As we begin a month-long celebration commemorating Native American Heritage across SUNY, we should also take this moment to recognize the profound contributions, rich cultures, and indomitable spirit of the First Peoples of this land, especially in the State of New York. Their wisdom and traditions have shaped our nation and New York in countless ways, reminding us of the deep-rooted connections we all share with the Earth and each other.
In our journey to deepen our own understanding and acceptance across differences, it’s important to find balance between two seemingly contrasting ideas: being both blind and aware of what sets us apart. On one hand, being blind to differences allows us to connect on a fundamental human level, reminding us of the core values, emotions, and aspirations we all share. It fosters unity, solidarity, and a sense of common purpose.
On the other hand, being aware of our differences enriches our understanding and appreciation of the diverse tapestry of human experiences. It teaches us empathy and compassion, broadens our perspectives, and highlights the unique strengths and challenges of each individual and community.
While we celebrate our shared humanity, we must also honor the distinct stories, histories, and identities that make us who we are. In doing so, we can forge a future where everyone feels seen, valued, respected, and cherished.
Here’s to a month of reflection, education, and celebration, honoring the Native American communities and embracing the work that we must continue to do, within and beyond New York State.
Join our celebration of Native American Heritage Month 2023! For a chance to appear on our board below, tag your posts on Instagram and Twitter with #SUNYBroome and #nativeamericanheritage telling us what Native American Heritage Month means for you.