From the comment section of ANNIE’S DAUGHTERS – 1-26-12
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 that 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 to 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
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 equally asimportant, 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 doesn’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.