Bridge across cultures: our reconciliation, salvation

Ned Reese,
Onalaska, WI.

Other potential submissions:
1) Hunka (Dakota adoptee) by/for whom,
2) immigrants all: borders–when, where, why?,
3) Coming home–whose space? 4) Left out–I’m in, who’s out?

I’m a white male, 69 yrs. old, married to a Hochunk, Indigenous woman, with five Hochunk daughters. As Hunka (adopted) Dakota (Ally), I have found a place within a Dakota community. No formal ceremony confirmed my “place”; rather, I was informed after years of participation, you adopted us; “you hung around and hung around until you became hunka…”

We (whites especially) need more than ever to help build the bridges. Many of our non-white brothers, sisters, relatives have been building the bridges–“since we arrived…” It is passed time for us to reciprocate. Thank you for offering one small, but meaningful, mechanism for such bridge building.

An additional thought: my daughter is constructing a bridge as part of her class project for an introductory engineering course at college. She and her classmates will present their joint project to the class; then the professor will perform a strength/stress test to determine the effectiveness of their creation. Wouldn’t it be outstanding if we as a nation and culture provided opportunities for such creative and innovative gestures and projects among our students and citizens regarding “bridge building across cultures”!? What are the constructs, materials, strengths and short comings of our proposed “bridge constructions” across cultures, generations and life experiences…? And how might we measure, evaluate and impliment such constructions? Innovation in interpersonal relationships and community building remains our best hope for a peaceful, sustainable and positive future for our children, grandchildren and for global peace and prosperity.


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