TRAVEL. CAPTURE. CREATE. ThereGoesSaraRose.com
Welcome to another adventure in, “16 States in 16 Days,” as we travel to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma! With my great-grandfather from Oklahoma, I wanted to know more about this state even before I arrived. Some dark, curiosity tugged at my brain. Getting to my hotel room later than anticipated and rushing to see friends in Texas the next day, I fall asleep staring out at a beautiful city of lights and wonder, “What did I miss?” Let’s find out!
Lost History, Lost Souls
Often the state name is defined as, “red people,” the meaning lost in translation. Digging just a bit deeper, a more accurate translation is a Courageous or Honorable Nation or a Brave People (Kahlalin, 2017). What a beautiful reflection of self-worth! But the beauty of the people indigenous to the area became lost under current conditions, leading to missing loved ones and voices forever silenced. It is wrong to continue my story from the summer, without pausing to respect how the area came to be.
Support & Learn!
The Oklahoma Watch speaks to that reality in their article Ida’s Law: The Promise, Limitations of Oklahoma’s Pursuit of Justice for Indigenous People (2021) and I invite you learn more, just as I am. So what can we do to be apart of the movement to make a difference? SPEAK UP, ASK QUESTIONS, LEARN! I invite you to research the history of others and appreciate their culture respectfully! Check out more creators below:
Kahlalin– Chahta urban Native on Medium.com
Elle Canada’s Top 10 Indigenous Content Creators You Should Be Following
PBS’s How Indigenous Are Using TikTok to Educate and Entertain
Why this article, NOW?
While on my road trip, I saw a few, small government signs indicating the “Trail of Tears,” but not much more information or learning to be had. What is the 5,043-mile Trail of Tears, you ask? Early United States enacted the Indian Removal Act, evicting thousands from their home states and forcing them to walk to “Indian Territory”. However, in 1907, Oklahoma became a state and “Indian Territory” disappeared (History.com).
Make Informed Decisions, Notice What is Missing
As there were SEVERAL Route 66 and National Park stops, glamorous when compared even to the small signs, I was disappointed. How could such a major part of our nation’s history, end up hidden? In comparison, a child’s response to shame is to hide the proof, so is the United States ashamed of what they did? How can we grow from our mistakes unless we discuss them?
Attempting to research more on the history, I found myself accosted with statements such as, “the white farmer” vs “the Indian” when, in reality, it is made pretty clear the United States Government is the one who enacted these laws. I studied propaganda, Titles and infinitives are a GREAT way to attempt an emotional reaction in the uninformed. Always ask, “Who is not taking their share of the blame in this problem-solving discussion?“. If it is the talkative group with Capitalized Titles, this is propaganda and makes Them seems more powerful than they are.
End the US versus THEM conversation, NOW!
How many have heard the statement, “I learned about racism through school”? There is MASSIVE difference between understanding racism and eliminating negative cultural tones meant to keep others down; Learning about history from one source doesn’t cut it.
Can You Handle It?
Be prepared for the mental shift. The more you learn, you may find yourself disgusted at past thoughts and statements, moments of muscle memory from nature or nurture. Be HAPPY in those moments, we could have continued in our stupidity instead. In six-grade, I choose to read Roots, by Alex Clare, but it took me six months to finish as I would get sick to my stomach in the details. If I could keep learning something so tough as a child, we can keep learning as adults now.
We can make a difference together!
Many of us are having the same conversation, but afraid to ask our neighbor’s story because of “Cancel Culture” or not wanting to look stupid. PLEASE, please tell us HERE how something was uninformed or wrong! Let’s research! Let us LEARN through growth and vulnerability and accepting our past selves so we can accept who we are today.
We are not IMPOSTERS, nor are we our grandparents, we are the generations making a difference.
Thank you! Comment YOUR experiences below! Like & Follow for more at ThereGoesSaraRose.com!