In 2006 as my oldest son with straight A’s, AP courses, sports accolades, volunteer achievements, assistant coaching in his private all-boy high school, ALMOST EVERY STUDENT WAS IN THE SAME POSITION. The competitive-nature to gain admittance to excellent schools was stress inducing. It was only then that I, orphaned at a young person with little information about my father, did I learn that on his mother’s side, he was North Dakota Sioux.
Ok. I did not want to go this route but this is my son, it’s an option available to me; an option many students successfully used …. that is, being a minority which gave many students an edge. I hired a verified association of ancestry information. I contacted someone. Oh!!! Wayyyyy back my grandmother’s side I was related to Sitting Bull. The documents showed that my ancestral family was relocated to French Canada during the Battle at Little Big Horn.No. No Mom. I look nothing like an American Indian and know nothing. He got into a great school without denoting his heritage.
And, for reasons unknown to me, as I’ve never met my father or his family though my parents were married, I felt proud to have my American Indian heritage. I decided to get a tattoo (I was over 50 …. Yes sons, after 50 you can get a tattoo; if before graduating college, I will no longer pay forcollege). I researched. I decided to get “osteka”, a word in the language of the Sioux … Lakota. I must’ve done a poor research job. I thought osteka meant unusual one. Ugh. No. It means dangerous one.

In my view, the United States of America have done extremely poorly and shamefully to the American Indian. It is often a difficult existence.
I share this in the hope that folks will think deeper into Thanksgiving. To me, I think it was a meal whereby the American Indians taught settlers to gather foods local and available in winter to help them understand how to prepare for very harsh winters. Just my thought.
A bit of history:
There are 574 federally recognized tribes living within the US, about half of which are associated with Indian reservations

American Indian and Alaska Native (2020 Census Bureau)One race: 3,727,135 are registeredIn combination with one or more of the other races listed: 5,938,923Total: 9,666,058 ~ 2.9% of America.
The ancestors of living Native Americans arrived in what is now the United States at least 15,000 years ago, possibly much earlier, from Asia. A vast variety of peoples, societies and cultures subsequently developed. European colonization of the Americas, which began in 1492, resulted in a precipitous decline in Native American population because of new diseases, wars, ethnic cleansing, and enslavement.
After its formation, the United States, as part of its policy of settler colonialism, continued to wage war and perpetrated massacres against many Native American peoples, removed them from their ancestral lands, and subjected them to one-sided treaties

Blessings from my home to yours. And, please embrace all.



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