Since the 15th century, the European colonization of the New World always had someone in the cross hairs; indigenous people. The true heroes were proven to be those same people who chose to help the early settlers who didn’t have a clue when it came to braving the wilderness with all it’s dangers and obstacles. The Natives welcomed these different looking, different acting people and showed them necessary survival skills.
From a standpoint of technology, sheer numbers, and weaponry, the early settlers had a clear and distinct advantage over indigenous populations that lived off the land. Genocide is a term used by many, yet they often have little or no understanding of it. Most people refer to the initial deadly violence that is used when imposing national beliefs on the native people, but we so often forget about the systematic elimination of their culture, language, traditions, and spirituality that delivers the invisible, long term scars that are felt centuries into the future.
For the past 500 years, the kids growing up on the Fort Peck Reservation have been told they are inferior to kids growing up outside the reservation. Beliefs are passed from generation to generation until, regardless of truth or lack thereof, they are accepted as fact. Since 2005 Love Has No Color is bringing hope back to the kids by challenging the prevailing belief of hopelessness and replacing it with a strong belief, the conviction that these kids are going to be more than okay; they are going to make a difference on the reservation and beyond.
Every kid, without exception has a desire to be a somebody. If this desire is not nurtured and encouraged, it atrophies and dies. If instead of accepting the status quo of old, worn out beliefs, a group of “outsiders” that is LHNC makes the kids feel recognized, special and loved so that they themselves can grow up to be strong and nurturing as well. In nature we see this time and time again, when a species nurture the youth of a different species, especially if their biological parents are not able to be there for them. The youth fail to see the lack of resemblance between them and their adoptive parent, but what they do see is their essence, their kindness, and their love.
LHNC gives kids the choice to grow up differently. It shows them that with some effort, they can break the grips of a paradigm of extreme hopelessness. They don’t have to live in third world conditions if they have the courage and willingness to embark on a journey towards health, a brighter future and bringing the traditions of their past to guide them in the present. Few would disagree that the world, especially in its current condition, could certainly use the help of America’s First People, the original keepers of the earth.