Since the last time I spent some time on the historical land of the Miwok up near Point Reyes, I’ve been reflecting on the following: What might life in 2020, on this land, be like, if Christopher Columbus (or other European colonizers for that matter) hadn’t accidentally “discovered India?” What might this country be like if the Natives had been allowed to own and continue to steward their own land, in harmony with nature? Instead of being subjected to displacement, conversion, diseases, genocide, erasure of their traditions, cultures and identities? Would we find still ourselves in the middle of a global pandemic, massive economic instability, catastrophic climate disruption, and with the fabric of our “civilized” society rapidly unraveling before our very eyes? Basically, I suppose, I’m wondering what life could have been like if a reverence for Nature, our humble place in it, could have been allowed to reign supreme instead of the greed, hate, delusion and othering (that brought about the imperialism and supremacy that has been the dominant narrative and plot since then)? And given where we are now, is it too late to look back and take inspiration and aim to revive many of those time-honored philosophies, practices, and traditions, to enable us to live more harmoniously with the earth and one another? There are many unknowns. But we likely wouldn’t be calling ourselves “Americans.” And even w/o the formal name of the United States of America, I’d like to think that we would have been feeling far more united and peacefully co-existing as a human species, and among all planetary beings, than we are now. So, how might we honor that ancient ancestral wisdom, but bring it forward and relevant in the present?
Some recommendations: 1) I encourage everyone to learn more about the Native American origins of the land you live on (you can look it up at https://native-land.ca/) For example, what is now SF exists on the unceded territory of the Ohlone tribe. 2) For more on the importance of, and tips for indigenous land acknowledgement, refer to https://nativegov.org/a-guide-to-indigenous-land-acknowledgment/
Just as having one day out of 365 to honor Mothers or Fathers, or even Valentines, for that matter, is woefully inadequate, so too, I find it woefully inadequate to only acknowledge the life and contributions of Indigenous People on one day a year (and that too, only partially, only more recently, and not without controversy). And yet, it’s a start. But it can’t be where it ends. This is just the beginning. May we all do more to educate ourselves on the history that we never learned about in schools, but is so critical to understanding more about our country’s history, to then inform who and how we would like to be moving forward. #HappyIndigenousPeoplesDay #RespectMotherNature #AncientAncestralWisdom