I had an awesome time meeting you on Monday afternoon, and can’t wait to see the progress of this project and to hear and see all of your input! So, let’s get started!
I wanted to bring up some of the main points that we talked about from Luis’ introductory presentation.
First off, we started talking about the word “wall”. What does the word “wall” mean to you? Maybe it is something impenetrable, a barrier of some sort, keeping the outside world out, the inside world in. Maybe the “wall” makes you feel restrained, imprisoned, or maybe it makes you feel safe. Also, important to think about are the different forms a wall can take on. A wall can be physical, like the ‘fence’ between the US and Mexico, or the Berlin Wall, literally keeping one space from another. But there can also be different types of “walls” or barriers. Think culturally: how does language create a cultural barrier? What else contributes to the creation of cultural boundaries? Inversely, how do we make these boundaries disappear? Do we need the boundaries, or would we be better off without them? Also, how do these boundaries affect an individual and their place in society? Do they belong to a ‘group’ or are they lost in the gray area?
Second, we talked about the “World of the Play” and immigration. Where and when is this play taking place? There are a couple different answers to this question. Well, it is taking place now, in the year 2012, and the setting is the Arizona desert. But, it is also taking place in the past, and in the future, and all over the world. This is because humans have been migrating across the earth for as long as we have existed.
Native American cultures have their own knowledge and theories of their origins and we must respect their right to determine their own history. They believe their ancestors originated in the lands we now call the Americas. Some indigenous populations in North America have always believed we are now living and have always lived on Turtle Island. As you read the story of Turtle Island, think about the discord between the sisters and brothers in the beginning, and how this can relate to the world today. How does this story relate to immigration? What does Turtle Island represent? How has immigration to Turtle Island affected Native American Nations?
You are probably most familiar with the theory that modern humans, our earliest common ancestors, originated in Africa. These early peoples began to migrate their way out of Africa through Europe, Asia, and over the frozen Bering Strait, into the land we now call Alaska, and eventually populating and settling into North, Central, and South America.
As time passed, humans began to separate themselves into countries on Turtle Island. Russia rushing to claim the West, the British in the East, and the Spanish the south, all while displacing and nearly wiping out Native American cultures. The main point is that the history of migration and immigration in the land we now call the United States of America is a very complex story. It takes time and further study to understand the social and economic issues that force people to move to another land in search of better opportunities for their families.
One more thing I’m going to bring up is Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs. Here I have included a link with a diagram.
How does this triangle tie into immigration?