We’ve been dealing with a lot of heavy stuff lately, and since this is my third Valentines Day I’m commemorating on Native Approps, I decided to stay in the positive, love-filled zone, rather than delving into the world of racist vintage valentines or stereotype-filled “Native American Love” art like years past. I’ve given and received a lot of love this year, so I want to send some out to you in the internet world too.
The image above comes from an amazing project by Cherokee artist America Meredith called “Cherokee Spokespeople”. She illustrated a bunch of these cards with Cherokee words and images, and then laminated them and distributed them all over the world. They’re made for bikers to attach to the spokes of their bikes, spreading the Cherokee language wherever they roam. It reminds me of Tibetan prayer flags or wheels–when they are stirred by the wind or water, they spread blessings, good will, and compassion to the surrounding area. I always have pictured these cards as spreading Cherokee language and culture in much the same way. I have a few of the cards from meeting America in the Bay Area, but my adanhdo (“heart”) card is my favorite, and lives on my bookshelf where I see it all the time. My Cherokee culture is definitely something I love, and am grateful for everyday.
Next, I wanted to share a video that Dallas Goldtooth (of the 1491s) made back in 2010, but of course still is relevant today. Always makes me smile (and maybe even tear up a little bit) every time I watch it. Without further ado, here’s his tribute to Native Women:
Of course, our Native men deserve lots of love too–as well as all our LGBTQ Natives who get marginalized in the hetero-normative, cis-normative western narrative of what constitutes “love” on valentines day. So I send some major love your way.
So yeah, Valentines Day may be an over-commericalized, commodified, silly, non-holiday that marginalizes single folks (I’m just saying…), but, I do think it’s a great excuse to share some gratitude and love. Thanks for all the support, readers, friends, and family–the world of Native Appropriations would be nothing without you!
How are you celebrating #NativeLove today? Listening to some awesome round dance songs? Tipi Creepin’? Hanging out with family and friends? Whatever way you choose to share the love today, I wish you all the best.