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Letter: What was lost after the first Thanksgiving

It is fortunate, to say the least, that after major efforts to destroy the native people in the U. S. and their culture, it is still here and there are many signs that native culture is alive.

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I have heard native people say with feeling: “We are still here.” It is fortunate, to say the least, that after major efforts to destroy the native people in the U. S. and their culture, it is still here and there are many signs that native culture is alive.

In Minnesota, native elders are teaching young people their native languages and reviving native seeds. Native peoples are getting educated and teaching their tribes about solar energy and leading efforts to install electric hookups along Minnesota interstates and highways. Native persons are still working to stop Line 3 that transports “dirty” oil from Canada across tribal land and under the Mississippi River. One of the tribal leaders has been able to obtain the services of a drone to document leaks on the new line. Minnesota's lieutenant governor is a native woman, as is the secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Perhaps unknown to many is that the State of Oklahoma was Indian Territory before that territory became a state late in the process. Indian culture suffered from statehood but managed to keep their cultures alive and vibrant.

It is sad that we did not know how to value the culture that was here when we arrived. Native culture would have enriched our culture. Fortunately, native culture is still here and we can still learn from them.

Patricia Keefe, Rochester

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