Yellow Bird: Indians were foreigners in own land
"As I mulled over immigration and the whole issue of being born free, I thought, “What a paradox for Indian people.” We had such a strange designation: We were foreigners - outcasts in our own land for much of our early years of history.

We were born in prisons called reservations. Everything from land ownership to language was doled out by the federal government and the Christian churches that came to convert on reservations.

Yet, all in all, those reservations - as poorly as they are seen from the outside - turned out to be islands where the Indian culture, religion and way of life are kept - perhaps in a small way, but still there. Sure, Indian culture is diluted and we have evolved into U.S. citizens. But being “born free” has meaning in Indian country.

Light the great big, sparkling fireworks for freedom. Conditions in the U.S. are better than some of the best cases in other countries, as our immigration strength shows. But remember, being “born free” isn't equal among all."

Get the Story:
Dorreen Yellow Bird: Strive for freedom and equality, too (The Grand Forks Herald 7/4)
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