Origin Stories

Does the United States have a homeland? Is it truly a nation? Or is it still just a colony that exists to exploit the homelands of other peoples? The federal government presently recognizes 537 tribes within its claimed territory. This number is continually growing and doesn’t include state-recognized tribes and Indigenous people lacking any political recognition. Although homelands can be shared, this extreme example of nations within a nation plainly describes an occupation, not a country, and therefore, an ongoing colonial endeavor.

If the United States is still a colony, it could be described as a colony without portfolio—that is, without a homeland. It broke with its homeland, Great Britain, during the Revolutionary War in 1776, and now occupies sans terra firma the homelands of other countries, our nations—Native nations.

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Jacqueline Keeler is a Native American writer and activist, enrolled in the Navajo Nation and of Yankton Dakota descent, who co-founded Eradicating Offensive Native Mascotry, which seeks to end the use of Native American racial groups as mascots. You can follow her on Twitter @jfkeeler.

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