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Why I Don’t Celebrate Independence Day

‘Land of the Free’ is an odd nickname. This country was built on my ancestors’ stolen land.

A photo of an upside down American flag hanging over a dark, ominous sky in Oceti Sakowin Camp.
An upside down American flag flies above Oceti Sakowin Camp on the edge of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation on November 30, 2016 outside Cannon Ball, North Dakota. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

I no longer celebrate Independence Day. Sure, I love a good slice of apple pie and fireworks, but this holiday is an annual gathering to celebrate a freedom that doesn’t exist. As citizens of the so-called United States, we’ve been told to use…

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Shea Vassar

Shea Vassar

Writer. Citizen of the Cherokee Nation. Coffee drinker. Rogue One defender. Oklahoma City Thunder fan.

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