the people as well as I have mentioned. I am 48 years old, born and raised in United States. When growing up I must say, although I was taught some stereotypical things about "Indians", I have always looked upon your culture with great admiration and respect. Something deep down told me as a young child that Native Americans had something very special that we do not possess as we are so disconnected from the land and nature in most respects.

Consider my family allies with all of our sincerity. We will do our part to help re-educate and inform all who we know.

Please feel free to repost my message. I must go back into your blog and read more things, but if you know of anything specifically that I can pass on via my Facebook, do let me know-the ripple effect of the internet can be profound.

Best and warmest regards,

Rhonda

ps-I loved your letter to the teachers and the funny comment about the plastic egg usage! lol

Also-What are your thoughts about the documentary The Canary Effect? The gentleman whom they used for most of the information seems to have some controversy and not sure how he is viewed by Native Americans-I do not see anything on your blog with regard to this and I am just curious if this documentary has validity amongst your people-thank you.

>:<>:<>:<:>:<:>:<:>:<:>:<:>:<:>:<:>:<

Hi Rhonda,

I tried looking for you on Facebook, but there are several people with your name. Maybe I should have tried your email, but I don't have FB access at work. Please find me!

I can't speak for ALL Native Americana and don't know all the controversy around The Canary Effect, but I do use it and I have it posted on the blog. I like Ward Churchill (though I know he has received some bad press) and the video uses primary sources. Having said that, all media and information needs to be evaluated, questioned, and considered - however it is getting used.
--
Claudia
>:<>:<>:<:>:<:>:<:>:<:>:<:>:<:>:<:>:<


>:<>:<>:<:>:<:>:<:>:<:>:<:>:<:>:<:>:<

Aay again Sister Claudia.....this is Tessa, over the past several years I've written, first was to ask your permission to post thru my group, the letter you wrote, "A Letter To A Teacher", which you granted. It is sad that this letter is still relevant today, yet it is so. I cannot thank you enough for all you've done & do for our young ones, & those who have our young ones on a daily basis thru public ed. Until truth is taught in all public schools, & required by home schoolers alike, we have this ongoing battle for our young ones. The only thing going to save them from much unrest is truth in education. Many blessings to you & to all you hold dear, Tessa (named changed)
>:<>:<>:<:>:<:>:<:>:<:>:<:>:<:>:<:>:<

I'm so glad you are still spreading the word!

I will soon have a chapter in a book coming out about covert/passive racism. I will post information on the blog when it becomes a reality.

Sadly, writing a letter is a start, but not enough. I continue to have to follow up with schools about the very issues I outlined in the just-as-current-now-as-it-was-when-I-wrote-it letter!
--
Claudia