December 4, 2012
It’s Saturday night, and trucks are lined up outside the Nuyaka School. There is not a fundraiser going on, or a carnival. It is simply the kids in the community that have come to play basketball and dance to a portable cassette tape player. Hank Williams Jr. blares in the background as the boys go toe to toe to impress the girls that have gathered on the bleachers to compare their dresses for the Nuyaka Eighth Grade Black Tie Affair. Eventually, the boys tire out and the basketball is put away until another weekend. The lights dim, and the dancing begins!
Where are the parents? In the kitchen comparing recipes and which high school their teens will attend next year. There is a close-knit feeling between these people. Most of them are not kin by blood, but are by spirit. They are the type people that when there is a death in the family, the women rush over to clean the house for the family, and the teens take the little kids to the river to entertain them while the funeral is planned. It’s the type of kinship that has friends marrying other Nuyakan’s after graduation, and a longing to return home when one must move away.
How did such a unique bond develop in such a unique place? Allow me to tell you the story of Nuyaka, America, as the infamous Nuyaka Mall puts it, the “Gateway To It All.” (Jones, 2012). The history of Nuyaka stretches far back to the foundation of this great nation. After the Revolutionary War, when expansion southward began, explorers found communities of Indians with well-developed croplands, worked by the lands of slaves. These communities had missionary schools to educate their children and democratic systems in place for the citizens to rule themselves. This established area was highly desirable to the white settlers, and they began to press the government for removal of the tribe. President George Washington found himself hoping to resolve...