A message from an Indian to the Native American:
Self help is the best help.
An itemized message to the Native Peoples of the North American Continent
Dearest Native Inhabitants of this Turtle Island,
1. Yes. The governing bodies of this land have reduced you to a state slightly better than animals.
2. You on the other hand have, over the years, resigned to that state, as if it were fate.
3. Lately you have moved into protests such as:
a. Reclaiming sacred lands back and saving them from commercial explorations
b. Removal of names that sports teams bear, related to your heritage.
c. Removal of monuments that insult your heritage.
d. Preservation of sacred sites
All these are legitimate actions aimed at the dominant culture, that continue to carry the genes for colonialism. Yet I am missing many an important action that springs from your exclusive heritage and culture.
4. What is being done with good food, your kind I mean? Foods that provide the best source of energy and motivation. You are resorting instead to fast, junky food and commercial, alcoholic spirits.
5. You had a wealth of medicines and cures best suited to this land. Now sadly your body and mind are saturated with allopathic drugs.
6. Your language is practically extinct because of negligence. It is a fact that with the loss of a language the entire wealth of a culture is lost. It’s remnants often to be found only in museums and in the heads of guilt ridden and often Eurocentric biased scholars.
7. Many lands far away from the English- speaking world have realized, that English can be lethal if not managed carefully.
8. You do have your own valuable legends, beliefs and traditions. The names you now have, with which all worldly transactions are conducted by you, sadly do not reflect that. You are known by your Christian, Biblical names. Is there not a repository of beautiful native names? Names that tie you organically with Nature, whose meaning will inspire you throughout your life? Alas, the precious ancestors continue to writhe in agony, while listening to colonial based names that folks identify their descendants with.
9. I am surprised that although you now know, of all the heinous crimes that were committed in converting your children and more, your connections with the infernal church continues. Where are your Nature Gatherings, Communications with the divine, held in the open, that should be regular happenings, not simply on touristy occasions or for entertainment ?
10. Self- help is the best help. To gain your rightful place in this world you must make all the moves to a great extent within yourselves, first.
11. Educate the young and old in your ways, consistent with modern times. In other words, adapt your ancient ways to this modern world. This should happily coexist with the important academic education and technical skills.
12. Most of all abandon your Christian Anglo Names and instead select short names from the long native ones given to you. If you have not received native names, have the elders in your community select short ones for you. Keep them in your native tongue and explain in English what they mean. Do not slap translated names on your forehead! Explain their meanings, happily to non Native Americans, when asked.
13. My East Indian heritage wholeheartedly values and appreciates many cultures in the world. I therefore honor and pray to your elders by whose grace I have made a home here on your land. I ask them to guide you to your rightful, dignified place here. I fervently hope that the itemized message given above, will be of use to you.
In love and light
Sahachari Vasanti- ji