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View Diary: You are on Indian Land. (131 comments)

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  •  sort of, sort of not . . . (4+ / 0-)

    The human population of North America didn't originate here.  The earliest appear to have come in several waves of immigration, separated by thousands of years, from North Asia.

    Do we really want to have a "Nah nah my ancestors came here before your ancestors" argument?

    Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

    by Deward Hastings on Thu May 23, 2013 at 07:29:10 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  The nature of "indigenous" is, in part, relative. (11+ / 0-)

      The facts of history are that there were established groups of people here when the "modern" wave of immigration began, and that those established groups were here for thousands of years at least, making them the "indigenous people" of the land.

      And in spite of treaties that allegedly established mutually agreed-upon terms, the indigenous peoples often found themselves at a distinct disadvantage, often having to accept treaties made by those who didn't speak for them, or deal with changes to treaties that they did not agree with.

      Those wrongs have not been corrected.

      Honor the treaties isn't a punchline.

      The term invisible indians isn't one of endearment or some neat new supernatural thriller.

      Throwing out the "nah nah" b.s. isn't a mature, ethical or responsible way of dealing with the realities of this nation and all the associated nations of the indigenous people who were displaced in order to create it.

      •  This is an excellent response (9+ / 0-)

        and an excellent response, too, to the common assertion that "we are all immigrants." To be indigenous is to know (through story, song, and other aspects of culture) that your people have been in a place for long enough -- so long that your people are not "from" anywhere else. In this sense, to argue that one's people did not migrate across the Bering Strait to North America, that they emerged -- or were created -- here is literally (not figuratively) true. It's saying that wherever their physical origins may lie, the people were created as a people at a specific site on the earth.

        You are also right to bring the treaties into this discussion. They are founding documents for the United States. To make an analogy to visual design, the treaties are a kind of "negative space" from which the founders carved the "positive space" of the Declaration and Constitution. The treaties must be honored, or we lose any basis and meaning for the United States as a nation. It might also be time to look anew at unceded lands, such as all of California, to draw up new treaties and then, by beginning to honor all treaties, to learn from Indigenous people about what Indigenous or Indian land is, and to correct some wrongs in the process.

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