Land Acknowledgment of the original American Ancestors who have been displaced by the European Ancestors.
I am a descendant from English /Scottish ancestry. I revere and acknowledge their bravery, the founding fathers of America valiant efforts to organize amidst chaos and anarchy. I also can’t ignore the dark side of how it all conspired.
I am grateful for my freedom. I am grateful for my privilege and cozy home. But if things were different, I’d be grateful in norther Europe as well.
I write this to make sure the stewards and indigenous to the land that we now call USA are not forgotten. Because enough narcissistic white / Spanish men have made it their life’s goal to convert them, make them into servant, slaves, and erase their culture and identities.
I acknowledge my presence on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Acjachemen and Tongva peoples. And we respectfully honor and recognize the original and current caretakers of this land, water, and air: the Acjachemen and Tongva peoples and all of their ancestors and descendants, past, present, and future.
What did the Acjachemen do?
They lived in union with land and plants.
What did they believe?
Like most Native Americans, they were a deeply spiritual people who believed in interacting respectfully with nature and co-existing with all life-forms. They celebrated their religion with sacred songs and dances.
What could they not do in the Mission?
The main organized village of the Acjachemen was right where the Mission San Juan Capistrano sits now. Once the Spanish priest Junipero Serra arrived with his men, in the name of God, they took the land and enslaved the natives to build the walls of the mission.
I remember going by this every day as a child in awe of the history. But the ugly reality was hidden from me. I never knew the walls remakes of slave labor, little shells and messages from the native people for their ancestors to find, and unmarked graves of the natives who died working.
Then once the work was done they were not allowed to leave. They were imprisoned for 10 years building the mission and being Brainwashed into converting to Catholicism.
Children were torn from their parents to be sent off to become Christians.
my mother was taken from San Juan Capistrano — she was taken to the [Catholic] boarding school in Banning.”
“Though I am an educator, and I always walk in the world seeking a way to build a bridge, that historical trauma still haunts me. My mother did not raise me and my brother and my sister with kindness. She didn’t know how. I longed for my mother to touch my face and say, I love you, sweetheart. But she didn’t know how. And when I was 17, it was the first time I ever saw my mother cry. And she began to speak of her experiences.”
– Acjachemen educator and singer Jacque Tahuka-Nuñez
There’s no excuses for what happened to our people at these missions. Excuses are worse than lies. It’s very disheartening to think that they still won’t even acknowledge what happened — especially with the missions being tourist attractions today. They’re not that, for us.” Caroline descendent of Acjamemen People 2015
“Their Doctrine of Discovery still says that we are not, that they were the first human beings here in this area. Now, our villages are their prime real estate. And we have nothing.”
We’re not asking for anything that doesn’t belong to us,” Caroline Ward Holland added. “This ground right here, this whole place was built by the indigenous people. All we’re asking for is to be able to have something back that’s ours.”
When you take a step forward, you make people angry. Because people don’t want to think about the bad things that happened, even though that’s part of the healing journey.”
What we can do now
This is why I cease to ignore the ugly past. I mourn for the land that was stolen, for the families ripped apart, for the extinction of entire culture, and for their wandering souls to finally get just a piece of. their their historic land back so they have a place to call home again.
I am grateful for my freedom. I am not grateful for their involuntary sacrifice, but I am not grateful it happened the way it did.
I am not settled with silently watching them still oppress and send off to boarding schools.
No more. Donate to your local native indigenous tribe so they can continue to fight for their rights .
Vote out conservative narcissists passing laws separating children from their parents and forcing their religion on them.
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