Why Every Day is Indigenous Peoples’ Day

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Step out and beyond.

There are invisible realities in the world, stories the history books cannot tell us.

Put your bare foot into the water of a river or a lake and let it remind you– there are unspoken histories that can only be honored, felt, often misunderstood.

Because so many of us walk around with invisible prison bars around us. We are bound by our currencies, our schedules, our loud voices and un-listening ears.

Do you wat to know why every day is Indigenous Peoples’ Day?

It is because of the land.

It is because of the rivers and rocks, mountains and trees.

It is because the dirt still holds our feet to the ground and the fires that still burn. The forest trees still shed their leaves, the wind still blows, the waters still erode the rocks to create stones that we skip across her reflective face.

You see, we belong to the land, not the other way around. 

That is a constant lesson that indigenous peoples are taught, that we continue to learn, that we wish others learn as well.

She is our storyteller, our creation keeper.

She continues to re-create us, to tell us our own story.

So we take the sage and sweetgrass, tobacco and cedar, and while we let their smoke rise over us, we listen.

For non-native people, the stories are still there.

People still came before.

Learn their names.

Learn their stories.

That takes more than an afternoon, doesn’t it? It takes more than resisting a colonial holiday?

And so, every day we continue to learn. Every day that I look in the mirror, I celebrate that I am indigenous. That I am still here.

Every word I write is to bring us closer to the Kingdom of God, God who sees and knows my Potawatomi blood, who mourns when I mourn and celebrates when I raise my head and pray in my native language, Migwetch, Mamogosnan. Migwetch Mamogosnan.

Every day is Indigenous Peoples’ Day because our histories tell our stories, our language tethers us to each other and this earth, and while we are here, there is justice to be done. There are wrongs to be made right, and there is healing on the horizon.

Will you join me there, beyond our prisons? Will you join me on the other side?

 

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