Raising the Indigenous Voice: a guest blog by Amidooli Pacheco

Jason GriffinNews

The way I learned about inequality prior to formal education was when I stopped dreaming in my own Indigenous language. I realized something happened when the Native kid in me stopped dreaming in Keres. I wonder if the rest of the kids I grew up with on the reservation went through this phase?

I had a dream when I was younger that I was going to be the President of the United States of America. I don’t remember doing anything significant in this dream. Like protecting sacred sites or some type of military activity. Perhaps this was another form of inequality? What context of my story was really mine? I spoke to my elders in Keres about this dream and they smiled because we have chiefs.  

When I looked at a book to see the symbolism of leadership, I realized Native American history was only a few pages. There is a contradiction between the written language and the oral that is a key factor of inequality in learning. In my perspective I see this as opportunity for shared knowledge.

The nomenclature of Native America is the not the same as the dream I had. There is a special relationship that is formed from the naming of a dream or child.  It is a bond of love and respect. That’s how inequality came into existence. I can remember the feeling of culture shock.

Your evaluation of this blog should not weigh towards pity— because it has the ingredients to succeed. By this I mean higher education as it invokes Native American Studies. It is academia that will bridge two worlds for the sake of cultural relevance. We knew this progress would come, and to affirm this even more so, we should not brace for impact of colonization (1492).  We are twenty first century scholars and we have the notation of self-determination.

It would take a community to resolve the inequality of education. This is not solely an “Indian” praxis but rather a cumulative event. Suppose we woke from the dream of Capitalism and instead refer to Culturalism.