Being Indigenous in the 21st century
People often ask what the term indigenous means then the next question they ask is are you indigenous?
I explain to them that yes I am my people have been here for millions of years.
I tell them I am indigenous to the Continent of America and that includes her surrounding islands.
Usually I am met with a blank stare or a confused look oftentimes that look is followed with the statement "you don't look Indian" (misnomer) I promptly ask them what is an indian look?
They began to describe a hollywood version I quickly correct them and tell them that America the continent has many different looks and in particular in ancient times you found that the vast majority of people looked like me with coppered colored skin.
Many articles often referrence my people as the copper colored original inhabitants of the Americas they look confused so I refer them to Benjamin Franklins Observations Concerning the Increase of Mankind, 1751
Where Benjamin Franklin stated these words...
"Which leads me to add one Remark: That the Number of purely white People in the World is proportionably very small. All Africa is black or tawny. Asia chiefly tawny. America (exclusive of the new Comers) wholly so. And in Europe, the Spaniards, Italians, French, Russians and Swedes, are generally of what we call a swarthy Complexion; as are the Germans also, the Saxons only excepted, who with the English, make the principal Body of White People on the Face of the Earth. I could wish their Numbers were increased. And while we are, as I may call it, Scouring our Planet, by clearing America of Woods, and so making this Side of our Globe reflect a brighter Light to the Eyes of Inhabitants in Mars or Venus, why should we in the Sight of Superior Beings, darken its People? why increase the Sons of Africa, by Planting them in America, where we have so fair an Opportunity, by excluding all Blacks and Tawneys, of increasing the lovely White and Red? But perhaps I am partial to the Complexion of my Country, for such Kind of Partiality is natural to Mankind"
After they have read the words of Benjamin Franklin the picture becomes a little bit clearer although they struggle to accept it do to the misinformation promoted within media and the school system.
Growing up indigenous in the 21st century means always having to explain to people real history versus white washed history told by strangers.
Growing up indigenous in the 21st century means although we have a great deal of excellent technology indigenous peoples are still delegated to be classified as relics and a thing of the past instead of being valuable to the future and survival of all peoples.
Indigenous Peoples hold the key to a healthier way of living in harmony with the land however due to many years of suppression of this knowledge illness is at an all time high.
Please take a little time out of your day to learn more about indigenous peoples worldwide and the obstacles we face due to colonialism ie the Doctrine of Discovery.