The Antiquities Act: A Social Justice Issue

As someone who grew up in northeast Oklahoma (Kenwood) surrounded by the Cherokee ᏣᎳᎩ nation on Indian Lands I saw first hand the cultural and social impacts of our American government. They pushed the Cherokee people and culture out from their lands (Southeastern United States) in favor of the gold rush (pretty similar aspects we face today).

I grew up in poverty with them. No electricity, no running water while trying to preserve a sense of dignity. When you take away someone’s heritage and culture you break them down into a sense of little self-worth. I have horror stories from what I experienced from my childhood and know first hand the results. I see today’s issue from a deeper perspective that includes social justice.

My mother is buried on Indian land today because she gave her life to the Cherokee people. We sang Amazing Grace in Cherokee at her funeral. We sang with pride and with sadness into the land.

Overall, with the removal or scaling back of the Antiquities Act, we are removing the beautiful and rich cultures, heritage and artifacts of the Mexican people and the regional Native American tribes. To do so would strip away pride, education, history, and self-worth. A part of me is lost, that I left a place of heartache in which my mother gave her life for. I will not repeat that offense by standing with the people of Mexican and Native American heritage.

Please read the American Antiquities Act of 1906 here:

https://www.nps.gov/history/local-law/anti1906.htm

Want to have your voice heard? Act here:

https://organmountainsdesertpeaks.org/take-action/

Capitol Hill, Washington D.C.