When I was a kid, we lived in Twin Falls, Idaho. The “Shoshone Indian Reservation” was down the road, between Twin and Pocatello. I remember driving by, face glued to the car window, wondering. Flat, sagebrush desert. Bleak. Isolated. Squinting my eyes, I could make out tiny scattered shacks, far apart. Rusted trucks sat nearby. Who lived there? Who were the Indians? I never saw any.
Meanwhile, we played “Cowboy and Indian” on our Pierce Street block. The Indians were the bad guys.
When I got my horse Goldie, I discovered that she would let me mount her from either side, and that she didn’t mind if I shimmied up her neck or slid off her rump. The man my Dad bought her from told me that she was “trained by a Shoshoni Indian boy.” That she came from the reservation. Goldie connected me to that Indian boy. The Indian part of me preferred to ride bareback, looped twine through her mouth for reins.
I grew up. Moved “back east” for college. In 1967 husband and two children and I attended the World’s Fair in Montreal and toured the Native American Pavilion. And what I read about there left me in a state of shock.
The first of many shocks, as I learned how to see through colonialist propaganda.
What is the real history of this land? Not that in our history books. Here’s a linguistic map of Turtle Island.