We went to this land in order to learn more about Native American culture and the historic and current oppression they have experienced. It was very educational just to drive through Shiprock, a town in Navajo Nation. While driving through this town, we saw first hand the impact that the white man’s greed had on Natives all around America. This information is very important in order to take rehabilitating steps in the direction of change.
One of the woman who worked at the Ute Museum in Montrose, CO, asked me a question that made me think. After she revealed to us that the decisions were made for the Utes, but not by them, she asked “How can you make decisions for people that you know nothing about?” This really resonated with me, and I thought about it for a long time. That was outrageous. How did the white man decide what would be best for a people that they didn’t know anything about? They couldn’t. This is one of the main reasons why so many Native American cultures are being oppressed. At the museum, it was revealed to us how the oppression unfolded and what needs to be done to change it. It is important that we give these historically voiceless people the power to change, and we are beginning to take steps in that direction. 2021 will be the first time that the Secretary of the Interior, or any cabinet member, has been a Native American. This is crucial to change this repetitive oppression of these people. In conclusion, the past couple of days has taught me more about the Ute and Diné (Navajo) people, thus sparking my interest in trying to stand up and change the unfortunate situation for these people.