Thinking Native

2 min read

| By Kimberly Sigafus |

Many immigrants made the crossing over the water to the land we now call the “United States of America.” They landed on our shores and began the arduous task of trying to make a better life for themselves.

But the land wasn’t empty. It was filled with people of all tribal nations who lived off a land rich with natural resources.

As a collective Native nation, we believe that we borrow the land from our children. We have no right to deplete its natural resources. If the land is not here for future generations, we’ve cheated them, and will have squandered and wasted things that the Great Creator has given us as gifts.

Like a drop of water in a large pail will ripple out and make many rings, one decision can affect another—and not always for the better. As we celebrate Native American Day and Indigenous Peoples’ Day on Monday, October 11, it is the hope of the Native people that more of us will take the time to “Think Native.”

After all, we have nothing to lose—except everything.

To learn more about Native Americans and other Indigenous peoples, check out the new topic page on Indigenous peoples in Gale In Context: Environmental Studies.

Continue your investigation with new articles on Native American lands and Native American sacred sites.

About the Author

Kimberly Sigafus is an Illinois Humanities Road Scholars speaker and presents Native programs across the Midwest. She’s also an author of Native American fiction and nonfiction. In her downtime, Kimberly likes to do Native crafts and sings and drums. Her website is

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