August 22, 2008

AIM questions Democrats' priorities

Indian activists assert priorities before DNC"When you look at the image of [Illinois Sen. Barack] Obama, who is supposed to be this new, progressive man of color--what he does leave out is Native people.

"His book, 'The Audacity of Hope,' says America can come together because it is unlike Europe with its tensions and rivalries, while America was peacefully settled without much conflict--what country is this man talking about? He talked about being at the foot of the Rockies [when visiting Denver], where civilization was brought to the frontier. He invisibilizes Indian people."
And:Although nuclear energy is touted as a way to energy independence, "60 percent of uranium reserves are on Native peoples' land. And if push comes to shove, and the United States wants the resource, will Natives have anything to say about it?"

Even though the Navajo Nation tribal council has passed a resolution banning uranium mining on tribal lands, Morris noted that under the administration of former Democratic President Jimmy Carter, "tribes that stood in the way of implementing a comprehensive U.S. energy policy were threatened with termination."
And:A related issue is the protection of sacred sites under pressure from various kinds of development, he said, including the San Francisco Peaks in Arizona, where a ski area/sacred sites controversy recently was heard in federal appellate court.

"Last Friday, once again, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals denied the petition of over a dozen Indian nations in the Southwest to protect one of the most important sacred sites in the United States, so what Native people need to hear from the Democrats are commitments not only to Indian society and self-determination, but a commitment to the protection of sacred sites, a just resolution of trust fund cases, and a revisitation of respect for treaty rights."
Comment:  "Invisibilizes"?

I think it's fair to say Europe, with two world wars and dozens of continental wars over two millennia, has had more conflict than the United States. But it's not fair to say American brought civilization to the frontier. Not only were the Indian nations here first, but the Spanish who ruled a third of the continent were as civilized as the British or French.

For more on the subject, see A Shining City on a Hill:  What Americans Believe.

1 comment:

dmarks said...

It does not embigggen us to speak of invisiblization, or even antidisinvisblizationism.