Bloggers Unite for Human Rights-Support the Voices of Native Americans

I have joined Blog Catalog for “Bloggers Unite” Day. The designated cause is Human Rights. The choices are vast–and painful.

I have chosen a Human Rights issue that receives little attention – the rights of Native Americans.

Consider the following from

Native American…”CIVIL RIGHTS PRIORITIES include ongoing battles for voting rights, as well as the elimination of offensive use of mascots by schools and professional sports teams that reflect outdated stereotypes and perpetuate racism against Native Americans. The "Digital Divide" is also a major area of concern for Native Americans and other minority groups - because many American Indians and Alaskan Natives have yet to be connected to basic telephone networks and are thus unable to access the Internet, they are at risk of falling even further behind in their ability to access employment, educational, and other opportunities made available by information technology.

Native Americans suffer from many of the same social and economic problems as other victims of long-term bias and discrimination - including, for example, disproportionately high rates of poverty, infant mortality, unemployment, and low high school completion rates. The struggle for equal employment and educational opportunity is key to addressing these problems.

ALSO IMPORTANT FOR MANY NATIVE AMERICAN civil rights advocates are cultural issues related to the ability to maintain and pass on traditional religious beliefs, languages and social practices without fear of discrimination. For example, Native Americans have long fought to protect their religious freedom from repeated acts of governmental suppression -- including the denial of access to religious sites, prohibitions on the use or possession of sacred objects, and restrictions on their ability to worship through ceremonial and traditional means.

Military defeat, cultural pressure, confinement on reservations, forced cultural assimilation, outlawing of native languages and culture, termination policies of the 1950s and 1960s and earlier, slavery, and poverty have had deleterious effects on Native Americans' mental and physical health. Contemporary health problems suffered disproportionately include alcoholism, heart disease, diabetes, and suicide.”

Native American culture and wisdom will never be as timely as it is today. We face major environmental, socioeconomic and healthcare issues. We have a resource that lies within the Native American culture.

Read the following, and decide for yourself – it seems we have come full circle. We can learn much through the establishment of a true spirit of brotherhood and by lending a real voice to our Native American fellows. Their culture is one of infinite wisdom, but they are not heard.

"Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors; we borrow it from our Children." – Ancient Indian Proverb

Out of the Indian approach to life there came a great freedom, an intense and absorbing respect for life, enriching faith in a Supreme Power, and principles of truth, honesty, generosity, equity, and brotherhood as a guide to mundane relations. – Luther Standing Bear, Oglala Sioux

You have noticed that everything as Indian does is in a circle, and that is because the Power of the World always works in circles, and everything tries to be round..... The Sky is round, and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball, and so are all the stars. The wind, in its greatest power, whirls. Birds make their nest in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours.... Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were. The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is in everything where power moves. - Black Elk Oglala Sioux Holy Man

...... everything on the earth has a purpose, every disease an herb to cure it, and every person a mission. This is the Indian theory of existence. - Mourning Dove Salish

"If today I had a young mind to direct, to start on the journey of life, and I was faced with the duty of choosing between the natural way of my forefathers and that of the... present way of civilization, I would, for its welfare, unhesitatingly set that child's feet in the path of my forefathers. I would raise him to be an Indian!" – Tom Brown, Jr., The Tracker

Visit the Native American Rights Fund website to make even a small donation. Tune in for Native American Broadcasting at . The Native American culture is one of beauty, aligned with all that is natural. We have a gift in our Native American friends. We can all benefit from just listening.