Today I finished watching the We Shall Remain, Wounded Knee, Episode 5 that navajo recommended, and near the end I had an Aha! moment I wanted to share.
I was watching part about forcing the children into schools and away from their parents, and I realized something. The people who did that may have had good intentions. I realized that they may have decided what was good for the natives (without consulting them) and then acted on it. I saw the result of that in the movie.
I do not want to be a part of this group if we end up doing what we think is right, without consulting those affected. I’m not talking here about the current emergency situation. I’m looking at the long term. It is my hope that we will partner with a native-run organization (for each nation) whom we trust, and who trusts us, and who is in a position to advise what their people’s needs are, and we can be the one’s who do our best to provide the resources to fill those needs.
In the last week, I’ve found myself filled with ideas of what we could do over the long term to help, but I realized that my ideas were the types of things I would want if I were in their place. But I’m not in their place. I can’t ever be. I’m as white and as privileged as anyone can be (except without all the CEO riches some have). I can’t know what would be best for each nation. It is my goal to keep that in mind as I propose projects, and it is my hope you all do the same.
I not saying this to stifle the flow of energy or ideas. I do it so that maybe we can keep the empowerment and the dignity of the natives in mind as we decide what we will do and how we will do it.
I’d like your thoughts on the matter.