"This summer people in South Dakota will remember two important dates: July 4, the national holiday of independence, and June 25, Indian Victory Day, when the combined forces of the Lakota and Cheyenne Indians defeated Gen. George Custer at the Battle of Little Big Horn.
It's fascinating that at first blush these two celebrations seem completely different from each other, but actually they represent the same ideas that all Americans should aspire to.
On Independence Day, Americans celebrate the Declaration of Independence and the ending of our subservient status as a colony to the British Empire. We celebrate our deeply held beliefs in due process, justice and equality. In 1776 Americans stood against European colonization, which history has shown ultimately leads to despotism, dungeons and discrimination.
Unfortunately, it's painfully ironic that the ideals of the American Revolution were cast aside for the United States' own colonization efforts. The U.S. government went from the colonized to the colonizer almost immediately, and the reverberations of this hypocrisy are felt to this day.
The effects of colonization often are long felt even after those who have been colonized are recognized as independent nations. We only need to look at the successful litigation by the American Civil Liberties Union for the past 10 years on issues such as voting rights and racial justice to see that South Dakota still suffers from the invidious tools used by colonizers to undermine and subvert those who are colonized."
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Robert J. Doody: Native Americans still suffer from colonization
(The Sioux Falls Argus Leader 6/29)