Matt Muller New Orleans recently discussed the importance of preserving Native American traditions.
Preserving Native American traditions hasn’t always been a priority in the United States. In fact, the U.S. government once made it their mission to eradicate authentic Native languages and culture. Activist and teacher Matt Muller New Orleans recently traveled to the Dakotas and met with Lakota Natives. He listened to their perspectives on Native American history and preservation first-hand.
Matt Muller New Orleans‘ interaction with Lakota Natives took place at Lake Jackson in Grand Teton National Park. They discussed the importance of preserving and sharing Native language, culture, history, and traditions. Muller recently shared information he learned through these conversations and his own research on the need for such preservation and education.
“Several generations of Native Americans were denied opportunities to learn from their elders and enjoy the rich traditions of their tribes,” Matt Muller New Orleans said. “Understanding and preserving this heritage is an essential part of our country’s history that can not and should not be erased.”
Matt Muller New Orleans added that the act of preserving Native American traditions offers far more benefits than contributing to history books. Native American students tend to benefit mentally, physically, and academically when they are immersed in their culture through language, tradition, and more. Matt Muller New Orleans explained that studies have shown a number of advantages, including higher self esteem, leading happier lives, being more productive, and performing better academically.
Matt Muller New Orleans added that preserving these traditions also means reviving them, which will require work from Native elders and educators. Native languages will have to be taught to young children in the tribe and programs will have to be created to promote cultural traditions and their preservation.
“The teaching of these traditions gives Native children and adults pride in their culture as well as pride in their own successes and personal growth,” Matt Muller New Orleans said. “Each tribe has made its own major contributions to this country and this world, and it’s important for kids to know they stem from these great minds.”
As a historian, Matt Muller New Orleans explained that understanding Native American traditions can provide us more insight into the history of our country. It can help explain why we do things the way we do and help us avoid making the same mistakes we’ve made in the past. Matt Muller New Orleans added that the stories and traditions passed down by Native Americans provide countless valuable lessons that are still relevant in modern society.
“We all have so much to learn from Native American culture, languages, and traditions,” Matt Muller New Orleans said. “The U.S. government certainly made catastrophic mistakes by attempting to eradicate these traditions years ago, but we still have time to revive them and preserve them for future generations.”