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What It’s Like To Be A Native American Student On Columbus Day [VIDEO]

Gyasi Ross is a member of the Blackfeet Nation and his family also comes from the Suquamish Nation. He is a father, a storyteller and an attorney. His professional and personal passion are helping a more accurate and complete version of Native people’s story get into the mainstream to counter inaccurate images and to build alliances. He currently co-hosts the “Breakdances With Wolves Podcast,” available on iTunes and Soundcloud.

He has recently released a song and video called “Petaki,” about a bright Native American girl’s struggles with the one-sided perspective of American History taught in schools, specifically in regards to Christopher Columbus.

“This song is about Native people being masterful storytellers–retelling stories the right way. It is about the constant assaults that Native self-esteem goes through while simply trying to attain an education in the name of history,” says Ross.More importantly, it’s about a young Native’s willingness to question long-held assumptions and tell that history better. And in that way, it’s not only a Native story. In 2016, young folks of every color are retelling stories and questioning long-held assumptions about everything from people of color’s access to clean water in Standing Rock and Flint, to how we treat women and the LGBTQ community, to Black Lives Matter questioning why black and brown bodies get shot by police at such a high rate. History is a battle of stories and in this story, Petaki won this particular battle. Similarly, young people are winning the storytelling battles in this millennium, thank God, and forcing our generation (and previous generations!) to tell a better story.”

Watch the video to “Petaki” by Gyasi Ross above and his keynote speech at last year’s NAIS People of Color Conference below.

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