what’s in a word

Dear Indianola,

Even as I have deep gratitude for this glistening jewel that is our home,

I want to tell you that the first time I saw a car drive by with an OLA decal on one of its windows; it broke my heart.

That same year during Indianola Days, I was standing on the street talking to a fellow resident; a Suquamish tribal member. Someone drove by with an OLA decal on their car and after a bit, in a measured and sarcastic tone, he said,

Well…they finally got the Indian out of Indianola.

About a year later, a dear, longtime friend of mine and S’Klallam tribal member, came to visit. We were in the Post Office parking lot and watched as a car slowly drove by with an OLA decal in a rear window. He looked down at the ground, was quiet for a bit and then in the very same tone, said,

Well…they finally got the Indian out of Indianola.

And now, there’s a huge OLA painted on two sides of the dumpster enclosure for all to see. You can’t miss it as you walk down to the dock or as you come back up toward the store.

Well…they finally got the Indian out of Indianola.

I have spoken to friends and neighbors about this, and, am disappointed in myself that it’s taken me years to write these words. It’s time.

I write to ask that one of our gifted artists comes up with a new decal design that honors our precious town while including everyone that lives here.

And in honor of everyone who lives here, if you have an OLA decal, I ask that you remove it.

In honor of everyone who lives here, I ask that the OLA signs at the dumpster enclosure be painted over, and then, I look forward to a new, beautiful and inclusive sign.

 

Blessings as we each find our Way in these most challenging times.

May we all be safe and well-fed and included.

 

Lauren Silver, Indianola resident

3 thoughts on “what’s in a word

  1. Evan Stanley Stough says:

    Thank you Lauren, for writing this, for sending this. A painful reality, right in our face. So easily it can seem harmless and fun, but a millimeter below that surface, the rape and invasion that ‘Infianola’ is founded on is on the street, in the room, on our hearts, in our mouths.

    Thank you, and from afar I wish you courage and resilience to hear the response as the great visionary and wise woman I know you to be.

    Miss you so much, Love,

    Evan

    >

  2. Anne Briggs says:

    Thank you Lauren❤️

  3. Barbie Brooking says:

    Hi, Lauren. Thank you for this important and necessary perspective on the OLA stickers. The stickers are such a blatant expression of the often unrecognized racism from which we suffer as privileged white folk. Thankfully we are learning everyday to recognize and address it. Last night at a zoom meeting with Indianola folks, I met a relatively new Indianola resident named David Walker. (I hope I have his name right?). He has designed a new sticker in response to OLA and is placing them out, a few at a time, for free, in a school bus waiting shelter on Nachant Av.
    Love and gratefulness,
    Barbie

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