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We Need To Put An End To Indian Reservations

John J. Miller:

The fallout from the Jack Abramoff corruption scandal has all of Washington atwitter about congressional reform--everything from proposals to restrict travel perks and lunches with lobbyists to a potential shakeup in the Republican House leadership.

A subtheme of the controversy involves not a shakeup but a shakedown--of Indian tribes by Mr. Abramoff, who used casino cash to throw money around town as well as to line his own pockets richly. The common perception is that once again the white man has cheated the red man.

Perhaps a few expressions of sympathy are in order. Yet Indians would benefit much more from their own sweeping reforms. The Abramoff rip-off should be the least of their worries. The time has come to abolish reservations for the good of the people who live on them.

In the American imagination, grinding poverty is often a picture of urban slums full of broken families, abandoned apartments and back-alley drug deals. But an equally valid portrait might focus on the rural squalor of the rez. Of the 10 poorest counties in the U.S., seven of them are contained wholly or largely on reservations in Arizona, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Professional victimologists offer no shortage of explanations for this miserable state of affairs, but most of their analysis boils down to a core grievance: The federal government stole land from the Indians by conquest and treaty. Although Indians once were able to obtain title to specific parcels within reservations, this practice ended in 1934--an act that essentially turned the reservations into not-so-little housing projects on the prairie.

This is something I've brought up several times here on Say Anything, both in relation to the Abramoff scandal and Indian casinos. Here in North Dakota I live fairly close to two separate Indian reservations. My job gives me occassion to travel to both several times a year, so I can tell you from personal experience that these communities rival even some of the worst inner-city slums (which I have also observed in New York, Chicago and L.A.) in terms of squalid living conditions and rank criminality. And while that reality is bad enough, it is made all the worse when you see that many of these communities exist within sight of gleaming multi-million dollar gambling establishments. Which is why I've said in the past that apart from the Abramoff shenanigans the politicians who took money from Indian gambling interests should be ashamed for accepting contributions from such an exploitive enterprise that clearly isn't doing a thing to help the people it was intended to.

The reservation system isn't helping the Indians and neither is the gambling.

Here in North Dakota we have an unemployment rate of just under 3%, which is one of the lowest rates in the nation. Yet on our state's Indian reservations the unemployment rate is hovering in the mid-sixties. There is no reason for that number to be so high in an economic environment where business are not just calling for workers, but demanding them.

To me, this all indicates one thing: We are doing Indians a grave disservice by keeping them on the reservation. Which isn't to say that we're forcing them to say on the reservation, because we aren't. But we are giving the incentives to stay there along the lines of government entitlement and special priveleges, and that has made the problem worse. The handling of the reservation system to this point has only created a series of isolated communities where dependence on government welfare programs is the rule, not the exception. I just don't see why that should continue.

You can read more from Rob Port at SayAnythingBlog.com


Comments (89)

not to mention all the mone... (Below threshold)

not to mention all the money we'll save when those damn indians stop sucking our tax dollars from america's voluptuous teet of freedom.

There would be a lot of sov... (Below threshold)
JohnAnnArbor:

There would be a lot of soverignity issues with that. Remember, the tribes have many of the powers of states and nations upon their own territories. Some of those are treaty obligations.

There would be a lot of ... (Below threshold)
Sitting Amish:

There would be a lot of soverignity issues with that. Remember, the tribes have many of the powers of states and nations upon their own territories. Some of those are treaty obligations.


LOL! Dude. Seriously. We are white dudes- since when do we care about treaties? Give em some beads and call it a day.

The handling of th... (Below threshold)
kbiel:
The handling of the reservation system to this point has only created a series of isolated communities where dependence on government welfare programs is the rule, not the exception. I just don't see why that should continue.

Because Democrats have to have someone to vote for them.

OK, yeah, but then where wo... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

OK, yeah, but then where would I go play poker?

Seriously...

Yet on our state's Indian reservations the unemployment rate is hovering in the mid-sixties.

Now here in Washington state, 27 of the 29 federally recognized tribes have Class III gaming compacts. But here's the really good part (for tribal members): In most tribes, for example the Puyallup tribe, each tribal member receives approx. $2000 a month, minus taxes. Minors also receive these checks, but it is put into a trust fund until they are 18.

The Muckleshoot Tribe gave $4000 a month to each member in 2005! The rest of the profits go to the tribal social services, college grants and so on.

I have to assume that this is the same in North Dakota and other states as it is here.

My point: Those checks amount to a ton of incentive not to work, so the 60% figure isn't terribbly surprising. And neither is the crime, alcoholism and drug use.

Oh, and we forget that cigarettes aren't subject to state ciagrette taxes on Indian reservations. Less revenue for the state, more money to line tribal pockets.

What to do about it? Not much you can do now. Tribal members aren't going to want to give up that kind of easy money, so the tribes will fight hard to keep those payouts in place, even if the reservation system were completely disbanded.

Gotta agree with John on th... (Below threshold)
Indy Voter:

Gotta agree with John on this one, Rob, and I live in New Mexico where there are about a dozen reservations (and their independence from many state laws creates a lot of difficulties in governing the state). The days when the US could unilaterally abrogate treaties with the Indians when it suits them are long past.

At this point in time it's to the tribes' benefit to retain those treaties. It will probably remain so for quite some time.

The money they get isn't in... (Below threshold)
Mrs. Davis:

The money they get isn't in the treaties. If they want sovreignty, they should lose the right to vote as long as they are on the reservation and they should get no federal largesse, including medical care. Let them live on their land as their forefathers did. If they want to live the way we do, they should start doing so and ending the plantation reservation system.

Now, I am very ignorant abo... (Below threshold)
indolene:

Now, I am very ignorant about the history of indian reservations, but aren't they there to allow the native Americans to presesrve their historic way of life? If so, didn't they live for thousands of years without government subsidies? I think it's analagous to the problem in inner-city slums, too, in that when you provide no incentive for someone to do anything, they don't. I know this sounds very mean but take the subsidies away and make them either get jobs with the rest of the United States or return to a hunter-gatherer lifestyle (like I think the reservations are meant to be).

I'm libertarian-conservativ... (Below threshold)
jdavenport:

I'm libertarian-conservative.
I don't think the US is the center of evil in the world
I do think the US is the best behaved dynasty in history

etc, etc, etc.

But the indian tribes are SOVEREIGN NATIONS by our own treaties.
Treaties that we balked on enough times already.

My personal opinion is that they should dissolve themselves, or at least write modern constitutions for their own rule.

But that is not for the US to decide.

Put me in may place if I'm wrong. It won't be the first time, and I'm no historian.

But the indian tribes ar... (Below threshold)

But the indian tribes are SOVEREIGN NATIONS by our own treaties.

If so, it's a non-standard definition of "sovereign." In reality these are about as sovereign as South Africa's onetime "Bantu-stans."

McGehee: "If so, it's a non... (Below threshold)
jdavenport:

McGehee: "If so, it's a non-standard definition of "sovereign." In reality these are about as sovereign as South Africa's onetime "Bantu-stans."

I can't say I disagree, nor that I think the current situation is healthy... They can dissolve themselves, or the US can change its relationship with the indian nations, but we should not remove their sovereignty with intention.

And they are still called "... (Below threshold)
jocrazy0:

And they are still called "Native Americans". I still want a description of "native". How long does one have to live in a country (how many generations) before you are "native"?

Native American tribes are ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Native American tribes are "sovereign" only to the degree that a state (like Iowa) is sovereign. They are fully under the authority of the Federal government. As such, individual tribe members are citizens of the U.S. just as residents of Utah are citizens of the U.S., with all the rights and responsibilities. Tribe members can vote in elections, young men can and have been drafted into the military, etc.

A tribe can set up a casino and share the funds with it's members, but any of the 50 states could do the same thing. In fact, states with gambling and lotteries use some of those funds for education and health care to benefit it's residents, just as tribes do. There are differences due to the fact that all reservations are within one or more state borders. Thus, a tribe member can be both a resident of a reservation as well as the State the reservation is in. Also some of the differences we see in how tribe members live is due to scale. A state or reservation of a few thousand people simply isn't going to have the dynamic economy of states with many millions of people

Finally, you get down to the most cruel trick every played on Native Americans by the dominate culture, which is that they been given an excuse to fail. With a ready excuse and a enough free money to survive, most individuals fall into the trap set for them by the liberal feel good politics of the late 20th century. The effectiveness of that trap is evident in the blighted conditions seen on the reservations and the ruined lives of it's residents. Out of love for our Native American brothers and sisters we should do away with that cruel trick.

Under 'International Law' o... (Below threshold)
Fred Z:

Under 'International Law' one sovereign state can dissolve a treaty with another. At will. For no reason. The offended sovereign state has remedies. War. Dissolution of other treaties. Tarriffs on trade.

We can dissolve Indian treaties any time we find the courage to do so.

The only time the left talks about international law is when they like the outcome.

Why have we imposed on these poor people the worst of socialism? Was it because during the formative years of the system socialism was really truly believed by many to be helpful? Was it because of our silly dreams of the noble savage wandering the wilderness?

Whatever, it is now shameful and indefensible. End the treaties. Integrate the Indians. Give them each $100,000.00 (or whatever) and standard title to their land by auction, allocation or draw or something. Fire tens of thousands of rapacious bureaucrats.

indolene:Now, I... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

indolene:

Now, I am very ignorant about the history of indian reservations, but aren't they there to allow the native Americans to presesrve their historic way of life?

No. The reservations were created when we took the lands that we wanted, and then allocated less desirable lands to Native Americans. Reservations were more created to get them out of the way than anything. They were concessions offered to defeated people.

If so, didn't they live for thousands of years without government subsidies?

Yes. But they also had land that allowed them to be self sufficient, which makes a big difference. We took away their livelihood, and then wondered why they were having a difficult time. Of course, its not as simple as that, but you get the point.

I know this sounds very mean but take the subsidies away and make them either get jobs with the rest of the United States or return to a hunter-gatherer lifestyle (like I think the reservations are meant to be).

First of all I have to say that I do not think that the reservation system is by any means a good one.

Second, it sounds like you are pretty uninformed about the history of Native Americans. This whole thing isnt a question of them "returning" to some older way of life (and by the way, they were not all hunter-gatherers by any means). The old ways of life are gone. Period.

They arent out on reservations trying to go back to some life where they are wandering around picking berries and nuts. They're on those reservations because they lost their lands, and were pushed into crappy lands that nobody wanted in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Today they're trying to find ways to make a living, just like the rest of us are.

There is certainly a problem with creating a situation where people are dependent on government handouts. And I agree that self determination and self sufficiency is what needs to happen. I guess there is a question of how they do it. Some groups have done it for themselves, while others have not.

Along with that, I think there is a question of what the US government could/should do in this whole thing. It's a reality that Native American people were outright disposessed of their lands by our government. And that's ironic considering our so-called "enlightenment" philsophies.

So, our government took away their means of survival, and today we have these groups of people who are struggling to get by. A lot of this happened a relatively short time ago, in the late 1800s up through the first half of the 20th century.

My main point here is that the current situation has direct roots in the policies and actions of the US government. Those people arent living out on shitty reservation lands, as is the case often, because that's where they really wanted to be. If our government created this problem, then in my opinion it should do what it can to help remedy it. But Native American people are also a massive part of the solution as well, of course. Things arent just magically going to get better.

Mrs. Davis wrote:<... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Mrs. Davis wrote:

Let them live on their land as their forefathers did.

Ok. Then I guess we should give it back to them then. Tell the Cherokee that they can go back to the southeast US and set up shop again, for starters.

In the 1960s, the United St... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

In the 1960s, the United States broke one of the oldest treaties that it had with Native Americans: The Pickering Treaty of 1794, which was made between the United States and the Seneca.

It read:

Now the United States acknowledge all the land within the aforementioned boundaries, to be the property of the Seneka nation; and the United States will never claim the same, nor disturb the Seneka nation, nor any of the Six Nations, or of their Indian friends residing theron and united with them, in the free use and enjoyment thereof; but shall remain theirs, until they choose to sell the same to the people of the United States, who have the right to purchase.

Basically, in the 1960s the Seneca were forced to sell, and a dam was built that flooded most of their former reservation lands.

Supposedly, the US is built upon the idea of equality, rights, freedoms, and the rule of law. I have seen a number of people advocating the idea that we just abolish treaties like the one quoted above. To me, that would decimate the whole idea of what the United States is supposed to stand for. Do we have ANY regard for the promises that our government made toward these people? Or should we just conveniently forget those commitments when they get in the way of our agenda?

Good arguments both ways.</... (Below threshold)
jdavenport:

Good arguments both ways.

I am sympathetic to the argument that the current structure is enabling a disfunctional native american culture.

That does not mean I think the federal government should confiscate tribe owned land... and I can't see myself changing my opinion.

I am a right of center fellow, and I have generally enjoyed right of center governance.

But I am weary of creeping disfunction with conservatism brought through the exercise of power.

Federal power is not the cure for all ailments. That is a core foundation of conservatism. Every argument for increased federal intervention should be scrutinized with extreme prejudice.

Maybe if they hadn't broke ... (Below threshold)
Lyn:

Maybe if they hadn't broke all the treaties ever made with the exception of one, maybe if you treated others like you expect to be treated, maybe......I could continue on and on but maybe all of you need to do some REAL studying on the cause and effect of what YOU people have done. Geonicide, stealing all the money from us and our land, religions and languages prohibited. They have stolen and taken from us since they got here, they even have tried to kill us off. What makes the US any different than Hitler and Hussin? You want us to live off OUR land then leave we will be happy to clean it up and effectively live better than we are now, on what you call our lands, you mean the lands you deemed for us.

Halito. Chin Chokma to my b... (Below threshold)
Mintahoyah:

Halito. Chin Chokma to my brothers and sisters. My ancestors fought hard to keep their way of life and because the outsiders wanted our land for homesteading we were moved like the other tribes to our new home. We were given allotments to split us up thinking it would make us better people and then the government figured out a way to screw us out of that. For all you non native people saying we should lose our right to vote my friend I believe you should lose your right to live on another persons land. I am a dual citizen of this country and I plan on voring in both tribal and national elections until the day my Creator calls me. As for taxes my Nation pays taxes on cigarettes and also on casino money. We also help out the school systems in Oklahoma and they should certainly be grateful for it whatever color they are. For over 500 years we have survived and we ain't going nowhere. I live on my land because I choose to and I am going to stay here. As far as the poverty in urban areas they are also Indians there and I think you should blame your government for these things and not try to take what little we have left. Your ancestors came here and they slaughtered us like cattle because they were starving to death. We tried to help them and look what we got out of it. The Natives of this country need to be respected and not put down for who they are. Mintahoyah-Come Quickly Woman

i agree there is an awful l... (Below threshold)
Mo:

i agree there is an awful lot of ignorance in this thread. ignorance is not so bad..it can be cured by education, unless of course it is self inflicted ignorance. thats fatal. i have a feeling most of the posters have the fatal kind.

if indigenous peoples on reservations are dependent on the government then pat yourselves on the back. that was the intention all along. if you bothered to look at the reasons you will see the government deliberatley made the people dependent on them for everything as a means to control them. now you bitch about it? ok break the treaties then, but remember the food and medical care was in payment for lands taken, so if you break the treaty then the land comes back to us.
theres much more to be said , but is anyone listening? doubt it. self imposed ignorance is fatal.

Thanks everyone (with a few... (Below threshold)
Marlies:

Thanks everyone (with a few exceptions) for showing me in your replies why George Bush was twice elected. There's still a long way to go before you can join the true human race.

Why were the Cherokees move... (Below threshold)
Talwohali:

Why were the Cherokees moved off their lands and sent to Oklahoma or Indian Territory? The ones who signed treaties with the US weren't even those who should have. The US governament used many tricks to cheat Indians out of their lands. In the case of the Cherokees it wasn't because they hadn't accepted civilization, there was more literacy among them than among the surrounding whites at the time of the removal. They had their own government, newspapers, even plantations.
The only reasons behind putting Indians on reservations was because the invaders wanted their land! Now you think those sovereign governments should be done away with? I am Cherokee and I will always be Cherokee!

The government decided that... (Below threshold)
Kakamaysama:

The government decided that the land that all americans were on ,was extremely valuable for settlers to begin to form a nation on,So they decided to take it,anyway the could,the president signed orders to move american Indians,anyway they had too,To get this land, even if it meant murder,No one asked the people from other worlds to come to Our country,But when they came the took our kindness as a weakness and butchered, American Indians because they stood in the way of the White Man,and their progress, so now We are on reservations, and belive me they aren't that great , these lands given to are ancestors were lands that no one wanted, they are very rocky and void of life as , Our ancestors knew it,Now you seek to destroy the only piece of Life we cling to,It's very obvious that the mental level of our pat enemies lives on, I am Cherokee and will die fighting to keep our culture alive, and trying to change this way of thinking.Kakamaysama

While I have defended, and ... (Below threshold)
jdavenport:

While I have defended, and will continue to defend, native american sovereignty, the grievance from some of the posters is the flip side of the coin.

I fully understand the perspective, but I think it is lacking something.

The nation-state is here to stay. Without it, pure power will have MORE of an advantage. The historical treatment of indiginous people by nation-states is pretty disgusting.... and also history.

Without the modern nation-state, we (collectively) would not even be able to SEE the mistakes we have made. We would not even be having this discussion.

To: [email protected] (Below threshold)
Ted Sojka:

To: [email protected]
Subject: J.J. Miller article about reservations

As an ex New Yorker and an Iowan by choice, I resent your racist article about reservations.

You have missed the point about the difference in cultures, Your don't see the earth as it is, you see it through white eyes, tempered by money. It is said Custer had no ears to hear, and after he was killed by his own ambition, the native women used awls to clear out his ears, about three inches deep, I am told. You should take better care of your vision. There is a lot more to see in the world before you make such rash judgements

I hope you get to see the PBS documentary with Graham Greene on the "War that made America", that aired last week. You need to watch it.

The library may have a copy of the "People of the First Man", which is composed of the paintings and observations of an expedition up the Missouri River in the early 1800's. It is a window back into the time before reservations.

Education is the answer to many short sighted ideas that come from lack of vision.

Theodore Sojka
Native Earthworks Society
Art Educators of Iowa

Rob wrote:But w... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Rob wrote:

But we are giving the incentives to stay there along the lines of government entitlement and special priveleges, and that has made the problem worse.

Rob, as some other posters have mentioned already, those incentives and special priveleges were given to Native Americans in exchange for their lands; that was the deal. I'd argue that it was a pretty shitty deal. The US government got all the good lands and Native Americans got some half assed subsidies. And yet, you're arguing that it's those subsidies which are the "problem." Maybe the fact that they lost their livelihood is the problem?

The handling of the reservation system to this point has only created a series of isolated communities where dependence on government welfare programs is the rule, not the exception. I just don't see why that should continue.

Again, that dependency was created by the US government, as others have mentioned. And Native American people are living in isolated communities because they were basically removed, treated like prisoners, and stuffed into remote reservations. Gee, I wonder why they're isolated from the rest of us.

Reservations were the resul... (Below threshold)
fbickel:

Reservations were the result of encroachment by white settlers. There were close to 300 treaties, very few were kept. The NDNS were given what was believe to be the poorest land, so the government didn't bother with mineral rights. Well, belhold they found gas, oil, coal, and other minerals on Indian land. Now you have a 200 year mismanagement of a Trust Fund that has been in the courts for almost 10 years. Sovereign Nations is a way to determine your own destiny. The Nations make pacts with the State, the State gets money, though it not advertised. Many have sharing agreements with other Tribes. They can then diversity, and get other work contracts. But it is not free, and their is debt that goes with the casino's. But it is jobs. Not all Tribes or Nations are prosperous, but then neither is the people that live in the city or county. I'm starting to wonder why 'it's time to rein in the NDNS". Are their ties to "One Nation", which is backed by gas, oil, and convenience stores?

I think some of what peo... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

I think some of what people have written here are worth repeating, so here goes.

Lyn Wrote:

Maybe if they hadn't broke all the treaties ever made with the exception of one, maybe if you treated others like you expect to be treated, maybe...


Mintahoya wrote:

For all you non native people saying we should lose our right to vote my friend I believe you should lose your right to live on another persons land.

and:

For over 500 years we have survived and we ain't going nowhere. I live on my land because I choose to and I am going to stay here.

Mo wrote:

if indigenous peoples on reservations are dependent on the government then pat yourselves on the back. that was the intention all along. if you bothered to look at the reasons you will see the government deliberatley made the people dependent on them for everything as a means to control them.

and:

ok break the treaties then, but remember the food and medical care was in payment for lands taken, so if you break the treaty then the land comes back to us.

Talwohali wrote:

Why were the Cherokees moved off their lands and sent to Oklahoma or Indian Territory? The ones who signed treaties with the US weren't even those who should have. The US governament used many tricks to cheat Indians out of their lands.

Kakamaysama wrote:

But when they came the took our kindness as a weakness and butchered American Indians because they stood in the way of the White Man,and their progress, so now We are on reservations, and belive me they aren't that great...

and this too:

I am Cherokee and will die fighting to keep our culture alive, and trying to change this way of thinking.

The story of US history is as much mythology as anything is, and most Americans buy into it hook line and sinker. They like to believe the "Manifest Destiny" idea that God somehow gave us all this land. The truth is that there were millions of people already here, and the westward expansion of the United States was full of deceit, treachery, and outright murder. Sorry, but that's the deal. We can either lie to ourselves and worship the fairy tale of American mythology, or we can realize that some things were done that didnt quite live up to the professed ideals of this nation.

Ignoring what happened, what our government did in the past, isnt going to get us anywhere.

Our history classes dont teach us about any of this for a reason: it's not pretty, and it doesnt fit in with the whole American story of liberty and justice for all. The inalienable rights of Native Americans were negated, as was their right to the pursuit of happiness.

So what do we do? Should we keep lying to ourselves and believing in the Disney version of American history, or should we try to acknowledge past mistakes and make strides toward reconciliation? I think the first step might be recognition of the past, which is a lot more complicated than most people want to think.


So the US Goverment breakin... (Below threshold)

So the US Goverment breaking more treaties and stealing more of our land is a solution to our poverty and the problems that 200 years of Racism,Lies and Genocide have inflicted on our people?Please research the Fort Laramie Treaty,which is BTW ,THE STANDING TREATY between The Lakota Nation(and a few others) and The US Goverment.Then go read what the Constitution says regarding Treaty Law.Then tell us why we should allow peacefully That same Goverment to take the little we have left. Perhaps We do Not want to become assimalated? Perhaps The little bit we have left of lands that are Sacred to us and our Burial Grounds That have not been desecrated in The Name of "Progress" we want to keep?Are your comments truly made in Ignorance or are they just Racist?
Joelle Clark-Co-Founder Native Earthworks Society

Before Columbus bumped into... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Before Columbus bumped into the new world, indigenous peoples of the Americas settled disputes over natural resources the way such disputes have always been settled by humans, they went to war. Larger more powerful tribes moved into the better areas and moved other tribes out. Winning tribes would take adult prisoners and enslave them to serve the tribe while adopting the very young of the vanquished into the tribe. Some Great Lakes tribes practiced wars of genocide where ever member of an opposing tribe was killed. War, slavery, torture, murder, thievery, deceit, envy and lust were not brought to the new world by Europeans; they were already here, as they are in every human culture.

Here between two seas the indigenous peoples of the Americas were isolated from contact with the ancient peoples of Europe, Africa, and Asia. In that isolation they made slower technological progress, particularly in North America where writing, mathematics and the smelting of metals were never developed.

It was inevitable that the isolation would end and predictable that the larger more technologically advanced group would impose it's will upon the indigenous peoples of the Americas. If first contact would not have been in the 15th century, then it would have been in the 16th century and the initial technological difference would have been even greater. The wisdom of humankind in dealing with it's own kind is still insufficient in the 21st century to have done justice to the indigenous peoples of the Americas.

We cannot undo that past and those hoping to impose the injustices done in the past upon the current generation are doomed to fail. The current generation takes no responsibility for the actions of prior generations, many of whom are as far removed from their ancestral line as they are from the ancestral line of the indigenous peoples themselves.

For the sake of their future generations, this generation of indigenous peoples should seek to fully integrate into the dominate culture, which is becoming a world culture. People of all races enjoy the benefits of modern America while keeping connections to the culture of their ancestors. Many indigenous people have done the same and prospered.

A wise policy for this nation would be to help reservation residents leave the reservation through scholarship programs, job training, matching wages (like the current earned income program), and federal contract set asides. Some of these programs are already in place. Only then will the excuse to fail be gone, and with it the power it has to destroy lives.

As always, the same racial ... (Below threshold)

As always, the same racial hatred rears its ugly head in regard to American Indians and people who obviously don't have a clue as to the history of what has been done to native nations, open their mouths and insert their foot and show how ignorant and racist they truly are.

If it wasn't so sad, I would have to laugh loud and hard at the insinuations made by people of how good the Indians have it - oh wow! all those "free" government handouts - wow!!!! Commodities - cheese and butter - maybe some peanut butter thrown in once in a while. No jobs because in most states the prejudice continues against American Indians and the wall of white society goes up - Indians Not Wanted Here.

Our lands were stolen from us, our Ancestors forced on death marches or killed outright. Many of the soldiers committed the same sort of horrendous acts that the Nazis committed against the Jewish people. They ripped babies from their Mother's womb, took our little children and swung them by the feet to crush their skulls - the most horrendous and brutal acts that anyone can imagine have been done again and again to American Indians.

Up until 1978, American Indians could not pray legally. If found performing ceremony, or even smoking pipe, our people were subject to arrest.

Reservations were created by the white government to enslave and control American Indians. Just as Blacks were enslaved by plantation owners and the government, so are we - but the difference is, American blacks have moved forward and have become more accepted with more opportunities afforded to them in this country, than has been afforded to American Indians, the original inhabitants and native people of North America.

Just as politicians have for years, made lots of money off the backs of the poor - poverty pimps is what they are - they continue to do the same thing to American Indians.

There were many treaties signed over the years and the government still has not honored all that were signed in agreement officially. Now, under Bush and his gang, the Shoshone lands are being stolen and the compensation they are giving to the nation is peanuts in comparison to the land's worth. As always, they created loopholes that gives them the power to steal, twist the true intent of the law, etc, all for political and personal gain.

The American Bison is being pushed out for cattle - which are not native to our lands and rich, fat cat cowboys are making a lot of money from public lands - which are suppose to belong to all Americans - lands that were held in trust for future generations to enjoy are being eyed continually for the greedy and rich, so they can take more and more.

These thieves and liars are good at what they do. They have had the American public hoodwinked for years and while their greed brings us closer and closer to devastation, we hear comments, such as those made here.

When it hits your family and way of life and you feel the pinch and your lifestyle is changing and it's becoming harder and harder to support your families - maybe then you'll wake up and smell the coffee and realize how foolish you have been to believe so blindly in a government that cares only for a select few.

I know that all too often comments such as mine falls on deaf ears - their ignorance and hatred closes their heart and ears to the reality of what has been done and many are so self-centered they don't even care for their next door neighbor let alone anyone else.

I often wish that when the first boat people came over that the Wampanoag and other eastern tribes had not helped them to survive. Without their help, they would have starved to death and without knowledge of the land they came to "for their religious freedom" (so they could deny us ours) there is no doubt none of them would have survived that first winter.

So, that was American's first welfare line - as the Pilgrims lined up to accept food offered by the Wampanoag. We shared our food stores with them, so their ancestors owe US because otherwise they may not be here today.

American Indians more than any other minority combined in the US have served this country in war and peacetime without having to be drafted because we love the land and we will protect it from foreign invaders. Without the Code Talkers during World War II - it's highly likely none of us would be speaking English today. We protected your life and interests while ours continues to be denied. The first woman killed in action in Iraq was a Hopi woman.

The people who love Bush so much, may find in the future, unless things change real quick, that your fundamental freedoms will be taken from you - some have been weakened or removed already. You could end up moved to some barren land because the government wants to keep you enslaved and under constant watch. But ah - how much these ignorant ones love that cowboy mentality. The citizens of LA and Mississippi who have suffered so greatly and continue to suffer due to the hurricanes and horrible lack of support and assistance by this adminstration have been given a huge wake-up call as far as this administration providing support and relief to all citizens in such a disastor - you voted him in - it's your responsibility for those who continue to suffer.

Wake up! Learn some facts about the history of our people and stop believing the lies you have been taught to believe. Stop the hate - as long as this type of racist hate exists, we will never see peace in this world.

mac lorry and others who ma... (Below threshold)
mo:

mac lorry and others who make statements insinuating we are doing nothing but whining about past injustices need to read an indigenous newspaper or two. of course i am assuming such people even know we have newspapers, being as we are so technologically lagging. the taking of land, murder of indigenous peoples and denying of fundamental rights in america are still happening today. i was 19 years old before i had religious freedom in the good old usa bastion of freedom. but the above poster is correct...what you allow to happen to us will happen to you soon. we are the canaries in the mineshaft. take note of the supreme court ruling reguarding private property in CT. be very afraid.

Wake up! Learn som... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Wake up! Learn some facts about the history of our people and stop believing the lies you have been taught to believe. Stop the hate - as long as this type of racist hate exists, we will never see peace in this world.

You would do well to heed your own words. Archeological finds demonstrate the pre-Colombian history of the indigenous peoples of the Americas were not unlike the history of other ancient peoples. Why would you expect it to be different; your ancestors were human; get over it. Indigenous peoples suffered at the hands of indigenous peoples long before the first European ever stepped foot on this land. Sorry to pop your bubble, but the common failings of humans are the same among all humans.

I often wish that when the first boat people came over that the Wampanoag and other eastern tribes had not helped them to survive.

Don't blame the Wampanoag, because it wouldn't have changed anything if they hadn't helped those first immigrants. Do you think that two of the seven continents of the world could have remained hidden while people on the others went to the moon? Do you think a few million indigenous people could have defended all this land from the rest of the world? The only thing that could have prevented the injustices that occurred would have been for the other peoples of the world to have been far more advanced in wisdom than in technology. We have yet to see that happen in all human history.

So what do we do now? My ancestors may be further removed from the people individually responsible for the injustices done in the past than your own ancestors are. As such I'm no more responsible for those past injustices than you are. I'm sure many minorities feel the same way I do. I benefit from the advantages of modern America, but no more than many indigenous people who have embraced the dominate culture.

Anyone teaching their kids that past injustices are responsible for their disadvantaged position in life are setting them up for failure. The kids can't do any more to change the past than their parents can. You can keep spitting into the wind if you like, or you can change direction and follow in the footsteps of many of your own kinsman.

mac lorry and othe... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
mac lorry and others who make statements insinuating we are doing nothing but whining about past injustices need to read an indigenous newspaper or two.

I fully support communities improving their lives and preparing their young for life in the dominate culture. Bemoaning the past is not only fruitless, it sets up the next generation for failure. Teach children that they can't succeed because of factors they can't control and you have set them on the course to failure.

take note of the supreme court ruling reguarding private property in CT. be very afraid.

Voters are already changing the laws in many states to limit eminent domain powers of local governments to be only for the greater public good, such as roads, schools, etc. Back to the way it's been for over a century. That's the way democracy works. If you can come up with a better system, please let us all know.

mac lorry:I get yo... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

mac lorry:

I get your side of the argument, and your points are taken.

One of the major ideas that you bring up is the fact that warfare, slavery, and violence existed in the Americas long before any Europeans showed up. Casting Native Americans as perfect and peaceful creates is a pretty terrible mischaracterization; like all human cultures, Native Americans had their share of violence and war.

In fact, Atahualpa, the Inca ruler that Pizarro defeated, had planned to do the very same thing to Pizarro. Atahualpa was going to capture the Spanish leader, castrate his men, and make them his servants. His big mistake was in underestimating the 150 or so Spanish soldiers and their cannons.

Along with that, Native Americans were not just passive players in the whole colonial era...they made decisions, political moves, etc. It wasnt just colonials against Indians...in fact Native Americans routinely sold each other out, aligned themselves with Europeans, and tried to stay on the winning side as much as possible. Of course, there are thousands of stories, and this is a lot of generalization. The point is that pretending that Native Americans were all innocent or perfect isn't reality based at all.

In my opinion, however, the treaties that the United States signed with the Native Americans represent a different matter altogether. Supposedly, our nation was founded upon certain ideals, and the way that our government handled those agreements and promises, well, that was anything but honest, fair, acceptable, or respectable. It was outright treachery on the part of the US govt to sign such agreements, in times of peace, and then use those agreements to further screw thousands and thousands of people.

I think that reflects pretty badly upon the good old USA.

I agree with you that being stuck in the past is no way to go forward. But it's also important that something closer to the real past is acknowledged and dealt with, so that we can understand where we are today, and why. We can go around teaching our kids about the mythological Thanksgiving, or we can start teaching a history that has a LITTLE more reality to it.

The only thing that could have prevented the injustices that occurred would have been for the other peoples of the world to have been far more advanced in wisdom than in technology. We have yet to see that happen in all human history.

That argument might hold for 16th or 17th century colonial America, maybe. But the treaties that we are talking about, and the decimation that was wrought upon the Native Americans, really went into high hear in the late 19th century, and continued up into the early 20th century. So are you arguing that 19th-20th century Americans didnt have the moral wisdom to treat people humanely? Because they sure sounded like they understood the whole enlightenment ideology to me when they wrote the Declaration and the Bill of Rights.

Point: we knew better.

Anyone teaching their kids that past injustices are responsible for their disadvantaged position in life are setting them up for failure.

Because, of course, being dispossessed of your lands and ways of life would never put you in a disadvantaged position, eh? I mean, it's all fair and equal here, right?

I understand your point about not wallowing in what happened, but let's not deny the past either. It's a lot more recent than many Americans realize. The famous anthrologist AL Kroeber, after spending years working with California Indians, had a nervous breakdown after being exposed to one atrocious story after another. He was doing his work just prior to the 1920s.

In California, the state government went so far, at times, as offering bounties for the heads of Indians. This wasnt too long ago.

I have a hard time just blowing that off, especially with all of the talk about freedom, human rights, democracy, equality, and liberty that this nation advertises.

^^^that should say "anthrop... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

^^^that should say "anthropologist AL Kroeber"

did you conveniently ignore... (Below threshold)
mo:

did you conveniently ignore the part where i said the injustices are now? this day this year this decade? of course you did. you assume much in your post about how and what we teach our children and none of it is correct. but you continue to dwell on the past even as you demand we stop dwelling on it. talk the present then. do you even know anything about contemporary native issues? do you know about any of the progresses made in indian country? better yet..are you a member of one nation or upstate citizens for equality?
are you aware of the supreme court ruling that, in spite of the indian civil rights act, we in fact have no civil rights, including habeus corpus? this is not ancient history unless you consider march of 2005 ancient.
i know all about democracy since i belong to one of the oldest democracies in the world, that of the haudenasaunee confederacy. you may have heard of us since your own founding fathers based the us constitution on our constitution after consulting with our chiefs at the first constitutional convention in albany. i know how democracy works. i also know how it is destroyed in the last decade, by the very government that brags about spreading democracy around the world. but i do not expect you to know any of this as it does not fit your agenda. so stop dwelling in the past and deal with what is happening now. you are responsible for that.

ryan,Thanks for ac... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

ryan,

Thanks for actually reading what I wrote. Sometimes it's hard to really read the words of others, partially on such issues.

So are you arguing that 19th-20th century Americans didnt have the moral wisdom to treat people humanely? Because they sure sounded like they understood the whole enlightenment ideology to me when they wrote the Declaration and the Bill of Rights.

In the 19th century Americans had a civil war, in part to end slavery. President Lincoln called for Black voting rights in his last public speech and that was the reason he was assassinated. The nation was not prepared to hear the cries of African Americans until the late 20th century and blacks will tell you there is still discrimination to this day. However, the majority of Americans now find discrimination and racial slurs repaginate and politicians and business leaders pay a heavy penalty for lapses in judgment.

I understand your point about not wallowing in what happened, but let's not deny the past either. It's a lot more recent than many Americans realize.

I agree that we should not deny the past, but only for the purpose of not repeating it. Assigning blame to people for the wrongs done in the past by members of their race only teaches racism and hatred. It does nothing to solve current problems or prepare the young for the future.

The issue of treaties is no worse or better than many of the other things done to indigenous peoples. I never understood how you could have a treaty with a people who had no written language, no concept of land ownership, and few undisputed representatives of the people. Did the U.S. government intend to break them from the start, or were they just naive of what this nation would become? I heard my father say many times that we should give the land back to the Indians, but of course he had no plan on where many millions of immigrants would then live.

So what do we do now? Teach kids more hate while telling other kids that they are somehow responsible for injustices. Or do we teach them that prior generations did not have the wisdom we have today and that only now are we really beginning to understand how to treat each other justly?

WAKE UP AND LEARN ABOUT IND... (Below threshold)
Nancy:

WAKE UP AND LEARN ABOUT INDIGENOUS PEOPLE HISTORY BEFORE BEING JUDGEMENTAL OF US. RESERVATIONS ARE SOVEREIGN NATIONS. THEY ARE NOT UNITED STATES PROPERTY. POVERY ON THE RESERVATION IS DUE TO WHAT THE GOVERNMENT HAS DONE TO MY PEOPLE AND SO IS THE DRUGS AND ALCOHOL PROBLEM.

WAKE UP AND LEARN ABOUT IND... (Below threshold)
Nancy:

WAKE UP AND LEARN ABOUT INDIGENOUS PEOPLE HISTORY BEFORE BEING JUDGEMENTAL OF US. RESERVATIONS ARE SOVEREIGN NATIONS. THEY ARE NOT UNITED STATES PROPERTY. POVERY ON THE RESERVATION IS DUE TO WHAT THE GOVERNMENT HAS DONE TO MY PEOPLE AND SO IS THE DRUGS AND ALCOHOL PROBLEM.

well I will just sit back b... (Below threshold)
T. Lee:

well I will just sit back because as long as natives are allowed to be in poverty on the reservations, this country will continue to be in debt to others outside continually losing money and doing everything they can in their power to try and squeeze more money out of people through the powerful tax dollar. so worried about natives taking money that people don't care they are not only being taxed from their paychecks, everything you buy except maybe some food is taxed, everything. so who is stealing what now?

just remember what comes around goes around.

mo,talk t... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

mo,

talk the present then. do you even know anything about contemporary native issues? do you know about any of the progresses made in indian country? better yet..are you a member of one nation or upstate citizens for equality?

You think you are talking present, but your complaint is about native issues and progress made in Indian country. It's apparent you are Indian first and American second.

You are spitting into the wind trying to impose guilt for the injustices done to your ancestors on this generation. Like many if not most Americans I have no ancestors in common with the individuals responsible for those past injustices going back perhaps to ancestors both you and I have in common. People such as I simply won't take the blame you want to put on us.

You are an American citizen as I am and you have all the same rights and opportunities I have under the law. The day you become an American first is the day you regain all the land your forefathers lost in their war with the American government.

You say you have been discriminated against, but you probably go around wearing your Indian heritage and telling folks they owe you for stealing your land. If I wore the garb of my ancestors you can bet I would be discriminated against everywhere I go and probably locked up. If I tried to practice the heathen religion of my ancestors, well there are laws against what I would need to do.

I teach the kids in my family that injustices done to our race in the past were due to the ignorance and short sightedness of the times and that all those people are in their graves. The only lesson we need to learn from those injustices is to not repeat them. We are Americans first, this is our country and we take ownership of it. With education, hard work and no excuse to fail, these kids will prosper.

so stop dwelling in the past and deal with what is happening now. you are responsible for that.

As long as you blame me and others like me you excuse yourself for your own condition. If you are not responsible for your own condition than you have no control over your own life. Live that way if you want and teach your kids to follow in your footsteps if your hate for me is greater than your love for them. Or forgive this generation for crimes they had no part in and embrace this nation as your own.

never mind mac lorry. you h... (Below threshold)
mo:

never mind mac lorry. you have made it quite clear what you are and still refuse to look at what YOUR government is doing in YOUR name to people that live as supposed american citizens with all the same rights as you. i am talking present day and you still refer to past issues. bury your head further if thats what you need to sleep at night. no more replies needed from you to me. you will only twist what i say and project your own fears onto native people. one day you will remember the things you said and will know how wrong you are.

Mac:Hey man we've ... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Mac:

Hey man we've had some debates here before, and you've always been thoughtful and respectful, so of course I read what you wrote.

I agree that we should not deny the past, but only for the purpose of not repeating it. Assigning blame to people for the wrongs done in the past by members of their race only teaches racism and hatred. It does nothing to solve current problems or prepare the young for the future.

I get your point. I personally look at things a littler differently, and not in terms of assigning blame. I started studying anthropology about 5 years ago (archaeology too) and I've learned a lot more about Native American history. There are some pretty damn brutal aspects to it, and much of it is quite recent. These are events that I NEVER learned about in school as a kid. And I lived in a place where there were a ton of Native American reservations. But I never heard anything about their local history, let along their existence today. To me, there's something wrong with that.

I'm not looking to blame anyone per se, as much as I'm looking to shed some light on what happened not so long ago. To me, that helps explain why, for example, many California Indians (especially those that arent Federally recognized) arent doing so well today. In many cases they're stuck out in the desert on pretty shitty lands, and the prime lands that they once had, which they were forcibly removed from, are in the hands of others.

By no means do I assert the idea that we should look at this whole thing in racial terms. I'm not going to walk around saying that all white people are evil...hell I'm white, so why the hell should I say that. I'm saying that it's time we stop ignoring some of the past.

The earliest ancestors that I have in the Americas came here in 1717, which is a damn long time ago. i have some documented evidence that those Germans were slave owners, and also got into conflicts with native americans. What I'm saying is that I know my ancestors were a part of the whole American expansion process. That doesnt mean that I have to be some self loathing depressed white guy. I feel, however, that it's important to understand things in the past, and the roles that people played, in order to make sense of today. I didnt just magically appear here. God didnt just grant me this land.

I never understood how you could have a treaty with a people who had no written language, no concept of land ownership, and few undisputed representatives of the people. Did the U.S. government intend to break them from the start, or were they just naive of what this nation would become?

Good points there. Well, you gotta remember that all those guys were politicians, and they were thinking of short term solutions. I think that they were, for the most part, full of shit with all of the treaties. I also think that they didnt really take them very seriously, and probably did expect to break them. Pretty shitty.

So what do we do now? Teach kids more hate while telling other kids that they are somehow responsible for injustices. Or do we teach them that prior generations did not have the wisdom we have today and that only now are we really beginning to understand how to treat each other justly?

Teaching hate or trying to lay blame isnt going to do it. I think that we need to teach a history that doesnt gloss over past mistakes, as out current George Washington and the Apple Tree history does. We weren't always the good guys. But we werent by any means always the bad guys either. In my opinion, we are about the same as every other human society, faults and all. Our history pushes alot of propaganda, and in my opinion teaches us to view ourselves in a pretty egocentric manner. But then, thats what most histories, creation stories, and mythologies do.

In order to know how to treat each other today, I think it's important that we are all as honest as we can be about the past. No need to lie or cover it up, IMO.

The day you become an American first is the day you regain all the land your forefathers lost in their war with the American government.

Come on Mac, you know that's not true. Hell, I AM a citizen, and I dont have shit here. You're telling me that all Native Americans have to do is be Americans first, and magically they will get what they deserve...they will get thier mythical 40 acres and a mule?

I teach the kids in my family that injustices done to our race in the past were due to the ignorance and short sightedness of the times and that all those people are in their graves. The only lesson we need to learn from those injustices is to not repeat them.

I agree with you. Another lesson to be learned, IMO, is that all people are capable of doing things that arent acceptable.

We are Americans first, this is our country and we take ownership of it. With education, hard work and no excuse to fail, these kids will prosper.

Maybe. There is no certainty that hard work will lead to prosperity. Thats the American dream story, but in reality it doesnt pan out for everyone. It just doesnt. I'm not as optimistic as you in this area.

Live that way if you want and teach your kids to follow in your footsteps if your hate for me is greater than your love for them. Or forgive this generation for crimes they had no part in and embrace this nation as your own.

Look, I've read what people are writing here, and I dont see a lot of them really professing hate toward white people. Now, they may or may not hate white people; I dont know. But what I see more than anything is anger and frustration. They seem to want people to KNOW what happened, and to acknowledge it. That's what I'm hearing.

I certainly do think that living as a victim isnt the way to a better life, so I get your point there.

For my part, I think that the least I can do is learn about the history of these people, since they are an important part of American history. We live where their people once lived, period. Our histories do a HORRIBLE job of including the Native American aspect of our past. I think that's all gotta change, and might help to bridge the gap at least a little.

mo:never mind m... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

mo:

never mind mac lorry. you have made it quite clear what you are and still refuse to look at what YOUR government is doing in YOUR name to people that live as supposed american citizens with all the same rights as you.

Dont give up so easily. You have points to be made, and they need to be heard.

The US govt has a long history with Native American people, and it's not pretty. I know that, because that's what I'm reading about all the time, among other things. But most Americans have no idea, and still have a pretty uninformed view about what went down in the past 300 or so years.

Mac's main point, I think, is that we should not wallow in the past. I get what he's saying. I think that, however, most Americans dont know about this aspect of history, and therefore dont put enought weight or importance upon Native American issues today. Many Americans seem to think that Indians are just complaining. But I have a feeling that if they learned more about what happened in the not so distant past, they might change their tune.

You might disagree with Mac, but at least the guy isnt resorting to name calling. So it might be a good idea to keep discussing things, since thats how we all learn other points of view. That doesnt mean you have to give in, let alone agree with the guy.

mo,I understand yo... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

mo,

I understand your anger and harsh words and hold no enmity toward you. You are so heavily invested in your own victimhood that you can't bear to hear the truth, but out of love it have been given to you. You see, I know the truth will set you free as it has so many of your kinsmen, some of whom are neighbors. It was your kinsmen who taught me the truth and so I have passed it on to you. As with salvation, it will do you no good unless you receive it and act upon it. Go on cursing the darkness or light a lamp to see your way. You have a choice set before you, so choose wisely.

Take Away, two very powerfu... (Below threshold)
Squire:

Take Away, two very powerful words spoken or written.
Who gives any man the right to take from another?

With the wisdom of the past we will lead our people into the future knowing, forgiving and proudly.

Assumtions by the ignorant are easy to deflect, to Take Away is no Gods word.

ryan,i appreciate yo... (Below threshold)
mo:

ryan,
i appreciate your attempts to bridge a gap but i have no further interest in an exchange with the arrogance that calls itslef mac lorry. i know them under many different names. and there is no discussion possible when the other has convinced themselves they possess all knowledge and wisdom. not one thing i have said has been addressed concerning present policies and actions of the us government toward indigenous peoples so i see no point in continuing this conversation here. perhaps you and i will meet on another forum some day where there can be a dialogue. as for mac lorry...my back is turned.

ryan,I'll try to e... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

ryan,

I'll try to explain my comment about regaining the land. First, I'm not talking about personal land ownership. While indigenous peoples gained and held territories by various means, they had no concept of individual land ownership. The land belonged to the tribe, rather than individuals, but all members of the tribe had use of the land. Sometimes smaller tribes would merge and on that day each member gained the use of the land of the other tribe without giving up rights to their own tribe's land.

Indigenous peoples lost there land to the government through acts of war, which is a more accurate representation than saying through treaties. When an indigenous person becomes an American first, then all the land of America is there's to use in the same sense that any citizen can use it. You may not have rights to someone's farm, but through our economic system you can eat the meat and bread grown on that farm and all the others. In other words, you gain the use of all the land in America.

The problem with teaching history, at least to kids, is that it's inflammatory more than it is enlightening. You need to be mature and able to put such material into perspective before it's more enlightening than inflammatory.

Mac:While indig... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Mac:

While indigenous peoples gained and held territories by various means, they had no concept of individual land ownership. The land belonged to the tribe, rather than individuals, but all members of the tribe had use of the land.

What people are you talking about? There are thousands of different Native American groups; what you are saying is a massive generalization. There certainly were ideas of ownership among Native American groups...Cohokia, for starters, attests to that (It was a large settlement with fortified walls, and may have been what we would consider a "state"). There are, of course, many examples. Native American cultures cannot be simply mashed together; there are many many variations.

In some cases there certainly was land ownership, and there were conflicts over it. In other cases, people lived in a more communal and egalitarian way, as you are talking about. It runs the entire gamut.

Indigenous peoples lost there land to the government through acts of war, which is a more accurate representation than saying through treaties.

Indians did lose land through warfare with the US. But you are wrong in saying that they did not lose land through treaties; they did. Those were signed in times of peace, and were supposedly meant to keep war from happening again. But the treaties were rescinded again and again, DURING TIMES OF PEACE, and Native American lands were taken away. Go read about the Sioux, or the Cherokee, and tell me they didnt lose land through treaties.

The Sioux cut a deal with the US, were given promises, and were later completely screwed. Not through war, but through broken treaties.

You may not have rights to someone's farm, but through our economic system you can eat the meat and bread grown on that farm and all the others.

How nice. So they're allowed to go to 7-11 and buy bacon and wonderbread, and they should feel good about that "right"? They have the right to buy the products that are made on American soil. How is that to be considered some special privelege? I mean, people in Burma have the right to buy American products. Big deal.

The problem with teaching history, at least to kids, is that it's inflammatory more than it is enlightening.

So why then do we teach them all about that mythological Thanksgiving? Why do we teach them about the American Revolution? Why do we teach young Californians about the Spanish Mission system?

We DO teach history, but we like to tell stories that make us look good at all times.

Maybe we dont have to include all the complicated details. Maybe we could teach kids that, indeed, there were people here BEFORE Columbus arrived, and they had some pretty damn impressive cultures going on. Maybe we could start with that, instead of telling the story as if nobody was here and the land was free for the taking.

mo:My question to ... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

mo:

My question to you is this: what do you think needs to happen today? What would make things better, in your opinion?

I agree. I do not hate whit... (Below threshold)

I agree. I do not hate whites,I am half white.
The Goverment and what its has done and still does to First Nations people, Is a different story.It is Genocide and unacceptable to anyone who seriously belives in the Moral Values the US claims to stand for.The Values it uses as an exscuse to invade other Nations,to sopposedly correct in other peoples countries while still practicing some of those self-same acts on Native People,That our goverment claims to find so unacceptable when other Nation elected Leaders perpatrate on their citizens. It is this speaking out of both sides of their mouth that so anger so many Native People.

ryan,i wish there we... (Below threshold)
mo:

ryan,
i wish there were a simple answer to your question. the problems are complex and intertwined. i suppose a good start would be education and awareness of the average american to who we are today and the problems we face that could easily be remedied if enough people demanded it. at less than 2% of the total population of the united states we are rarely heard and if we are heard, easily dismissed. yet still we are seen as such an immense threat to the rest of the population that we must be kept in our place?
there are so many lies and myths repeated over and over about us to this day...we get free money...we get free food...we get free education..we pay no taxes..all of these are myths. rarely are we viewed as contemporary people. ask yourself when is the last time you saw an indigenous person portrayed in the media without feathers, buckskin or horses?
fact is 85% of us live off reservations in urban and suburban areas all over this continent. we work the same jobs you do..want the same things for our children all people want.
anger and frustration is right..we all feel it because no one hears us as is evidenced on this blog. i hear very well what is being said by many.."we won, you lost , you don't get to tell us what to do." its the same unspoken attitude that screams when ever an indigenous person dares speak out, whether its about poor health care, education, being used as mascots for sports teams, racism, or the lack of police investigations when one of us is murdered.
we may never hold political power in this country but we will endure long after the conquerers are gone.
thanks for your efforts.

I am cherokee and I just wa... (Below threshold)
WohaliAgeyv:

I am cherokee and I just wanted to put my 2 cents in here---#1 americans don't want the REAL TRUTH about history here in USA to be taught to the children because it goes against everything they want to believe in--#2 they want to believe that Columbus discovered this land (even tho you can't find something that never was lost to begin with)---and yes my ancestors were here long before the first white man came and not only stole our land,and murdered the women and children but murdered my ancestors by bringing diseases over here that they never had to deal with before the white man came---as far as the land goes---it never was the WHITE MAN's land till they came over here and stole it either by committing murder or by deceitfully stealing it from my ancestors but even today the white man tends to deny this and what do they do with the land the ancestors loved and respected for soooo long they (the white man) have raped the lands and are still today destroying it a little every day---and lets not forget the real reason the white man stole the land to begin with its called "GOLD" they were greedy and wanted all the precious metals for themselves and thats the REAL reason behind why they got by with all the murders this government got by with---the jews weren't the first ones that genocide was done to it was my ancestors its just that genocide word wasn't used than and truth be known genocide to my people are still going on today its just that you never hear about it in the white man's newspaper cause its just not worthy enough for them to concern theirselves with-----this is my 2cents worth and I will always stick to it---
WohaliAgeyv

mo:i wish there... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

mo:

i wish there were a simple answer to your question. the problems are complex and intertwined.

I know...that was a pretty broad question on my part. Things rarely have just one simple answer.

i suppose a good start would be education and awareness of the average american to who we are today and the problems we face that could easily be remedied if enough people demanded it.

I agree with you completely. Most Americans know very little about contemporary Native Americans, at all. The only time they hear or think about them is when someone is talking about casinos, for the most part.

at less than 2% of the total population of the united states we are rarely heard and if we are heard, easily dismissed. yet still we are seen as such an immense threat to the rest of the population that we must be kept in our place?

I dont understand that either. I mean, whats the threat? Honestly, I think that many Americans just want to ignore the whole issue. I think that underlying all of this, people know at some level that some things happened that were not acceptable, humane, or fair. I think that's why people want to look the other way.

rarely are we viewed as contemporary people.

Yep. Indians are always thought of as these mythical people who wander around with bows and arrows or something. Americans are funny about that. They forget that it's 2006 for native americans too, not 1700.

ask yourself when is the last time you saw an indigenous person portrayed in the media without feathers, buckskin or horses?

its pretty rare.

anger and frustration is right..we all feel it because no one hears us as is evidenced on this blog.

The level of understanding about any Native American history, let alone contemporary issues, is really low here today. People just dont know...they arent taught about any of that. I was working in archaeology in socal, and all the time people would get all surprised and say, "You mean there were Indians HERE?" No idea. And they also had no idea about the history of the people who ended up on reservations out east.

Basically, Indians have been erased from history, and then they were removed from American society either through forced assimilation or being moved onto reservations. Not cool.

There are some really confusing things going on in California. People here get all bent out of shape about gambling. I dont see the problem; if tribes want to do it, then fine, thats their right. And its not like they're FORCING people to go there and lose money; people willingly do it.

Internally, however, I know that casinos do present problems, since tribes battle over the money and power. I do know of reservations where there are these huge brand new casinos right across the street from incredibly poor neighborhoods. The revenues arent always divided evenly.

In my opinion, it's pretty imporant that you keep talking about his, and trying to get people to listen. It's not always easy, I know that, but you'd be surprised...sometimes people will listen.

WohaliAgeyv:ame... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

WohaliAgeyv:

americans don't want the REAL TRUTH about history here in USA to be taught to the children because it goes against everything they want to believe in...

Teaching about Native American history definitely creates some problems for the whole heroic American story, now doesnt it? The "real truth" has many sides, and cannot be told by just one person.

they want to believe that Columbus discovered this land...

People who believe that are incredibly uninformed.

and yes my ancestors were here long before the first white man came and not only stole our land,and murdered the women and children but murdered my ancestors by bringing diseases over here that they never had to deal with before the white man came...

Yes, they were here long before any Euros set foot on this soil. And it's true that Eurpeans committed atrocities, no doubt.

Be careful about falling into the trap of characterizing Native Americans as pure victims in the whole matter; they werent. In some cases, tribes sold each other out, murdered each other, and aligned themselves with Europeans in an attempt to win. It IS NOT some case where one side was purely evil and the other was purely innocent. But there are so many individual cases that it's hard to generalize.

Just dont forget that Europeans did not bring war to the Americas; it was already well established here way before they arrived, and you know it.

I hear what you're saying, and can definitely understand your anger. I'm kinda wondering what you think would be a good way to make things better.

There has definitely been a lot of racism directed toward Native Americans...in the distant past all the way up to today. And I know that it pisses you off to no end. I have one suggestion for you though: dont go that route. Drop the whole "white man" argument, because thats the same thing that you dont want being flung at you. I'm saying that because I am probably what you would call a "white man," and I am certainly not ignorant about whats happened, and what continued to happen. I'm no expert, by any means, but I am also not walking around with blinders on.

There are plenty of people ignoring this, but not everyone is. Dont make enemies of everyone by making big generalizations about what a certain "race" will do.

I agree with you that there are some serious contradictions that need to be dealt with and acknowledged. It's about time for Americans to get a clue about the colonial past, about the treatment of Native Americans, and about how that has helped shape the way things are NOW.


ryan,My statements... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

ryan,

My statements about individual land ownership descend directly from a posting I addressed to mo. I'm fine with others commenting about such postings, but when you do please retain the context of that original posting. I was referring to indigenous people who lost there land to the American (U.S.) government, and that restricts the indigenous people I am taking about to a subset of the indigenous peoples of North America.

That subset never developed a written language, mathematics, or smelted metal. By many definitions, these were stone age cultures. Such cultures had no concept of individual land ownership in any permanent sense. They recognized personal property ownership including their dwelling, but land was held by the tribe, not by individual members. It's as much of a practical limitation as it is a form of communal living. Without a written language there was no means of recording ownership of land by individuals or transfers of that ownership.

Given that background, a member of the American tribe has usage rights of American lands. Obviously, we can't make a direct comparison between stone age America and modern America, but within the law you can hunt, fish, and recreate on public lands, which are far more extensive than the lands ever held a given tribe. Our economic system replaces the communal system tribes used, so you access the bounty of the land through that system, and of course you pay for the labor others put into the products. The fact that you can go into a store and purchase food from all over the world is nothing to scoff at. The system allows for maximum specialization which increases productivity and the standard of living for most who participate in it.

There may have been some lands transferred from indigenous people to the government by treaties that were fair and not disputed. In that case the land was not lost by the indigenous people, they sold it.

When I say lands lost the government by war, I'm not talking about such undisputed treaties, but I do include broken treaties. When the government broke a treaty and forced the Indians off the land at the point of a gun or by starvation, I consider that to be an act of war. There is simply no need to go through the roundabout statement about treaties being signed and then in peace time broken, it's simply another act of war. To say otherwise is to be too kind to the government. Given that explanation, I hope you understand what I mean when I say all the lands lost in war with the American government.

History, like evidence is not all of the same character. In a court of law some evidence is excluded because, while true, it's prejudicial. That is, it's emotional content is much higher than the value of it's factual content. That doesn't mean courts exclude all evidence, just the prejudicial evidence.

Likewise, the history I was talking about is best described as atrocities. I believe teaching such history to kids does far more harm than good regardless of which side the kids may feel they belong to. I'm not saying never to teach such things, but only to mature minds such as college students who may be the leaders of the future.

Having to explain all this is time consuming, so I'm hoping you can use this information as a map to better understand my other postings.

Mrs. Davis wrote:"... (Below threshold)
Seluagiya:

Mrs. Davis wrote:

"The money they get isn't in the treaties. If they want sovreignty, they should lose the right to vote as long as they are on the reservation and they should get no federal largesse, including medical care. Let them live on their land as their forefathers did. If they want to live the way we do, they should start doing so and ending the plantation reservation system."

Well, Mrs. Davis, the best way for us to do that is to actually have our land back. How 'bout you move back to where ever you (if you were not born in North America) or your ancestors came from and we can start with yours? Otherwise, sit down and shut up. By the way, it's spelled "sovereignty". Teddy, if you were referring to a breast, the word is "teat", not "teet". And Mac, you should learn the difference between "there" and "their", especially if you're going to insult someone else's intelligence as you did with your "stone age culture" remark.

You think Indians ought to make something of themselves, is that what you're trying to say in your bigoted way? Well, let's start with decent education. I think everyone agrees that unemployment on the reservations is a big problem. Ever been to a school on the rez? Well, I used to sub there. Being "sub-standard" would be a major improvement. I've given the Test of Adult Basic Education to graduates of rez schools who tested out at a third grade level. They were not stupid people, but they were uneducated. The fact that next to no money is spent on Indian education is a big problem though. There are a lot of businesses that could be run on the rez if there was a sufficiently educated population to run them.

There are not all that many people on the rez who want to live in a teepee/hogan/chickee/etc. and hunt and gather. HOWEVER, that doesn't mean that the people there don't want to hold on to their traditional ways - and people can hold on to their traditional ways and still live in a house with electricity and running water. The reservations are our way of having that, just as the countries where your ancestors came from are repositories of language, culture and tradition there. Do you think France or Holland or Japan want to abandon their language, culture and tradition and become part of the US? Or even like the US? We've sure spent a lot on Japan in the last 50 years, helping them become a world power. Germany too, for that matter. It would be nice if the indigenous people of this country got that kind of money spent on them. I would imagine that Iraq and Afghanistan will be the next recipients of American funds, as they re-build.

And another thing, Mrs. Davis - as far as the money not being in the treaties goes: every single treaty we've ever made with the US government has been broken, by the US government. Surely that's worth something.


mac:I was refer... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

mac:

I was referring to indigenous people who lost there land to the American (U.S.) government, and that restricts the indigenous people I am taking about to a subset of the indigenous peoples of North America.

I understand the fact that you were talking about a subset of people from North America. I was asking you which ones, in specific, you are talking about. The Cherokee, The Iroquois, the Sioux, The Pawnee, the Blackfoot, the Chumash, the Kumeyaay, the Pomo, the Navajo. Who? They cannot all be lumped into one big generalization.

That subset never developed a written language, mathematics, or smelted metal. By many definitions, these were stone age cultures. Such cultures had no concept of individual land ownership in any permanent sense.

Ah, I see. Because they were so-called primitve peoples, they could not have understood the concept of ownership, and therefore, the US is not responsible for taking their lands? Weak argument there. I'm sure that formal documents werent really necessary to figure who "owned" what land. This is a line of reasoning that may have worked in the 18th and 19th centuries, but I'm sure not going to buy it now. When colonists rolled up and saw large villages built in particular places, I'm sure they assumed that those people "owned" that land. Are you really saying that since they didnt draw up a deed, they had no entitlement to the lands which they occupied? I hope you're not saying that...

Without a written language there was no means of recording ownership of land by individuals or transfers of that ownership.

See, this just doesnt work. Written language is not needed in order to understand that a group of people "owns" land. You cant just take away their rights by defining the terms of ownership as you understand them.

By your logic, no humans ever owned land until writing was invented 6,000 or so years ago.

I do understand what you mean when you are talking about the loss of lands via acts of war. That works for me.

Likewise, the history I was talking about is best described as atrocities. I believe teaching such history to kids does far more harm than good regardless of which side the kids may feel they belong to.

I get your point here. How about this: we leave the atrocities for later. But we start teaching kids at a young age a version of history that is more accurate, and includes the histories of Native Americans as well, like the Hopi, the Iroquois, the Sioux of more recent time, and some of the archaeological evidence as well, which dates back 13,000 or so years. Maybe we should start off with that, so that when kids get into college they arent blown away when they are filled in about the existence of those people. Just an idea...

Having to explain all this is time consuming, so I'm hoping you can use this information as a map to better understand my other postings.

Sorry to be taking up your time. Dont respond if it's too tedious. Let me remind you that I did not take your post out of contexr, I simply asked you to clarify what specific people you were making claims about (which you still have not done). My point was that tribes in North America are varied; ideas about ownership of lands were all across the board. You seem to want to believe that they all believed the same thing, and acted in the same way, and thats just not the case, whether we're talking about people who lived 1000 years ago, or people who were here during Colonial times.


Seluagiya, good points.... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Seluagiya, good points.

Have you seen those program... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Have you seen those programs where Jay Leno walks out onto the street and asks questions like "what event is being celebrated on independence day?", and then when all he gets is blank stares Jay adds "the 4th of July", only to get an answer like "the end of the civil war". I'm hoping these are plants just to entertain us, but I fear it real and all too common.

It seems indigenes people are asking for recognition of their history by the dominant culture. Given Jay's experience, I have little faith that will every happen.

One of my neighbors was doing a remolding job for me and I asked him what his next job was and he told me it was for a government building, and that he had gotten the contract as part of a set aside program for Indians. My brain went into total lockup as I never knew this blue eyed man was Indian. Some have asked when was the last time you saw an Indian portrayed on TV without feathers or a horse. Well probably all the time, how would you know? Almost every day the evangelist Kenneth Copeland is on TV and he's half Indian, and it was he who baptized me in Eagle Mountain lake many years ago. How much Indian blood do you have to have to be Indian? I've been told that one of my great great grand parents was Indian or part Indian, but I have no way of verifying that.

Years ago I went to the Crazy Horse monument in South Dakota. Crazy Horse sits on a fiery steed resting his arm across its head with his finger pointing to the east in the direction the invaders came from. Very impressive, but I got a very surprised and then rude reaction from the guide when I asked why this great chief was named after and sat atop an animal reintroduced into the new world by the very invaders he pointed an accusing finger toward. Obviously, there's plenty of ignorance about the invaders and the good things they brought to this country.

Yes, let's get rid of the r... (Below threshold)
aware:

Yes, let's get rid of the reservations and start enforcing stricter immegration laws- get the hell off of the land that isn't yours and go back to fucking Europe you ignorant pig.

You live close enough to go see Pine Ridge, go see for yourself what your government has done for those people- shit houses made of little more than plywood, nearly all 40,000 of the inhabitants don't even have beds to sleep on.

Who? They cannot a... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Who? They cannot all be lumped into one big generalization.

Actually, all these tribes are as I described, so no distinction is needed for my point.

Ah, I see. Because they were so-called primitve peoples, they could not have understood the concept of ownership, and therefore, the US is not responsible for taking their lands? Weak argument there.

It's not that they couldn't understand the concept of land ownership, it's that they didn't. Neither did they understand the concept of "zero", not because they couldn't understand it, but their culture never developed it. Can you see the difference? Also, I never said the U.S. is not responsible for taking lands. If you are going to criticize in detail, then you need to read in detail and not recast my words.

I'm sure that formal documents werent really necessary to figure who "owned" what land.

Such documents were needed in all cultures where there was both individual land ownership and a nomadic way of life. People die and people forget, so there has to be a written record.

This is a line of reasoning that may have worked in the 18th and 19th centuries, but I'm sure not going to buy it now.

So what do you want to talk about, the way it was at the time of Indian treaties or the way people view things now? When you switch context wily nily you are going to find it hard to follow anyone's comments.

See, this just doesnt work. Written language is not needed in order to understand that a group of people "owns" land.

Another context jump. I was talking about individual land ownership and you jumped to group ownership. You need to concentrate on what I actually write if you want to accurately criticizes my comments.

By your logic, no humans ever owned land until writing was invented 6,000 or so years ago.

Not on an individual and permanent bases. How do you show other members of the tribe that so and so's dead father sold your dead father that land so and so is now using unless you have a written language of some kind?

My point was that tribes in North America are varied; ideas about ownership of lands were all across the board. You seem to want to believe that they all believed the same thing, and acted in the same way, and thats just not the case, whether we're talking about people who lived 1000 years ago, or people who were here during Colonial times.

There's no evidence that any of the tribes in North America had a written language, mathematics, or smelted metal. Without a written language, no culture has developed the concept of individual land ownership, and thus, all these tribes could be lumped together for the simple purpose of showing that when Indians of that time talked about their land they were talking about their tribe's land, not their personal land. That made it easy for Europeans to acquire vast tracks of land through treaty, as they only had to get the chiefs to sign rather than going to each individual tribe member. I'm not saying that made the treaties legal in any modern sense, but it may have seemed to be legal to the European people of that time.

get the hell off o... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
get the hell off of the land that isn't yours and go back to fucking Europe you ignorant pig.

Spoken like a true racist. And then they wonder why the get it right back.

You live close enough to go see Pine Ridge, go see for yourself what your government has done for those people- shit houses made of little more than plywood, nearly all 40,000 of the inhabitants don't even have beds to sleep on.

I don't live anywhere near Pine Ridge, but I know of it. What keeps people from leaving such a place, is there a wall around it keeping them in? Dose the government keep these people from building better homes or putting beds in them? Do government agents come out and dump garbage all over the place and break out windows? What power on earth could account for American citizens living in such a place for generations?

This is interesting, but Re... (Below threshold)
fBickel:

This is interesting, but Reservations is not an issue for you to solve. It's Indian land. And contrary to popular belief, no one get paid for being an Indian. I'm not sure what the anti-Indian media campaign is about right now. Just because some lobbyist gets caught skimming money and bribing politicans and bilking some Indian Tribes, that Sovereignity, Reservations, and all Indian Casinos become an issue. The cities I see, have poverty, drugs, alcoholism, crime, gangs, homelessness, people that cannot pay utility bills, poor schools, and corrupt politicans. It's taken a couple hundred years for the government to mess it up, so it will take time to straighten it out. To be Sovereign is to determine your own destiny, not for someone else to decide for you. Historically, American History is a myth. Treaties, I think they were worded "as long as the grass grows, and as long as the river flows, this is Indian Land". They just kept changing them. fBickel

mac:Actually, a... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

mac:

Actually, all these tribes are as I described, so no distinction is needed for my point.

Sorry Mac, but you're wrong. They cannot all be lumped into one category as you are doing. Each of those tribes that i mentioned is unique in aspects of social organization, political structure, and culture, among other things. You cant go around saying that the Kumeyaay and the Iroquois are identical, for instance. They arent. They have differing ideas of property and territory as well.

It's not that they couldn't understand the concept of land ownership, it's that they didn't.

They understood the concept. Go read about the Cahokia settlement, or the Chaco Canyon complex, for starters, and get back to me. Territories were defined and defended. Ideas about ownership varied across tribes, but the concept certainly did exist. They didnt need European documents to understand what lands were theirs.

I'm not saying that made the treaties legal in any modern sense, but it may have seemed to be legal to the European people of that time.

I see where you're going with the whole individual ownership of lands idea...and I get the point you're making, namely that Europeans had a different conception of ownership, and thats how these lopsided treaties were created. I get your point, but I dont think that the Euros really believed that. I mean, they "traded" a bag of nails for Staton Island. I'm pretty sure they knew they were screwing those Indians.

From what I've read, it really doesnt seem like the Europeans were all that concerned with doing things legally. I think they stole those lands outright, and knew it, and tried to hide behind bullshit treaties and agreements.

ryan,i'm impressed n... (Below threshold)
mo:

ryan,
i'm impressed not just by your knowledge but your patience. its the same old arguements of superiority...might makes right..we did it therefore its right. if a person cannot change their minds ever than how can you be sure they have one?
i do appreciate your efforts and you make valid points, but you know well there are some people who for their own reasons must believe the lies to make themselves feel better all the while accusing others of the same. there is no need to make up truth...its there in black and white from the writings of the early invaders. they wrote about the atrocities and in some cases were condemned by their peers for committing them.
but again, no one is talking about the dirty deals being done today to native peoples. in central ny state the oneida nation ...one of our haudenasaunee confederacy and one of the oldest true democracies on earth with its own constitution that predates the us constitution (another fact i have mentioned but which was ignored since it did not fit the agenda)..was destroyed by the us government over casino revenues and even involving the NAFTA vote. this is not ancient history this is now. its a case study in corruption at all levels of government. in the process peoples' homes have been bulldozed with no compensation, families made homeless, elders denied medical care and in certain cases dying for lack of it, yet all people talk about is "we weren't here when the indians were cheated". this is only one example of what is going on today in the usa against its indigenous peoples. if you see an injustice and do nothing then you are responsible. maybe thats why so many bury their heads, because to know whats going on is to be responsible. one day they will have to see because its coming for them too.

ryan,I se... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

ryan,

I see where you're going with the whole individual ownership of lands idea...and I get the point you're making, namely that Europeans had a different conception of ownership, and thats how these lopsided treaties were created.

Okay then, I'll ignore your prior points in you last post as you seem to finally understand the difference between tribal ownership of land and individual ownership of land. This was a key concept that allowed European settlers to basically steal land by treaty, which was then used to justify the use of force to enforce it. No one commenting on this topic seems to be trying to defend how the land was taken from the Indians.

My real point is one of pragmatism. The land is never going to be returned to the Indians. In a case involving the Black Hills of South Dakota the tribe won a supreme court case against the government, but only for money to be paid, not for the return of the land. The tribes refuse to accept the money in hopes of regaining the actual land, which is likely a vain hope. Individuals owe it to themselves and especially to their children to move on with their lives. They don't have to give up their legal claims or their heritage, they can keep those while sharing in the prosperity of modern America.

mac:Okay then, ... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

mac:

Okay then, I'll ignore your prior points in you last post as you seem to finally understand the difference between tribal ownership of land and individual ownership of land.

It's not a matter of me understanding the difference between tribal ownership of land and the idea of individual ownership. I assure you that a have a competent grasp of each of those concepts. What I was trying to figure out was what exactly you were trying to argue by bringing up the distinction between the two.

So, basically, I see where you are taking your argument.

This was a key concept that allowed European settlers to basically steal land by treaty, which was then used to justify the use of force to enforce it. No one commenting on this topic seems to be trying to defend how the land was taken from the Indians.

Well, you're not going to catch me defending the way that Europeans took land, sorry. I personally do not think they were either as innocent, or as naive as you want to characterize them. I think they knew they were pretty much usurping lands from people in a pretty unfair way, and they invoked all of this technical/legal bullshit in order to make themselves feel better.

Individuals owe it to themselves and especially to their children to move on with their lives.

Try using that line of reasoning with the Christians, Jews, and Muslims regarding their Holy Lands. Ya, just get over it people.

The Black Hills are every bit as sacred to the Sioux as the Holy Land is the Christians and Jews.

They don't have to give up their legal claims or their heritage, they can keep those while sharing in the prosperity of modern America.

Look, I get your pragmatic points here. I understand that it's not like we can just reverse the course of history and give all the lands back. We're all here now, and that's just not going to happen.

However, I think that it's fully possible for some reconciliation to be made with many Native American groups. I do. I do not think they all have to "just deal with it" as many people assert. It's ironic to me that on the one hand you're telling people to stop wallowing in the past, and on the other you're telling them to just give up and deal with the fact that some of their most important lands have either already been taken, or are threatened. I think tbey should keep fighting for what they believe in, regardless of the adversity.

So-called modern America is not prosperous for everyone, and anyone who takes a look around realizes that. Some people make it, some dont, and there isnt a guarantee by any means. It seems like you think Native Americans are just sitting around doing nothing, while they could be out working that nine to five job and getting ahead. I call bullshit on that one. I argue that they're out there working and trying to survive like the rest of us, and it aint always easy.

People go on and on about the poverty and drug addiction problems on reservations, like those places have a monopoly on those vices. Our cities are full of the same social problems, and for some of the very same reasons: substandard education systems, differential federal and state support, lack of jobs, etc.

Did you read the post by the guy who is a substitute teacher on reservations? Well, you should.

How do you, Mac, propose that Native Americans begin sharing in the prosperity of "modern" America?

ryan,sorr... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

ryan,

sorry. I personally do not think they were either as innocent, or as naive as you want to characterize them. I think they knew they were pretty much usurping lands from people in a pretty unfair way, and they invoked all of this technical/legal bullshit in order to make themselves feel better.

I don't see where I characterize them as innocent. Certainly they were individuals on both sides who didn't have anything to do with formulating the treaties. All thy knew was that a treaty had been signed. As I said before "No one [including me] commenting on this topic seems to be trying to defend how the land was taken from the Indians."

Try using that line of reasoning with the Christians, Jews, and Muslims regarding their Holy Lands. Ya, just get over it people.

That's exactly my point from a few posts back. Teach kids too much history and they learn to hate others and relive the conflicts of the past. There are only two ways out of that trap, wars of genocide or forgiveness. Which do you think is best for Indians?

How do you, Mac, propose that Native Americans begin sharing in the prosperity of "modern" America?

Only because you asked. The first thing Indian people need to do is stop taking the poison liberal apologists like you have been feeding them. That poison is not only responsible for the poverty of Indians it's also the root cause of the similar problems we see in our cities.

I'm sure you think you're helping and being compassionate and that makes you feel good. You are even supported by the very people who are already sick from your poison, because it's addictive just like a drug.

You teach them all about the historical injustices they have suffered at the hands of others knowing that that kind of knowledge produces the hate that keeps the middle east in a state of war.

You say "I think tbey should keep fighting for what they believe in, regardless of the adversity." That's right, keep their focus on trying to change the past.

You call working a nine to five job bullshit because there's no guarantee of success, and in doing so you encourage them not to try. If there's no jobs, then what do they need an education for? So they stay in poverty and live on handouts from the government.

You tell people that because of things they can't change they are destine to fail, and that it's okay to fail because it someone else's fault. You have taught them to hate the long dead and to hold the living of that race responsible. You have given these people an excuse to fail and in so doing you have insured their failure.

The answer is as I have already laid out in detail. Practice the wisdom of forgiveness and take responsibility for your own life. No able bodied person of sound mind is in a situation that they can start working their way out of. Maybe you won't make it, but you can give your kids a boost so they will make it.

Bill Crosby is giving Blacks the same basic message and most hate him for it. I can only imagine the messages I'm going to receive. Well bring it on, but watch your mouth as kids may be reading this.

Mac,First of all, ... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Mac,

First of all, I'm going to take a deep breath before responding to you. Secong, in all honesty I think that you want to improve the situation, and I do think that your intentions are good. I will keep that in mind, especially considering your "liberal apologist" remark, which to me comes right out of the good old stereotypical insult box.

As I said before "No one [including me] commenting on this topic seems to be trying to defend how the land was taken from the Indians."

Good.

There are only two ways out of that trap, wars of genocide or forgiveness. Which do you think is best for Indians?

Well, since you asked. I think it's about time that they are taught that their history is as important and relevant as the history of the United States. In fact, I think it's important they their history be considered an important part of the formation of the United States, since that is most certainly the case (consider, for instance, the ideas of democracy that we derived from them).

I do not think that cultural war is the answer by any means. I think that it's time that they consider themselves on equal grounds with the rest of us, and start demanding equal treatment. I also think it's time for us Americans to place that importance upon them, and also demand for equality toward them as well. It takes all of us to end the conflict here.

I do not think that running around blaming white people will do anything, especially since thats just the same damn thing all over again. I do think that gaining an understanding of what has happened, AND CONTINUES TO HAPPEN, is key to their empowerment.

By your line of reasoning, during the 1960s African American people should have just sucked it up and accepted the fact that they were not treated the same as whites. They should have just forgiven everyone for treating them like animals, and went to work regardless. Bullshit. They deserved to acknowledge what had happened to their people in the past, and they deserved fair and equal treatment, since they were citizens of the United States and lived under our Bill of Rights.

Native Americans, too, deserve respect, equality, and recognition.

I think that hate will get them nowhere, period. Hate isnt what I'm calling for, by any means. I think it's time we all realize what happened, and we deal with it on equal grounds.

The first thing Indian people need to do is stop taking the poison liberal apologists like you have been feeding them. That poison is not only responsible for the poverty of Indians it's also the root cause of the similar problems we see in our cities.

Ok, so I'm an apologist. I guess that's because I read and study history and realize that there is alot more to it than what is promulgated by the National Government, and out school systems. I am an apologist because when I read about the decimation of people like the California Indians, and then realize that their current situation might have been affected by that, I want to do what I can to rectify that problem. Fine. Call me an apologist for not buying into the usual rhetoric of American history, which purports freedom, liberty, and justice, while at the same time the very people who supposedly believe in those values hold human beings slaves, and murder others to take their lands. I realize that out histories have a bias, and a point of view. I realize that Native American viewpoints are in no way a part of our historical narrative, and in fact, that shapes public perception of today's world. Indeed, if people can come on here and write that they think Indians should just go back to hunting and gathering, it's apparent that there is an incredible lack of understanding going on.

I think that Native American history is every bit as important as any story that we tell about George Washinton, Thomas Jefferson, or good old Abe Lincoln. Thats what I think.

I think their people were screwed, and that they are still being screwed today in many cases. I do not think they need to sit by an allow that to happen, and I do not think they need to accept their lot in life. I think they deserve all the rights and priveleges that any American gets, and they should demand it. Along with that, they should be supported by other Americans.

For me, and understanding, and acknowledgment of the past is key to understanding today. As the saying goes, "He who contols the present controls the past." Well, it's time that we rewrite our sacred little histories just a bit, and include our brothers and sisters who have roots on this continent which date back about 12,500 years before any of us got here. They deserve that.

I'm sure you think you're helping and being compassionate and that makes you feel good.

Ya, Mac, all I care about is making my fucking self feel good. What a goddamn asshole comment that was. You're right, I just picked up this interest because I was feeling sorry for myself, and just needed something to make me feel better. It wasnt because I was working as an archaeologist and came across issues that struck me as terribly wrong. It wasnt because I was seeing things that are still happening that I feel are complete bullshit, and that I feel more people need to know about. It wasnt because I started studying history and learned about past events that nobody ever told me about; events that I felt had been omitted on purpose and hidden from public view. It wasnt because I have become friends with strong willed, and exceptional, Native American people who have clued me into what they think about life, who told me about their experiences. Ya Mac, this is all just bullshit, and I just want to make myself feel good.

Indeed, you pissed me off with that one. And I tend to have a lot of patience, pal.

You teach them all about the historical injustices they have suffered at the hands of others knowing that that kind of knowledge produces the hate that keeps the middle east in a state of war.

If you read what I wrote, you might realize that I do not, ever, preach hate. I dont. I do think that people have a right, and a duty, to understand the past, and to try to read through the political rhetoric of the present. History is by no means black and white, and is not, ever, a case of good vs. evil. Usually, it's very complicated. The case with Native Americans is no different, and if you read all of what I wrote above, you might realize that I understand that.

You say "I think tbey should keep fighting for what they believe in, regardless of the adversity." That's right, keep their focus on trying to change the past.

I think of it in the same sense that I would civil rights, etc. I think they deserve equal respect, both today and in historic terms. The past cannot be changed, but indeed it can be brought into the light, and understood in more accurate terms. i think that Native Americans should continue to fight for their lands, which are still threatened today, and they should continue to fight for recognition and respect, which they deserve. I am not saying that they should fight against white people at all costs, or try to overthrow the United States. I think they should fight for an equal footing in this culture.

Practice the wisdom of forgiveness and take responsibility for your own life. No able bodied person of sound mind is in a situation that they can start working their way out of. Maybe you won't make it, but you can give your kids a boost so they will make it.

I agree. Understand what went down, and understand that your history, and culture, is both valid and respectable. Forgive the people who committed crimes, and do not blame others by association. Along with that, demand equality, as it is deserved, today. Do not forgoe your rights, or your freedoms. Be forgiving, yet firm. Take responsiblity for your own life, expect others to do the same.

I can only imagine the messages I'm going to receive. Well bring it on, but watch your mouth as kids may be reading this.

Here's the message: Ultimately, I might disagree with you on many points, but I do think that you have good intentions. I respect you for encouraging forgiveness, completely. I can only hope that you read what I write, and that you try to understand what I am saying, and try to understand my point of view. That is all that I can ask. These are things that are important to me, and this subject is something that I plan to continue to work on in life. I feel that I have a certain obligation, in a sense, because of some things that I have seen, and some people that I have met.


ryan, Wel... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

ryan,

Well, since you asked. I think it's about time that they are taught that their history is as important and relevant as the history of the United States. In fact, I think it's important they their history be considered an important part of the formation of the United States, since that is most certainly the case (consider, for instance, the ideas of democracy that we derived from them).

Knowledge is power, but as has two sides. Knowledge that a person descends from a great people who met and overcame many challenges gives the learner confidence that they can do the same as well as sets the expectation that they will succeed. Knowledge of how a person's people have be defeated, ticked and cheated by others creates hate and a sense of victimhood and disperse. When teaching immature individuals it's difficult to avoid the negative effects of that knowledge. Just like "adult" content, there are certain things that immature individuals should not be exposed to.

I do not think that cultural war is the answer by any means. I think that it's time that they consider themselves on equal grounds with the rest of us, and start demanding equal treatment. I also think it's time for us Americans to place that importance upon them, and also demand for equality toward them as well. It takes all of us to end the conflict here.

I agree as long as the equal treatment includes equal responsibilities for one's own life and situation in life. We have see on this topic some posters complaining about the inadequate housing the Federal government provides them. Well, equal treatment means no government housing just because of your race. If there are extenuating circumstances, then the normal welfare rules should apply. All too often when people ask for equal treatment they want just the goods, but don't want to do the work.

By your line of reasoning, during the 1960s African American people should have just sucked it up and accepted the fact that they were not treated the same as whites. They should have just forgiven everyone for treating them like animals, and went to work regardless. Bullshit. They deserved to acknowledge what had happened to their people in the past, and they deserved fair and equal treatment, since they were citizens of the United States and lived under our Bill of Rights.

You are missing a fundamental difference and that's why you should be careful when recasting my comments or line of reasoning. The discrimination Blacks faced was encoded in the law of several states. That fight had to be won for the sake of ALL minorities, not just Blacks. If there is still discrimination against Indians written into the law, then bring it out into the open and the vast majority of Americans will work to change that law. The only exception is for "white men" who are not protected by anti-discrimination laws unless they claim to be gay or of a religious minority. Otherwise, they are the new whipping boys and are paying a price for the sins of the long dead. Obviously when asking for "equal treatment" you want to be excluded from that group.

while at the same time the very people who supposedly believe in those values hold human beings slaves, and murder others to take their lands.

I assume you are talking about the long dead. If someone in the U.S. is currently holding slaves or murdering people you need to report those crimes to the proper authorities. If the authorities won't act, go to the press with the facts. Not making a clear distinction between the crimes of the long dead and the living causes lots of problems. If you can't teach that history in proper context you are doing far more harm than good.

Indeed, if people can come on here and write that they think Indians should just go back to hunting and gathering, it's apparent that there is an incredible lack of understanding going on.

Agreed, but there's just as much a lack of understanding on the part of those who write that whites should get off Indian land and go back to Europe.

Along with that, they should be supported by other Americans.

I hope you are not talking about financial support of someone just because of their race.

Well, it's time that we rewrite our sacred little histories just a bit, and include our brothers and sisters who have roots on this continent which date back about 12,500 years before any of us got here.

My point about teaching history is clear. As for the date, scientific discovers keep changing it. The recent find of a genetic marker shows that the tribes of North America descended from peoples in what's now northern China. However, evidence shows that the tribes in South America descended from Polynesian people and were in South America thousands of years before people from China arrived in North America. That may explain why the tribes of South American developed a written language, mathematics and smelted metal, while those in North America didn't.

Ya Mac, this is all just bullshit, and I just want to make myself feel good.

The problem with liberals is that they are motivated by emotions rather than by wisdom. Sometimes the two point in the same direction, but often the emotional response is opposite of the wise response. Parents love their kids, but often have to go against their emotions to do the things that are in the best interest of their kids. Such wisdom is sometimes described as tough love. You may feel bad while practicing tough love, but you know in your mind that it's the wise course in the long run. I believe you are a compassionate person, but like many liberals, you lack wisdom.

Indeed, you pissed me off with that one. And I tend to have a lot of patience, pal.

It was my intent to exercise your emotional response in the hope that when it burned itself out you could think more clearly about what your are doing to your Indian friends. Do you love them enough to tell them the truth at the risk of loosing their friendship?

Here's the message: Ultimately, I might disagree with you on many points, but I do think that you have good intentions. I respect you for encouraging forgiveness, completely. I can only hope that you read what I write, and that you try to understand what I am saying, and try to understand my point of view. That is all that I can ask. These are things that are important to me, and this subject is something that I plan to continue to work on in life. I feel that I have a certain obligation, in a sense, because of some things that I have seen, and some people that I have met..

I have read your messages completely. I also believe your intentions are good, and you are taking a more holistic approach, which will work if you are careful to insure individuals are never let off the hook for being responsible for their own lives; in success or in failure. You are right that forgiveness is the key, not only in this matter but in all human conflicts. I stand with you in those things.

However, there are lots of Indian people who are in dire need of rescue from the victimhood they wallow in, and what they need most is a shocking message of tough love. As a conservative I support government help for disadvantaged individuals of all races who are working to help themselves. Education that works for kids who don't like school, scholarships for kids that what to go to college, matching wages for the working poor (currently called earned income) even if they don't have kids. We don't owe people success, but we do owe them opportunity and to then hold them accountable for what they do with that opportunity.

Peace!

WHITE MAN SPEAKS WITH FORK ... (Below threshold)
PAIUTEJACK:

WHITE MAN SPEAKS WITH FORK TONGUE

I have read alot of why we ... (Below threshold)
Lyn:

I have read alot of why we don't try to better our selves, get jobs, etc. Please for one moment hear me out..How would you like to wake up one morning to find you are no longer a "Legal" white person, black person or asian? Happens to us all the time. The President loves to get pen happy and wipe out a whole tribe. Can you imagion being a "Legal" ethnic? I don't go around asking you how much white you are or how much english etc. We are!!...As far as jobs with the exception of the east coast alot of reservations are well off the main drag so to speak..up to several hours..border towns sell cars easy to NDNs buy here pay here, at a well marked up price and what are these cars? The large V8 gas guzzlers....now think of the price of gas! Then as an added bonus I would like you to think of being in Harlem or China town...when you are a white person...now think of trying to get work there and if you succeed..think about working in that enviornment!
Can you imagion living on your piece of ground for 20 yrs farming it ..then all of a sudden, the government wants that piece of property because it has coal beneath the ground, and in its place the government will move you to another piece of property only draw back is it was a nuclear testing site. Or what would you do if the government mined behind your house and contaminated your wells? Well, it happened and the government did nothing about it, it is alright if your a Indian and have no water for a whole tribe. This is the recent past...not ancient. I will respectfully ask that you check REAL news and history not your fairy tale stuff.

I want you to live under th... (Below threshold)
Lyn:

I want you to live under these conditions...this is just one state..look at the others I can give you things from SD, California on down the line. Yeah, NDN's want to be in your world alright.

'I'm embarrassed for my state'
By BRODIE FARQUHAR
Star-Tribune correspondent Monday, February 06, 2006

LANDER -- Discrimination against American Indians is alive and well in Wyoming, says the superintendent of Fremont County School District 14.

Michelle Hoffman told state lawmakers last week that as students from the Wyoming Indian district have traveled around the state in activities, they have encountered behavior ranging from ignorant, insensitive actions by students at other schools to outright, in-your-face racism.

"It has to stop," Hoffman told the Select Committee on Tribal Relations. "I'm embarrassed for my state."

Hoffman's comments unleashed a series of complaints and painful stories from the audience

Wind River Indian Reservation resident Sandra C'Bearing told the legislators that her son, Al, was attending Chadron State University in Nebraska on a basketball scholarship. When he learned that Chadron's men's basketball team would travel to Laramie to play the University of Wyoming Cowboys, he obtained several tickets to the game and sent them to his mother.

Yet when the C'Bearing family presented their tickets at the basketball arena, they were challenged by UW staff, questioned where they got the tickets and forced to wait until the tickets' authenticity could be verified, she said.

"We missed the warm-up period when I wanted to take photos of my son," C'Bearing said.

Once the tickets were verified, the C'Bearing family was admitted, and they took their seats behind the media tables at courtside. Again, they were challenged by UW staff and told they couldn't sit there, she said. When the ticket stubs proved those were indeed their seats, the UW staffer backed off.

That wasn't the end of it, she said. Throughout the game, there were rude comments about her son's long hair, war whoops from the stands and a number of UW students aiming "arrows" at her son in imitation of someone using a bow and arrow.

In a statement released by the UW Media Relations Office, Athletic Director Gary Barta said: "The Chadron State game was in early November, and this is the first time UW was aware of concerns about inappropriate behavior related to that game. We want to make attendance at Cowboy basketball games an enjoyable experience for everyone who attends and deeply regret it when the experience is not satisfactory.

"More importantly, UW will not tolerate discriminatory behavior on our campus. We will contact the family and thoroughly review their concerns to determine whether a response by the university should be undertaken."

Allison Sage, Northern Arapaho Tribe liaison to the governor's office, said that when he took a Wyoming history course at UW, he studied from three required books. Among all those pages of information, he said, was a page and a half about Indians, and that mostly consisted of stereotyped comments about savages.

"History can hurt," said Kassel Weeks, a member of the Eastern Shoshone Business Council, especially when he learned how his people have been treated over the years.

Several students from a government class at Wyoming Indian School said they were surprised at how fundamentally ignorant their white friends were about the Wind River reservation and the tribes, even when they live right next door in Riverton or Lander.

"I think the only solution is through education" of students and teachers alike throughout the state, Hoffman said.

She said she had invited teachers from a couple of schools where there were discriminatory incidents to come to Wyoming Indian School for a crash course in Indian culture and history. The next time her students visit those schools, she hopes they'll receive a better reception, because those teachers will have shared what they learned.

"It falls on us to provide the training, when all teachers should have this training," Hoffman said.

She's looking north, toward Montana, for inspiration of what could happen someday in Wyoming. Hoffman praised Montana's Indian Education for All, a program that educates all Montana school children about American Indian history and culture.

The Montana program received $3.4 million from the Legislature last year to develop a statewide curriculum that can be woven into the fabric of K-12 public education, recognizing the 12 tribes that call Montana home.

The Montana Office of Public Instruction, led by Superintendent Linda McCullough, has a plan for curriculum development and teacher training. In a Friday telephone interview, McCullough said the program is not simply to educate Indian students about their cultures and histories, but to educate the entire state.

On the Net

* For more information about Wyoming Indian Schools, go to {M7http://www.fremont14.k12.wy.us/.

* For more information about Montana's Indian Education For All program, go to {M7www.opi.mt.gov/IndianEd.

Brodie Farquhar is a freelance writer based in Lander. He can be reached at [email protected]

Here's some more good readi... (Below threshold)
Lyn:

Here's some more good reading for you..one of your ezines, not ndn..

North American Reservation - Reap and Sow

By Nancy Levant
February 7, 2006


American Chronicle


http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/viewArticle.asp?articleID=5564

LynPlease... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Lyn

Please for one moment hear me out..How would you like to wake up one morning to find you are no longer a "Legal" white person, black person or asian? Happens to us all the time.

That might actually be a good thing if your particular ethnic group has been derided by the dominate culture for wallowing in self-pity. How would you like to wake up one morning to find you no longer had any excuse to fail; that you are primarily responsible for your own status in life? It can be scary, but it's also empowering because now you have control of your status in life.

Control is always paired with responsibility. It's a fundamental fact of life. You can't have control until you take responsibility. It sounds so simple, yet it's profound life changing wisdom from ancient times. I'm not talking about the physically or mentally handicapped. Such people are not responsible for their condition, and because they can't take responsibility, they can't take control either, not of the disability. Yet to whatever degree they take responsibility they also gain control.

Control and responsibility can never be separated. You can't take control of a car until you take responsibility for what happens while you are in control of the car. Some people think they can separate the two only to find out that society holds them responsible whether they like it or not.

It's the same for tribes as it is for people. If a tribe doesn't take responsibility for it's reputation it has no control of it either. As you see from the Wyoming incident you cite, society holds individuals who self-identify themselves as members of a dysfunctional tribe in low esteem such that even well educated people don't feel members of such a tribe belong at their sporting event. Yes it's discrimination, but the way to change it is for the tribe to take responsibility for it's own reputation. Anyone who wants to be known as a tribe member needs to meet some expectations set by the tribe. Otherwise, the group puts pressure on them to shape-up or ship-out.

If you don't want the bad reputation of a dysfunctional tribe destroying your own reputation, stop associating with that tribe. Stop self-identifying yourself as a member through your dress, your haircut, your words, and most importunely, your attitude.

I don't mean any disrespect and I know that people start out in different places in this life. Some with many advantages and some with many disadvantages. Those initial advantages and disadvantages are usually inherited from parents and grand parents. It's only natural for parents to give their children as much a boost in getting started in life as they can. Some families have been very successful in doing that for generations, so their children start out with the best education, social status, business contacts, and money. What they don't have is an excuse to fail and they know it. Other people start out with a whole list of excuses why they can't succeed and little else. What I'm trying to tell you is that you can reject those excuses.

Obviously, it depends on how old a person is as to what opportunities they have. If a person is still in school, work on graduating. With a high school diploma they can join the military to learn a trade and gain job experience. Save their pay and get out after four years and find a job in an economically viable location.

If the military is not an option, learn how to sell stuff on eBay. Anything handmade that legitimately caries the name of an Indian tribe will attract bids from liberals who want to feel good about themselves. Exploit your advantages even if others think they are disadvantages; it's the American way.

Here's just one quick idea. There's a popular TV show called Survivor, and if you have seen it you know few people can make fire with just what's available around them, yet it can be done. Do a little research and make a Genuine Lakota (or whatever tribe) fire starting kit with instructions and sell them on eBay. Post your best sob story and liberals will bid up the price well beyond any real value.

More legitimately, a tribe could design outdoor clothing, have it manufactured in Chine for cheap, and sell it as Genuine Lakota designed, tested and approved footwear, coats, pants, all the stuff hunters need. Use the Indian hunting mystic as a marketing advantage no other group can claim.

Dang, I'm starting to wish I were Indian, I could make lots more money living right on the reservatin.

Don't you mean Control is a... (Below threshold)
PAIUTEJACK:

Don't you mean Control is always paired with Greed never with responsibility, it's too unrealistic & expensive to re-write the history books? Control & responsibility can be separated, so long as the whites prosper but don't share this with any of your minorities "FRIENDS". I got your joke, Ha Ha...

Control and responsibility ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Control and responsibility come as a pair in all human endeavors, not just economics. What's written about the long dead doesn't change that. The joke is that I've told one of the secrets to success in all areas of life and some would rather wallow in their victimhood.

MacYou stated:... (Below threshold)
Lyn:

Mac
You stated:
How would you like to wake up one morning to find you no longer had any excuse to fail; that you are primarily responsible for your own status in life? It can be scary, but it's also empowering because now you have control of your status in life.

Sorry to tell you, I have moved on I don't live on the rez. I have a decent job, make decent money. That is why I try to help make the world a better place for future generations, so we don't lose touch with our people, our culture, and traditions. I don't like your world much, I don't like your thought patterns, I don't like the way you treat other people. But I live here. And your thoughts on status in life is nothing to me. They are your ideas of life not mine.

You stated
If you don't want the bad reputation of a dysfunctional tribe destroying your own reputation, stop associating with that tribe. Stop self-identifying yourself as a member through your dress, your haircut, your words, and most importunely, your attitude.

That is what makes us a people. Disassociating is not something you will likely see. We are proud of who we once were and who we are. As far as dress and hair cuts..there you go again..to most of us that sort of thing is part of OUR RELIGION. sounds like assimilation to me. Sounds like a rehash of the past. I guess you want to send us back to schools like "Carlisle. To teach us how to assimilate into your world. What you see as far as the alchololism and drugs..is because our way of life had been taken, our culture, our beliefs. What you offer in return goes against what we are, Our beliefs have always been for the "People" You know the saying "it takes a village to raise a child." You offer greed and and number one. Most of these people with addictions are so lost. We don't want to be like you, we have seen what you have done to the land and all we hold sacred, why would we want to remove ourselves to live in your world when most don't understand it or the things you do.

You stated:
Obviously, it depends on how old a person is as to what opportunities they have. If a person is still in school, work on graduating. With a high school diploma they can join the military to learn a trade and gain job experience. Save their pay and get out after four years and find a job in an economically viable location.

I think you ought to check military records, most of our people do join the military. Frankly we don't want to live away from our people, our religion, and our culture. We, just like your Amish prefer to keep our religion and way of life. And yes, they make a living off the land, but they have gotten to choose the land they live on and they choose fertile and workable land. They group together just like a reservation. They too have shunned your ways and don't understand your greed and thinking processes. They live with the village concept. As far as ground and living off it,seems the few who make a living off the land, get moved for the wealth of what under their ground. To a place left unusable and unexceptable for human habitation. like a nuclear testing site. Or a place with contaminated wells, but not to worry if you have good water, the government will change that for you too.

You stated:
If the military is not an option, learn how to sell stuff on eBay. Anything handmade that legitimately caries the name of an Indian tribe will attract bids from liberals who want to feel good about themselves. Exploit your advantages even if others think they are disadvantages; it's the American way.

Ebay that is you are assuming they have computers and electric. Do you know right now there are elders freezing to death on Pineridge? The things you talk about sound great assuming you can get backing or have money to make money..alot of these people don't have food or heat. Alot will not allow their children to starve while taking a risk with the little money they have. .a friend of mine who works for the school district on a Navajo reservation makes excellent money. Doesn't have electric at home.The tribe can't afford to have the wires strung to where they are. Move you say, it is what empowers him as who he is, to move away would take him away from all that he holds dear and precious in life. His religion, his people, his language, his family.
Most of us that do live away, are the ones you are butting heads with here and most have moved away and don't like it. We want to retain our culture and way of life, religion and our language, If you don't speak your language, you lose it and to lose a language is the death of a people. But that isn't something you would care or even worry about since most people in the world speak english.

You stated:
More legitimately, a tribe could design outdoor clothing, have it manufactured in Chine for cheap, and sell it as Genuine Lakota designed, tested and approved footwear, coats, pants, all the stuff hunters need. Use the Indian hunting mystic as a marketing advantage no other group can claim.

Did you know that to sell anything as Genuine "Indian" anything. requires you as a person to have personally made it and you must have your name and roll number attached to each item. Thats the law. There goes your BIG MONEY MAKER. Any other ideas you would like to give us that requires us to break the law and be imprisioned for? If you are going to give big money making ideas I suggest you read the laws, seems we have been saddled with most of yours and ones just for us.

http://thorpe.ou.edu/cohen.html

Deceit, is not an option for most either,to decieve someone is not only dishonoring the person you are lying to, but most of all it is dishonoring yourself. Why do you think most Asians stay in there own little corner of your world? They have cultural ethics and morals that collide with your world. The sad fact is the ones you hear about are the ones preying on those very morals, who have gotten the greed fever.

You stated:
I don't mean any disrespect and I know that people start out in different places in this life. Some with many advantages and some with many disadvantages. Those initial advantages and disadvantages are usually inherited from parents and grand parents. It's only natural for parents to give their children as much a boost in getting started in life as they can. Some families have been very successful in doing that for generations, so their children start out with the best education, social status, business contacts, and money. What they don't have is an excuse to fail and they know it. Other people start out with a whole list of excuses why they can't succeed and little else. What I'm trying to tell you is that you can reject those excuses.

And what I am trying to say to you is we aren't out for social status...money...we are out for being treated like humans. If a man can feed his family teach OUR values to his children, to teach them to honor the mother, and all living things. To feed his family and be able to share with those less fortunate, like the elders and handicapped. To us that is "big social status" Stop trying to make people carbon copies of your values.

I don't look at every white person and assume you all are a Ted Bundy or a John Wayne Gacy, but most of your people do, you see a couple drunks so we all are. To most people we are a bunch of dirty heathens..sorry to tell you, but our people taught yours the concept of daily bathing. I don't look at all white people and assume they are all rich and I don't look at blacks and think drugs and robbery or hispanics as fertile rabbits. Lets take a little responsibility here..alot of white people are very prejudice. Since they are the ones in power, as I see few blacks and other ethnics in govt. their opinion far reaches that of any other ethnic group, along with the laws.

It also seems as if most of you think we all just sit and wallow in poverty, and wait for hand outs or don't take any responsibility for the drug and alcholol problems on the reservations, the poor conditions we live with and crime in our communities. I won't even touch that subject..might I suggest if you really think that then you might want to read some of our newspapers.

http://www.indiancountry.com/
http://www.indianz.com/

Those are all tribes...news. Some tribes have there own online newspapers.

It also seem to me that there are so many great ways to fix the problem, with so little knowledge of what and who we are, and even less knowledge of what is important to us as a people. Typical European, your values have to be the same as mine and your religion requires you to attend a church and not show any religion except on Sunday. Out there an alchololic is sick and gets catered to..along with most additions. When it is my people it is a choice. Love double standards. You want to save yourself tax dollars look into inmate lawsuits, and the pay for your law makers. And for most of you I pay taxes, too. Just the same as you. Personally, I would rather have my tax money go to people to see that they have food, clothing and a desent place to live than to give money to a bunch of criminals to be treated like a "human" and politicians.

Many people have said "why bother with this sort of thing, they don't think like us" and I am beginning to see that, that is why the world is in the state it is in now. Everyone is out for number one. Well, when you have made your billions and finally take the time to look at what you have done to the world and the enviornment. When you have paved all the trees away and killed off all the animals for your way of life, See that the world is next to unlivable..what will your millions do for you? How will you feel when you wake up on day and find your children grown and you didn't have the time to see it and their values aren't the same as yours, because the babysitter raised them? When you sit down and stuff yourself with expensive foods and down the street there is a child or an old person cold and hungry, it must make you sleep real good. That is why I don't want your values..that is why I don't like living in your world.

"When we Indians kill meat, we eat it all up. When we dig roots, we make little holes. When we build houses, we make little holes. When we burn grass for grasshoppers, we don't ruin things. We shake down acorns and pine nuts. We don't chop down the trees. We only use dead wood. But the white people plow up the ground, pull down the trees, kill everything. ... the White people pay no attention. ...How can the spirit of the earth like the White man? ... everywhere the White man has touched it, it is sore."
~Wintu Woman, 19th Century

Out of the Indian approach to life there came a great freedom, an intense and absorbing respect for life, enriching faith in a Supreme Power, and principles of truth, honesty, generosity, equity, and brotherhood as a guide to mundane relations.
~Luther Standing Bear Oglala Sioux 1868-1937

"No individual or group can block another individual's path or change it against what fits his nature and his purpose. It might be done for a time, but in the end it won't work out."

--Rolling Thunder, CHEROKEE


"If you have one hundred people who live
together, and if each one cares for the rest,
there is One Mind."

--Shining Arrows, CROW


"Our Spiritual belief is that we were
created as part of the land - so our
identity, our names, and our songs are all
tied to the land."

-Chief Roderick Robinson, NISGA'A

I can give you quotes from now till forever, but it doesn't mean that you will get it. Some questions for you...if everything your culture provides for a person religion, ethics and the wonderment of being a me me person, why do we have so many wannabes...why do people go as far as faking to be one of us. Why do they steal our religion and and philosiphies. Must be something lacking in the way your world has evolved.


lyn


I have replied to your post... (Below threshold)
Lyn:

I have replied to your post..but seems that I put too many urls in there for it to be posted immediately.

Sorry to tell you,... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Sorry to tell you, I have moved on I don't live on the rez. I have a decent job, make decent money. That is why I try to help make the world a better place for future generations, so we don't lose touch with our people, our culture, and traditions. I don't like your world much, I don't like your thought patterns, I don't like the way you treat other people. But I live here. And your thoughts on status in life is nothing to me. They are your ideas of life not mine.

You assume you know something about me because of the advice I have given. I gave that advice only because of all the whining on this topic about how hard life is for Indians. Indians aren't the only people who choose to live in poverty for religious reasons, but those other groups don't whine about how bad they have it.

Ebay that is you are assuming they have computers and electric.

Well I've been deceived then by all those posting about how hard life is on the reservation as if that's where they lived.

I have a decent job, make decent money. That is why I try to help make the world a better place for future generations

And how does your job do that? By making more money than you need to live on I bet. I give a substantial amount of my income away to help others, but you think that my making money is all about greed. See how you have judged me without knowing anything about me. All I was trying to do was to help those who complained about bad living conditions, help themselves.

Did you know that to sell anything as Genuine "Indian" anything. requires you as a person to have personally made it and you must have your name and roll number attached to each item.

It's the same law for all, not just Indians. You can't misrepresent a product. Nevertheless, a tribe can design a product, test that product, and put it's stamp of approval on it. Then sell it as designed tested and approved by the xxxx tribe. Tribes can register trademarks just like any other group and use that trade mark to identify their products in the market place, and some tribes do just that.

Anyway, if this is really all about your religion, then I won't bother you any more. I'll just assume every poor Indian I see is practicing their religion and it's their 1st amendment right to live in poverty.

You stated:You assum... (Below threshold)
lyn:

You stated:
You assume you know something about me because of the advice I have given. I gave that advice only because of all the whining on this topic about how hard life is for Indians. Indians aren't the only people who choose to live in poverty for religious reasons, but those other groups don't whine about how bad they have it.

I said "most" I am sorry you took it personally.The kind of poverty you speak of isn't poverty to most of us...not having the means to feed or warm our family's is poverty. NOT money. That is what your people have done. No land, no animals very little farming on the kind of land we were given. Your culture has made it so we are dependant on money. We have no idea how far "we" as a people would have come. So I can't say what we would be doing in lieu of what we are now. And yes, other groups have, do and continue to do so..but you don't see us on TV saying "the white oppession..substandard schools for ethnic people.." Maybe that is our problem..we haven't said it loud and long enough, so that all those listening have become deaf to our words.

You stated:
Well I've been deceived then by all those posting about how hard life is on the reservation as if that's where they lived.

I didn't say ALL, learn to read please..I specifically made it most, in fact went through my whole post to make sure it didn't sound as if I personally know it to be a fact. Most of the people have lived there, some live there and many have gone back after being out here. And even if we are off reservation, we still have family there and know its hardships. What you think because we leave we don't continue to talk to family and friends we divorce our whole nation?

You stated:
And how does your job do that? By making more money than you need to live on I bet. I give a substantial amount of my income away to help others, but you think that my making money is all about greed. See how you have judged me without knowing anything about me. All I was trying to do was to help those who complained about bad living conditions, help themselves.

I work with the abused...and it doesn't come with an upscale salary. no, I live paycheck to paycheck..I live in a tiny apt...and in the winter I challenge co workers to see who can buy more winter gift packages for under priviledged kids. I drive a 10 year old beat up car with 226,000 miles on it. My dinner was 2 bean burritos. I guess. I am really really living fat off the hog.

You stated:
Anyway, if this is really all about your religion, then I won't bother you any more. I'll just assume every poor Indian I see is practicing their religion and it's their 1st amendment right to live in poverty.

You are the one who wanted us to get rid of hair cuts and dress, remember. I was just informing you that is part of our religion,& who we are. It should have nothing to do with feeding our families. And once again main issues are stuffed in the background.

I am really sorry you don't like to have your words given back to you. Your anger tells me I have struck a truth..
Lyn

That is what your ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
That is what your people have done.

You see that's what I'm talking about. You blame my people without knowing a thing about who I am. I had nothing to do with your people's demise, nor did my ancestors going back thousands of years. Maybe I should blame your people for all the deaths caused by tobacco, which they introduced Europeans to. I simply won't take the blame for the demise of your people nor will most people living today. It simply was the inevitable fate of a static culture, or do you really think the rest of the world would be exploring space while this entire continent remained untouched?

Your culture has made it so we are dependant on money.

For thousands of years the rest of the world has used various forms of money to facilitate trade. If you want something you can't grow or can't make yourself, then you have to trade something for it, something the other party wants. All money does is make it easier to trade, yet somehow in your thinking you have made it into something bad. The fact is you need money and Indians can make it without leaving the reservation if they will just open their eyes to the possibilities.

As we live we learn and as we learn it changes how we live. At least that's the way it works in most of the world where people strive to improve their own lives, their families lives and the lives of the community.

Of course I know that not ALL Indians think as you do, some are my neighbors and they are fully engaged in the modern world and in saving lives while improving their own.

And yes, other groups have, do and continue to do so.

But no other group that claims to live a simple life for religious reasons as a matter of conscience then whines about living the life they chose.

When Indians whine about living a simple life, yet claim it's their religion to live a simple life, it just shows that religion is being used as an excuse. That's been proven time and time again when a casino is built and tribes have money, the first thing that goes is any pretense of wanting to live a simple life. Up go the fancy homes with RVs and sports cars parked in front of their triple door garage.

I didn't say ALL, learn to read please.

And I didn't say ALL either as in everyone. I qualified it saying "all those posting about how hard life is on the reservation as if that's where they lived." So it's only those who posted about how hard life is on the reservation as if that's where they lived. My point was that money could be made on Ebay and I'm writing this to people on this blog, not people who don't have electricity where they live. Your excuse as to why Indians can't sell on Ebay was because they don't have electricity or computers. Of course, you or other's like you who do have computers could help folks back on the reservation sell their goods at top price on Ebay. Then again, if it's not a lack of electricity or computers, or religion, it will be some other excuse. Until there's a change in attitude, there can be no change in a person's life. I know that's not a message many want to hear, but it's the truth. Stop blaming the long dead for problems today, take responsibly and gain control. I know, of course, that many would rather stay members of the wallow wallow wallow tribe.

You know Mac, not all of us... (Below threshold)
Lyn:

You know Mac, not all of us are crafters. WOW an Indian who doesn't string together beads what a concept. Also alot of items take a long time they can't be mass produced. Quilling goes an inch an hour.The ones who do, already sell their items to people who resell them marked up 3 times or at powwows. Not everyone who can do crafts have the money to make crafts.


A Casino doesn't mean money, either there are alot that don't make enough to sill over into the communities. However it does pay workers. I was in Salamanca,Akwasanee,Kanawakee and Six Nations this summer, funny I didn't see any mansions or high living for that matter.

In the things I have said isn't long dead, the removal to a nuclear testing site was just several years ago, so was the well cantaminations. In my Feb 9th there was barely anything more than 5 years ago.

Try visiting Pineridge, or Rosebud where elders are feezing to death, and so are infants. Right Now.

I haven' seen any whining here, I have however, seen misinformed people being told the truth.

You are one of those people who has to be right and smarter than the rest. And if people reply to what you have said, and it makes you look misinformed. You have to twist peoples words to suit you. I pity your wife.

I haven't the patience to play your silly game.

You can't understand something you don't know about.

And yes, you people is a collective, if your ancestors didn't start here...

Listen or your tongue will keep you deaf.
~Native American Proverb

"One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we've been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. The bamboozle has captured us. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back."--Carl Sagan

I am finished with your silly game.

good for you lyn. this guy ... (Below threshold)
mo:

good for you lyn. this guy loves the sound of his own voice..or in this case print. any point we make that he can't argue, he simply ignores. i stopped responding to him long ago for that very reason. this type of ignorance is self inflicted and sadly, rarely will such a person change. at any rate life goes on and i too am grateful i don't have to live with him. skennen ko wah lyn.

Lyn,When I suggest... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Lyn,

When I suggested Indians could make things and sell them on Ebay you responded with this statement on Feb 9th:

Did you know that to sell anything as Genuine "Indian" anything. requires you as a person to have personally made it and you must have your name and roll number attached to each item. Thats the law. There goes your BIG MONEY MAKER. Any other ideas you would like to give us that requires us to break the law and be imprisioned for?

When I pressed the point about people with computers helping those on the reservation sell their goods on Ebay you responded with this statement on Feb 10th:

Also alot of items take a long time they can't be mass produced. Quilling goes an inch an hour.The ones who do, already sell their items to people who resell them marked up 3 times or at powwows.

So what was the deal about my idea getting people in trouble with the law when you obviously knew Indians were already making goods for sale? In checking the law you cited, it was enacted to prevent non-Indians from exploiting Indian people by selling things as "Genuine Indian" when they are not. Just the opposite of what you described, this law in not against Indians, but against non-Indians who would exploit Indians. Also, Indians can make any legal product and sell it without putting their roll number on it as long as they don't say it's "Genuine Indian". You have said you don't think like I do, and I see that's the case. You look at a law designed to help your people and twist it into something that's against your people.

When I made comments about different ways Indians could get out of poverty you responded with this statement on Feb 9th:

Sorry to tell you, I have moved on I don't live on the rez. I have a decent job, make decent money.

When I then wrote "And how does your job do that? By making more money than you need to live on I bet." you responded with the following statement on Feb 9th:

I work with the abused...and it doesn't come with an upscale salary. no, I live paycheck to paycheck..I live in a tiny apt...

You say "I have a decent job, make decent money." but when I say you have more money than you need to live on you say "I live paycheck to paycheck". Maybe that's not a contradiction in your thinking, but it should be.

Look at these two sentence of yours from Feb 10th:

The ones who do, already sell their items to people who resell them marked up 3 times or at powwows. Not everyone who can do crafts have the money to make crafts.

Do you see the opportunity in what you said, or is it somehow outside your thinking? If the people who resell them marked up 3 times are not of the tribe, cut them out of the loop by selling directly on Ebay, which is also a much broader market than a powwow, so the items will sell for more. Buyers also pay extra for shipping. That second sentence blows me away. You mean to tell me there's no one willing to put up the money to have those able to do crafts perform their work when there's a 300% markup on the products? Somebody has their head in the sand on that one.

I was in Salamanca,Akwasanee,Kanawakee and Six Nations this summer, funny I didn't see any mansions or high living for that matter.

Visit the Mdewakanton Sioux to see how rich Indians live. Maybe you can talk them into fronting the money so Indians on remote reservation can do their crafts. In fact, maybe you could get them to market those crafts. Sorry, just another non-Indian idea. I guess that's why tribes hire outside people to manage the tribe's businesses.

You are one of those people who has to be right and smarter than the rest. And if people reply to what you have said, and it makes you look misinformed. You have to twist peoples words to suit you.

No doubt there's some pride involved, but that's true of all who write on blogs, as if anyone else cares what we have to say. I also participate because, by the light others provide I'm better able to formulate my own opinions and philosophy. What I have gained from this discussion is a sense of how some Indians view non-Indians and of how some Indians think. No, I can't know what it's like being an Indian, but I did grow up dirt poor and suffered discrimination like many others. I also went into the military where I got job experience, got out and have been working ever since. As a sideline I have an on-line business and know first hand there are many opportunities for people to make money on-line. You just have to train yourself to see the possibilities rather than the problems.

It's interesting that you quote Carl Sagan. Did you know he was an Atheist to his dying day? The bamboozle and charlatan he was talking about is religion and those who preach it. He was talking about people like you and me, not about the dominate secular culture, which he fully embraced.

i stopped respondi... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
i stopped responding to him long ago for that very reason.

That's because you don't have the patients, courage, knowledge, or intellect Lyn has.




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