Happy Indigenous Peoples Day!

Across the United States, there are 556 federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native nations. Each one has it’s own unique history and culture. American education has not bothered to tell us that Native people lived in peace and effectively governed themselves before the Europeans came along. American education has not informed us that Native Americans have been slighted ever since, not even being recognized as citizens (despite the fact that they were here first) until the 20th century. 

But we don’t have to push these facts aside. We can stop celebrating a man that began a genocide and a terrible theft of land and culture, and start celebrating Indigenous Peoples for their rich history and their equal contributions to society.

To all Indigenous Peoples out there: we’re glad you’re here!


We will stand with you in your continued battle to be recognized as legitimate human beings instead of the stereotypes perpetuated by Columbus and those that came after him.

“I am Native American from the Omaha tribe in Nebraska. My Indian name means ‘shooting star.’ I wish the world knew that we do still exist. And, no, we don’t all live in tepees. When I see people in headdresses or Native American accessories, I feel disrespected. They don’t know the meaning behind it, how we wear it, or what we do to earn it. This is a real eagle feather. It doesn’t just fall off an eagle and someone says, ‘Oh, here — it’s yours.’ You have to earn it in my culture. I feel powerful when I wear it, more confident, and more connected to my ethnicity. I’ve never been embarrassed about being Native American. I take pride in it. I love how spiritual we are — it’s like we’re in tune with the Earth and the universe. I know there’s no other culture out there like mine.”

Daunnette Reyome

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“YOU DON’T LOOK NATIVE” - is something that bothers me greatly. I see it happen all the time, especially to Natives in the US & Canada.

Telling any Native person that they aren’t Native because they don’t fit your superficial stereotype is RACIST! Every single person pictured above is a NATIVE.

This is something that all non-Natives need to understand, there is no “Native look”.

- Not all Native women look like Disney’s “Pocahontas”.
- Not all Native men look like a Plains NDN with long flowing hair.
- Not all Natives have high cheekbones.
- Not all Natives have black straight hair. Some have brown hair, some have curly hair, some have light hair and so on.
- Yes Native men CAN grow beards and have facial hair.
- Not all Natives have brown eyes. Some have blue eyes, some have grey eyes, some have green eyes and some have hazel eyes.
- There are tall Natives and there are short Natives.
- There are dark skinned Natives, light skinned Natives and pale skinned Natives.

NATIONAL ABORIGINAL DAY

National Aboriginal Day is on June 21st. If it doesn’t coincide with another event (I remember a few years back that it did with BlackOut, but was worked around), I think we should celebrate. If you’re Aboriginal / Indigenous, upload your selfies, post art, talk about Aboriginal characters that you know and love, talk about books and films made by and for Indigenous people. We are still here but we are individually unique and have our own experiences and stories to tell. 

Use #HappyAboriginalDay and spread the word.

EDIT: The date for BlackOut is June 6th. We’re in the clear!

SECOND EDIT: 

This post has gained a lot of attention over the last couple of days! Thank you to everybody who has shared and reblogged it. I want to take a moment to address a question that keeps popping up: if you are indigenous/aboriginal, you can participate if you choose to! This is not limited just to Native American / First Nations people. If you are Ainu, Maori, Saami, native Hawaiian, etc, feel free to participate! It’s great opportunity for us to represent ourselves, our cultures, our lives, our heroes, and celebrate both our differences and similarities. 

I can’t wait to see you all on June 21st! Keep boosting this post and don’t forget to use the #HappyAboriginalDay tag!

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I hear time and time again the phrase ‘Native culture’. What does that mean? Because it seems to me people are still uneducated about the first peoples and our cultures. As you’ll see above, Indigenous cultures across turtle island are very diverse and unique. Each nation / tribe has they’re own language, values and cultural teachings. So, please for the people saying ‘Native American culture’ as if we are one group, educate yourself on the very different cultural groups that reside here on this land.

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Zapatistas - A Native movement group of rebels who fights for the rights of Indigenous people in Mexico, active since 1994. EZLN

medium.com
So, You’ve Officially Made Pharah A Native – Dia Lacina – Medium
An open letter to Overwatch’s Game Director Jeff Kaplan about the decision to officially retcon Pharah’s cultural identity.
By Dia Lacina

 "Being indigenous isn’t a matter of just being brown and having long black hair (a lot of Natives don’t look like you’d expect). You can’t drape yourself in regalia and call yourself an “Indian Princess.” It’s not about cheekbones or really even about blood. And while indigenous people who have been disconnected from their culture and people for a variety of reasons can reconnect (it’s often a long and arduous undertaking) — you can’t retcon indigineity. Which is exactly what you’ve done.“

World Indigenous Peoples Day 2017

August will be here soon! On August 9th, we’ll be celebrating World Indigenous Peoples Day!

On that day, The Aila Test would love to feature all indigenous / aboriginal people from around the world.

If you are indigenous, submit to us or tag us in selfies, photographs, artwork, poetry, short films, any media project, or any news/events that you’d like us to shine a light on and bring more attention to!

National Aboriginal Day was such a great success and it was really beautiful and healing to see so many Indigenous people. It would be wonderful to see it again. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to celebrate ourselves, our culture, our history, and the things we’ve shared with each other and the world.

Please spread the word!

Petition for there to be a new American Indian Disney princess

One that isn’t historically inaccurate or racist. But rather an ACCURATE, badass American Indian princess who kicks ass with her long-ass braid flowing in the wind behind her