A A printing-press printed copy of the Declaration of Independence. Photo: Daimon Eklund

Harlan McKosato: We need to educate others about our tribal histories

Where did the ideas and concepts in the Declaration of Independence come from? Harlan McKosato, a citizen of the Sac and Fox Nation, doesn't think most Native people know:
The Fourth of July came and went without much fanfare for me. I didn’t put any American flags out. I didn’t buy any fireworks – although I did go to my Navajo/Pueblo neighbors’ house across the street and watched them shoot off illegal fireworks. Not once did I think about the holiday being about the birth of the United States. Not once did I think about the Declaration of Independence being signed by the so-called Founding Fathers.

I don’t think a lot of Americans, including Native Americans, even know the history of the Fourth of July. They just know they get a day off and plan a special event or a barbecue. I also believe most Americans certainly don’t know about Native peoples contributions to the history of the U.S. But there are some enlightened non-Native folks who have actually studied or at least have put in an effort to learn about the history of the country they live in. They know what went down for them to have their version of freedom.

“The experiment of the United States began in large part because the colonists observed living examples of liberty and justice in Native peoples and tribes here on Turtle Island – in total contradiction to the monarchies that prevailed in Europe at the time,” said Glenn Aparicio Parry, the author of Original Thinking: A Radical ReVisioning of Time, Humanity and Nature – which won a Nautilus Award for Science and Cosmology.

Read More on the Story:
Harlan McKosato: Fourth of July Came and Went But Did We Educate the Youth? (Indian Country Media Network 7/10)

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Adrian Jawort: The 'Indian savages' in the Declaration of Independence (July 3, 2017)
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Mark Charles: All men are created equal except 'Indian savages' (June 15, 2015)