My own people, as a Scot-American, are not many generations removed from the indigenous blue-painted people who fought Romans, Vikings and the British. We are fed from our roots and the roots of others can create new paths for all of us. Like Pai, the young indigenous Maori girl in the beautifully inspiring movie Whale Rider, we can honor traditions even as we improve on them. Like real-life Kenyan Wangari Maathai—founder of the Green Belt movement and recipient of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize—we can change the nature of indigenous leadership and image to bold and peaceful, nurturing and connected, rather than the fear-induced image of the Mau-Mau wielding a machete.
French, Hilary, et al., “Laying the foundations for peace,” in: Worldwatch Institute, State of the World 2005. New York: W.W. Norton & Company Ltd., 2005.
Mander, Jerry, “What you don’t know about Indians,” in: Yuen, Nicky González, The Politics of Liberation: An American Studies Primer, 4th Edition. Dubuque IA: Kendall/Hunt, 2003.