Injustice: When Native Becomes Foreign

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This week, "Crossing the Globe" will focus on a topic quite different from its typical content: the Native American. As to be expected, many readers may stop and think, "Wait a minute- Native Americans? They aren't foreign!" My response is simple. The Native American who continues to live the traditional lifestyle of his/her people, has become so ostracized that they may as well be foreign. The people who are the original inhabitants of the United States have not only had their lands taken away, but many have been robbed of their culture. Today, descendants of Europeans- the real foreigners, if you think about it- make up the majority of America and are now considered "the norm."

However, to avoid turning this blog into a space for ranting and personal opinions, I seek to inform readers of an important event occurring on the IUP campus. Multicultural student organization Mosaic, which seeks to spread a message of equality among students, will host an event for "Stand Against Racism." Stand Against Racism is a national movement created by YWCA, a 154 year-old organization for American women.

Mosaic's event, to be held on Friday, April 27, at 2:30 p.m., involves a human chain which is set to encircle the Oak Grove. After the chain, Navajo Jean Whitehorse will take center stage at the HUB Susquehanna Room. Whitehorse has been described by the Navajo Times as a storyteller; on April 27, she will take on the role of activist. The event page describes her upcoming presentation as touching upon "issues such as boarding schools, sterilization, relocation and the American Indian Movement."

whitehorese.jpg(Navajo Jean Whitehorse, Courtesy of Censored News Blog)

Whitehorse's people have certainly received the short end of the stick, beginning with the 1864 deportation of the Navajo from their land. Now referred to as the "Long Walk," it claimed the lives of roughly 200 Navajo. In the years since the "Long Walk," the United States government has forced the Navajo into boarding schools where they suffered from abusive "teachers." Slowly, but surely, the Navajo were conditioned to become "normal," whitened, American citizens.

Whitehorse herself has had experience in these boarding schools and became heavily involved in the American Indian Movement (AIM), which seeks to address and fix issues affecting the Native American community.

For those interested in Jean Whitehorse's presentation, below is a link to a YouTube-hosted video featuring an earlier speech from the activist.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkIRkaBmmwo

Finally, my question to any and all readers of "Crossing the Globe" is, do you think Native Americans continue to be treated unjustly?

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This page contains a single entry by Kristen R. Gilmartin published on April 24, 2012 6:48 PM.

Tibetan Lama Kathy Wesley Visits IUP was the previous entry in this blog.

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