Saturday, April 28, 2007

another perspective from a Lakota friend

A Native Perspective on Virginia Tech Headlines*

>Thursday, April 19, 2007**
>
>By Kat Teraji=20

Bury my heart at Wounded Knee, Deep in the Earth, Cover me with pretty =

lies - bury my heart at Wounded Knee. Didn't we learn to crawl, and =
>
>still our history gets written in a liar's scrawl. They tell 'ya "Honey, =
>
>you can still be an Indian d-d-down at the 'Y' on Saturday nights." - =
>
>lyrics to "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee," written by Buffy St. Marie
>
>
>
>"The worst shooting rampage in American history." "Massacre and =
>
>Mourning, 33 die in worst shooting in U.S. History," and "Rampage called =
>
>worst mass shooting in U.S. history." "What first appeared to be a =
>
>single shooting death unfolded into the worst gun massacre in the =
>
>nation's history." You've
>seen and heard these headlines and reports all =
>
>week as the media provided non-stop coverage of the tragic shooting of =
>
>33 people at Virginia Tech University on Monday.
>
>
>
>"The worst in U.S. history." Really? It is certainly the worst shooting =
>
>on a college campus in modern U.S. history. But if we think it is the =
>
>worst shooting rampage in U.S. history, then we are a singularly =
>
>uneducated nation.
>
>
>
>"I can't take one more of these headlines," said Joan Redfern, a member =
>
>of the Lakota Sioux tribe who lives in Hollister. We met at First Street =
>
>Coffee to talk while we scanned Internet stories. "Haven't any of these =
>
>people ever heard of the Massacre at Sand Creek in Colorado, where =
>
>Methodist minister Col. Chivington massacred between 200 and 400 =
>
>Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians, most of
>them women, children, and elderly =
>
>men?"
>
>
>
>Chivington specifically ordered the killing of children, and when he was =
>
>asked why, he said, "Kill and scalp all, big and little; nits make =
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>lice."
>
>
>
>At Wounded Knee Creek in South Dakota, the U.S. 7th Cavalry attacked 350 =
>
>unarmed Lakota Sioux on December 29, 1890. While engaged in a spiritual =
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>practice known as the "Ghost Dance," approximately 90 warriors and 200 =
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>women and children were killed. Although the attack was officially =
>
>reported as an "unjustifiable massacre" by Field Commander General =
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>Nelson A. Miles, 23 soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor for the =
>
>slaughter. The unarmed Lakota men fought back with bare hands. The =
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>elderly men and women stood and sang their death songs while falling =
>
>under the hail of bullets.
>Soldiers stripped the bodies of the dead =
>
>Lakota, keeping their ceremonial religious clothing as souvenirs.
>
>
>
>To say the Virginia shooting is the worst in all of U.S. history is to =
>
>pour salt on old wounds-it means erasing and forgetting all of our =
>
>ancestors who were killed in the past," Redfern said.
>
>
>
>"The use of hyperbole and lack of historical perspective seems all too =
>
>ubiquitous in much of the current mainstream media," Redfern said. "My =
>
>intention is not to downplay the horror of what has happened this week =
>
>in any way. But we have a 500-year history of mass shootings on American =
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>soil, and let's not forget it."
>
>
>
>This is only the most recent mass shooting massacre in a long history of =
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>mass shootings in a country engaged in a long love affair with firearms =
>
>and very
>little interest in gun control.
>
>
>
>Let's not forget our history and the richness of our Native roots. While =
>
>spending time on the 1.5 million acre Hopi Reservation in Arizona, I met =
>
>families living in homes they have occupied for over 900 years. On the =
>
>surface, it looks like a third world country: you will observe many =
>
>homes without running water, travel unpaved roads, and notice that there =
>
>are no building codes. But sitting in a Hopi home being served a =
>
>delicious lunch cooked by a proud Hopi working mother, I experienced so =
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>much more: the continuity of a long and deep heritage, a sense of the =
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>sacred, an artistic expertise, and wisdom about many things that remain =
>
>a mystery to my culture.
>
>
>
>Most of all, may we never forget all those innocent civilian men, women, =
>
>and children
>who lost their lives simply for being in the wrong place at =
>
>the wrong time, just as the students happened to be this week in =
>
>Virginia.=20
>
>
>
>
>
>May we always remember the precious humanity of these students, but may =
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>we also never forget the humanity of those who lost their lives simply =
>
>for being born people Native to this country.=20
>
>
>

6 Comments:

At 11:41 AM , Anonymous Shari Weinstein said...

Samia, After all this time it is wonderful to hear of the powerful work you are doing. If you are in the Santa Fe area, I'd love to see you. Cheers, Shari Weinstein

 
At 3:15 PM , Blogger samia Goudie said...

Hello Shari ,

where are you send me your email as otherwise I can not reply to u in person.I am not so sure I will make it back to SF , but if I do would love to see you and hear your news.

samia

 
At 8:18 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Samia,

my email is sweinstein37@yahoo.com. Where are you now in your journey?

Shari

 
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