The Dilemma of the Fourth of July

In his 2015 Native News Online blog post, Mark Charles, Native American writer and guest speaker, invites us to remember that 30 lines below the famous quote “All men are created equal” the Declaration of Independence refers to Natives as “merciless Indian savages.”  He encourages us to celebrate this Fourth of July holiday, but temper it with the understanding that the United States of America was founded upon the Doctrine of Discovery that gave permission to dehumanize, to steal from, to enslave and commit cultural genocide of indigenous peoples from both the "New World" and Africa.  Only by holding ourselves accountable to this historical reality and collective, common memory can a true community of equity and inclusion be formed.  

Read his thoughtful blog post at

Also read Emily Root's Canadian research paper "This Land is Our Land? This Land is Your Land: The Decolonizing Journeys of White Outdoor Environmental Educators" at

"Decolonizing Environmental Education: Building Relationships with Indigenous Peoples," a NAAEE recorded webinar hosted by  Angela Mooney D'Arcy, founder and Executive Director of the Sacred Places Institute for Indigenous Peoples in Los Angeles can be viewed at