An Aha Moment

We Shall Remain, Wounded Knee

Today I finished watching the We Shall Remain, Wounded Knee, Episode 5 that navajo recommended, and near the end I had an Aha! moment I wanted to share.  

I was watching part about forcing the children into schools and away from their parents, and I realized something. The people who did that may have had good intentions. I realized that they may have decided what was good for the natives (without consulting them) and then acted on it. I saw the result of that in the movie.

I do not want to be a part of this group if we end up doing what we think is right, without consulting those affected. I’m not talking here about the current emergency situation. I’m looking at the long term. It is my hope that we will partner with a native-run organization (for each nation) whom we trust, and who trusts us, and who is in a position to advise what their people’s needs are, and we can be the one’s who do our best to provide the resources to fill those needs.

In the last week, I’ve found myself filled with ideas of what we could do over the long term to help, but I realized that my ideas were the types of things I would want if I were in their place. But I’m not in their place. I can’t ever be. I’m as white and as privileged as anyone can be (except without all the CEO riches some have). I can’t know what would be best for each nation. It is my goal to keep that in mind as I propose projects, and it is my hope you all do the same.

I not saying this to stifle the flow of energy or ideas. I do it so that maybe we can keep the empowerment and the dignity of the natives in mind as we decide what we will do and how we will do it.

I’d like your thoughts on the matter.  


  1. and it’s precisely why I’ve been in regular contact with Autumn Two Bulls since the very beginning of all this. She is there, she knows who needs help, and she knows the best ways to help at any given moment. Also, she has some amazing long-term plans for Pine Ridge that she’s already off to a great start on. She’s carrying on the work of her father, who was advocating for energy independence for Pine Ridge in the 1990s, and actually had some working wind turbines there. Unfortunately, her father was just ahead of his time. I’m going to be writing a piece about what Autumn is doing sometime next week, and post it on the “Green” page at Huffington Post, as well as on Kos. What we need to do is just let Autumn lead the way at Pine Ridge, and just do whatever we can to help her.

  2. rez residents as advisors of this group.  Anyone with tribal membership and lives on a rez instantly becomes an advisor.

    They have a huge vote in what we do.

  3. act more as a support group to whatever projects are deemed to be urgent, as prioritized by the advisors on the different reservations. As I watched some of the many YouTube videos covering Pine Ridge, I also had to ask myself how many well-intentioned white people had come and gone without really accomplishing the most important things. I hope our efforts will be more effective.

  4. She already sort of has been anyway, but I asked her formally last night, and got her to join dKos. She just couldn’t comment on the diary there last night because of the 24 hour waiting period to post comments after you create an account.

  5. in that part of the country would probably bring the most promising results. Since cost is great factor in this I would like for you to consider checking out a place I go to learn about solar.
    There are some great minds at work and maybe you can tweek some of their models to your needs. If y’all think it’s stuuuupid just ignore me I still love them.:)

  6. the fact is that there are very few “new ideas” for development on the rez. Indian leaders, native professionals and intellectuals have been striving in the field for so many years all the easy stuff has been thought of and tried. What is needed is expertise and implementation. By running all your ideas passed old ndns like me (and youth like navajo and Autumn) I think we can save people a lot of work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.