Not signed in (Sign In)
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeDec 20th 2007
     (361.1)


    Descendants of Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse break away from US

    13 hours ago

    WASHINGTON (AFP) — The Lakota Indians, who gave the world legendary warriors Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, have withdrawn from treaties with the United States, leaders said Wednesday.

    "We are no longer citizens of the United States of America and all those who live in the five-state area that encompasses our country are free to join us," long-time Indian rights activist Russell Means told a handful of reporters and a delegation from the Bolivian embassy, gathered in a church in a run-down neighborhood of Washington for a news conference.


    This is fascinating. Utterly gobsmacking, even. Russel Means was at Wounded Knee (and also the dude with the hardcore war club in Michael Mann's Last of the Mohicans fyi), so its not like this comes out of the blue.

    The Lakota also issued a 'declaration of war' against all new agers who ripped off their culture and 'plastic shamans' who tried to sell it. Personally, I thought this was brilliant, but I'm fascinated to see what the outcome of this latest move will be.

    Any thoughts? Or anyone with more in depth knowledge?
    •  
      CommentAuthorAriana
    • CommentTimeDec 20th 2007 edited
     (361.2)
    Huh. It's definitely crazy season. Interesting statement, though -- might go horribly wrong, but will certainly stir awareness for a day, at least. Most interesting bit, to me, is probably Bolivia paying attention to the whole thing. That's just weird.
    •  
      CommentAuthorAriana
    • CommentTimeDec 20th 2007
     (361.3)
    (Means, mind you, I don't think has any more "official" ability to speak for the Lakota nation than I do.)
    • CommentAuthorElohim
    • CommentTimeDec 20th 2007
     (361.4)
    Peculiar story.

    I am much in favour of it...
    • CommentAuthorSolario
    • CommentTimeDec 20th 2007
     (361.5)
    I'm not a big USA! USA! USA! type, but I can't help but wonder if this is a monumentally big mistake.
  1.  (361.6)
    I've been watching this story today and I'm disappointed both by the breadth and the depth of the coverage. Like Ariana said, the biggest question seems to be whether these four people actually represent a majority of the Lakota people. They make a point of calling the existing tribal governments puppets of the U.S. government, and whether or not that's true there's no indication that they're really representing the will of their people. No doubt that's going to be the administration's argument.

    Me, I wish they did. Now THAT would be interesting, even though the property rights issues that would develop would probably be as bad as anyplace in Africa.

    I think that the current head of Bolivia's government is an indigenous Bolivian, BTW, which goes a ways toward explaining his interest.
    •  
      CommentAuthorAriana
    • CommentTimeDec 20th 2007
     (361.7)
    I think that the current head of Bolivia's government is an indigenous Bolivian, BTW, which goes a ways toward explaining his interest.

    Oh, that's right Bradley, thank you.
  2.  (361.8)
    There's some good analysis and discussion at my pal Cavalorn's blog (NB, Livejournal!)

    Main points are;

    1. Unless they've got some major funding and the US just rolls over, they've no chance.
    2. This looks more like a publicity move from the AIM - Means and his crew have no authorisation from the Tribal Council, from what has been said.
    •  
      CommentAuthorSarpedon
    • CommentTimeDec 20th 2007
     (361.9)
    I just hope this isn't somehow related to the stories I've heard where people claiming citizenship in a Native American tribe try to sell membership to Illegal Immigrants because somehow that's supposed to help their status. It's a pretty brainless scam that doesn't appear to be fooling much of anyone and perpetrated by exactly the people that the Lakota are denouncing for stealing their culture.
    Kan. 'tribe' accused of membership scam

    It's too soon for me to speculate as to what this means, I have to imagine the US government will just do what it's always done: ignore anything inconvenient to its interests, if this means for instance the government can cut any and all federal aid to the whole of the Lakota tribe regardless of their feelings about this they might just do it, I'm not sure of the Lakota specifically, but It's my understanding that most reservations are some of the most impoverished places in this country with things like 90% unemployment, next to no schools or reasonable infrastructure. If the people there are as heavily reliant on federal welfare and the like as I imagine they are, then this seems like a bad idea. It may turn out to be like kicking the crutch that the ol' bastard Uncle Sam's gave you after he broke your leg in the first place.

    Also, This will probably not help Leonard Peltier get out of prison. (assuming you think he's innocent and therefore deserves to get out of prision, I've only read his book so I can't say since I only know his side of events though he does make an eloquent case.)
    •  
      CommentAuthorUnsub
    • CommentTimeDec 20th 2007
     (361.10)
    I'm having a time out until I can learn some manners.
    The Native's should just freakin assimilate already. Trying to keep a stone age society viable in the 21st century has led to nothing but misery ,poverty and a sense of entitlement. Where I live it is about 50% native and because of the policies of our government and white guilt they have a completely dysfunctional society.
    They don't believe in discipline for children so their child mortality rate is worse than most third world countries and in one of the richest countries in the world they have about 85% unemployment.
    •  
      CommentAuthorSarpedon
    • CommentTimeDec 20th 2007
     (361.11)
    @unsub: your suggestion that assimilation will solve the problems of the Native Americans doesn't seem to hold up for me(assuming that is what you're suggesting, your post seems to fly off the handles a bit.), programs to force assimilation (because you can't think people will abandon their culture voluntarily.) have largely been failures from what little I've read.
    (for instance in the American Federal Government's policies on the education of Native American children. what appears to be a decent overview here if anyone's interested, it's a weird little piece of policy that failed overall to do what those in charged hoped.)

    The goal of Indian education from the 1880s through the 1920s was to assimilate Indian people into the melting pot of America by placing them in institutions where traditional ways could be replaced by those sanctioned by the government. Federal Indian policy called for the removal of children from their families and in many cases enrollment in a government run boarding school. In this way, the policy makers believed, young people would be immersed in the values and practical knowledge of the dominant American society while also being kept away from any influences imparted by their traditionally-minded relatives.
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeDec 20th 2007 edited
     (361.12)
    "The Native's should just freakin assimilate already. Trying to keep a stone age society viable in the 21st century has led to nothing but misery ,poverty and a sense of entitlement."

    Yeah, if China ever invades and conquers the United states I'm sure you'll follow your own advice.
    •  
      CommentAuthorcarney
    • CommentTimeDec 21st 2007
     (361.13)
    This is great, maybe the native american will get some retribution for small pox infected blankets, and the decimation of there culture by our goverment. The native americans that stude up for there rights thirty years ago, are still in jail today. I hope the native americans get there way on this. In realty the US government will probably just not address it for a decade and hand out more smallpox infected blankets to them.
  3.  (361.14)
    The policy of the U.S. govt. towards the Indians has always been to stifle and stymie any effort at self-enrichment with bureaucratic red tape, while also allowing blatant rip-offs by the white businesses dealing with them (particularly wrt resource extraction leases), and then giving them just enough welfare to barely survive. The poverty and social pathologies we see are the products of hopelessness. The "assimilation" efforts in the early 20th Century were another failed experiment in "scientific" social engineering. Families matter -- you can't build people up by destroying family ties.

    Since Means and his group have no official status with either the USG or the Indian tribal councils, I don't expect this to go anywhere, but who knows? I wish them luck.
  4.  (361.15)
    Russell Means is a criminal and a bullshit artist. He's also a hypocrite who mouths off about appropriation of Native American culture while taking voice acting gigs in such staunchly realistic depictions of the Native experience as Disney's POCAHONTAS.

    No-one's covering it because it's a silly-season stunt. My guess is Means is trying once again to leverage his way into Lakota tribal government, something that's eluded him thus far (possibly due to his primary careers as serial bastardmaker, alcoholic and beater of amputee old-age-pensioners).

    Oh, and Unsub? "The Native's should just freakin assimilate already" is about the single most unhelpful thing that can be said. I mean, feel free to defend it and expand upon it, but...
    •  
      CommentAuthorUnsub
    • CommentTimeDec 21st 2007
     (361.16)
    I'm having a time out until I can learn some manners.
    I guess it has a ot to do with where I live in Northern Saskatchewan. The government in Canada has been spending billions to keep natives seprate ,uneducaated and impoverished by massively subsidising them to live in very remote reserves. There area few crooked or simply infective tribal politicians who siphon off 90% of the money and let their people live in third world conditions. Most of the problems come from cultural traditions that are fine in a stone age society but lead to terrible things in ours. For example no mention of any sort of birth control is allowed on the reserve. Any birth control options if the poor girl wanted to face the potential wrath of her people would be at the very least 100's of miles or even a plane ride away. As a result foetal alcoholism is endemic with a single woman having 6 or 7 damaged children. Young unmarried women usually with a elementary school education often have over a dozen kids usually from different fathers.

    There is also no discipline with kids as that is another cultural issue that has some serious negative effects. In the whole of Saskatchewan natives are 16% of the population and 90+% of the prison population. There is also poor sanitation in these communities and diseases like drug resistant TB and other third world sicknesses have made a comeback. There are next to no jobs in these communities and the ones that are there they have a hard time keeping do to the unstable environment and no discipline.

    This could not be better for those who want to say either "they are not capable because they are racially inferior" or "it's all the white mans fualt for stealing their land". Both those views are just as ignorant and wrong as the other.

    The native crime rate is the one stat that is pointed to the most by either group.

    They have way more of their population in jail because due to the lack of birth control etc they have a way higher percentage of their pop in the age group that ends up in jail(15 to 25)and they are more likely to be unemployed ,not working and out of school because of wear they live and the unhealthy home life.

    I like to point to how well natives tend to do in the canadian military as an example of what they would be capable of if they just had the oppertunity and a stable environment. They tend to thrive with the stability and structure in the military,generally better than whites.

    Ironically it is this whole ridiculous guilt for destroying their culture that is keeping them poor ,uneducated and politically isolated.
    Also most duck squeezing hippies no nothing about what the native culture was actually like. The 2 big tribes around here ,the Cree and Dene(same tribe as the Apache in the US) would do slave raids ,torture and ethnic cleansing all the time. You would not believe how they treated women and children either.

    On another totally different note I am really sick and tired of all the whining about the internment camps for the Japanese during WW2. Considering that they were torturing ,raping and working to death our citizens in their camps they got treated far better than they had any right to expect. They got off easy when it came to war crimes because the world was sick of it from Nuremberg.
  5.  (361.17)
    Wow...wow.

    Did you actually just describe an entire population of people as having a consistent character trait that they require discipline. And then end with the notion that innocent people - citizens in fact - who were fucked over and had lives destroyed should be thankful they were not treated worse because the military of a different group of people, who only happen to share a genetic phenotype, acted a certain way in another part of the world?
    •  
      CommentAuthorUnsub
    • CommentTimeDec 21st 2007
     (361.18)
    I'm having a time out until I can learn some manners.
    Everyone requires discipline as a child ,I am making a point that things that worked fine in a stone age culture are harmful in ours.

    Your idea that the Japanese who were in our interment camps had nothing to do with how our citizens were treated in theirs should then work both ways and only the people directly responsible for intering them and not all of north America are at fault. That is not how it works though. Instead we are judged as a whole for actions that happened before we were born while the Japanese soldiers who actually committed those atrocities hundreds of times worse than anything done here live quitly into old age while their kids change the history books so it never happened. I am sick of the double standard. Their government did things in the exact same situation
    so much worse than ours it boggles the mind and yet we are supposed to feel guilty?
  6.  (361.19)
    For the sake of civility I think I am stepping out of this conversation now.
  7.  (361.20)
    And I'm going to close it off, as there are just too many targets there and it'll suck all the oxygen out of the forum.

    -- W