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      Indigenous Struggle against Colonialism

      Dallas Goldtooth & Jade Begay

      Writers, Artists, and activists with the Indigenous Environmental Network

      Excerpt from Letter From Indigenous Activists: Essential Reading on, and beyond, Indigenous Peoples Day (October 8, 2018)

      As land defenders—people who are working for Indigenous territories to be protected from contamination and exploitation—we see Indigenous Peoples Day as progress; it signals a crucial shift in our culture to recognize the dark past of colonization. No longer are our communities, towns, cities, and states remaining silent and complacent in celebrating the cultural genocide that ensued after Christopher Columbus landed on Turtle Island (a.k.a. North America). Today also means that the erasure of our narrative as Indigenous peoples is ending and our truths are rising to the surface. These truths include: Christopher Columbus was not a hero; he was a murderer. The land we all exist on is stolen. The history we’ve been taught is not accurate or complete. And perhaps most important among those truths, Indigenous lands are still being colonized, and our people are still suffering the trauma and impacts of colonization.

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