TiyospayeNow: Goodbye, Columbus

By Jacqueline Keeler

I sent my son to school on what would have been a holiday called
Columbus Day when I was his age.  I checked the school district website several times to be sure, but yes, it was just a normal school day. Despite being an "Indian”, as he called us, the sudden disappearance of a holiday dedicated to him left me feeling conflicted.  As a child, when I first heard the rhyme, “In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue” in kindergarten I had been deeply moved by the image of him braving the unknown in
his small, wooden boat wearing a skirt and tights with high heels, willing to possibly sail off the edge of the world into the unknown assisted only by a crew of mutinous sailors who lost faith in him and were preparing to throw him overboard just as land was sighted.
It was my mother, a Navajo, who helped me understand more fully what Christopher Columbus meant… More

River, Blood, And Corn: A Community of Voices

When people cease waiting for great leaders or prophets to solve entrenched problems and look, instead, within themselves, trusting their own thinking, believing in their own power, and to their families and communities for solutions, change will follow. In traditional indigenous communities, there is an understanding that our lives play themselves out within a set of reciprocal relationships. If each human being in the world could fully understand that we all are interdependent and responsible for one another, it would save the world. —Wilma Mankiller

More Voices at River, Blood, And Corn

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