I had a thought yesterday which really made me start to think about something a little deeper. This is not factual in any way and is not meant as any disrespect for Native Americans, rather it is meant to understand our connection with the people who were in this land long before any of us.
I was born in Central Michigan. My parents were of European decent, my father was an immigrant and my mother has connections back to the landing of The Mayflower. But I feel as though I am more than just that. Why do I have such a connection to the earth and to the natural world around me? I started thinking, and I was born on what was once Chippewa land. I wonder if this has anything to do with it?
Just follow along with me here. This may seem a little out there but I promise you I have a point.
If we are open to being in tune with the land, with the earth and with our own place in this universe can where we are born effect us in this way? I had many friends who were Chippewa’s, I will never forget Moses, the man who worked for my dad. He was one of the absolutely nicest people I can remember from my childhood. I remember my dad really liked him, he wasn’t the best worker and he definitely liked to drink too much but he was always kind. When I was very young he would always take time to talk with me and never made me feel like I was a bother to him. He always seemed to be more centered than many other people my dad would bring around. There was something more to him.
Now that I am older I see things very differently. My mother always said I marched to the beat of my own drum and I never followed along with just whatever it was my friends wanted to do. I also always had a conscience about everything I did. Even though I grew up in hunting country I have never hunted. But I love being in the woods. I have come eye to eye with a California Brown Bear and been close to black bears, deer, alligators and many other “dangerous” animals. I always feel at ease and probably more comfortable than I should in these situations.
With all of the protests going on over oil pipelines I can fully understand why they are trying to halt the construction. If I were them I would be livid. I am livid, I am angry and I wish I could do more. I would be fighting for the land where I came from and where my ancestors are buried too, I don’t blame them at all. Would this oil company be putting a pipeline through a Catholic cemetary? Odds are no, they wouldn’t, they wouldn’t even think about it. Because that is disrespectful.
You do not need to be Native American for you to feel for these people. If you were born in this country you are born of the same land as their ancestors and you should think of yourself as Native American even if you are not by blood. This is your land, these are your brothers and sisters and your ancestors as well. I was born on Chippewa land, just because my ancestors kicked them off of the land does not mean it became something else. Putting people on a reservation does not take away their home land. I am not Chippewa, but I was born on their land. Maybe if we took this to heart just like saying “I’m Italian, my grandpa was born in Rome” or any other ethnicity who makes these claims. Maybe if we considered ourselves part of the tribe we would have more respect for the tribe?
I have a connection to this planet and to the universe, I don’t know where it came from, but I wouldn’t rule out where I came from as a reason for all of this. Look into your own heart and deep into your own mind. Feel the earth, feel the pain these people are going through and empathize. You too came from this earth, this is just as much your problem as it is theirs.
We are all connected, we are all one. Brown, white, black, it doesn’t matter. We are all one race, the human race and we are all children of the earth. We should really start respecting it and each other more.