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  • Writer's picturePublic Lands Hate You

No One Is Perfect - An Apology

***Posted to the @PublicLandsHateYou Instagram account on 10/14/2019***

I’ve always said that its ok to make mistakes as long as we take accountability for them, learn from them, and educate others about them.

I recently had an exchange with Jolie, the woman who runs the account @indigenouswomenhike. I asked Jolie to look at an article I was writing. She asked to be paid for her time and emotional labor. I made some unkind jabs in response, and then posted an unacceptable story belittling her request. I have previously apologized in a story but wanted to here as well:

Jolie, I am truly sorry and apologize for expecting you to give you time and emotional labor for free and then belittling your request. I felt that my request and offer to credit for your labor/time was reasonable, which is why I responded in such an unacceptable way. I did not take into account the historical oppression and abuse that indigenous peoples have been subjected to, and how that may have made my request more involved and taxing than you just reading and offering comments on my writing.

Moving forward, when I approach someone for assistance, especially if that person is part of historically oppressed group, I will consider the potential emotional labor, time, and financial costs of that person’s assistance. If that person isn’t able to help me for any reason, I will fully respect that person’s choice and their boundaries.

It is important to recognize that the indigenous peoples of North America have been systemically prosecuted, abused, and pushed to the fringes of our society since people began arriving from Europe hundreds of years ago. We all need to educate ourselves on this topic every day, not just on Indigenous Peoples Day (TODAY!). I now know that I am not as knowledgeable on this topic as I thought I was. There are voices that are better equipped and have more authentic knowledge that we should be listening to on this topic, such as @project_562, @nativeswomenswilderness, @lilnativeboy, @nativesoutdoors, @indigenousrising to name a few. I encourage you to take some time today to visit these accounts, learn from them, and support them.

Photo: Havasu Falls, land of the Havasupai (Havasuw `Baaja) Tribe, the traditional guardians of the Grand Canyon.

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