February 14, 2008

Means = Founding Father or Crazy Horse

Indian Country:  Fight or fadeAmong the dozens of tribal governments contacted by ISA for this piece, one, the chairman of the Hoopa Valley Tribe, Clifford Lyle Marshall, was able to lend the issue some insightful perspective.

"An idea doesn't always start with a lot of support. Ideas are like seeds, somebody's got to plant them, nurture them and watch them grow. […] When the United States declared its independence from Great Britain, it was to create a new nation. The United States recognizes Indian tribes as nations with the sovereign powers of self governance, but Indian people, particularly our young people are asking, 'what is our future'? Declaring independence may be a way of saying its time to create something new because what exists now does not work," Marshall says.
And:"Can anyone deny that the United States of America has done wrong to the Native Americans? Lies, deceit, greed and cruelty have always been trademarks of America's dealings with the Native Americans. Even the courts find the American government guilty of wrong doings. Any court in the world would find the US guilty of treaty breaking and wanton wrong in satisfying their greed. Just as there was bloodshed in the issue with blacks and slavery, there was much bloodshed in subjugating the Native Americans," William Tracy, a retired teacher who studied Indian History at the Newberry Library Institute in Chicago in the 1970s, tells ISA.

"The assimilation of the Indians would have been easier if they had not been allowed to remain as 5th class citizens and reproduce. Means is like a Crazy Horse: allowed to stay as a true remnant of the Native American. I am a bit too radical," Tracy, a member of the Sault Ste Marie (Michigan) Ojibway Tribe says.
For more on the subject of Means's gambit, see The Republic of Lakotah.

No comments: