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1 Indigenous Peoples' J. L. Culture & Resistance 1 (2004)
A Letter to Justice O'Connor

handle is hein.journals/indipeor1 and id is 11 raw text is: A Letter to Justice O'Connor
Abby Abinanti'
If this country's constitution does not
protect the cultural practices of the Yuroks,
whose practices can it be said to protect?
Can the Constitution only protect those
practices that mirror culturally those
accepted by white Christian Americans?
I do not know if you remember the G-O Road. The Yuroks. The High Country. It was
in 1988.
I doubt that we will ever meet-you are too high, and I am too low. But I wanted you to
know that it hurt. It hurt then, and it hurts now. You were wrong. I do not think I could
ever convince you of that fact. Our worlds are so far apart-my truths-your truths. We
share some of the same words, but so little else.
The High Country. My belief in the High Country emanates from what I believe you
would call the soul. I have never been farther than the former end of the road, yet I know
of its importance. But how do I explain that to you? Must I find concepts that are familiar to
you? Things you think are important to protect? Is that how we can survive, by somehow
showing you how alike we are? The problem is that we are not alike. I could never have
* Yurok Tribe; Superior Court Commissioner, San Francisco, United Family Court; J.D., University of New Mexico.
Commissioner Abinanti also has a twelve-year-old daughter named Emma.


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