Native American Heritage Month

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    david poole
    Participant I have just read some very good news, although it also has some bad news attached to it. This month, November, is Native American Heritage Month. This means something more in America than it does here, but it is important. Native Americans are doing well in politics, with a number of people being elected to Congress. There is an indigenous environmental network, so they are working for the environment for all of us. Twenty four different groups wrote a letter to the Biden administration, showing a serious presence both for Native Americans and for environmental concerns. The first Native American women have been elected to congress, another positive step forward. The US Poet Laureate is also a Native American, so this could have an impact upon people’s culture and ideas and inspirations. There have been a number of positive developments within the sphere of arts and culture, which is very welcome. The Living Nations, Living Worlds features the work of forty seven artists. The bad news, the impact of Covid has been five times worse for indigenous populations that for the white population. This is a bit sad, but corresponds with what is known about this horrible virus.


        Hi David.

        It is always encouraging to hear about the empowerment of indigenous peoples around the world, whilst this indeed good news, there’s so much more that still needs to be done and so many indigenous peoples around the world suffer on a daily basis, seldom heard and with little say. Covid-19 has also been very destructive and so your last piece of information is also worrying. I don’t know if this is a factor, but many indigenous peoples around the world already suffer from lower life expectancy, poorer health and an array of social problems because of absolutely dreadful socio-economic conditions and historically institutionalised discrimination against them.

        The following words are quoted by a San man from Botswana, I think they’re very powerful words:

        These places [resettlement camps] have turned our people into thieves and beggars and drunkards. I do not want this life. First they make us destitute by taking away our land, our hunting and our way of life. Then they say we are nothing because we are destitute.
        Jumanda Gakelebone, Botswana

        The quote is from an online document available from Survival International and can be found here:

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