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We can rebuild our Native American culture in dynamic manner

  • Published in Letters

To The Daily Sun,

So every month is White History Month. And February is Black History Month. So when will there be a Native American History Month? Because they're interesting, lived here for thousands of years, got screwed over worse than most, barely survived a genocidal American government, and today are a minor fraction of the population they once had. Or are we just going to wait until they all die off?

There are 562 federally recognized Indian tribes, bands, nations, pueblos, rancherias, communities and Native villages in the United States. Approximately 229 of these are located in Alaska; the rest are located in 33 other states. The total population is about 5.2 million. There are zero federally recognized tribes in New Hampshire, a place where almost everything has an aboriginal name.

There were approximately 74 million Native Americans pre-European arrival. There were over 1,000 tribes in the whole Americas, of which between 300 and 400 are now extinct. There were approximately 100 tribes in Canada and 500 in USA. In the United States there are now 567 Federally registered tribal "units" which equate more to just incorporated settlements instead of how we historically viewed an entire "tribe."

Do we need to watch another post-mortem documentary about yet another loss for humanity?

Let's make every November Indigenous People's Month and start having the schools in our country create a curriculum that tells the truth about it and get our young people involved. Because if we can make our national parks back into what they were originally, why can't we rebuild our Native American culture in a powerful and dynamic manner? I challenge our state representatives to make a difference and our congressional representatives to do the same.

Alan Vervaeke