Will Native Americans Be Left Out Of Conversations About Racial Injustice?

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tags: racism, Native American history

While the murder of George Floyd at the all-too-familiar hand of police brutality has created much needed discussions on the continuing racial disparities in America, Native Americans are left to wonder, will we get left out of this important conversation as well? 

While some folks would question whether anyone would give the time of day to hear grievances from such a small group, I challenge those skeptical; Our small population and our voices — not always heard — are the very reason as to why our voice should be heard just as loud.

Throughout our nation’s history, racial inequality has hit our tribal nations the hardest. From the inception of the United States, native people have had to face unprovoked attacks from the American military again and again, endure the manifest destiny philosophy of American territorial expansion that removed us from our homelands, to the stealing of our children and taking them to government boarding schools in attempts to eliminate the essence of our cultural heritage. Of course, there’s the ongoing racial disparities many tribal members face today in the forms of poverty, health disparities and inadequate housing.

Towns that line Indian reservations are the site of repeated attacks. An eighth-grade member of the Chippewa Nation was gunned down by police for allegedly having a “knife” on his person, a 21-year-old Navajo man was shot by police in Farmington, New Mexico for a domestic violence call, 39-year-old member of Chippewa Cree Tribe of Rocky Boy was shot by Poulsbo Police in Washington state, just to name a few. According to the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, Native Americans are most likely to die at the hands of law enforcement. Unfortunately, it seems Native people are more than overrepresented when it comes to the amount of times we have to deal with police brutality.

Read entire article at The Hill

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