Though our capitol was breeched, things are in fact getting better. Do not be confused.
Today’s reaction from these terrorists was a knee-jerk reaction to people of color having a vote, having a voice, and having a right to live without fear. Today is a celebration. I will give you one example.
Deb Haaland and Sharice Davids are the first two Native American women in Congress. Haaland won her race again this year, and Biden named her Interior Secretary.
Deb Haaland is the first Native American Cabinet secretary. This is incredible news. The Department of the Interior ovesees the promises our nation made to Native Americans and Alaska Natives, oversees the education of our Indigenous youth, and this organization acts as a steward of the land on which we stand.
Things are getting better.
I am in awe with keepers of traditional wisdom and oral history. And, even though I cannot retell these stories (Bec they are not my own), I have written this poem as a tribute to show my appreciation.
Representative Haaland is from New Mexico. She is an enrolled member of the Pueblo Of Laguna. She has Jemez Pueblo heritage. I remember the first time I drove across the country in 2001, I was on route 66. I had just passed Albuquerque. I had never seen a sky that had so much color, and the earth held so much heat. I had driven from Fort Meade, Maryland and was driving west on my way to my first duty assignment in Colorado. As I noticed how different this place was from where I grew up, I couldn’t help but stop along the road.
There were only a few cars on the highway. A line of barbed wire separated me from the rest of the desert. I didn’t know why I had stopped the car. I just knew that I had to. And then I found the source of my intuition. I was close to where Leslie Marmon Silko was from, Laguna Pueblo.
“Yellow Woman” was one of the most beautiful stories I had ever read, and she wrote it. It was a mix of how the stories we tell now are really just retelling of traditional stories, and that our own individuality isn’t so important.
The main character ends up being a character from a traditional tale, and her current self was more of a ripple of that woman. It was a spiritual moment for me to stand beside that fence, to realize that I was near the place where she learned how to be. Someone helped her to understand that she was intertwined with the people of the past so intently that there may not be a distinction.
The people who were the stewards of this land before there ever was a United States now have a representative at one of the highest levels of authority in the nation. The promises that our Nation has made to the men and women on whose land we stand have never been closer to being fulfilled.
It makes me wonder what woman Representative Haaland is and what story she is living out. And, for that matter, who are you, really, in this story?