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Opinion
Harjo: Indian people know what it's like to be uprooted


"The spectacle of Mother Earth cleansing and cooling herself is mesmerizing - even for those who can't quite make out what they're watching on television - and the consequences for people and other living beings are enough to break the hearts of all but the stoniest of characters.

The sadness and hurt on the faces of the Gulf Coast evacuees, especially the elders and children as they leave their homes and all their precious things, make me understand more about my Muscogee ancestors in the deltas and bayous of Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana.

Revisiting this history with the perspective of today's man-made and natural disasters makes me appreciate even more the Muscogee and other ceremonial people of this time who stoop low with humility to carry medicine to honor those who carried council fires on their backs.

This is in appreciation for those who keep the fires in Oklahoma and throughout the Southeast, where even those Native people who were harmed by Katrina are sharing what they have with non-Native victims.

Why? Because we know what it means to be uprooted, dispossessed and displaced "

Get the Story:
Suzan Shown Harjo: Now imagine the Gulf evacuations as forced marches (Indian Country Today 9/22)

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