Why Do So Many People Pretend to Be Native American?

Longreads

Russell Cobb | This Land Press | August 2014 | 16 minutes (3,976 words)

This Land PressFor this week’s Longreads Member Pick, we are thrilled to share a brand new essay from Oklahoma’s This Land Press, just published in their August 2014 issue. This Land has been featured on Longreads often in the past—you can support them here.
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An Open Letter to President Obama about the Dakota Access Pipeline by Elizabeth Cunningham

Elizabeth_Author Photo 2I wrote this letter to President Obama on November 18, the morning after I returned from a few days at Standing Rock. I am not an activist by temperament. I went to Standing Rock to support a friend who felt strongly called to go, as well as, to support the cause. I did not participate in direct action, because I did not fully grasp till I was there the preparations I would need to make in terms of clearing my calendar for jail time and a return to North Dakota for a trial. Gratitude and respect for those who are taking this risk and dedicating their lives to this cause.

One thing this letter below does not address is how to donate to the Water Protectors at Standing Rock. Given the overwhelming donations of food and clothing that are still pouring in, financial donation is more practical now. Here’s a…

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How To Talk About #NoDAPL: A Native Perspective

Transformative Spaces

14247963_10154406248820309_1976289082_o Water Protectors gather after a day of prayer and direct action. (Photo: Desiree Kane)

This piece is very personal because, as an Indigenous woman, my analysis is very personal, as is the analysis that my friends on the frontlines have shared with me. We obviously can’t speak for everyone involved, as Native beliefs and perspectives are as diverse as the convictions of any people. But as my friends hold strong on the frontlines of Standing Rock, and I watch, transfixed with both pride and worry, we feel the need to say a few things.

I’ve been in and out of communication with my friends at Standing Rock all day. As you might imagine, as much as they don’t want me to worry, it’s pretty hard for them to stay in touch. I asked if there was anything they wanted me to convey on social media, as most of them are maintaining a…

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A Monster Calls Me

I just devoured A Monster Calls. I mean I honestly could not put it down, and sacrificed my precious sleep to finish it. I never sacrifice my sleep. For anything or anyone. Ever.

It all started when I saw a commercial for the upcoming movie adaptation. Something about it spoke to me, although I can’t say exactly what. I instantly went to my Google Play account and downloaded the book. I had no idea what kind of ride I was in for, only that I had to find this book and read it. By the end, I was ugly crying and telling my husband how beautiful and sad and breathtaking it was. Being that I’m 8 months pregnant and hormonal, I will admit  that not everyone will have the same emotional journey that I did… BUT you would need to be made of stone and ice for this story to not affect you at all.

I learned a very valuable lesson from this 200+ page heartbreaker… That it is okay to let her go. By her, I mean my angel baby Georgia. I miss my daughter fiercely every day. Sometimes I long for her so much that I already feel like a bad mom to my baby boy thats due in a just a few short weeks.

Sometimes I wish I could just let her go, and free myself from the pain of losing her. Ultimately that’s the lesson that the Monster teaches the young boy as he struggles with losing his mother. The monster helps the boy deal with his anger and guilt, and teaches him to be honest with himself about it all.

These are areas which I still struggle with. I’m so angry that my daughter never had the chance to live. I’m angry with friends/relatives/coworkers who had living children that same year, as if they stole my joy by having joy of their own. I feel guilty for that anger. I feel guilty for getting pregnant again, and for wanting to love this new child. But I need to be honest with myself too. While I never wanted Georgia to go, I’m now ready to let the pain of losing her go. It’s okay to be angry sometimes. It’s ok to feel guilt. It’s okay to let go.

Depression during Pregnancy

I have been having such a hard time with depression during this pregnancy. I wanted to focus on being positive and happy, but I’m just not feeling that way. This pregnancy sucks! I’m nauseated all the time, but still hungry. I’m exhausted and it is a horrible struggle to make it through the night (3rd shift worker). On one of my favorite shows, The View, they talked about pregnancy and depression and it was very helpful to me. Here it is for your viewing pleasure: