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Vincent Schilling
Indian Country Today

As we said in last year’s Top 10 opinion editorials for 2020, a huge part of our digital newspaper is amplifying the voice of our readers and giving space for discourse. This is where opinion-editorials, or op-eds, come in.

This year’s most read goes to Kayla Shaggy, whose opinion editorial, “The monster that lurks in Indian Country: Anti-Blackness,” addressed the sensitive issue of racial tones in Black and Brown communities.

As Shaggy wrote, “I find that it is my responsibility to call out and protect others more disadvantaged than me in the wider Indigenous community of anti-Black behavior, statements, and harassment. I also find that it is the whole Indigenous community, worldwide, that must also do the same.

Additional opinion editorials included COVID-19 vaccines. When Dr. Bruce L. Davidson called into question the viability of vaccines for Indian Country in his op-ed, “Native communities should avoid the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine for now,” he received considerable backlash to include the responding joint op-ed (in the number 10 spot), “Call for Native people to reject Johnson & Johnson vaccine alarming,” which called Davidson’s op-ed “a dangerous misconception.”

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Additional op-eds included the topic of critical race theory by James Bryant, the founder and director of the Gadugi Program. Others addressed the topic of Applied Behavior Analysis, an offensive Thanksgiving annual article by the Wall Street Journal, a beautiful tribute to the lives of Mohawk ironworkers and 9/11, a plea for Secretary Deb Haaland and Native Hawaiians as well as an open letter to the Joe Biden administration to release Leonard Peltier.

Here are this year’s top 10 opinion editorials:

  1. The monster that lurks in Indian Country: Anti-Blackness
  2. Native communities should avoid the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine for now
  3. Critical Race Theory: Bury my truth at Wounded Knee
  4. Applied Behavior Analysis is abusive to Native children
  5. Not a kernel of truth: After 400 years it’s time to take down the monumental insult
  6. Dear President Biden and Administration: Release Leonard Peltier
  7. Native ironworkers: Unsung heroes of 9/11
  8. Native Hawaiians to Deb Haaland: 'We're not Native Americans'
  9. History must be taught, not forgotten - Harold C. Frazier, Chairman of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe
  10. Call for Native people to reject Johnson & Johnson vaccine alarming'
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