"It's not our people's Independence Day" These are the words we heard from a spiritual leader and elder a long time ago on a reservation. It struck a mournful chord that pointed to hurts from the past that still have not been addressed concerning native people. Now, we are watching the defacing and erasing of history in this country coming full circle yet when native people do speak up no one wants to hear it. This cycle will continue until the grievances against First Nations is truly dealt with spiritually. The truth hurts but must be examined. You don't see native people burning, destroying, and hurting other people to get their message across yet one FB meme and everyone loses their mind. The 500-year root of bitterness that indigenous people have embedded in their DNA must be taken care of with a swift and severing tomahawk of forgiveness.

The Declaration of Independence calls our people "merciless Indian savages". So its time for a thicker skin for those on the outside who want to judge when they have no idea what it is like to live as the most rejected and marginalized people in this country. Forced to comply with a blood pedigree just like a dog or horse which is a slow and steady drip of genocide when your blood quantum is no longer enough for you to be native. When our freedom to dance, sing, and go to ceremony was made legal in 1978 with the passing of the American Indian Religious Freedom Act. When every treaty made by the U.S. government has been broken yet native people kept their end of the deal and have the highest volunteer ratio for military service compared to every other ethnicity. Why?because we love our country. The list goes on and makes it hard to come to the table of reconciliation when the attitude of most is, "get over it." while many native people are still living it.

I stand united with all of my brothers and sisters no matter what the color of their skin may be and will only kneel to The Creator. Many who live here now are descendants of recent immigrants and had nothing to do with Manifest Destiny and the conquest of these lands. Reverse racism must stop. We are called to DO justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with our Creator. This is justice for all nations who have been oppressed and hurt.

One thing I learned from being a soldier is that we all bleed the same color and many people of color have died for this country and the freedom that was promised. Although it may not have come as quickly as we would like, it is a process that takes time and unfortunately great sacrifice. We live in the greatest country in the world but it is not without flaws and no country will ever be until The Creator sets things straight once and for all.

Please, pray for First Nations and true reconciliation through repentance, forgiveness, and love. Addressing, but not erasing, the past so this land can be cleansed from these hurts and we can all move into a healed future together.