Standing Rock, Native Rights and Colonization


Jill Stein Meets Dennis Banks, courtesy Jill Stein via Twitter

Editor’s note: We had to use what we think we can use regarding the image. We are not there after all.

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Analysis by Reporting San Diego

Sep 7, 2016 (San Diego) By now you might have heard of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and their resistance to a pipe line. This pipeline would go under the Missouri river, threatening water supplies and the company has also desecrated a burial ground. Let that one sink for a moment. Would you be a tad angry if your ancestors graves were run over by tractors?

Nor is this the first time. We have similar cases all over the country. In fact, we have a local conflict right now. It involves the Kumeyaay and the United States Navy.

You might have also heard that Jill Stein. presidential candidate for the Green Party, faces charges for trespassing. In major broad strokes this is what has happened. It includes others details such as the use of dogs and riot control devices by private security and a legal battle. In fact, a judge has partially ordered the suspension of the construction of the pipeline.

There is far more to this story than just a legal battle, or the use of dogs. Incidentally, we like to use dogs to put down those we do not like, those we have colonized. This though is just the surface level of this conflict and this goes back to colonization and a very real clash of civilizations. One that I might add, Native Americans have been losing for over 500 years.

It is a clash of values and what is sacred. Full disclosure, I do not know any Sioux, but I did know a woman, and an elder of her tribe, originally from Tabasco, a curandera. She taught me some lessons about the world and how many first peoples see the world and nature. In recent years I have educated myself on Kumeyaay history and traditions as well.

There are some incredible large gulfs in how we see the world and how first people’s see the world. While we see the world as a place to exploit and gain wealth from, for many first peoples the world is a spiritual place. The land is sacred, all of it, not just burial grounds. The connection between the land, life, and people is direct. You treat the land with respect, and that land, every feature of it, is a giver of life.

To first people’s what we are doing to the world, their world, our world, is killing it. There are many views of the end of the world, and you can read some of them in Indian Country. I find this one striking, becuase I was told something similar many years ago. The world was coming to an end, and you could see the signs. This snake was present in the words of this old woman as well.

“This is the Fourth Sign:The land will be crossed by snakes of iron.”

This snake, this monster, can be interpreted as the pipelines. Whether it is the XL or this one. Jill Stein incidentally, tried to draw one snake on a tractor using a can of spray paint. This snake is also very different from Kukulkan, or Xuitzilopochli incidentally, since this snake does not demand human blood or hearts in regular sacrifices. It will take them anyway.We are giving them willingly, and the sixth world will come to an end.

We have seen other things, other signs. The water has indeed turned black and many creatures have died. You doubt me? Turn your minds to what happened after the Exxon Valdez ran aground. You are too young for that, turn your mind to the Gulf Coast after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. So if you want to be very spiritual, you will see many of the visions of the end are coming happening around you.

But this is well beyond visions of the end of the word. This is about rights, both legal and cultural. First peoples have an inherent right to have their lands respected, and their culture respected. In the United States, and in every country in Latin America, we have had not just the persecution of first peoples, but in a few cases policies that seek to exterminate that which we find alien.Yes, we have committed genocide.

Genocide has occurred in different ways, and did not stop three or four generations ago. In Guatemala the Maya were physically murdered in the 1980s. It was a physical genocide. In the United States we have pursued both physical genocide, and later cultural genocide. One example are the American Indian Boarding Schools, which kidnapped school age children and forced them to forget their language and culture.

Those were policies of occupation, in this case of the mind. It was an attempt to erase cultures and languages and stop that connection to the land we find alien and challenging to our ways. It is still about our western values finding those other values a challenge and a bother. They do get in the way of profit after all.

This is becoming a movement for first peoples rights. This is not just rights to their land. It is far more than that. We have not seen anything like this since Wounded Knee. It is time that the rest of us listen to what first people are trying to tell us, and that these rights, some of them are treaty law, be respected. We can learn so much, but only if we stop colonizing the mind and the land, and start treating others as equals.

And I would like to add this from CSPAN

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5 replies

  1. Nadin,

    You are so right. Who gave the corporations the right to divert a stream or kill animals? Who says they can destroy the earth for profit? What gives them the right?

    The Creator told my ancestors that they would they would move west until they found the “food that grows on water.” Nanabozoo fell asleep in his canoe and woke in the middle of a lake filled with Mahnomin (wild rice).

    Dennis Banks is Anishinaabe like me. We were both born on the Leech Lake Indian Reservation in northern Minnesota. Winona LaDuke is my cousin. Our people will die rather than sacrifice the clear lakes and rivers that the Great Spirit gave us.

    Jill is the only candidate that is not running for CEO of the Empire. An empire that started by colonizing itself with the genocide of 20 million native people.

    My mother’s father was sent to the Carlyle Industrial Indian School. He was a pulling guard for Jim Thorpe, the greatest athlete of all time. My great great grandfather was Qui-wi-sans-ishi the Crane Clan leader who was the ‘Secretary of State’ for the Chippewa people. His name means “Bad Boy.”

    At the council of the seven fires it was told how our people would rise from the earth to instruct the invaders and save the planet.

    Perhaps the time has come.

    Leon Thompson 619 241 6873

    On Wed, Sep 7, 2016 at 5:33 PM, Reporting San Diego wrote:

    > nadinabbott posted: ” Editor’s note: We had to use what we think we can > use regarding the image. We are not there after all. Analysis by Reporting > San Diego Sep 7, 2016 (San Diego) By now you might have heard of the > Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and their resistance to a pipe ” >

    • The story has gone national, which will make it much harder to ignore. What did not surprise me, and I wish it did, was the reaction from the president to that question abroad. This also tells me the story has gone international as well.

      Of course, issues of colonization are easier for people in Laos to understand… I suspect I do not need to tell you why.


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