THE SACRED LAND
Posted by rezinate on July 27, 2012
“Such the big shame this is and we have done nothing to deserve to be treated for this way.”
This above comment made by M+J in The Most Victimized Group In America blog that indigenous women have done nothing to deserve the decline in status and the abuses that followed has haunted me.
I see it as a plaintive cry, an expression of a collective misery given voice, a mourning song sweeping across Indian country-and a great shame heaped upon the nations that is suffocating us one and all.
We speak of the land as the mother who gives life and sustains us-it is the ultimate truth-and among the nations our women are the land-land where seeds are planted, land that nurtures and produces our continuation, and insures that we will remain.
A land that has always been the repository of tradition-and always respected for the gifts it provides.
For all our talk of a spiritual awareness, of love and respect for the land and our women-we are showing little evidence of it-the rez is littered with trash-beer cans and wine bottles everywhere, rusting broken down vehicles, garbage piled up and left for children to play in-vacant crumbling houses whose sole purpose now is to be inhabited by the night crawlers.
Little wonder then that women are shown the same “love” and “respect” in this type of environment. Little wonder they are being buried under a pile of garbage by men who talk about native pride and warriors.
But all this talk of spirituality, matriarchy, pride, and warriors is the internet standard while the reality is something entirely different isn’t it?
It serves a purpose to stand in defense of sacred sites-to notify the media to insure their presence-but I say it is a charade when we will not stand in defense of the sacred land our women represent.
So much of what of has gone on in ndn country since the formation of AIM and continues to this day in my opinion is the direct result of the negative influence of, and examples set by AIM, specifically the AIM leadership.
Such a statement will surely lead to howls of protest by some but nonetheless it is a reality that remains.
It’s impossible to say if the negatives would have occurred anyway, or to what extent, but the connection and rapid decline can be evaluated by using time as a metric.
In doing so and using the advent of AIM as a marker the connection is indisputable.
I think if a statistical study were done pre and post AIM detailing the incidence of alcoholism, substance abuse, gangs, crime, the physical and sexual abuse of our women and children, the decline in language fluency, and corruption of ceremonies there would be no denying it.
As a people the land has always been more that what we lived upon, it has been those things that comprised who are are – our beliefs, the nature of our communities, our children and families, our women, and the way in which we tended, honored, and respected them.
No one is a warrior or filled with native pride merely by uttering the words, no more so than any who lay claim to being chiefs, liberators, or “spiritual intercessors” on the basis of having said so.
I particularly like the pow wow photo, it’s a feel good photo, and easy to tell everyone is having a good time.