Inaugural Post

As a writer, I have come to grasp the importance of visibility (or what you might also call shameless self-promotion!). Writers write because they feel they have something to contribute to the world. I write for that reason, and others. For me it is about education, the desire to impart the light of knowledge (if not wisdom) into a sea of social darkness, especially where Native people and history are concerned. It all began when in my 30s I learned the hidden history of my own family and how they suffered at the hands  of the American government, with its policies to eradicate American Indians. I came to see how my life  was in so many ways a direct result of this. And I couldn’t be silenced  by it like my ancestors were,  drowning in their own trauma, generation after generation, and struggling to merely survive.

No, this was not acceptable. The buck would stop with me and my mission came to be  this intergenerational healing. Education was a cornerstone of that process. As American Indian people  we can no longer allow ourselves to be victimized. The tide of history is changing, along with the historical narratives  of the United States which slowly  unveils a more accurate portrayal of how  this country was actually formed.  It is as ugly as it is agonizing, but the truth must prevail.

At the same time,  if the goal of healing  is to become a more whole human being, with an identity grounded in authenticity, then we must find balance. We must find the joy in life amid the sorrow, and find ways to connect the disparate elements of our lives.  I do this through surfing. There are few more direct ways  to connect with the environment, and there is nothing like  the energy of Mother Ocean to heal a wounded soul. This is why I must write about surfing!

So please enjoy your journey through this blog and come back and read often. It’s a work in progress and as I learn WordPress I hope to make it ever-better. I appreciate your attention.

 

 

About Dina

Dina Gilio-Whitaker (Colville Confederated Tribes) is a lecturer of American Indian Studies at California State University San Marcos, and a consultant and educator in environmental justice policy planning. Dina’s research interests focuses on Indigenous nationalism, self-determination, environmental justice, and education. She also works within the field of critical sports studies, examining the intersections of indigeneity and the sport of surfing. Dina is co-author with Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz of Beacon Press’s “All the Real Indians Died Off” and 20 Other Myths About Native Americans, and her forthcoming book, As Long as Grass Grows: The Indigenous Fight for Environmental Justice from Colonization to Standing Rock, is scheduled for release by Beacon Press in April 2019.
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