Knowledge of one’s own culture can cause us pain and hurt, but it helps our self-awareness


Tasiyagnunpa Livermont

The pursuit of knowledge is what drove me to college. However, lately I have run into an interesting phenomena.

Never before in my life would I have said that ignorance is bliss.

Anybody that knows me has heard me repeat “Ignorance is not an excuse” and “Ignorance is often a source of great evil.”

This semester of college has almost changed my mind.

In my government class I have learned a lot about the history between the United States and the various Indian tribes, including mine.

And I have been shocked to hear the history, the dates and the names associated with life as I have lived it.

The why and who behind my family’s allotment land, the real story of the United States constitution, and the illegal seizure of the Black Hills as spelled out in historical documentation have opened my eyes.

I knew that things were not equal or fair, but as you may well have figured out by now, whose life is perfect or equal or fair?

But that was my ignorance before this semester.

Never before have I felt the raw-edged pain of loss when it came to my people.

It is like losing your coat in the depth of winter.

Instead of walking through the bitter wind looking at the scenery and blue sky from the depths of a toasty down-filled jacket and thick mittens, you are thrust into the wind, naked and shivering.

Your view contracts and the only thought on your mind is survival.

And that is what I have been doing the last few weeks.


However, I have decided that survival isn’t enough.

I will continue with college and life a little more grown up and wise about the world I live in.

College makes us face the truth of the world around us and allows us to learn from the mistakes of past generations.

It is then that we can extend ourselves past survival and into a life filled with love, peace and joy.

And that is what all humans were intended for.

Tasiyagnunpa Livermont is the Collegian’s web editor. She can bereached at [email protected].