This article was originally published by The Mennonite

Football, Columbus Day and Thanksgiving

Photo: 150th Sand Creek Massacre Memorial.

I love the fall and I love when fall is over.

My angst begins with football season. I anticipate turning the television on and seeing the Washington RED$%*#S scores talked about and displayed on the screen.

Football season leads into Columbus Day which still gets acknowledged as a point of celebration.

Columbus Day leads into Halloween when I anticipate the “Native American” costumes people will be wearing and how they will over sexualize Native American women.

I imagine walking around that day looking at the sky or at the ground so as to avoid what I don’t want to see.

All these days and events seem to come to a culmination in November, now deemed Native American heritage month, with the final shebang being Thanksgiving.

And then I can breathe. I am done being hyper-visibilized, a state of compliment that reminds me how invisible Native Americans really are.

In between and mixed among the “American” holidays another reality plays out. While “America” celebrates “traditional” Thanksgiving I grieve a way of life and my ancestors who resisted and struggled to maintain our lifeways.

I remember the Battle of the Red Fork (Nov. 25, 1876), Battle of the Washita (Nov. 27, 1968), and the Sand Creek Massacre (Nov. 29, 1864).

These are holy days and days meant to remember and grieve our historical trauma, realizing reality hasn’t changed much.

I wish I could tell a different narrative. The message is clear; certain bodies are dispensable in this society and have no value … state sanctioned violence. “I Can’t Breathe.”

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