indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Sovereignty and E-Commerce:  Innovating and Reshaping the  Borders of Indian Country - Arizona State University Third Annual Tribal Government E-Commerce CLE Conference
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
Tommy Devers: Confronting localism and racism on my homelands

Filed Under: Opinion
More on: california, racism, tommy devers, water, youth
     
   

Native youth participate in an Native Surf and Wellness Camp on Kumeyaay territory in southern California. Photo: InterTribal Youth

Tommy Devers, a citizen of the Pauma Band of Luiseño Indians, shares a story about surfing in southern California:
“Where are you from bro? I’m a local, show some respect!!!” I half-heartedly laugh every time I encounter this phrase at my favorite surf location, a place where the river flows into the sea. My violation sparking a call to hierarchy based upon the proximity of one’s residence to the coast. As a member of an Indian tribe located in San Diego County, localism is an interesting concept to me. For my transgression I am quickly and sharply told my place. This feels familiar. Did I violate the unwritten rules of the sport and disturb the advantages afforded to someone who believes where he/she laid his/her head at night enables superiority over another? If that’s the case, then I belong at the top.

After leaving the reservation years ago and discovering surfing, I was hooked. Like many beginners, I was a kook and took my lessons in the lineup. However, there was always something a little deeper to the aggression as I was rising up in my abilities and moving a little closer and closer to the main peak. One such incident left me numbed and confused. As the aggressor paddled towards me calling me a ni**er, I wondered if it was me he was coming towards. I have skin that colors easily, and growing up on the reservation with an Indian father and an Irish mother, I was used to the terms “white boy” on the rez and “chief” when in town. Words used to place me on and off the reservation. Being called a ni**er was surprising, and while I struggled with comprehending the moment, the aggressor had paddled upon me, proceeding to stab the nose of his board into my thigh and board, stabbing at my trespassing upon his territory. Washed in defeat, and with a new ding in my board, I paddled away.

I had been put in my place. The result the aggressor hopes for when enacting a sense of localism. This interaction wasn’t based upon surfing ability as much as it was a violation of color. What was the lesson this person was conveying to me?

Read More on the Story:
Tommy Devers: An Indian and the Sea (Indian Country Today 1/4)


Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Trump thumbs nose at Indian Country with action on two pipelines (1/24)
Senate committee postpones vote on Trump's Dakota Access ally (1/24)
Doug George-Kanentiio: Protecting Mother Earth and our lifegivers (1/24)
Lakota Country Times: Oglala Sioux Tribe revives emergency plans (1/24)
Clara Caufield: Cheyenne mother keeps us together in tough times (1/24)
Vi Waln: Rosebud Sioux community steps up to help those in need (1/24)
Cronkite News: Indian Country cautious with Republican president (1/24)
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe focuses on battles as Trump takes office (1/23)
Interior nominee Ryan Zinke set for first Senate confirmation vote (1/23)
Bureau of Indian Affairs finalizes one last rule from the Obama era (1/23)
Tim Giago: Rapid City mayor points the finger at Native community (1/23)
Mark Trahant: Prepare for tribal budget cuts under President Trump (1/23)
Lakota Country Times: New group takes action for Pine Ridge youth (1/23)
Denver American Horse: Ringing in a new year with our sovereignty (1/23)
Ivan Star Comes Out: Unresolved trauma affects Lakota way of life (1/23)
Cronkite News: Havasupai students sue over failures in education (1/23)
Deron Marquez: Electoral College protects the Indian voter's voice (1/23)
Steven Newcomb: Museum hides truth about invasion of tribal land (1/23)
Lakota Country Times: New Oglala Sioux leader encourages youth (1/20)
Native Sun News Today: A new leader for Great Plains tribal group (1/20)
Native Sun News Today Editorial: It's a new era for Indian Country (1/20)
Mark Charles: Decoding Trump's bid to 'Make America Great Again' (1/19)
Lakota Country Times: Another year of big news in Lakota territory (1/19)
Native Sun News Today: DefundDAPL billboard goes up in New York (1/19)
Vi Waln: Let's kick our smoking and tobacco habit in Indian Country (1/19)
Terese Mailhot: Native women care what happens to all our sisters (1/19)
Leonard Peltier remains behind bars as Obama rejects clemency (1/19)
Department of the Army takes the lead on Dakota Access Pipeline (1/18)
Dakota Access executive confirms crude already placed in pipeline (1/18)
Bureau of Indian Affairs releases annual listing of recognized tribes (1/18)
Lakota Country Times: Rosebud Sioux Tribe opens homeless shelter (1/18)
Native Sun News Today: Northern Cheyenne focuses on foster care (1/18)
Brandon Ecoffey: Be safe and be prepared as winter hits the plains (1/18)
Disenrollment epidemic affects dozens of tribes across the nation (1/18)
New battle opens as Dakota Access disputes environmental review (1/17)
Judge declines to block publication of Dakota Access Pipeline notice (1/17)
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe responds quickly to Dakota Access threat (1/17)
President Obama names first members of Native youth commission (1/17)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.