“I’m very proud. The term refugee would tell me that we had no other choice. The only choice when it comes to a refugee, the only choice would be the choice of the country or the population to accept the other person. That’s my definition of refugee. And I am very proud that we were accepted, we were allowed to be here, we didn’t want to be here, we didn’t plan to be here. That was the only choice left for us.” –Son Michael Pham asked to define the term, “refugee”
Vietnam in the Rearview Mirror, Wing Luke Exhibition
2015 marks the fortieth anniversary of the fall of Saigon. The resulting chaos in Vietnam as families raced to the find a ship or airplane on which to book passage is a story common to many of our neighbors and friends now resettled here in the Pacific Northwest. Many families were separated, children finding their way without parents; parents heartbroken. Others, like Son Michael Pham’s family made it out together. KCTS, Channel 9 here in Seattle produced this segment. April 23, 2015
Born in Snohomish territory and raised in Swinomish and Duwamish territories, of Ilokano (Vigan, Ilocos Sur, Philippines) and Taotao Håya Chamoru (Mongmong & Tumhom/Tumon villages in Guåhan, Marianas Islands) ancestry, my name is dåkkot-ta (dakota alcantara-camacho), and I am currently living in Lenapehoking (New York City), land of the Lenni Lenape. I sing this lålai chant in honor of the first peoples of the planet, the guardians of the earth awakened and awakening to the indigenous mind. I sing this lålai in honor of the lands I’ve walked through in the footsteps of the ancestors who have embraced mine. I sing this lålai in honor of my genealogy, my ancestors, masters of navigation no strangers to im/migration.