10-23-2019 Indigenous People’s Day

Nakoosa Moreland shaking hands during the circle dance.

Passionate about education, Nakoosa Moreland, a member of The confederated tribes of Grand ronde along with five other tribes, pursued education at Western Oregon University for two years studying in the Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling (RMHC) program to “hopefully one day make a difference in the lives of Native American youth.”

The Indigenous People’s Day  was held at the Oregon State Capitol on Oct. 4, 2019. The same day as Columbus Day to “acknowledge, honor and unite the first peoples of America in a consistent manner by seeking and speaking truth in order to educate and engage the community of which we are all apart.”

After placing the flags on their stands, Moreland introduced herself and discussed about how environmental justice means the fair treatment and meaningful involvement for all people.” Inviting people to know what she has been throw and the worries indigenous people are facing.

As Greta Thunberg has stated, ‘I want you to act as your house is on fire, because it is, we are in the midst of a mass extinction. Where we have been told up to 200 species a day are going extinct.’ It has been said that the bee is the most precious being today. If you are skeptical of these statements, I’d ask you to think back on your summer. Did you see as many bugs as you usually see? Bugs used to coat the outside of our vehicles and I know as you are traveling down those reservation roads you see less and less

Nakoosa Moreland, The confederated tribes of Grand ronde along with five other tribes.
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“A seed of hope that change will come, and it will heal. The earth has never needed us, and it is us who needs her. We get everything from her, our water [and] our life source; all of our food comes from her. So, why have we allowed so many decades for this mass pollution and destruction to take place? The systems in place is not for freedom or Justice for all. The next generation is watching and depending on the climate impact of today. We as indigenous people has always been known as the keepers of the land. I think and I know that it is our duty to step forward, again, as the care takers of the land and practice our sovereign rights.”

“The pesticides and chemicals that are being put into the ground and our water, to me, is a type of chemical warfare on our people. We need to move away from these damaging practices.

Ron Schlitzkus bringing around a smudge to the rally goers.

People were offered a smudge, a traditional native American ceremony, to “cleanse all of our thoughts and prayers, so that when we get ready it is all clean and everything. It gets rid of all the evil or bad things that are around us and helps us to focus. So, when we are doing what we need to do, we know where we are at with everything,” Deitz Peters said.

Veterans were honored and introduced during the ceremony. Following the highest ranked Veteran to dismiss the fellow Veterans.

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After the veterans were dismissed, South American and American flutes played the Unity of The Condor. After the music and a few more speakers, everyone were invited to a circle dance to socialize and get to know each other.

More dances and speakers took place which followed into the Aztec Dancers taking the floor to take the floor.

Towards the end of the event marked the end of the ceremony. So, Veterans stood at their flags and carried them away after one last beat of the drum.

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