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Native Culture

This webpage will grow and change as I do. Check back in the future to learn with me. 

Many of us are taught as children that there were people living in "The Americas" before Europeans "discovered" the continent. These Indigenous peoples have been referred to as "Indians" and, more presently, as "Native Americans". The details of this history are often left out: how land was forcibly taken from them by white colonizers, that they were massacred and stripped of their freedoms, pushed from their territories into areas of land deemed "reservations". Treaties were made and broken. Native children were stolen and their traditions beaten out of them.

Native peoples and their cultures have survived, though often without proper recognition or governmental support. 

What can one do to support the longevity of Native peoples and their heritage?

  • Learn about the real history of North & South American colonization, including countries that are under colonial rule to the present day.

  • Understand the long-term impacts of colonizing efforts, such as societal inequalities, loss of heritage, and familial displacement. 

  • Research native history in your area. Use this tool to explore where Indigenous people reside, past and present. 

  • Unpack American traditions that are rooted in falsehoods. For example, "Thanksgiving" is a Day of Mourning for many Native American tribes. 

    • How can you update your traditions while being conscious of the impact they have and have had on others?

  • See how places (cities, roads, parks) have been named after the people who colonized them and not the ancestors of the land. How can we change that?

  • Advocate for funding and programs that uplift Native peoples and their communities. 

  • Support Native American businesses, artists, and artisans. Buy from sources that are local to your region.

    • Check out SNAG Magazine, a native-owned arts & culture magazine based in California​

  • Spread awareness about the state of Native American language. There are over 160 native languages to North America that are on the verge of extinction. Learn about them and advocate for their representation in educational systems, media, and in native communities. 

  • Do not discriminate or appropriate Native culture. Understand your biases and the difference between appropriation and appreciation.

*You may have noticed that I changed the link text to this page from "the people who thrived on this land before it was colonized" to "the people whose land was colonized". I wanted to make this distinction as I did not want to imply that modern-day Native Americans are not thriving in various realms. While struggles exist and are disproportionate to "white America", Indigenous peoples across the globe are resilient and thrive in the lives that they lead. 

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