( – promoted by navajo)
Cultural Survival Quarterly recently reported that “unless dramatic action is taken now, more than 70 Native American languages will become extinct within the next 10 years.” The publication helped sponsor the summit, citing its concern about the situation.
Those of us whose specific lineage is gone forever have relatives from many Nations, but we won’t even be a memory seven generations from now as being from that specific lineage. Mr. President, and I can only speak for myself, don’t let my present become any one else’s future.
I have also shared my personal experience and grief in regards to my present that I don’t want to become any one else’s future;subsequently, that grief is universal.
The collective emotional and psychological injury both over the life span and across generations, resulting from a cataclysmic history of genocide.
– big snip –
The sense that you cannot grieve; that no one hears or is listening to your grief; the dominant culture acts as if you do not have grief, or do not need to grieve. See Lisa Poupart’s essay.
And despite this country’s “cataclysmic history of genocide,” even the first African American president hasn’t acknowledged the American Indian or their ancestors as being human beings by signing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People – and all the rights that entails.
Indigenous People have been labeled “savages” and considered to be satanic, all which boils down to dehumanization; consequently, excuses for land encroachment and land theft. The Declaration would help change that. The most basic question of all seems to finally be this.
Are Indigenous People whose ancestors were the victims of genocide and who still suffer from its effects human beings, or are they not human beings? Simply put, that is to me what will be “voted on.” How sad that in this day and age this still needs such a “vote.” If they vote yes, they’re human beings; if they vote no, they’re less than human.
Furthermore, if anyone does not believe the United States did not consider the American Indian human beings, let them know about General Crook’s miraculous change during the trial of Standing Bear after Red Cloud’s War.
Crook experienced a metamorphosis during the Sioux Wars and the trial of Standing Bear; he started looking at the indigenous people from his heart and began divorcing himself from the rhetoric of “The only good Indian is a dead Indian.”
Dee Brown.Bury My heart At Wounded Knee.p. 402
To bring order out of chaos, the army called on General George Crook- quite a different man from the one who had left Arizona ten years earlier to go north to fight the Sioux and Cheyennes. He had learned from them and from the Poncas during the trial of Standing Bear that Indians were human beings, a viewpoint that most of his fellow officers had not yet accepted.
But now, all indigenous people’s rights to their sacred sites and the very preservation of more than 70 Native American languages are on trial, while the verdict is still out from comfortable White House offices with their so careful consideration as to whether or not indigenous people are human beings.
Tell the president the true verdict – the American Indian are human beings.
(link includes a sample letter and email sending ability in the upper left hand corner)
President Obama needs to hear from you–today. He needs to know that all Americans believe that the day has come for him to endorse the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
– snip –
The Declaration is a key step towards realizing full governmental recognition and respect for Indigenous Peoples’ rights, including their rights to their languages, cultures, and spiritual practices.
The top of Pikes Peak
(The gold rush that led to the Sand Creek Massacre and the Indian “Wars”)
“It is not overstating the case to assert that without a coordinated federal approach, increasing numbers of Native American languages will go extinct in the immediate future,” according to the request document.
“We continue to believe that someone important someplace cares and will do something before our situation becomes impossible.” Fools Crow from “Fools Crow,” by Thomas E. Mails. p. 217