Latina and Native Writers Reflect

Mexico and the USA: My Motherland and Fatherland
By Aurora Garcia 

The USA is the country where I live. While the United States is not my motherland, it is the country where I have lived the longest and the country that gave me a new life, and a son. 


Red and White . . . and Blue

By Sara Sue Hoklotubbe 

The church was full.  I sat next to my husband on the back pew and opened my hymnal to the designated page.  It was the Sunday before the Fourth of July; all the hymns were patriotic.

The crowd stood and sang.  My husband stood in silence.  I tried to sing along, but my heart wouldn’t allow it.  They sang of liberty, of gleaming alabaster cities, and of gold refined.  They sang of pilgrim’s pride, the noble, and the free.  Thoughts flooded my brain about my Cherokee ancestors and how their way of life had been ripped away, their land stolen, all to give this new nation its “freedom.” 

A memory came to me.  It was my grandmother’s voice breaking as she told me how her father’s Indian land lay at the bottom of a man-made lake, taken for the greater good.  My great-grandfather moved the school house he’d built with his bare hands, piece by piece, to another location before the water took it all.

I thought about how I had been pulled out of line at London-Heathrow airport and asked what kind of name I had.  American Indian, I replied, hoping, knowing in my heart those words might work better than trying to explain my Choctaw name.  A man ushered me to an area where I stood next to a woman wearing a burka and waited my turn.  They searched my luggage and then they searched me.  I had been profiled for bearing my husband’s name – Hoklotubbe. 

A Community of Voices

Look behind you. See your sons and your daughters. They are your future. Look farther, and see your sons’ and your daughters’ children, and their childrens’children, even unto the Seventh Generation. That’s the way we were taught.

—Leon Shenandoah (1915-1996) Leader of the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy