Every Month is Native American Heritage Month

Ideas about a pure race decimated indigenous peoples

Ideas about a pure race decimated indigenous peoples

Some critics rail against ersatz holidays.

Grandparents’ Day.

Valentine’s Day.

Labor Day.

They argue we should recognize grandparents, lovers and laborers every day.

Native American Heritage Month produces cognitive dissonance: it’s great to focus attention on American Indians, but the attention should never subside.

If you’re an Indian, then you’re an Indian 12 months out of the year, not just one.

Still, the opportunity to see each day through the lens of Native perspectives presents an opportunity to shift your paradigm.

When I need an example of science news or stereotypes for classroom illustrations, I turn to Indian Country.

Students have rarely heard of forced sterilization, commodity cheese, Kennewick Man or blood quantum.

They have no idea phrenologists of the 19th century labelled Indians as incapable of civilization, thus legitimizing forced removal based on scientific evidence.

They don’t know most Indians were unable to vote in state or national elections until a landmark case solidified Indians as bonafide citizens in 1940.

I welcome the challenge of writing a blog a day each November in honor of Native American Heritage Month.

And I will continue to bring Native issues to the table for discussion every day of the year.

Blog #17 for Native American Heritage Month

Image from http://longstreet.typepad.com/thesciencebookstore/2008/09/castration-and.html

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About Cynthia Coleman Emery

Professor and researcher at Portland State University who studies science communication, particularly issues that impact American Indians. She is enrolled with the Osage tribe.
This entry was posted in american indian, authenticity, framing, Indian, Native American Heritage Month, Native Science, science, science communication, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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