There are more than 5 million people in the United States who are socially, culturally and genetically related to the many indigenous nations that are presently recognized by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and many that are not recognized—and many nations that have disappeared. United States Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts announced recently that she has genome evidence that some of her ancestors are indigenous people—American Indians no less. Wow! What a surprise! Good for her! I am proud of her! I celebrate her!
The political parties are getting a large dump of stupid arguments about “cultural appropriation” and distant heritage not being relevant. Well, guess what? Those who want to get upset about a Senator stating that she has American Indian heritage are themselves demonstrating a weak understanding of history and a limited recognition of the great benefit of celebrating American Indian heritage. When a lot of college students got involved discussing their own native heritage in the late 1960s they were very cautious for fear of criticism. Now a new generation of college students is criticizing people for claiming their native heritage; joining political nuts who wish to divide people. Some tribes have gone so far as to throw out members of their tribe to ensure that their casino profits enrich the remaining members more. How stupid can you be? American Indian intellectuals, political officials, and tribal leaders who criticize claims of native heritage are shaming themselves. They should be celebrating that more people are recognizing the great value of American Indian ancestors. I am and our ancestors are.
The library is dedicated to the memory of Secwepemc Chief George Manuel (1921-1989), to the nations of the Fourth World and to the elders and generations to come.access here