The Critical Race Lawyering Symposium in New York City brings me from Albuquerque, New Mexico. As I travel the day before the symposium, I reflect on the amount of time it will take. I leave Albuquerque at 8:23 a.m. and I am scheduled to arrive in New York City at 4:05 p.m., via Chicago. Given the two-hour time difference between the East Coast and the Rocky Mountain regions, I begin my day boarding the plane as the sun is rising in the morning sky and end it at my destination where the sun is setting. Even in this day and age of rapid transportation, it takes an entire day just to travel. The difference in time and place is not lost on me. As I leave Albuquerque aboard the plane, the beauty of the vast and empty brownness of the earth below awes me, as it always does. The uninhabited and open high desert around Albuquerque quickly diminishes the small city. As I draw closer to the east, first to Chicago, and then to New York City, I look down from the plane upon approach at the vastness of the cities. I cannot help but think of the accounts I recall reading of the official delegations of Native leaders sent to the east coast by railroad to meet the "Great Father," a tactic employed to convince them to lay down their arms and cease armed resistance. Upon seeing the population in the East, these leaders were deeply affected by the knowledge that the waves of settlers intruding upon their lands came from a vast sea of people. As we approach New York City at the end of the day, I glimpse from the air the natural growth of trees and brush here and there and then all the buildings, which have replaced them. I think of the Native peoples of this place upon which one of the most prominent cities in the world now stands-the Lenape, I learn later. I leave my own Native lands this morning and understand I will enter those of other Native peoples of New York State, Ancient Nations, some of whom, like the Lenape, are among "the disappeared " within their own territory-Algonquin territory. I admire their territory from the air and think of how beautiful it must have been before the buildings were here, situated near the ocean and beside the rivers.
Fordham Law Review
Christine Zuni Cruz,
Four Questions on Critical Race Praxis: Lessons from Two Young Lives in Indian Country,
Fordham Law Review
Available at: http://digitalrepository.unm.edu/law_facultyscholarship/86