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My First Blog


Hi Everyone,

This is my first post to my first blog. After a lot of time thinking about creating one I've finally done it! This will serve as a collection of my thoughts and ideas on American identity and politics from my own perspective (for more on me check out my profile). I've called it TiyospayeNow in sort of a wish-fulfillment. Tiyospaye is the Dakota/Nakota/Lakota word for an encampment of tipis wherein a traditional Nakota person would live their entire lives surrounded by family and their lives filled with a sense of purpose. I got this idea from the writings of my great-great aunt, Ella Deloria, a famous Yankton Nakota Sioux ethnologist. My dad is Yankton, I am however, due to my U.S. Federal laws, registered as a Navajo tribal member (my mother's tribe). But I gained a tremendous respect for my dad's people and their ways through the writings of my great-great aunt. I met her only once as a baby crawling around on my grandmother's living room floor. My mother says she entered the house, to my full-blood mother she appeared to be a tall white woman and swept me up in her arms and kissed me full on the lips. As my small town, Midwestern grandmother and aunt watched disapprovingly. "Who kisses babies on the mouth?", they asked, my traditionally-raised mother saw it differently. She believed that this amazing woman had given her daughter some of her spirit and then my great-great aunt said, "This child will grow up to help her people and write great things." Now, I don't know what all this really means, but the overall effect of the story was to leave a big impression on my as a child. Perhaps, yet another self-fulfilling prophecy?

I must also note that I have recently become an atheist, yet have a great deal of respect for my traditions. I do not believe in a personal god, but do feel the traditional Nakota "crying for a vision" ceremony more accurately depicts the relationship we could have with greater spirits than our own. If small beings like us can generate a spirit, surely larger beings can as well? I believe in the miracle of life as it evolved from the smallest organism and stardust. To me this process is surely the greatest miracle. And I view my body and its workings as an amazing thing and a great honor to possess even for so brief a time. As an atheist, I believe that our future depends on human beings as weak as we are to ascribe to greater moral and ethical values not bounded by religion or fundamentalism, but through a basic desire to do good and make the world a safe place.

More on all of this later.
Jacqueline Keeler
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1 comment:

Jean said...

Congrats on FINALLY starting your blog! I have been looking forward to reading what you have to say for some time now. I only vaguely remember hearing this story a few times growing up. It’s nice to get some background behind who this person was who kissed you as an infant.

Your sis…JEAN

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