“If anybody wants to go further, the chairman of the tribe tells us the consciousness of politicians is as important as donations right now.
FEMA has yet to declare the region a disaster area, and there’s something else that could kill about 40 birds with one stone there: They’ve patched much of the water and power infrastructure back together but they really need an overhaul and something in the jobs bill, or some stimulus money, could not only protect power, heat and water there, it could also put some of the thousands of unemployed Native Americans to work in their own communities. So you could call, write, or e-mail your congressmen and or senator.
To reiterate, “The consciousness of politicians is as important as donations right now.”
Indian Affairs Committee
Address: 838 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-2251 Fax: (202) 228-2589
Web site: http://indian.senate.gov
Byron L. Dorgan (DEM-ND)
John Barrasso (REP-WY)
Sen. Daniel Inouye (DEM-HI)
Sen. Kent Conrad (DEM-ND)
Sen. Daniel Akaka (DEM-HI)
Sen. Tim Johnson (DEM-SD)
Sen. Maria Cantwell (DEM-WA)
Sen. Jon Tester (DEM-MT)
Sen. Tom Udall (DEM-NM)
Sen. Al Franken (DEM-MN)
Sen. John McCain (REP-AZ)
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (REP-AK)
Sen. Tom Coburn (REP-OK)
Sen. Mike Crapo (REP-ID)
Sen. Mike Johanns (REP-NE)
So, let us begin enlightening “the consciousness of politicians” with some required reading from the Consolidated Indigenous Shadow Report, which “The International Indian Treaty Council (IITC), in coordination with the Western Shoshone Defense Project, submitted a Consolidated Indigenous Shadow Report to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (UNCERD) on January 6th, 2008.”
III. Indian Reservation Apartheid
“Apartheid” is certainly a strong word. And certainly, there are recognized tribes in the U.S. that are now achieving certain levels of relative prosperity primarily due to federal law allowing them to operate casinos, But the data contained in this section as well as others in this report (see, e.g., Violence Against Women, The Right to the Highest Attainable Standard of Health) reflect what only can be described as a system of Apartheid on many Indian Reservations, where Indigenous people are warehoused in poverty and neglect. By purpose or effect, their only option is forced assimilation, the abandonment of their land, families, language and cultures in search of a better life.
The Shadow Report Outlines the following: critical things the U.S. Periodic Report omitted that were supposed to have been reported to the Human Rights Committee; Un – recognized Indigenous Peoples of which “many have waited decades” for recognition; the “Indian Reservation Apartheid;” the “Life Expectancy on the Indian Reservation” with its “high rate of infant mortality, cancer, diabetes, and heart disease;” poverty and unemployment, overall problems with justice; “Racially Discriminatory Constitutional Foundations;” religious freedom as it relates to access to sacred lands; “Environmental Racism and its effects on Indigenous Human Rights,” that “you cannot damage the land without damaging those who live upon it;” “The Denial of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in the Political, Economic, Social, Cultural, or any Other Field of Public Life;” “Racist Science and the Collective Right of Free, Prior and Informed Consent;” “Articles 6 and 7,” which mention the devastation of Indian Boarding Schools and “Racist Sports Mascots and Logos;” and finally, “The United States and its Transnational Companies and Violations of the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples Abroad.”
Continuing with enlightening “the consciousness of politicians” in this most current example wherein “FEMA has yet to declare the region a disaster area,” let’s focus on “But the data contained in this section as well as others in this report (see, e.g., Violence Against Women, The Right to the Highest Attainable Standard of Health) reflect what only can be described as a system of Apartheid on many Indian Reservations, where Indigenous people are warehoused in poverty and neglect.” What are the enlightening questions?
Why has “FEMA has yet to declare the region a disaster area” in a location(s) where “Life Expectancy on the Indian Reservation” is:
Mortality rates and life expectancy on the reservation are not reported by the US in their Periodic Report. Neither is comprehensive data collected for Indians on Reservations. The grossly disproportionate poverty that Indigenous Peoples experience in the United States is accompanied by disturbingly low life expectancy as demonstrated by the few scattered statistics available. Recent research on diverse racial-geographic population groupings in the United States has shown “disparities in mortality experiences” to be “enormous.” Among those found to be most disadvantaged in this major national study were American Indians who live on or near reservation lands.
For that matter, why hasn’t John McCain of the Indian Affairs Committee done anything?
A public research website: http://www.cain2008.org has brought together diverse historical elements of factual proof that Senator John McCain’s was the key “point man” introducing, enacting and enforcing law that removed Dineh-Navajo Families from their reservation on the Black Mesa in Arizona.
Although there’s been a recent victory against the reopening of the Black Mesa Complex, the Kayenta mine is still operating and elders on the front lines fighting the continued impacts of coal mining and forced relocation efforts are still requesting support.
When “the consciousness of politicians” allows for “…the largest forced relocation of U.S. citizens since the relocation of Japanese-Americans during World War II,” then they needn’t be sought for help, but helped to the Hague. So what might be pragmatic?
Obama can make the apology he signed public with an actual statement.
“I am concerned about people doing political calculations in the White House, looking at it that way,” Brownback said regarding an apology resolution Obama quietly signed Dec. 19 – to no fanfare.
What would that do for “The consciousness of politicians?” As much as this apology did in 2000.
“This agency participated in the ethnic cleansing that befell the Western tribes,” Gover said. “It must be acknowledged that the deliberate spread of disease, the decimation of the mighty bison herds, the use of the poison alcohol to destroy mind and body, and the cowardly killing of women and children made for tragedy on a scale so ghastly that it cannot be dismissed as merely the inevitable consequence of the clash of competing ways of life.”
Concluding, while the “consciousness of politicians” motivates them to ignore the devastation that winter storms have brought to many Tribal Nations, I have but one question for them – “”What does it mean to be civilized?”