Let Me Believe (repost from Blogger and my old column)

Let Me Believe

(my non fluffy blog for today)

When I was in 3rd or 4th grade, I was taught that Columbus sailed the ocean blue and discovered America…discovered us. I think in 7th grade I was taught about Leif Erickson. That he was really the one. I was taught about the Bering Strait Theory (note: Wikipedia told me Theory) and my kids are still taught that today. In fact, I got into an argument with a teacher one year, as she so defiantly told me how wrong I was. I told her that just because she didn’t know, have proof that we were always here doesn’t mean that we weren’t. History for us did not start when someone landed here. So we didn’t write it down. We still pass this on orally.
We was taught and are still being taught today that the ancestors of all of us indigenous people of North, Central, South America crossed over from Siberia on a tiny strip of land and migrated all the way to Chile.
I was even told that my people, the Sioux, went all the way to the Carolina’s. Then we was chased back by the approaching Europeans to Minnesota. Then from Minnesota we was chased to the Dakotas by the Ojibwe. My people the Sioux, turn and run? Our ancestors fought to the end for their land. We have many great chiefs and warriors in our tribe that fought hard, gave their lives. A proud warrior were the ones that didn’t come back from battle and we was run off? I don’t know anyone in my family that believes this. We were nomadic up until they forced us on a reservation, after many battles. But we didn’t run.
I will tell you straight out that we have our own Creation story. We know and believe we was always here. Roaming the land surrounding the Sacred Black Hills. Pa ha Sapa. The center of our universe. I don’t want to get into the creation story on this because I know it will be dissected and mutilated by non believers. By closed mind individuals that think I descended from Siberia. My kids know this story, their kids will know this story.

I am from here. My people are from here. We was always here. Our history started with that creation story and I wished I could tell it to you but I have gotten into many comment wars with quite a few people back when everyone was blogging about “illegal immigrants.”
The fact that I believe my people were always here is so far fetched to some people they have a hernia over it.
“NO, DANA IT IS IMPOSSIBLE! THERE IS NO PROOF! YOUR ANCESTORS CROSSED THE BERING STRAIT. THEN YOU MOVED SOUTH, GOT CHASED BACK TO MINNESOTA, GOT CHASED TO THE DAKOTAS FROM THERE….THEN YOUR TRIBE BECAME BAD ASS. BUT ALL YOU SAY IS WRONG! YOU ARE WRONG, DANA! THERE IS NO SCIENTIFIC PROOF! NO NO NO…SHUT UP LITTLE INDIAN GIRL!”
OK I exaggerated that, but Jesus, Joseph and Mary….nobody will die if i state what I believe. Look, I even capitalized their names before I took them in vain.

I can dig deep in my soul and find it in my heart to let you believe that at one time there was only one man and one woman who ran around naked in a garden. I will even believe that you believe that there was a talking snake who tricked the chick into eating an apple that made her see naked.
I can respect the Big Bang theory. You know things get hot, temperatures rise….then Bang! Planets, moons, sun…everywhere.
If you believe we evolved from monkeys, roaches (NOT ME!), rats, pond scum, alfalfa sprouts, or shower mold (ew)…OK…alrighty….I won’t argue with that.
Whether it’s science or religion, Jesus hanging on a cross or walking with dinosaurs, Bibles or Greek Myths, opposable thumbs or Pandora’s Box…I am fine with your beliefs.
But why is it so easy to believe that the beautiful Indigenous people of the Americas were not always here?
Why is it so hard to respect our belief that we were?
I find it in my heart and soul to respect and embrace the beliefs of many different peoples and cultures.
Please respect mine.
After all, a couple of months ago you all thought Pluto was a planet.
(I totally knew it wasn’t!)

Thursday October 26, 2006 – 02:16pm (MDT)

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2 thoughts on “Let Me Believe (repost from Blogger and my old column)

  1. This is both sad and inspiring. Sad that people are so closed-minded, and yet inspiring because you are strong in your beliefs. If you don’t mind, could you tell me the creation story, in e-mail if you like?

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