Tuesday, October 19, 2021

optimism and enduring patience



American Indians continue to suffer from the effects of conquest by European immigrants
 over the past five centuries—an ongoing and pervasive sense of community-wide
 post-traumatic stress disorder. We live with the ongoing stigma of defeated peoples
 who have endured genocide, the intentional dismantling of cultural values, 
forced confinement on less desirable lands called “reservations,” 
intentionally nurtured dependency on the federal government, 
and conversion by missionaries who imposed a new culture on us 
as readily as they preached the gospel. . . .

[Indian peoples] suspect that the greed that motivated the displacement
 of all indigenous peoples from their lands of spiritual rootedness is the same greed
 that threatens the destruction of the earth and the continued oppression of so many
 peoples and ultimately the destruction of our White relatives. 
Whether it is the stories the settlers tell or the theologies they develop to interpret those stories,
 something seems wrong to Indian people. But not only do Indians continue to tell the stories,
 sing the songs, speak the prayers, and perform the ceremonies that root themselves
 deeply in Mother Earth; they are actually audacious enough to think that their stories
 and their ways of reverencing creation will some day win over our White settler
 relatives and transform them. Optimism and enduring patience seem to run 
in the life blood of Native American peoples.
May justice, followed by genuine peace,
 flow out of our concern for one another and all creation. 
~ George Tinker
from  American Indian Liberation