Happy Native American Heritage month - Day 30!
We’re done! We did it! I’ve done 30 consecutive posts about my culture and my tribe. I originally planned to record myself telling one of my favorite stories in Kumeyaay, but those plans had to be cut. So I thought I’d introduce myself, not as “Lindsay” but in the one alias I truly identify as. I also originally had a long post, but it was deleted after tumblr froze on me, please bare with me as I lazily give you a quick paragraph.
Howka! Na’apa nihi Ho’ak Halyaxai. Mah’th wam sha’hauk sarap ama’ayhk cha’pap wih’ith. Na’apa ny’tell Suzanne wi’ich xi. Na’apa ni’kyu Inya wi’ich xi. Na’apa a’sull A’sin Kat’kurlhk, a’ Ho’ak Hatapa. Neh’kweth we’ump te’wa Campo, a’ kwa’haup San Jose de La Zorra. Inyage ka’mah, inyage mikape, inyage neh’kweth Kumeyaay. Na’aj pey’yii haut en’yow aukur.
Hi! My name is Ho’ak Halyaxai (second new moon). I am 19 years old. My mom’s name is Suzanne, my father’s name is Inya (sun). My brother’s names are A’sin Kat’kurlhk (first wolf), and Ho’ak Hatapa (second coyote). Hatapa and I are ‘second’ because we were the second born girl and boy. I am from the Campo reservation, but my family comes from San Jose de La Zorra. I dance, speak,and live my life in Kumeyaay. We are here, forever.
It’s important for me to share my story because no one knows I live two lives. In public I am a normal U.S. citizen. No one knows that I hide my traditional tattoos; no one knows that English is my second language, or that I still traditionally practice my culture; no one knows that I am 1 of an estimated 500 people who speaks my language.
No one knows I was born on a reservation where living conditions were similar to third world countries, or that I am actively trying to preserve my language and culture.
I live in a country where my culture, after over 500 years, is still seen as “savage” and “primitive”. My culture is everything but savage. It is beautiful, it is unique, and it is endangered. I advise the U.S. to stop ignoring its original inhabitants, to stop ignoring our societal problems. I advise the U.S. to fix its history education. We are still here even after over 500 years of assimilation and genocide.
We are still here, and we shall forever remain.
Thank you again for your support, your questions, and your interest.