I seemed to have run out of words these days with my recent posts outsourced to poets and IG quotes. I am just a robot running continuously with no time to process life. I keep setting small goals to met in hopes that with each mini achievements is when I’ll take a break. Even now as I take a moment to breath, my head is cluttered and hazy. I don’t have much to say in this moment of stillness.
Letting go is not easy but we agreed that it had to be done. I am grateful for the years we had, the trips we taken and the food we shared. I am also grateful that you supported me through undergrad, helped me moved every quarter, cooked and cleaned when I am too drained from grad school. Thanks for being amazing.
Today National Geographic’s IG and David Guttenfelder’s IG have been posting photos about genocides in Rwanda as the NatGeo’s April issue observed the 20th anniversary of the genocide. Most shocking reminder from Natgeo was “100 days in 1994 that killed an estimated 800,000 Rwandans and 200,000 raped”. I am baffled that we, as connected global network, allowed this tragedy to occur.
As my heartaches, I am reminded by what Angelo Baca mentioned last week during his film screening, Into America The Ancestors Land. He explained how the Mormons in Utah forced Native American children into concentration camps. They forced them to cut their hair, dress in American clothes, learn English and most importantly lose their culture. This genocide of culture forced elder Helen Yellowman to hide when the white men came around grabbing children. This side of the history, I haven’t heard of in our history books until Baca mentioned last week. His native perspective reminded the audience of the biased murals and statues often displaying natives as lazy, how the indigenous does not celebrate July 4th, how their road trip from Seattle to Utah is a drive through countries for him due to the variation in different tribes and how the fight for land is still an ongoing battle.
Baca reminds me to view my surrounding differently. Recently a friend shared an article of how Seattle’s Neighborhood Got Their Names. I couldn’t help but noticed how the neighborhoods are named after white male settlers/developers. I wonder how the indigenous tribes named this region. If we truly value our history and culture as Seattleites, we would urge the renaming our neighborhoods to tribal names. Nonetheless renaming aside, we still need to acknowledge that genocides and concentration camps happened in America. This awareness forces examination of our history and to acknowledge those we’ve hurt.
“Collaboration: A process through which parties who see different aspects of a problem can constructively explore their differences and search for solutions that go beyond their own limited vision of what is possible.”
— Barbara Gray; Collaborating: Finding Common Ground for Multiparty Problems 
After watching Into America - The Ancestors’ Land at Antioch Seattle, I am horrified that because of black diamond (aka oil) in now the Aneth Oil Fields, a native family has their land taken away from them. As explained by elder Helen Yellowman, they were bullied, their house was burned down with rebuilding supplies taken away and their spring water polluted with oil. I had higher expectations of Americans. How dare they treat any native family this way? I couldn’t hold back the tears as Angelo’s mother translated Yellowman’s story and as she shared her frustration with director, Nadine Zacharias, for mistranslation of Yellowman. This family has gone through a lot in the past fifty years fighting for the return of their land. Even with mistranslation, I hope this film create the awareness they needs to face the oil companies in the Supreme Court.