Today is Independence Day in the USA.
On many Native American reservations, they celebrate this day by holding ceremonies and giving gifts, so much so that the Indian Bureau calls is “Give-Away Day”.
On this day back in 1776, these great words were pinned in the Declaration of Independence.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Also written in this document and not as widely known, the Indigenous people who were already independent for thousands of years, are referred to as “merciless Indian savages.” To many, this document is not revered. Talking to Kyle Jim this morning from ArrowHead Lifeway, he said “As an Indigenous person, 4th of July celebrates not only American colonialism break from the British Empire, but the plunder of land and knowledge for their survival. I don’t feel comfortable with the holiday but serves as a reminder to honor my ancestors who were resilient during the invasion, first contact, and Indian wars. I am committed to evolution and preventing any such theft again.”
It’s a beautiful day today in the 4 corners area of this great desert. A couple of miles from the Navajo Nation is a park that many Native Americans enjoy with their families. Right now, this park is being roped off and secured for a 4th of July firework display. Outside the barriers, hundreds of non Navajo have arrived early and are currently laying down blankets to save a good spot, claiming that land to be their own.