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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

b2ap3_thumbnail_Bill-Baker-Pastel_20180702-172609_1.pngNot many Americans may feel much like celebrating the hallmarks of our country--liberty, justice, and freedom--this July 4th as we watch the shocking horrors experienced by asylum-seekers on our Mexican border, among other national tragedies. For many of us, the shame of what is happening is deep. Despite our protests, petition-signing, contacting our elected officials, political canvassing for the 2018 elections, monetary donations, and speaking-out in print and social media, we can still feel powerless to halt what is occurring. Whenever I feel a deeper level of outrage and frustration about government-policy attacks on people and Earth, however, I think of the tenacity of Indigenous Elders, particularly Native American women. Whenever I lapse into being shocked about today's news headlines, I only need to quickly remind myself of our American past and the treatment of Indigenous peoples, and how the events of today are merely another unfolding of what has been going on in this country since its birth. I am disturbed with America's interminable short-term-memory loop as I hear in the media connections between Japanese Internment camps during WWII and the immigrant detainment centers of today. So let me help you remember, America, about our country's history in relation to Native Americans, and how the detainment centers are just America's newest colonial-era Forts. I also want to remind those of us who are bone-weary (and afraid) about what is happening in our country to take the long-view, as the First Nations of Turtle Island do when they, too, are face to face with inhumane treatment. These Elders are our guides for Perseverance, Strategy, and an unshakeable Belief in the power of LOVE.  The image above is a work of art in pastels by New Mexican artist Bill Baker. Find more of his work at

b2ap3_thumbnail_flat550x550075f.jpgFirst of all, many of the people crossing the border from Mexico into the United States to seek asylum and a better life are Indios, Indigenous peoples of Mexico and Central America. For Native Americans living on sovereign tribal lands that the U.S./ Mexican border cuts through, the hassle to visit relatives, collect plant medicines, and ritually perform ceremonies as they have done for centuries is high. Border patrol officers rifle through medicine bundles, bags of sacred plants and objects, and can be extremely callous toward Indigenous Medicine People--even when those people have the legal right to move freely through their own sovereign lands. These border crossing impediments have been going on since the border was created, but over the years more citizens of Native nations have gained legal rights to cross unimpeded. This is a fight that is not included in any news coverage about the immigrants.

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  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    Thank you so much for this compassionate post speaking truth about the connections between today's "migrant" policies and the past
  • Dr. Mays
    Dr. Mays says #
    Anne, Thank you so much for providing a forum for me, and so many others, to speak back to what is happening in our country--and t

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