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ERIC Number: EJ841546
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0161-6463
Compass of Compassion: Reflections on a Choctaw Vision of Alliances and Unrecognized Peoples Following Katrina
Childs, John Brown
American Indian Culture and Research Journal, v32 n2 p85-91 2008
Many people are invisible within and to the wider society. An adjunct aspect of that situation is that the marginalized are also invisible to one another. This "mutual invisibility" undermines the possibilities of cooperative transcommunal alliances. It is Cedric Sunray's ("Similarities between Tribes and the Ninth Ward," "Native American Times," 6 Sep 2005) and Carolyn Dunn's ("In Our Blood, In Our Bones," "Hurricane Katrina, Response and Responsibilities," ed. John Brown Childs, Santa Cruz, CA: New Pacific Press, 2007) positive rejection of such mutual invisibility and their emphasis on shared circumstances that make their words so important. The more aware we are of one another in ways that recognize distinctive locations, while also being alert to commonalities, the more we will be able to create, positively and constructively, modes of cooperation that work for justice. Cedric Sunray's contribution lies in his positive and constructive direction that is fully cognizant of the indigenous dimensions of Katrina while also reaching out with compassionate recognition to the African Americans of the Ninth Ward. We see the same spirit in Dunn's writing. Rather than simply writing off stories such as Katrina as something that happens to "other people" or perhaps "those people," we can see these terrible moments as sharp flashing illuminations of the many challenges and crises faced by millions around the nation and the world. Sunray and Dunn move in that expansive direction using a compass of compassion. Hopefully their work and similar approaches will be steps toward a broad-ranging cooperation cognizant of both difference and commonality that will aid in the development of a "transcommunal interweaving of the diverse forms taken by the spirit of justice and freedom among the many peoples of the world. (Contains 15 notes.)
American Indian Studies Center at UCLA. 3220 Campbell Hall, Box 951548, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1548. Tel: 310-825-7315; Fax: 310-206-7060; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Louisiana; West Virginia