Friday, August 18, 2017
Layli Long Soldier, Whereas: Poems (Minneapolis, MN: Graywolf Press, 2017) ("Introduction: On Saturday, December 19, 2009, US President Barack Obama signed the Congressional Resolution of Apology to native Americans. No tribal leaders or official representatives were invited to witness and receive the Apology on behalf of tribal nations. President Obama never read the Apology aloud, publicly--although, for the record, Senator Sam Brownback five months later read the Apology to a gathering of five tribal leaders, though there are more than 560 federally recognized tribes in the US. The Apology was then folded into a larger, unrelated piece of legislation called the 2010 Defense Appropriation Act." "My response is directed to the Apology's delivery, as well as the language, crafting, and arrangement of the written document. I am a citizen of the United States and an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, meaning I am a citizen of the Oglala Lakota Nation--and in this dual citizenship, I must work, I must eat, I must art, I must mother, I must friend, I must listen, I must observe, constantly I must live." Id. at 57.).