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BY maxpú hiⁿga miⁿga

June 30, 2021
The U.S. has to contend with its own history of kidnapping and cultural erasure as mass graves are found at indigenous residential schools in Canada.
Photo credit: Jason Franson | AP
Deb Haaland addressing legacy of Indigenous boarding schools –via Indian Country Today

Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland is setting up a commission to investigate the legacy of Indigenous boarding schools in areas of the continent controlled by the United States after bodies of Indigenous children are discovered in Catholic Church run lands by our neighbors to the north.
Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings
BY JOY HARJO
 
I am the holy being of my mother's prayer and my father's song
                                                      —Norman Patrick Brown, Dineh Poet and Speaker
 
1. SET CONFLICT RESOLUTION GROUND RULES:
 
Recognize whose lands these are on which we stand.
Ask the deer, turtle, and the crane.
Make sure the spirits of these lands are respected and treated with goodwill.
The land is a being who remembers everything.
You will have to answer to your children, and their children, and theirs—
The red shimmer of remembering will compel you up the night to walk the perimeter of truth for understanding.
As I brushed my hair over the hotel sink to get ready I heard:
By listening we will understand who we are in this holy realm of words.
Do not parade, pleased with yourself.
You must speak in the language of justice.
 
See the full poem at Poetry Foundation.
This is a confession. I'm struggling with one of the most basic tenets of my faith, of any faith really: judge not. Because I want to judge. I want to judge the church. I want to judge the politicians who enacted the policies. I want to judge the citizens who let it happen. I want to judge my grandmother who became a 'good Indian.' I want to judge myself and my light skin. But it isn't my place; my job is to love – to love my ancestors, to love the survivors, to love all of us, to love myself, so we can find our way and keep thriving. 

When I hear that there are bodies, children's bodies, our babies who have been unearthed in Kamloops, in Marieval, in Land that many people live near and with – Salish, Cree, Skagit, Makah, and more, in what is lately called Canada – I find I am crying. With sadness of course, but also relief. Because we knew. We knew they were there. Now they are home, and they can have ceremony. They are coming home in a time in which we are dancing again, when our youth are singing and our prayers are not outlawed. Shokhí. We are arriving home. 

There is so much to dismantle out there, and within ourselves. Philosophically, historically, even the metaphors we choose must be unpacked and examined. When we practice resistance, what are we pushing back against? What does the world look like moving forward? For me the world looks Indigenous. The world is non-binary, decolonized. The patriarchy has been dismantled, his relics safely stored in archives and museums; dissected. We will all have access to food, medicine, shelter, knowledge.

That takes a lot of work, aⁿgáye tabé! (Let's go!) What's your prayer?
Whether as a church or an individual, don't let activism stop at Land acknowledgement. You, too, can become engaged in the recognition of the history of native boarding schools in North America, and the steps we must take going forward.
Creatrix God, it is with humility that I ask you to guide me to act. You know more than I know. Wéwihnaⁿ
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