13 comments on “ANNIE’S DAUGHTERS

  1. No doubt tribal leaders, agenda-driven historians, and politicians in Washington have a lot to answer for. But it is a mistake to believe they will lead us out of darkness, solve our problems, correct the historical record, and make things right. The reality is Congress will never uphold major treaty rights, there will always be tribal corruption, and the true history will seldom be found in mainstream media outlets. Regardless of past atrocities, current incompetence, and cultural divides, the solutions must begin at home; the road to the future lies within. If people want change, they should start by changing themselves. In AIMafia, it is estimated that the majority of the adult population of Pine Ridge are alcoholics, and that half the children are sexually abused. How can a much needed spiritual revival happen when there is so much internal destruction? Needed change must begin with personal responsibility, self initiative, and the courage to stand for what’s right. Waiting for some white dude from Washington to come riding in on a gilded horse with all the solutions will be a long wait; might as well bark at the moon. In the meantime, where are the real Indian leaders?

    • Often in talking of treaty rights the desire is to have them
      honored as written, that means the restoration of land lost
      since they were.
      I don’t believe anyone really thinks that is a possibility,
      but it is the longing and legally correct thing to do-that
      longing has been seized upon by Russell Means to advance
      himself in the declaration and formation of the Republic of
      Lakota.
      The very manner in which he has gone about it illustrates
      that he is well aware it is a faux republic-I say that in
      consideration of his attempt to play both sides.
      After decades of talk about lakota land he then “allows”
      that all those who presently live within the area are more
      than welcome to stay-that’s a real break from the past when
      encroachment led to conflict.
      But Russell understands neither he nor the lakota have the
      ability to evict anyone, and any attempt to would be disasterous,
      so he struts about with the latest title he has bestowed upon
      himself of Chief Facilitator, issues declarations of states
      of emergency, and has yet another vehicle to solicit donations
      and get a little air time with.
      I am in total agreement that no Congressional remedy will be
      forthcoming, as great an injustice as that is it is a reality
      to be dealt with-and the lions share of that burden falls to us.
      To ever be taken seriously we must achieve some level of self
      reliance, as in sustainable agriculture, alternative sources
      of energy under our direction, and the development of tribal
      business and infrastructure.
      In those, pride, the elevation of the standard of living, and
      social change can begin within our communities. It is a thing we
      must do and in all likelihood will require equitable partnerships
      with business and the government.
      These partnerships cannot be a continuation of the status quo where
      they glaringly favor a side other than our own.
      The world is a resource hog, if you have them it wants them and
      will do what it takes to secure them. As evidenced that means
      no respect for sovereignty, treaties, or land rights.
      In times of economic crisis the true nature of trickle down economics
      is revealed-the misery and the impact are greatest among minorities
      and those who have the least, while wealth continues to flow
      upward-and you are absolutely correct than no one is riding in
      to save us.
      Much is owed to the nations, and I’ve often hear it said that
      checks and commodities are our due, our right, for the debt owed.
      Maybe that is true but the greater debt is the one we owe ourselves,
      the greater right is to become non dependent.
      It is more than a right, it is a duty. At some point the governmental
      teat is going to dry up-we need to be prepared for that.
      Recently I saw where George Soros stated the potential for a complete
      financial global collapse is a very real possibility. He offers the
      opinion that in such a circumstance chaos would reign supreme, riots
      would ensue, and a “brutal crackdown” would follow in which constitutional
      rights would be suspended.
      Such a possible scenario may or may not be true, but it doesn’t take
      a crystal ball to see that changes are coming, and that should serve
      to energize the nations to move toward self reliance.
      Viable leadership is sorely lacking, our communities are in decay-but
      the truth is there are numerous influences that contribute to that, and
      not all of them generated by us.
      There are a lot of figures thrown about regarding rape, child abuse, and
      alcoholism-a recent government study stated that the incidence of rape
      among indigenous women is roughly three and half times the national average,
      and said eighty five percent of the perpetrators are non indigenous.
      I’ve seen other statistics offered by native health care providers and
      rape counselors that say it is fifty fifty.
      However it breaks down one is too many and the incidence of rape, abuse
      in all it’s manifestations,and substance abuse existing within indigenous
      communities and perpetrated by our own whatever the percentage is
      undeniable.
      If we are discuss these things we cannot fail to address factors that
      contribute to crime-things like unemployment running at seventy or eighty
      percent, abject poverty, an ingrained sense of hopeless that has been
      birthed by the reservation system and the acute awareness that we are
      not even viewed as second class citizens, more like third class-we are
      “the Indian Problem” government never cared to address in any equitable
      fashion.
      These problems aren’t singular to us-they exist wherever poverty exists,
      in ghettos, barrios ,homelessness, and human warehousing known as
      the projects.
      We have been victims-but we cannot embrace it as a lifestyle or our
      defining characteristic-we are, and must be much more than that.
      It has never served us to do so-only the poverty pimps and wannabe
      chiefs among us have benefited from it.
      We need to see to it that are children are provided worthy examples,
      enjoy the benefits of good parenting, are nourished and most importantly,
      have a good education-those things will go a long way towards leveling
      the playing field and communal stability.
      There are no easy solutions. How could there be after five hundred years?
      There is ample blame to go around, and as long as any side is in denial
      about that not much will change.
      I don’t believe in a generational guilt, no one is guilty merely due to
      ethnicity-guilt is earned and individualized. The exception to that I
      believe is governmental in the perpetuation of attitudes and failed
      policies.
      Economic hardships always breed a form of isolationism, fuel class and
      ethnic distinctions. A person in the throes of having lost their job,
      falling behind in bills, facing foreclosure are focused on their situation
      and it becomes like those Walmart videos on the net where crowds of
      people would show up and trample each other just to lay their hands on
      something in short supply they wanted.That dosen’t bode well for anyone.
      As to barking at the moon-that would be waste of time-no doubt as much
      as our howls of misery we have directed at it.

  2. Three of the most valuable and memorable lessons my mother Annie Mae left me with the last time I saw her have carried me for 35 years.”She told me NEVER let anyone,( and that to me meant humans, the government, tribal or otherwise) tell you that they are better than you are, we are all created equal” She also told me ” Don’t lie, what ever you do, no matter what, always tell the truth. Lastly she taught me the humble power we all held in using our voices by the example she set by taking a stand and fighting for what she believed in to protect our women and children. Today I was unceremoniously told that if I “didn’t have anything nice to say I shouldn’t say anything at all, LOL!This in response to my post criticizing an ad for the hypocritical Leonard Peltier walk for Human Rights. I was told that I should have faith in the creator to make things right in my life, and was asked where was my faith. Faith, a word I clung to for 35 years, even in the darkest hours when we thought technicalities would allow my mothers murderers to walk free. People ask me regularily how do I do this , how did I survive all this ugliness and turmoil at such a young age. I had faith in the lessons my mother taught me and the audacity to believe that the truth would prevail and that using my voice and standing my ground and never ever allowing anyone to tell me that my mothers life( or any human life) was trivial and less important than any form of social, political, or native rights resistance.My belief and faith in those few short sentences of advice my mother instilled in me gave me the courage and strength I needed to live my life well despite the horrors of having the core of my existance taken at such a young age. I have never allowed any governement to tell me where to live and how I should live my life, I have lived my life clean, and educated myself and became independent. AND I certainly have never allowed anyone to tell me to monitor my words in the spirit of being “nice, or respectfulI”. Not long ago someone asked me what causes I supported, and I aswered ” Telling the Truth” It is after all what we fight for isn’t it? Truth, equaliity and the right to live our lives free and undisturbed.

  3. These daughters provide an example for young women that giving up is not an option. That fighting isn’t always with your body, and that perseverance pays off.

    They are women warriors to my point of view, they may not swing the ax, fire the bow, or carry the lance, but they are fighters, no question.

  4. Mikmaq, you have always been a strong voice for truth and integrity. Wela’lin, for sharing your thoughts, standing up for what you believe in, and educating others. A true woman warrior, as your Mother was. I’m posting old Cheyenne words of wisdom, which have become trite, unfortunately, but timeless.

    ‘A nation is not conquered until the hearts of it’s women are on the ground. Then it is done, no matter how brave it’s warriors or how strong their weapons.’

  5. It often takes raising our children away from the rez to give them the lives we want for them. That is the choice many of us make. I cry when my son asks me why he is the only NDN in his class and rejoyce at statements like this. He is 6, a first grader, “If someone tried to mess with you, they would be sorry. NDN women are so strong, so tuff. Nobody can beat and NDN woman.” I live by that lesson your Mother taught you – always tell the truth and know you are valued. Even when people call me a liar, I continue to tell the truth and know my worth. Even when I am psychologically tortured, I use every resource available and stand my ground, continuing to tell the truth. We are all created equal. This same faith/belief has carried me through too and continues to carry me through. This is what we are teaching our son.

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