Finally Honoring The Real First Americans

When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so the when you die, the world cries and you rejoice. Cherokee wisdom

My Great-aunt Lillian, a Register Nurse, cared for many individuals in a tribe of Native Americans in Nebraska who were suffering from an outbreak of measles. As a thank you, they gave her a beautiful pair of ankle-high, deerskin moccasins. Years later, my dad and I made a plaque to which we attached the moccasins. It reads, “Do not judge your fellow Indian until you’ve walked many miles in his moccasins.” I was brought up to honor those words. I still own this family treasure.

Today is Indigenous Peoples’ Day, a holiday celebrating and honoring Native American peoples, their rich histories, cultures, and contributions.

“For generations, Federal policies systematically sought to assimilate and displace Native people and eradicate Native cultures,” President Biden wrote in the proclamation. “Today, we recognize Indigenous peoples’ resilience and strength as well as the immeasurable positive impact that they have made on every aspect of American society.” 

Affirmation: The fabric of America is stronger when we tell the truth about our history. 

Coaching questions: What were you taught about Indigenous People and their cultures? Is it accurate? How do you know?