The Supreme Court upheld the premise of sovereignty and nation to nation treaties in 1905 when it stated treaties agreed upon between the U.S. and any of the nations are ” not a grant of right TO the Indians, but a grant of rights FROM them-a reservation of those NOT granted.”
As the original land holders this opinion issued by the SC encapsulates a fundamental truth concerning people and nations anywhere on this earth.
But it is a truth unjustly modified by war, conquest, and greed.
We gave rights, ceded territory, and held what was important to us in reserve-important, like sacred sites, resources that sustained us, and above all the sovereign right to be and remain who we are….few of which we retain in this day and age,
Pe Sla, like all sacred sites is elemental to who the nations are-just as comparable sites worldwide are to others. We are elemental beings, animists if you like-our connection to the land and all that surrounds has been a defining characteristic-the restrictions placed upon that have weakened our level of connectivity.
These things, these elements, are our greatest strength-as they go so too will we.
In attempting to protect, retain, or secure them, any such effort must be free of politics and questionable motives. Confusion is anathema, and why I and others say the effort to purchase pe sla should be devoid of any association with the AIM old guard, any confusion-it cannot be turned into an opportunity for them to promote themselves or receive yet another appearance fee.
They, as do any other, have a right to express their opinions or desires, but not to profit from it in any manner-whether such profit is of a monetary nature or meant to gain notoriety.
For me it raises a basic question-is nothing sacred? Do we approach this effort as a people indistinguishable from our ancestors or mere shadows?
Perhaps the approach would be to have such locations declared as world heritage sites to guarantee their protection.
The challenge should be for any organizing this effort is to remember that above all other things they are human beings in the context that has meant to us-that personalities and consideration for such things as who gets credit or wants it goes against everything we have believed in.