Erasure of Tribal Names is Genocide
  1. United States
  2. Fla.
  3. Letter

Erasure of Tribal Names is Genocide

To: Sen. Scott, Sen. Rubio, Rep. Castor

From: A verified voter in Tampa, FL

May 25

The South Dakota Board of Regents' new policy prohibiting the use of gender pronouns and tribal affiliations in university employee emails is concerning. Denying Native American faculty and staff the ability to list their tribal affiliation feels like an erasure of their identity and culture. This policy perpetuates the long history of oppression and forced assimilation faced by Indigenous peoples in this country. Tribal nations have an inherent right to self-governance and to maintain their distinct cultural identities. Banning the listing of tribal affiliations in official correspondence dismisses this right and sends a harmful message that Native identities are not valued or respected within public institutions of higher education in South Dakota. Furthermore, gender pronouns are a basic way for individuals to convey their gender identity and should be respected. Prohibiting their use creates an unwelcoming environment, particularly for transgender and non-binary students, faculty, and staff. This policy represents a concerning overreach and prioritizes bureaucratic "branding" over fostering an inclusive environment that celebrates diversity. I urge you to reconsider this misguided decision which undermines equity, erases Indigenous identities, and promotes discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals on South Dakota campuses. Policies like this only breed further division, rather than bringing communities together through mutual understanding and respect.

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