TULSA – As the Longest Walk 5 – War on Drugs and Domestic Violence made its way into Tulsa, Oklahoma on Monday. several members of the Indian community were on hand to greet the long walkers. One young man, Blue River Haase, came from Bartlesville, Oklahoma, with his mother and sister to lend their support to the Longest Walk.
Haase, 15, who is Cherokee-Choctaw-Osage-Apache, discussed trips he has taken to Washington, D.C.
“I went to Washington D.C. twice. The first time was to dance in the Osage ballet. The second time, however, I went along with others to talk to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who has since left his post, about our public schools. We discussed the need to improve them and the curriculum.
What I learned in school about Columbus was not accurate and did not factually portray how this country was founded. The school teaches about Columbus as a hero. This country was founded off of lies, theft, rape and murder.“
When Native News Online asked Haase what he thought about the change from Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day, he said:
“It would be a great way to educate people about the truth of Native culture instead of brainwashing our students at an early age with lies that they hold onto as adults. It would help alleviate some stereo types of Native people as savages and aggressors when in fact we were helpful to the settlers when they came to this land. By celebrating Indigenous Peoples Day it allows non-Native people to experience our foods, music, dancing, oral traditions and all of our culture.”