Shame, shame, shame on the school and these children who were allowed to participate in the desecration of another person’s religion. I want to convey to these children and the adults associated with this event that such events cause continued distress and real pain for Native Americans. You mark up your faces, clothe yourselves in skimpy dress and pretend to dance. All the while, you have the blood of our ancestors on your hands. The plastic “hoops” fly through the air, dripping red with the blood of a people vanquished by the overpowering horses and guns of white people. Resources decimated, they were murdered and starved to death. Yet, they clung to their beliefs, proud and strong and passed them on to us, their descendants.
Our spirituality lives on. You cannot kill it, not even with your mockery and your attempts to prove that white privilege allows you to do whatever you choose, no matter who it hurts.
**Today’s guest post comes to us as a Letter to the Editor from Viola Burnette, a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Sicangu Oyate (Burnt Thigh Nation), which is situated in the State of South Dakota. Viola is a retired Judge and attorney who graduated from the University of New Mexico Law School. She was the first Attorney General for the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, and worked to improve the life of her people. She has had a lifelong passion for writing and advocating for her tribe. She is the mother of four beautiful daughters and is grandmother and great grandmother.**