Given the context, Native Americans are still blatantly and glaringly marginalized in the United States. One thing I know is that there is no good reason that Native Americans shouldn’t, wouldn’t, and/or couldn’t be prominent in our public daily lives. I do want to point out, too, that I meant the word daily – as in consistent and perpetual. And I also meant the word public, as in broadcast for all to see.
What interests me most about Native American culture is NOT what seems to be the only thing that interests many about Native American culture – a meat eating diet. That is of no interest to me and it is very dated. Vegan food markets are growing at very fast rates due to demand and there are certainly vegan Native Americans.
Some Native Americans have become vegan, likely in response to the pressures on animals and ecology from today’s culture and today’s population. As vegan Native American Linda Fisher (https://www.lindagfisher.com) is quoted as saying in lakotalaw.org, “The Indians of yesterday were true conservationists. They understood the inherent dangers of overtaxing the earth and her creatures….”
So why can’t we do this? Why can’t Native Americans be central, obvious and powerful leaders in this country? It shouldn’t take more than a few years to affect this change and there have been hundreds of them (years). We can start and complete many other initiatives and we can talk about all of our problems in a wealth of different ways but we can’t have really even seemed to broach the subject of Native Americans leading the United States much at all – we just can’t bring ourselves to even go there.
There are sensibilities, commitments, and understandings that will be central to the work of Native American leaders of the United States that are missing without them. This place has gone to pot.