November 05, 2007

"Celebrating" 100 years of theft

Don't ask me to celebrate the Oklahoma Land Run and Centennial Celebration[W]e American Indians are only important to the Oklahoma Land Run and Statehood stories as obstacles that the American settlers can triumph over. We are important to the Land Run and Centennial celebrations only in as much as we can provide unique "color" and "decorations" for these celebrations. Our part of the story, the part where our lands are invaded and stripped away from us, the part where our cultures are attacked, the part where our peoples' lives are trampled and forever altered by this encroachment of land hungry invaders is always conveniently neglected or overshadowed. The Oklahoma Land Run and the push for Statehood rarely takes into account our side of the story and that is shameful because the story is hiding away the inconvenient reality of how the land was obtained and in place of the truth is promoting a lie.

In the end, these Land Run and Centennial celebrations become nothing more than another showcase in which our histories and our cultures are relegated to being backdrops against which the United States can unfold its own "history lesson" of Manifest Destiny and within that showcase, we are merely decorations for the party held in honor of that policy.
Indians plan centennial protest walkNot everyone plans to celebrate Oklahoma statehood day Nov. 16.

A group of American Indians is planning to protest the celebration with a "survival walk” to the Capitol, to remind everyone what happened to their ancestors and the "real history of Oklahoma Indians and Indian Territory.”
The message of the walk:Marching under the banner of "Why Celebrate 100 Years of Theft” the protestors will gather at 9 a.m. Nov. 16 at NW 16 and Lincoln, and then walk to the Capitol, she said.

One of the more outspoken members of the protest is Gerald D. Tieya, of the Comanche Nation. He compares asking an American Indian to celebrate the Oklahoma Centennial with asking a Jew to celebrate Kristallnacht, the night of broken glass in 1938 when Jewish homes were ransacked in numerous German and Austrian cities.

1 comment:

writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
The public reaction to the Native protest to Oklahoma's Centennial is that, "Why are those people holding a GRUDGE after all this time?" The official state response is that, yes, there were 'unfortunate' and 'tragic' events in our history, but we are happy to entertain opposition to our celebrations. We will watch the march to the State Capitol on Centennial Day and let oppositions speak because such voices will eventually let us all live in peace.

And that just may be the size of it all, at this time...
All Best
Russ Bates