Tuesday, February 24, 2009

St Louis Arch

I went to St Louis two weeks ago and my hotel was very close to the Arch. A pretty interesting piece of engineering, all stainless steel and concrete construction. I paid and went up in the pods that are part Ferris wheel, elevator and classified as a tram. At the top (630 m) I looked around and saw the curvature of the Earth, barges and miles and miles of development. As the Gateway to the West, it is impressive and awe-inspiring. But after I returned to the ground level, I thought about what it could really represent to natives. This was a memento to the history of the opening of the Indian lands and the forced removal of natives from their respective ORIGINAL homelands.
It also starts to beg the question of why there are no national monuments to NATIVE AMERICAN heroes and feats. Why not a monument to Chief Joseph, Geronimo, or Black Elk? Is there a library dedicated to Vine Deloria or N. Scott Momaday? Does the philosophy department on any campus have a room or building named for V.F. Cordova? Are native artists like Terry Gardipee or DG House asked to be faculty or invited to shows just like the non-native artists? Is there a research plot named for the advances in plant genetics that gave us corn, squash, potatoes and beans? None of these things (which by the way feed many of the people on this ol' rock currently) has ever been given adequate praise and recognition.
Native peoples have had more done to them in the name of both good and bad and survived all of them, and still maintain our core beliefs. Bioterrism, genocide, warfare of all kinds we have suffered, yet the bones of our ancestors still support and guide us through our lives.
I'm not saying today, or tomorrow, but sooner or later the principles which native peoples use to better and maintain their lives will parrallel what the mainstream believes.

Enough for today, Shey Hoy

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