As we begin to think about the gathering of family and friends around the table for Thanksgiving Day, have you wondered what this holiday would be like without the very ones that helped that group of pilgrims survive the winters?
Like other memories of the past that have been buried, we need to take the time to unearth those memories, show appreciation and see how we’ve been able to add to the legacy of giving. In keeping with this year’s theme, “MLK Legacy/Human Rights: A Year in Reflection and Action,” one does have to question what have we, Salt Lake Community College, done to celebrate and honor our Native American community?
SLCC sits on what is still considered Ute land. In honor of the spirit of this land, the Bruin Bear sits in front of the Student Center Building greeting everyone as they pass, but it is also reminder of the sacredness the bear holds for the Native community.
In celebration of Indigenous People’s Day, the American Indian Student Leadership Club (AISL) is showing two films on Nov. 18 depicting life on and off the reservation and the cultural struggles they face in order to live in both worlds. “Turquoise Rose” and “The Return of the Navajo Boy” will be shown in the Student Event Center from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Both showings (11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m.) are free.
Having a specific month in the year to celebrate and honor the indigenous peoples will not make up for the mistreatment they have suffered, but it can begin to help heal the future.
Taking the time to learning about the hundreds of contributions that make up what is America today will give us a new appreciation of these skills, arts, foods, mythologies and life styles.
It is time to clean off cultural lenses and value what is different (rather than seeking to eradicate it or force it to assimilate). Let’s take this time of reflection to re-evaluate the policies and practices that perpetuate mistreatments and stereotyping. Let’s work to remember the past so we can heal the future. Let’s continue to benefit from the wisdom, beauty and knowledge by honoring the people that welcomed us with open arms that day in September 1620.