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I made a comment in "We Will Never Sell (Our Sacred Black Hills),"
and I want to share it with everyone.

You know,

When I listened to the radio show on Native American Calling that discussed "Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee" before it was on HBO, a question was asked, "Are they ready to hear the truth about Native American History?"

My first thought was & is yes.


Your comments and all the others here are just proof that that is in fact so.

Thankyou from the bottom of my heart.  

Here is the radio show I was referring to, that was on Native American Calling.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007 – Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee:

HBO Films presents the epic film adaptation of Dee Brown's seminal nonfiction book "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee."

Crossposted at Progressive Historians

Some suggestions were made by a commenter, amongst all the thoughtful and caring comments at PH, SP,
NION, and DT. [emphasis mine].

It seems to me that the most critical thing to do is bring attention to your fight. You're on the net so you know the power. But just explaining the issue isn't enough. I think you need a big publicity issue, something that can be posted on the net and other media. Some act of protest. Something big enough to draw attention.  It may even be something to do with the settlement money.

You need to build a groundswell of publicity and support and I think you need a good, professional P/R firm to help you. I'm assuming that the tribes don't have a lot of money. But small contributions from them and setting up a fund we can contribute to from here and other sites such a YouTube could help raise the money. There is a lot of sympathy out there for Native Americans and the way they've been treated. What has been lacking is a means of expressing that support. Good luck, and I'll be happy to contribute to the fund.

Well, thanks to txdemfem’s suggestions, I found a means of support. Ironic, because I’d already linked to it. It’s the Defenders Of The Black Hills.

a group of volunteers without racial or tribal boundaries working to ensure that the United States government upholds the Fort Laramie Treaties of 1851 and 1868.

On that very page, there’s a place to donate.

Here’s a video they have up, outlining the cause.

Defenders video available
A 12-minute video about the work of Defenders of the Black Hills, produced by the Seventh Generation Fund, is now available from the Defenders' office. For a copy of the video, send a self-addressed, stamped padded CD mailer to Defenders of the Black Hills, PO Box 2003, Rapid City SD 57709. Donations welcome.

So, make a donation and order a video.

In addition to the call to action, I want to put the Wounded Knee Massacre of 1890 in a better historical context, citing two of the major events that led up to it: The Sand Creek Massacre and Washita.

Now, while that sounds like it needs to be a lengthy dissertation, I think that all that needs to be realized is this occurrence, which occurred in 1868, twenty-two years prior to the Wounded Knee Massacre of 1890.

Black Kettle, his wife, and more than 150 Cheyenne and Arapaho had just been exterminated, and Custer’s 7th was burning the lodges and all their contents, thus stripping them of all survival means. Sheridan would wait until all their dogs had been eaten before "allowing" them into subjugation, then Custer would rape the women hostages in captivity.

Jerome A. Green. "Washita." p. 126.

Far across the Washita Valley, warriors observed the killing of the animals, enraged by what they saw.

What did they see, feel, and think?

And so, when the Chiefs gathered to decide what the people should do, Black Kettle took his usual place among them. Everyone agreed Sand Creek must be avenged. But there were questions. Why had the soldiers attacked with such viciousness? Why had they killed and mutilated women and children?

It seemed that the conflict with the whites had somehow changed. No longer was it just a war over land and buffalo. Now, the soldiers were destroying everything Cheyenne - the land, the buffalo, and the people themselves.

See it? Feel it?

They witnessed and felt the Sand Creek Massacre happen, again.

Consequently, a number of Cheyenne who were present at Washita helped defeat Custer at Little Bighorn.

I don’t think that I need to explain it any further, except to say that for those who haven’t read

Black Kettle and the Sand Creek Massacre of Nov. 29th, 1864 (Part 2) & The Death & Vision of Moxtaveto ( Black Kettle) (Conclusion), what the warriors saw from across the Washita Valley is there, specifically.

So, let us proceed from the Sand Creek Massacre, from the genocide at the Washita "Battlefield" –


According to the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethical, racial or religious group as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;

(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life

calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

WE, the undersigned members of the Native American community and the public at large, request that this site of the attack by the United States military against 8,500 Plains Indians camped as prisoners of war along the Washita River in 1868 be designated as the Washita National Historic Site of Genocide.

Washita "Battlefield" Of 1868

  • to the Wounded Knee Massacre of 1890, the most immediate genocidal history behind the efforts of the Defenders Of The Black Hills.

This is three of a four part series.
Here is Part 1 and Part 2

Topics that were covered in this four part series(Part 4 is here) are: prior events and circumstances that led up to the Wounded Knee Massacre, Wovoka and the influence of Jesus Christ's teachings in Wovoka's instructions to the Ghost Dancers, the innocent role of the Ghost Dance and Ghost Dancers in the Massacre, The Dawes Act and similar governmental policies, the Wounded Knee Massacre itself, some philosophical thoughts, and conclusions. While I must speak of two religions by necessity due to the nature of the historical context, I am endorsing neither. I already posted this, but here is another piece of information I found, before beginning.

Harjo: Burying the history of Wounded Knee

But Wounded Knee was 14 years after Little Bighorn. Would the soldiers have held a grudge that long and why would they take it out on Big Foot? They blamed Custer's defeat on Sitting Bull, who was killed two weeks before Wounded Knee. The Survivors Association members had the answer: ''Because Big Foot was Sitting Bull's half-brother. That's why Sitting Bull's Hunkpapa people sought sanctuary in Big Foot's Minneconjou camp.''

Wounded Knee Massacre of 1890

First, notice the first intention of the U.S. Army was to detain Chief Big Foot under the pretext that he was a "fomenter of disturbance," remembering that Native Americans did not have equal rights at that time in the Constitution.

Next, observe that the real intention was doing a "roundup" to a military prison camp, which would have become an internment and concentration camp in Omaha after they were prisoners. Colonel James W. Forsyth had orders to force them into going there. Speculating, I bet at least part of the rationalization for the massacre was so the soldiers wouldn't have to transport them to the military prison in Omaha. Murdering them would have been easier. Then, they could've had another whiskey keg, like they did the evening right before this massacre, when they celebrated the detainment of Chief Big Foot. The soldiers may have even been hung over, depending on amount consumed and tolerance levels; moreover, if the soldiers were alcoholics, tolerance levels would have been high.


n : the wanton killing of many people [syn: mass murder]
  v : kill a large number of people indiscriminately; "The Hutus
  massacred the Tutsis in Rwanda"

  [syn: slaughter, mow


White officials became alarmed at the religious fervor and activism and in December 1890 banned the Ghost Dance on Lakota reservations. When the rites continued, officials called in troops to Pine Ridge and Rosebud reservations in South Dakota. The military, led by veteran General Nelson Miles, geared itself for another campaign. 

Big Foot and the Lakota were among the most enthusiastic believers in the Ghost Dance ceremony when it arrived among them in the spring of 1890.

Chief Big Foot's arrest was ordered by the U.S. War Department for being a "fomenter of disturbance." Chief Big Foot was already on his way to Pine Ridge with his people, when the 7th U.S. Cavalry with Major Samuel Whitside leading them approached him on horses. Big Foot's lungs were bleeding from pneumonia.

Blood froze on his nose while he could barely speak. He had a white flag of surrender put up as soon as he caught glimpse of the U.S. Calvary coming towards them. At the urging of John Shangreau, Whitside's half-breed scout, Whitside "allowed" Big Foot to proceed to the camp at Wounded Knee. Whitside wanted to arrest Big Foot and disarm them all immediately.  Ironically, the justification for letting Big Foot go to Wounded Knee was that it would prevent a gun fight, save the lives of the women and children, but let the men escape. The Warriors wouldn't have left their women and children to perish, but since the following was reported to Red Cloud:

Red Cloud

"...A white man said the soldiers meant to kill us. We did not believe it, but some were frightened and ran away to the Badlands.(1)

I believe Whitside didn't want the Warriors to have such an opportunity, under direct orders by General Nelson Miles.

(1)From the book "Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee" by Dee Brown, pp. 441-442 (December, 1890):

"Later in the darkness of that December night (Dec. 28) the remainder of the Seventh Regiment marched in from the east and quietly bivouacked north of Major Whitside's troops. Colonel James W. Forsyth, commanding Custer's former regiment, now took charge of operations. He informed Whitside that he had received orders to take Big Foot's band to the Union Pacific Railroad for shipment to the military prison in Omaha.

Then, came the disarming.

..Colonel Forsyth informed the Indians that they were now to be disarmed. "They called for guns and arms," White Lance said, "so all of us gave the guns and they were stacked up in the center." The soldier chiefs were not satisfied with the number of weapons surrendered, so they sent details of troops to search the tepees. "They would go right into the tents and come out with bundles (sacred objects) and tear them open," Dog Chief said. "They brought our axes, knives, and tent stakes and piled them near the guns." Still not satisfied, the soldier chiefs ordered the warriors to remove their blankets and submit to searches for weapons...

Yellow Bird, the only medicine man there at the time danced some steps of the Ghost Dance, while singing one of it's songs as an act of dissent. Simultaneously, the people were furious at the "searches" when Yellow Bird reminded everyone of their bullet-proof shirts. To me, this was the void in time when the Ghost Dancers chose peace over war, and made it possible for the resurgence of their culture to occur in the future. A psychological justification for my saying so, is the Ghost Dancers would also have been Sundancers. Part of the well-known intent behind the Sundance is "that the people might live." I'll explain my view more in the conclusion.

Next, was false blame.

...Some years later Dewey Beard (Wasumaza) recalled that Black Coyote was deaf. "If they had left him alone he was going to put his gun down where he should. They grabbed him and spinned him in the east direction. He was still unconcerned even then. He hadn't pointed his gun at anyone. His intention was to put that gun down. They came and grabbed the gun that he was going to put down...(1) in proceeding paragraph, p.445.


...The massacre allegedly began after an Indian, who was being disarmed, shot a U.S. officer.

Hotchkiss guns shredded the camp on Wounded Knee Creek, killing, according to one estimate, 300 of 350 men, women, and children.

It was nothing less than false blame, deceptive actions, and blatant lies by the blood-thirsty troopers that started the Wounded Knee Massacre of 1890. In recognition of the governmental policy of using smallpox infected blankets as germ warfare against Native Americans since the first presidency, the Sioux Wars, and all the "successful" extermination by the U.S. government prior to this last "battle;" would they have had the atom bomb, they would have used it too. For that would have been more convenient, than loading their remaining victims (4 men and 47 women and children) into open wagons and transporting them to Pine Ridge during the approaching blizzard for alleged shelter at the army barracks, then to the Episcopal mission "unplanned." They left the survivors out in that blizzard in open wagons for who knows how long, while "An (singular) inept Army officer searched for shelter."(1)

What that tells me is: they didn't plan on having any survivors. They planned on exterminating them. Of course, there wasn't any room at all in the army barracks for 51 people, so they had to take them to the mission. Well...if they'd been white, they would've found room for a measly 51 white people.

I thought this diary was complete, until a fellow member generously mentioned the Big Foot Memorial Ride in "Part 2." I cried at least a couple times thinking about it since then and paced my room in circles.

Being beyond words, I don't want to say anything else about it.


"...A recurring dream in the mid-1980s directed a Lakota elder to begin the ride as a way to heal the wounds of the 1890 massacre. It continues today to honor the courage of the ancestors and to teach the young to become leaders...The Big Foot Ride began in 1987 at the urging of Birgil Kills Straight, a descendant of a Wounded Knee Massacre survivor. Each year, the riders have come together to sacrifice and pray for the 13-day trip from the Standing Rock Reservation beginning on the anniversary of the death of Sitting Bull and ending at Wounded Knee on Dec. 28, the day before the anniversary of the massacre..."


"...The two-week Ride started in 1986 after a dream told one of its founders that it would "mend the sacred hoop" and heal the wounds of the famous massacre. For the first four years, the ride was led in intense cold by Arvol Looking Horse, keeper of the White Buffalo Calf Woman pipe bundle in Green Grass, S.D. It is now carried on by youths from the Lakota nation, starting in Grand River near Mobridge, S.D. on the Standing Rock Sioux reservation and continuing south 200 miles to Pine Ridge..."


I am so, so overwhelmed with gratitude and appreciation. Thankyou, thankyou, and thankyou – from the very bottom of my heart.

Mitakuye Oyasin

(All My Relations)

[Update #2]:

You can contact cacamp about the following: at

Ah-HO and thank you for this diary! As a person who has fought this particular fight for over three decades I'm glad for any news getting on the internet. I'm a founding member of the Defenders and they are doing a great job but you should also know that our main fight right now in the Black Hills is over our Sacred Mountain, Bear Butte. Last year I led an encampment during the enormous Sturgis Bike Rally to protest it's encroachment on Bear Butte. Many tribes and people joined us and it seems we stopped at least one big bar from being built right besides the mountain. For information please visit in addition their are several organizations continuing this fight. Their web sites are listed on the Defend Bear Butte site
In addition I will be happy to answer any questions you may have about our struggle. As a founder of AIM and the leader of "Wounded Knee 1973" I think I'm up to date on our struggle across the board including our efforts to organize Democrat voters on the rez.

Originally posted to Winter Rabbit on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 05:32 AM PDT.


Will you help defend the Black Hills?

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| 36 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Outstanding.... (22+ / 0-)

     I have to say that my memories of this part of history being taught was pretty fuzzy because I suspect that was deliberate. Few in the school system really presents the conflict in the West as a "planned genocide", I don't know whether they think the kids/young folks can't handle it or whether the truth is just too dangerous. I think Americans like to think of themselves are being historically benevolent
    manily to make themselves fee better. Thank, Winter Rabbit for you thoughful analysis on a fascinating topic.

  •  Winter Rabbit (19+ / 0-)

    The only thing missing from your excellent diaries is the vast territories involved with the Indian issues.  For those readers not familiar with the loosely defined Plains States, (Montana, North and South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, and Oklahoma,) the mere number of miles people were marched, fled to, and roamed is staggering given that most people were on foot.  Are there maps illustrating these misadventures?

    "Man's life's a vapor Full of woe. He cuts a caper, Down he goes. Down de down de down he goes.

    by JFinNe on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 06:07:09 AM PDT

  •  I just donated. (12+ / 0-)

    Thanks for the information and for your dedication.

    When I first read the book, I felt that my heart was also buried at Wounded Knee and it took weeks for me to shake off that grief.

    I'm happy to be able to participate and will continue to do so.

    The religious fanatics didn't buy the republican party because it was virtuous, they bought it because it was for sale

    by nupstateny on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 06:09:35 AM PDT

  •  This History should be taught early and long. (17+ / 0-)

    There is a way to frame it so children learn from that History. Even today the US Gov. and the Corps. steal from the Native Peoples.  It is almost as if they think these people deserve less because they are Natives. This needs to stop. Thanks Winter Rabbit, I always enjoy reading your diarys.

    "Though the Mills of the Gods grind slowly,Yet they grind exceeding small."

    by Owllwoman on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 06:14:18 AM PDT

  •  I know a family in ND. They live on the Res. (23+ / 0-)

    and they live poor. They own land in Montana or near there that has been leased to oil Corps. They get approx. 8000 dollars a year on this land. The land is valued at 1 billion dollars. Finally someone is helping them get legal help to get proper payment for the oil that comes from the land. This money is shared between 8 familes and all these families live in poverty. This is a crime by Corps. and our Gov.

    "Though the Mills of the Gods grind slowly,Yet they grind exceeding small."

    by Owllwoman on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 06:35:47 AM PDT

  •  excellent diary winter rabbit (23+ / 0-)

    I have just woken up and am not quite coherent yet. For now I will post this quote from one of the more famous of the great chiefs.

    If the Great Spirit has desired me to be a white man he would have made me so in the first place. He put in your heart certain wishes and plans; in my heart he put other and different desires. Each man is good in the sight of the Great Spirit. It is not necessary for eagles to be crows. Now we are poor but we are free. No white man controls our footsteps. If we must die, we die defending our rights.

    Sitting Bull

    The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same." Carlos Castaneda

    by FireCrow on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 06:43:13 AM PDT

  •  DOJs (13+ / 0-)

    Duke Cunningham's involvement with scamming Native Americans and the involvement with at least half the fired DOJ attorneys should be a launching point for public awareness.  The AGs were working for the benefit of Indian tribes, and apparently that was a no no with Bushco.  

    If these attorneys had been working for the benefit of Black people and were fired because of their actions, the  Black nation would be very vocal and raise Holy Hell.  Can we expect the same reaction for NAs?

    "Man's life's a vapor Full of woe. He cuts a caper, Down he goes. Down de down de down he goes.

    by JFinNe on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 06:52:14 AM PDT

  •  Rec'd and donation made. (11+ / 0-)

    A worthy cause that will have to be pushed, but people are definitely ready to hear about this. Keep coming back with reports and updates. Thanks for teaching us history, Winter Rabbit.

  •  I've got to go get breakfast... (9+ / 0-)

    will someone please help keep this going? I'll be back at least this afternoon until I have to go to work this evening.

  •  I have been to Wounded Knee and (18+ / 0-)

    walked among the graves of those people. It makes it real. But, the Lakota really don't want outsiders there because there is no trust. Anyone really interested should spend a day driving through the Pine Ridge Res. Its a wake up call for anyone who cares to make the Journey.

    "Though the Mills of the Gods grind slowly,Yet they grind exceeding small."

    by Owllwoman on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 07:25:31 AM PDT

  •  Three cheers for WR.... (11+ / 0-)

    Now everybody will have a chance to read this informative diary.

  •  My families (13+ / 0-)

    were not in this country at that time - we were being persecuted throughout Europe, and didn't arrive at Ellis Island until around the turn of the century.  Still, I am overwhelmed with guilt and grief.

    I just got paid. I will donate what I can afford and do what I can.  

    •  and (0+ / 0-)

      greetings from the great grandchild of the "coffin boat Irish" who had their land stolen by the English and were basically deported (by economic force vs. death) from their own land in Ireland to the US.  

      That is how my Irish side came to Montana, with a brief stop farming in Tennessee, when Union troops also confiscated everything on the farm.  I think the Irish gave up on ownership.  That is how so many came to Butte, Montana, to work the mines or the railroads.  Butte was once the largest concentration of the Irish diaspora who were forced from their land by the same people who made war on the native Americans (most of the US aristocracy has been and still is English (e.g. Bush) - just ask the Kennedys).

      As a fourth generation Montanan from working class people, any of us might appreciate the distinction.  We did not own the mines but died in them.  We were taught of native heritage from childhood on, used to see tipi rings everywhere.  That was the glory of the state in our family.

      Ahoo, Winter Rabbit.

  •  Thank you Winter Rabbit! (13+ / 0-)

    For this important retelling of our history.

    Will we ever learn?

    Imagination is more important than knowledge - Einstein

    by One Pissed Off Liberal on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 07:41:48 AM PDT

  •  pre-emptive war (11+ / 0-)

    You think concept of Iraq is new?

    Most of our war on the First Nation was based on the same theory.

    A. they might be a threat

    B. they have something we want

    fact does not require fiction for balance

    by mollyd on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 07:56:31 AM PDT

  •  I really thank you for your diaries (10+ / 0-)

    I simply get too angry and sad and depressed to do them myself.  

    •  True about all those feelings, but Winter Rabbit (7+ / 0-)

      brings a peace and a wisdom to the stories.

      Always great diaries.

      <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

      by bronte17 on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 08:01:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  keep your head up Sarah (10+ / 0-)

      I keep this on my desk, it is from Chief Tecumseh:

      Live your life that the fear of death
      can never enter your heart.
      Trouble no one about his religion.
      Respect others in their views
      and demand that they respect yours.
      Love your life, perfect your life,
      beautify all things in your life.
      Seek to make your life long
      and of service to your people.
      Prepare a noble death song for the day
      when you go over the great divide.
      Always give a word or sign of salute when meeting
      or passing a friend, or even a stranger, if in a lonely place.
      Show respect to all people, but grovel to none.
      When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light,
      for your life, for your strength.
      Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living.
      If you see no reason to give thanks,
      the fault lies in yourself.
      Touch not the poisonous firewater that makes wise ones turn to fools
      and robs the spirit of its vision.
      When your time comes to die, be not like those
      whose hearts are filled with fear of death,
      so that when their time comes they weep and pray
      for a little more time to live their lives over again
      in a different way.
      Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home

      The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same." Carlos Castaneda

      by FireCrow on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 08:36:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you (9+ / 0-)

        That is a good one.  I have a notebook of lessons, remembrances of talks with my elders who have now crossed on and wise words such as Chief Tecumseh's and I read at least one or two each morning before I make my prayers and ceder and sage off my house.  I will add this one to my notebook.

        I was taught that the first thing to do upon rising each morning was to step outside and say good morning the Grandfathers and Grandmothers, to touch the earth and then to say a quick thanks for the day.  It is easy for me to remember to do as I always walk outside first thing to go to the outhouse.  <grin> Disconcerting when I travel and am in places with indoor plumbing!  My day isn't right unless I do that and even when in hotels in DC, I find a way to touch the earth in the morning, no doubt making hotel staff wonder what I find so interesting about the potted tree outside the door.

        But I am not yet evolved enough to contemplate the history and injustices without anger, even if I have perfect faith about wrongs being corrected or put into a larger perspective in the spirit world.

        I see the attacks on and disregard for the environment arising from the same "manifest destiny" mindset and experience the same anger and sadness.  I am grateful that our season of ceremonies is upon us because they are what bring me back to center and provide the strength to go on another year.  I will stand in the circle at Sun Dance and watch the open East Gate with the same hope of so many with me and before me that White Buffalo Calf Woman will walk back to us with the Sacred Pipe of Peace.

        Mitakuye Oyasin!

        •  SarahLee (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          how poignant... I too live to be in contact with the earth, and I too am offended by a "civilization" which labors to kill earth and people.

          At least here, remember that your anger speaks not only for you, but for all of us.  The same forces that attacked native America are killing the children's minds, killing the elderly, the sick, the dispossessed,... did I forget to mention Katrina?

          If you can ever do it, make your prayers for us all who live here, and many of us came by force.  The US is a land of captives of all colors now.  May the gentle and peaceful become the glad inheritance of the native Americans.

    •  I can relate... (5+ / 0-)

      I have to decompress after writing them, it's so very sad and tragic to even think about.

  •  Thanks so much for this great diary (6+ / 0-)

    I just got done reading "The Lance and the Shield," a great biography of Sitting Bull, who predicted Custers demise. I highly recommend this book. Your diary filled in a lot of the rest of the picture. outstanding.

  •  they'll probably come again (6+ / 0-)

    they'll come again, so be prepared

    they will use their new verb "to swift boat"
    they will say that you "blame america first"
    they will say it is the past
    they will say that "business will be destroyed"
    some will even say "the sioux lost the war"

    some will even say, I know because I've heard it for several years, that Native Americans have casinos, so they are making money and what else do you want? and they do this without irony, perhaps even with a portrait of Jack Abermoff on their wall.

    and loudest of all, they will probably accuse the people of wanting to open casinos in the black hills, never understanding that this is not what one does with sacred ground and never recognizing that the Native American casinos in South Dakota, many no more than bingo parlors with a few slot machines, do rather poorly.

    in the minds of many, the casinos are reparations. of course this is absurd, but the skill in which they divide and conquer is strong.

    and many have the maturity of children. we see it time and again. they dont want to hear about injustices from the past because they can't accept the past as flawed. Like children they want to hide from the mistakes of their parents and pretend the past was perfect, just, and divine destiny.

    they will probably come again, so be prepared.

    I say, Bring It On

    I cant tell if its a West End musical or Marxism in action.

    by Evolution on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 08:11:35 AM PDT

  •  "Empty of Mankind and its works" (13+ / 0-)

    The de-historification of Native Americans is a problem, a problem that is often continued by otherwise well meaning people.

    I am presently finishing up the book, 1491, by Charles Mann.  He writes:

    For almost five centuries the suppositon that Native Americans lived in an eternal, unhistorical state held sway in scholarly work, and from there fanned out to high school textbooks, Hollywood movies, newspaper articles, environmental campaigns, romantic adventure books, and silk screened t-shirts. It existed in many forms and was embraced by both those who hated Indians and those who admired them. It explained the colonists view of most Indians as incurably vicious barbarians; its mirror image was the dreamy stereotype of the Indian as Noble Savage. Positive or negative, in both images Indians lacked what social scientists call agency- they were not actors in their own right, but passive recipients of whatever windfalls or disasters happenstance put in their way.

    Thus there was the undercounting of original Indian populations, in some areas up to 90%. Agricultural accomplishments by North American Indians are nearly totally ignored.

    At the worst there is renowned historian Samuel Eliot Morison writing that Native Americans were "pagans expecting short and brutish lives, void of any hope for the future".

    On the other hand, we have well-meaning environmentalists depicting indians, as Mann writes, as "people who never changed their environment from its original wild state".

    Either way, he concludes, "Because history is change, they were a people without history".

    Excess ain't rebellion. You're drinking what they're selling. - Cake

    by slatsg on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 08:22:45 AM PDT

    •  "Passive recipients" (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AbsurdEyes, walkshills, Elise

      I touched on the passive voices in the video WR posted.  "Passive" hasn't worked out too well so far for NAs.  I wonder if a few more aggressive voices aren't called for.

      "Man's life's a vapor Full of woe. He cuts a caper, Down he goes. Down de down de down he goes.

      by JFinNe on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 08:43:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Mann's thesis is that Native Americans (6+ / 0-)

        have never been passive recipients, but rather they have as full and active history as any other people.

        Excess ain't rebellion. You're drinking what they're selling. - Cake

        by slatsg on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 08:49:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That they have a rich history is a given (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          slatsg, AbsurdEyes, walkshills

          I didn't catch that from your quote.  Given that the buffalo were systematically slaughtered thus robbing natives of the mainstay article of their livelihood, given that they were out gunned, out equipped, out manned, leads me to conclude they were at the whims of "whatever windfalls or disasters happenstance put in their way."

          The Native Americans fought back, they lost.

          I think I as talking about "passive" voices.  There is a distinction between passive actions and passive voices.

          "Man's life's a vapor Full of woe. He cuts a caper, Down he goes. Down de down de down he goes.

          by JFinNe on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 09:01:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Read eric wolf (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AbsurdEyes, stonemason, Owllwoman

            For a very very interesting discussion of Native American history post 1492, it is well worth reading one the most important books of the latter part of the 20th century:

            Europe and The People Without History by Eric Wolf (1981, i think)

            there is a chapter called "The Fur Trade" which details the historical processes that affected Native Americans  once the European settlers arrived in North America.

            any discussions of "passive" or "active" recipients is absurd. "passive" implies that history was something that happened to them and that the Native Americans did not create their own history. This is nothing more racist thinking which suggests that Native Americans were incapable of creating history. It implies Native Americans to be less than Europeans. Its the same damn argument that has been going on for 500 years.

            I cant tell if its a West End musical or Marxism in action.

            by Evolution on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 09:14:01 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  A couple of comments... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            walkshills, Winter Rabbit
            1. Regardless of whether a historical actor wins or loses at a particular juncture does not put them at the whims of fate.

            Native American history did not begin with the arrival of the Europeans. For tens of thousands of years Indians made active choices, impacted their environment and controlled their own destiny.

            Even after the arrival of whites, Indians continued to make active decisions regarding their lives.
            During the Revulutionary War and again during the War of 1812, many native nations chose to ally themselves with the British. Had the War of 1812 turned out a bit differently my state may have been a part of an Indian nation.

            1. The buffalo was only a part of North American Indian culture. It's influence increased as a result of the introduction of the horse. There was substantial agriculture in pre-columbian plains life. On the coast agriculture was very significant as the Indians cleared large amounts of land.

            Excess ain't rebellion. You're drinking what they're selling. - Cake

            by slatsg on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 11:17:33 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  We got a bit more aggressive (7+ / 0-)

        with the occupation of Wounded Knee in 1973 and that didn't work out that well for us either.

      •  Get real (8+ / 0-)

        I've led several pretty damn big fights myself such as Wounded Knee and the Trail Of Broken Treaties. Passive we ain't and never have been. The truth is every year of every decade of the last 500 years has seen native people fighting hard for their survival in a very public and upfront way. For the first couple of hundred years Indians were dominant in most of the U.S.. The treaties reflect coequal signatories at first and they get more and more one sided as time goes on until finally they were complete surrenders. But always there was struggle and we gave up nothing without fighting to keep it.

        Today we're fighting all across America but Americans are unaware and mostly uncaring about these struggles. The Zapatista movement and it's allies are a recent manifestation of non passive Indian resistance as is the upcoming June 29th nationwaide protest planned by First Nations people in Canada. In the USA Indian people are fighting nonpasivly on many fronts, in the post below I outline our fight to preserve Bear Butte but the list is long including fighting the wall against Mexico which will divide several Tribes in two.

        Please don't mix up passivity with no publicity and don't think the conquerors history shows how hard the People fought to defend themselves. The book 1491 shows how our people were devastated by diease long before ever seeing a whiteman. It preceded them to each tribe and at times the land seemed empty.

        Resistance is hard when 90% of your people are dead but we tried like hell and we haven't quit yet! We elected at least two Democrat senators and several congressmen last election and we'll do better this time.

        •  There were a few students at Sinte (3+ / 0-)

          trying to form a political science club to see what they might be able to do to use blogs and the Internet to give a wider audience to the struggles in Indian Country.  I was asked to go up and give some demonstrations about participating on blogs - which I did, but I have not heard from them in a while and been busy with a lot of work and family issues so have not followed up as I should have.

          I believe we can utilize the technology to help even the field a bit - reaching people who won't hear about what is going on from main stream media and who, with everything else going on in their lives are not going to go read the Lakota times or Indian Country Today.  I am hoping more of the students will get involved, but I know they were having a hard time getting the political science club off the ground.  

        •  Carter, do you have a link to the First Nations (0+ / 0-)

          June 29th protest in canada?


          "Teach...your children well" CSN

          by tallmom on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 03:17:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Same thing happened to the Hawaiians. (0+ / 0-)

          Western "great man" Captain Cook's "gift" to the Hawaiians was a raft of devastating diseases that killed up to 80% of the pre-Western-contact population. This set up the Hawaiians for exploitation by the white men who followed later.

          The Dutch children's choir Kinderen voor Kinderen (= “children for children”) is a world cultural treasure.

          by lotlizard on Sun Jun 17, 2007 at 03:21:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  2,000-year-old hallowed ground to be auctioned (5+ / 0-)

      2,000-year-old hallowed ground to be auctioned off June 14. Another one of the formerly numerous so-called Indian mounds that used to decorate Ohio and the midwest. Some still are protected in southern Ohio but there is hope.
      Agreement to buy Indian Site

      BOURNEVILLE, Ohio (AP) - A coalition has agreed to buy and preserve an ancient American Indian site in southern Ohio.

      The coalition signed an agreement yesterday to buy the 238-acre Spruce Hill Works 50 miles south of Columbus. The price: $600,000.

      The groups will create a nature preserve and turn it over to the National Park Service.

      Walking on and around the remaining earthenworks is obviously something that Mann has not had thew pleasure of doing.

      Global War on Terror: Not worth the bumper sticker it's printed on.

      by OHdog on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 10:39:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  and (0+ / 0-)

      please remember to erase the borders in everyone's minds.

      We are living in Mexico, which should be understood as "greater Native North America."  Although they have hispanic surnames, a great number of people here have no Spanish blood, but are the same stock as those who built pyramids a couple millenia ago.

      But had my parents not brought me to Mexico as a child, I would probably be like too many whom I ask in the US, who do not realize an ancient people still live immediately to her south.  I know of a civil engineer who graduated with honors who did not know there are pyramids on North America.  Almost no one learns that in school.  In neighborhoods of Mexico (not cities necessarily - too much turmoil) the people who inhabit the hundreds-of-years-old villages have lived more or less where they have for millenia.

      If I could, I would love for people from up north to arrange vision quests down here.  I could see how the strength and vibrancy and warmth of the people and their survival would be of inspiration.

  •  perpetual U.S. war machine (6+ / 0-)

    got going back then, now deeply entrenched, and will always leave us more desperate than before.  

  •  Just briefly (7+ / 0-) of the best books in terms of context is 1491 - New revelations of the Americas before Columbus, by Charles C. Mann. It describes the pre-Columbian civilizations and what happened to them; invaluable reading.

    "All who seek to gain from liberty something other than itself are born to be slaves." - Alexis de Tocqueville

    by MBNYC on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 08:26:53 AM PDT

  •  Great diary, powerful subject.... (8+ / 0-)

    Great diary, kind of long so I've just skimmed it
    and put in in my hotlist for now.

    But my spouse and I watched "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee" during the last week, and I was moved to tears several times.

    I find myself very interested in a subject I knew almost nothing about and angry at my government which seems to have always been the same.

  •  Thank you for this diary Winter Rabbit (5+ / 0-)

    I am no clicking all over the internet, getting as much information as I can on the subject. Shame how little info we were given in school. Thanks again.

    Tomorrow begins today! John Edwards

    by ladylib on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 08:56:24 AM PDT

  •  What a treasure this Diary contains. (10+ / 0-)

    A beautiful compilation of history, people and action.  Winter Rabbit the time dedicated to this will reap many ongoing benefits as those who are unaware become congizant and those who are aware become resolute to assist as resources allow.  

    Thank you Winter Rabbit!

    Every time history repeats itself the price goes up - Anon.

    by Pithy Cherub on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 09:11:51 AM PDT

  •  Bear Butte and Sacred sites fight (11+ / 0-)

    Ah-HO and thank you for this diary! As a person who has fought this particular fight for over three decades I'm glad for any news getting on the internet. I'm a founding member of the Defenders and they are doing a great job but you should also know that our main fight right now in the Black Hills is over our Sacred Mountain, Bear Butte. Last year I led an encampment during the enormous Sturgis Bike Rally to protest it's encroachment on Bear Butte. Many tribes and people joined us and it seems we stopped at least one big bar from being built right besides the mountain. For information please visit in addition their are several organizations continuing this fight. Their web sites are listed on the Defend Bear Butte site
    In addition I will be happy to answer any questions you may have about our struggle. As a founder of AIM and the leader of "Wounded Knee 1973" I think I'm up to date on our struggle across the board including our efforts to organize Democrat voters on the rez.

  •  Sundance (11+ / 0-)

    The most important and effective message the opera sends out is that the Peltier case has clearly not received the quality of attention that it deserves and that the collective voice of the Native American is still waiting to be heard by a government which has been all too willing, throughout US history, to silence it.

    The spirit of the Native Americans beg you - listen.

    This is an excerpt from my own Blogcritics review of an educational opera about this topic. The opera's titled Sundance, focusing on the case of Leonard Peltier by delving into the history of Wounded Knee in a way that you may have not learned about in your US History school books. I took my son to see it and he graciously engaged his own US History teacher with information from Native American accounting incuded in the opera's dialogue by which he was educationally armed to confront the decidedly shaded historical accounts used in present high school teachings.

  •  Leonard Peltier (10+ / 0-)

    For over 500 years our religion has been trampled on and disrespected by those who invaded our lands, and who have tried to take away our culture, our traditions, our language, our history, and our religion. When we fasted for 42 days we did not fast out of depression or despair, but with a joyful commitment of total love and dedication to our people. We were willing to fast until we were granted our constitutional right to practice our religion or until we returned to our Creator.

    Thank you Winter Rabbit for your voice and spirit!

    "It is love, not reason, that is stronger than death." Thomas Mann

    by AbsurdEyes on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 09:56:01 AM PDT

  •  HBO's Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (review) (14+ / 0-)

    Sorry if this is too long. I wrote it when the movie came out. CC  
    Review by Carter Camp, AIM, Ponca Nation
    Ah-ho My Relations,
     It has been a long buildup to the showing of HBO's "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee". We read about the good native cast that was being assembled and as the date drew near Indian people were emailing the starting dates and previews to each other. I remember telling my brothers that "I know this will be hard to watch". I knew that because the book had touched my heart and I knew a movie would be even more emotional. I think everyone was prepared to see a modern, well researched movie that would be as truthful and hard hitting as the book. It seemed all right that they had narrowed the book down to the story of the 1890 massacre of the Lakota at Wounded Knee rather than try to tell the whole book's many stories of the genocide of Indian people. It promised to be an Indian movie we could be proud of or at least a truthful one to counter some recent stinkers like Pocahontas and Apocalypto.
      Of course that may have been wishful thinking on my part seeing as how the book galvanized a generation of Indian people to fight for the redress of the historical wrongs done to our people. The book touched a nerve with tribes across Indian Country and showed us graphically the commonality of our many struggles. The book proved that what was done to our people was a decades long, government inspired, well planned, process of genocide and a movie showing the same was eagerly looked forward to by Indians across the nation. The book was deeply researched and exceptionally careful in its scholarship, Dee Brown was one of the first historians to attempt to examine the native side of the conquest of America.
      This movie began with scenes of a screaming bunch of be-feathered warriors charging down a hill and riding in a circle around and around a tightly gathered group of soldiers bravely making a "last stand" against the swarming horde. As anyone knows who has been to the actual Bighorn battlefield the soldiers death sites are scattered over many acres in a big fan shaped area from where it began. It shows that with few exceptions the soldiers were flushed like a covey of quail and died running to escape. As the camera slowly faded from the scene I said "uh-oh, I hope that wasn't supposed to be Custer getting his arrow shirt".
     It was, damn it all to hell, the movie began with one of the oldest and tiredest of the old, tired Hollywood western stereotypes... suicidal Indian warriors, too dumb to plan battle tactics, letting themselves get picked off one by one by smart white soldiers who take cover while the Indians ride around and around. A sinking sensation began to come over me but I hoped against hope that this was perhaps a counterpoint that would be explained later. That hope was futile, the movie turned out to be full of those types of ignorant stereotypes and to make it worse it was also full of historical mistakes so egregious I doubt the perpetrators even read Dee Browns book! They had the Paiute preacher Wovoka in South Dakota teaching the Lakota how to Ghostdance and the protagonist Eastman devising the Dawes Act! They berated the Lakota for fighting other tribes as if their early displacement by the Ojibway was their fault. Every battle scene shows the Lakota doing their B-western thing and charging straight into superior whitemen shooting superior weapons. We see Lakotas getting blown every which way until they run off and then sue for peace from the superior white officer. I felt like I was back in my 1950's youth, watching a cowboys and redskins flick!
      Worse than some of their historical mistakes was the lack of important historical events like Chief Bigfoot's desperate, 200 mile flight through the bitter, subzero cold under harassment by the 7th cavalry. These were the women and children that were to be slaughtered at Wounded Knee, after weeks of trudging and freezing they were almost to safety when the cavalry attacked and murdered them. How could they not portray such a major part of the story? Without Bigfoots attempt to save his people from the revenge minded 7th cavalry by leading them to Red Clouds agency seeking refuge, there would not have been a Wounded Knee massacre. They didn't even make it clear it was Custer's old outfit that committed the murders.
     In this movie it made the massacre seem like a fair fight with Lakota shooting as much as the whites, not showing that our men had been disarmed and only a very few had been able to hide a weapon. It obscured the start and never mentioned, much less portrayed, how so many unarmed women and children were murdered one by one, execution style. It made it look like they were killed in the heat of battle instead of being hunted down like rabbits and shot pointblank by crazed and drunken American heroes. It wasn't hard to watch, like the murder of innocent children should be, even though a lot blood was splattered. Oh it got graphic with today's special effects how could it not, but the people didn't seem real because in this movie Indians have no personalities. Except for Adam Beach in a couple of scenes, Indians were one dimensional and stoic (as always) even Sitting Bull (the main personality of the Indian side) was never given any but the barest of motivations for his lifelong resistance.
      Which brings me to my biggest disappointment with the movie, no, I should say what pissed me off the most about this movie. They got everything Indian wrong! They sang Sundance songs at inappropriate times and danced the Ghost Dance before a tree. The small things that make us Tribal people were distorted to make our societies the mirror of theirs. Things like our familial relationships were completely ignored and the fact that we had a governmental structure at all seemed unknown to the scriptwriter and director. That's racist. It's as if we were so primitive we lived dog eat dog lives while dictator chiefs ruled us with an iron fist. There were no Clans, no Societies, no Woman's voice, no respect in a society built on respect. There was no beauty.
     Chiefs, the honored leaders of our societies who were chosen by the people because they openly lived their lives above reproach, were shown as venal, greed driven autocrats who held life and death powers over their people. Nothing could be more wrong. In one sickening scene they had Chief Sitting Bull tying up a boy and whipping him unmercifully in front of his wife and family for trying to leave camp! Worse again was the way, all of a sudden when the agent said there would be no Chiefs, all the Indians immediately obeyed him and shunned Chief Sitting Bull and gave him no more allegiance. Again no understanding of Indian society or a Chiefs role in our society. The historical record says the agent, who the movie shows as harshly dictating to an intimidated Chief Sitting Bull, was in reality deathly afraid of the Chief and generally kissed his ass while scheming behind his back. And the truth is the vast majority of Lakota people still revered and respected both Chief Sitting Bull and Chief Red Cloud.
     All of us have seen the beautiful way our Chiefs and Headsmen dressed when they had formal meetings with the whiteman or sat in Council for the people. In this movie in scene after scene our most respected leaders were dressed like 1930's depression era bums! Why the hell was that done? The completely untrue and totally undignified portrayal of Chief Red Cloud must have been done with deliberate malice. He was shown as an overweight, sad and broken old man without dignity nor the respect of his people. The truth is, a more proud, straight and tall example of Lakota pride and dignity cannot be found in all the pictures of that era. We can only ask why? Why the hell would you make a movie like this? Why would you ignore the very book the movie is named after and choose to make a movie from the ignorant 1950's? Why?
      I'm outraged that this movie was foisted upon us under the name of such a respected book. In a different more subtle way this movie is worse and more stereotypical than Mel Gibson's stupidly violent Apocolypto. This movie disrespects those that died at Wounded Knee in the massacre of 1890, it disrespects those that survived, it disrespects the Lakota Nation and it disrespects Indian people, most of all it disrespects the book and its title. When will they ever learn?
      Carter Camp, Ponca Nation

    •  Well done, Carter. My stepdaughter ... (7+ / 0-)

      ...wondered why they turned this story - which she had heard about a great deal beforehand in our house - int a love story between a white woman and Indian. That Indian was supposedly at Little Big Horn, when, in reality, he was in grade school in Nebraska at the time.

      The historical errors were, as you point out, egregious. Sitting Bull never spoke at the meeting where Dawes failed to get signatures because he was not there at all. Dozens of other errors pepper this misbegotten film.

      Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, the book, was about writing a popular history that overcame the lethal mythology of movies and other books about American Indians, an attempt to tell the truth to as wide an audience as possible. It had its flaws, as any popular history will do, but, overall, it was a fine corrective. A half-dozen copies were much passed around at Wounded Knee in 1973.

      Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, the HBO movie, was all about repeating the myths, as you say, of the ignorant 1950s. Given everything, Brown's book should have been turned into an excellent film, a good film, or at least an OK film. Instead, what we got was ghastly. One could almost forgive some of the factual errors, the conflations, the distortions in the name of dramatic license. But the truth is that Bury My Heart at Wounded Knew failed even as drama.

      (I wish, Carter, you had told everyone here of your personal history and distinguished service to the American Indian Movement.)

  •  Dee Brown's scholarship (9+ / 0-)

    Anyone who reads the book, with understanding, with intent, will have their entire perspective of American History and Literature changed forever.

    I read it three times when I was in High School, and I never tire of correcting Euro-Americans who only watch movies.

    Thank you for continuing to correct the record. Only when we accept the truth of the Manifest Destiny will we come to truth and reconciliation. Without it, we face several more Black Hills AND  Iraq-sized crimes.

    Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

    by OregonOak on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 10:19:32 AM PDT

  •  One of my bumber stickers reads (8+ / 0-)

    "Sure you can trust the Government - Just Ask an Indian". Many of the people who respond positively to that are conservatives who still believe in little Government. But that feeling is an entry point into talking with them about the injustices of the past. Taking it out of the Whites VS Them rhetoric, that fuels a lot of the immigration debate too, and instead putting it in the context of bad things done by the Government in their name to people hard pressed to defend themselves can spark an understanding not there before.

    Global War on Terror: Not worth the bumper sticker it's printed on.

    by OHdog on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 10:22:35 AM PDT

  •  Martin Luther King, Native Peoples, Globalism (8+ / 0-)

    I have been reading, "An Act of State, the Execution of Martin Luther King," by William Pepper (2003 Verso Press, London.)

    It actually has some parallels with Gore's "Assault on Reason."

    Pepper was a Vietnam war correspondent that happened to write a piece that King read and was influenced by. When they met later, they became friends.  Pepper became an attorney and worked to investigate the murder, culminating in a wrongful death suit in 1999.

    The real perpetrators appear to be the government, in association with some racist members of the Memphis PD and the mafia. The echo of the JFK assassination is, in Pepper's view, not accidental.

    Anyway, regardless of what you think after you read through all the arguments and evidence, he talks about King's contemplations for creating a larger Poor People's Campaign. The purpose of this was to widen the scope of the civil rights movement to confront American with the difference between its ideal view of itself and realities which need justice. The potential for change in this was the motive, according to Pepper.

    He describes King's reaction to learning about Native Americans and the true history, which led him to see the wider issue of American and Christian ideals being subverted by a military supported profit motive that dehumanizes people.  In the '60s, he saw the rise of a consumer culture that was increasingly blind to the need to be part of a culture of human community.

    Now we see that the rise of institutions like the WTO are indeed fostering a worldwide continuation of what happened to America's indigenous people in the last century.

    No, this is specifically avoided in most K-12 and even college level history discussions. I didn't begin to learn about this until I had been out of college for nearly ten years. Then, it was because I happened to stumble onto some acqaintances who were going to sweat lodges with Lakota people coming through Central Texas on their way to the peyote gardens in Mexico.  A small group of these became very serious and started, back in the '80s, going to sundance.  There is a lot of controversy about that, but the collateral effect was to have people to talk to that opened our eyes to a different way of seeing our own culture and history.

    Some might go so far as to say, with no disrespect intended, that we are all Indian now.  

    I think everyone with any sensitivity owes it to themselves to become as educated as possible about the dynamics of what is going on.  There are a lot of ways in which it is very true that if we don't connect with indigenous people, we may not survive as Americans and maybe this could even be true for all humanity on a planetary scale.

    I thank you for your diary, and for inciting this discussion. May there be many more.

  •  1864 - A Banner Year (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AbsurdEyes, Elise, tallmom, Winter Rabbit

    Five Iron Frenzy - Banner Year Lyrics
    A banner year 1864,
    don't want the red man anymore,
    Can't have them taking up good land.
    Give them a token flag,
    trade pipes and shake some hands,
    Tell them the white stripes stand for peace.
    Say if they raise red white and blue,
    Blue coats will never shoot at you,
    But stripes will loose their sheen,
    Black Kettle was their chief,
    he only wanted peace,
    Under the flag...a massacre at Sand Creek.

    Wave your flag. Salivate.
    Stirring feelings of pride and hate.
    A peace of cloth can't hold your faith.

    No flag flies, no banner waves,
    See the empty pole above his empty grave.
    No one knows where he lies,
    and no one know just why he had to die.

    A banner year 1868,
    a bitter end a twist of fate.
    Maps won't hold this melanoma,
    Blurry part of Oklahoma,
    Where Custer shot and killed Black Kettle.

    Wave your flag. Salivate.
    Stirring feelings of pride and hate.
    A peace of cloth can't hold your faith.

    No flag flies, no banner waves,
    See the empty pole above his empty grave.
    No one knows where he lies,
    and no one know just why he had to die.

    A promise is a promise,
    A judge of character.
    His banner over me is love.

    No flag flies, no banner waves,
    See the empty pole above his empty grave.
    No one knows where he lies,
    and no one know just why he had to die.
    No flag flies, no banner waves,
    See the empty pole above his empty grave.
    No one knows where he lies,
    and no one know just why he had to die.

    For a Christian punk/ska band, they have some great progressive songs.

    Somebody really needs to tell the White House that "1984" is a cautionary tale, not a political guidebook.

    by jabbausaf on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 10:35:35 AM PDT

  •  Not Our Land (8+ / 0-)

    No more than the oil of Iraq is "ours" (meaning White invaders), is the land that was stolen after the breaking of more than 400 treaties.

    Since our Constitution requires treaties to be held above all other laws, then we must at least re-negotiate our recent acquisition of nearly all lands all-too-briefly protected under those treaties.

    We must do this as part of reclaiming our heritage, the Constitution, and begin a fresh start -- in justice -- on this continent.

    If a thousand men were not to pay their tax bills this year, that would not be a violent and bloody measure, as it would be to pay them, and enable the State...

    by HenryDavid on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 10:37:26 AM PDT

    •  You're the first person... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I've seen outline why Native Americans and Left Progressives need each other so badly. We have a common cause, and our biggest chance for peace is upholding the Constitution, for our congressmen/women, President & Vise President to uphold the Constitution. It's NOT some "gaddamned piece of paper like W thinks it is."

      •  And it has to be begun by the whites, (0+ / 0-)

        or else it has no validity in our relation to the land and legitimizing our presence here.

        If we are sued into it by the Indians (well, first, we'd never let them "win") it will not create the loving relation to the land that Chief Seattle spoke of his ancestors having.

        A "Truth and Reconciliation Commission" approach to settling our title here would go a long way to giving us the depth of presence in living here.

        The false claims to "ownership" cannot satisfy.

        My ancestors are going on 400 years around these parts, and that's starting to count as some "Roots", isn't it?

         It's just the people who followed them I can't stand... ;-)  (No, really, it's the attitudes!)

        I'd hate to have to dance the Ghost Dance, to make myself disappear from here! ;-)

        If a thousand men were not to pay their tax bills this year, that would not be a violent and bloody measure, as it would be to pay them, and enable the State...

        by HenryDavid on Sun Jun 17, 2007 at 09:01:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •   We call it ethnic cleansing now. (8+ / 0-)

    The truth to me is that the whole history of White People and Native Americans is so freaking sad I can't sometime stand it. It's absolutely appalling what has been done.

    The purulent hatred that was directed towards Native Americans can be found running like a thread through the military and the greater US Government still at work in Iraq and Gitmo and elsewhere around the world.

    This is the single best writing on the issue since Peter Nabakov's "Native American Testimony", which I could  not finish it made me so sad and angry.

    It didn't need to be like this.

  •  The first Massachusetts Bay Colony seal (6+ / 0-)

    My (English/Irish) maternal ancenstors came over in 1628.  The progenitor, Benjamin Cooley, broke away from the original Massachusetts Bay Colony with others of like mind to form a new colony in Springfield. I have the 'deed' for the land he purchased from the local Indian tribe.  

    I also have a photocopy of the first seal of the Massachusetts Bay Colony framed and on my wall.  

    From google images:

    In 1629, King Charles I granted a charter to the Massachusetts Bay Colony, which included the authority to use a seal. It featured an Indian holding an arrow pointed down in a gesture of peace, with the words "Come over and help us," ... This seal was used until 1686.

    Despite my gratitude to old Ben Cooley, I'm well aware of European history in the New World.  

    "Come over and help us," my ass.

  •  I'm grateful (5+ / 0-)

    that my comments helped link you with the Defenders, Winter Rabbit. And I will buy the video and make a contribution, just like I promised. Please keep us updated on how the fight is going and if we can help, let us know.

    I'm ashamed at how little I know about the history of our Native Americans and I'm fascinated by the history you're sharing. I hope you will continue to do so as well as others on this diary who are sharing too. A lot of this seems like living history to me because it's so much a part of your customs and traditions today. It's always sad to me when anyone with a diverse cultural background loses some of it because it's not passed down from one generation to another. Like language.

    What a rich wealth of knowledge and beauty we lost when your history was buried. It impoverished us all.

  •  Thanks for this diary. (6+ / 0-)

    I watched the HBO film and I sort of didn't really know what to take as a good representation of events and what to take as a poor representation of events- mostly because I think we probably spent about 3 weeks total on this part of our history in classes when I was growing up.

    This diary and the links and so many of the comments help give those of us looking for it- places to look for more accurate histories.

    I don't have much to donate at the moment, but I have a list here of places to donate when I get a little extra and I'll put this down on it. This is #2 on the list at the moment :-)

    Thanks again for the diary- it's highly recommended. Sometimes I wish we had a separate button for those extra extra special ones...

  •  Glad to be able to donate (5+ / 0-)

    As the comment you show in your excellent diary says:

    There is a lot of sympathy out there for Native Americans and the way they've been treated. What has been lacking is a means of expressing that support. Good luck, and I'll be happy to contribute to the fund.

    If there are others here who have educated themselves as to the shameful history between European Americans and Native Americans, another way to do a little bit of 'pay back' is to donate to the American Indian College Fund. This is an organization of Tribal Colleges - of, for and by Tribes across the country.
    Up until now, it was the only way I had found to help
    ( in the small way I am able) to right a bit of the wrongs done. It's a wonderful organization and you can pledge a donation each month.

    Saving the Black Hills is just something that MUST be done ! Thanks for this diary, Winter Rabbit, and for the link to the Defenders !

    Be a lamp unto yourself ~ last words of the Buddha

    by Dvalkure on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 11:27:22 AM PDT

  •  I want to listen to the radio program (0+ / 0-)

    you mentioned.  When was it aired, do you know?  I went to the other site and found the link, but don't know what year it was on.  

    Also, would you please contact me at the e-mail address here?  I'd like to speak to you if you have time - at least e-mail!

  •  Here is a Hard Truth for the Romantics . . . (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    No one is ever, ever, ever giving the western half of South Dakota back to the Lakota. It is not going to happen. Ever. No more than the United States is going to give California back to Mexico, or than Mexico is going to give Tenochtitlan back to the Aztec, or the French are going to give Gascony back to the Basques, and so on and so forth back through the long, sorry history of human conquest and migration.

    For that matter, I do not hear of the Ojibway planning on returning to the Lakota and of their lands in Minnesota, all of them taken from the Lakota by conquest and genocide in the 18th and 19th centuries. Or that the Lakota planned to recompense any of the enemies they stole land from while building their nomadic hunting empire during that period.  

    Whatever sins were committed a hundred or a thousand years ago, no one in any of the governments noted above is going to disrupt the lives and confiscate the property of thousands, tens of thousands, or millions of people to right them. No government but a totalitarian one could continue to exist if it tried to do this on such a vast scale.

    Note that, if you want to offer a counterexample, distinguish between a government/nationalist movement trying to massacre more "outsiders" and steal more land from them and one trying to give huge tracts of land back at someone at the expense of its own citizens.

    As the diary and many of the letters here make clear, there are many causes and issues concerning justice for Native Americans out there that need our support. This one happens to be a waste of time and resources and only serves to make the participants look fanatical and ridiculous.

    Sorry. I have undoubtedly offended some people. If you need to, please go back to your breast-beating and possibly some good will come of it.

    For the record, I have a vivid memory of Floyd Red Crow Westerman singing "Custer Died For Your Sins" in a special presentation at our high school in rural northern Minnesota around 1970 or 1971. I gave up on the "triumphalist" view of the conquest of the western United States at that point and so did most  of the history books of the next generation. They did not know what to use to replace it and most settled on the "great historical tragedy" theme.

    The leftist "America is EVIL!" theme just would not have sold that many textbooks. Nor is it that good for selling political causes.  

    •  The hard truth - You're an asshole (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      No one but you said:

      "America is EVIL!"

      "It's the planet, stupid."

      by FishOutofWater on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 04:06:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Wow, Hard-Hitting Analysis, There . . . (1+ / 1-)
        Recommended by:
        Hidden by:

        One name-calling and the "gotcha" of literally interpreting a quick description of a cultural meme.

        I'll add more words for you. Check with your American History 101 instructor for the scholarly definitions . . .

        "Triumphialism" -- The writing of the American expansion across the continent as a heroic victory of civilization and freedom over a wilderness populated by murderous savages. Common through the early 1960s.

        "Great Historical Tragedy" -- Description of American expansion as a series of tragic misunderstandings, more or less inevitable, that led to the defeat of the peoples "who held this land before us." Often includes a nod to the impoverished conditions of reservation life, with the hope that the two peoples will learn to live together, etc. Around since colonial times, but dominant in articles and books since the 60's

        "America is Evil" -- translation of American history as a series of horrible crimes, leading to the shallow, oppressive, world-destroying, corporate-ruled society we live in today. Itdentifiable from more rational critical studies by its emotional rhetoric. In a weirdly Old Testament trope, blames the genetic and cultural descendents of the European conquerers of North America for actions of people from the 15th through 19th century, with the implication that "We" should be begging "Them" for forgiveness and offering contrition in the form of . . . South Dakota?

        Goodness, is there even going to be a plebiscite to see what the South Dakotans think of the idea? Or are their human rights going to be ignored, like those of the inhabitants of the Falkland Islands back in the 80's, when even conservative newspapers were suggesting that the Argentines had a greater right to their land than they did?

        As might be gathered from the rhetoric in some of the letters above, somehow our current generation is also supposed to feel guilty because of the geographical factor of Eurasia having a larger gene pool than the Americas, which (per Jared Diamond, etc.) was the actual cause of all those horrendous plagues that swept the New World after the Europeans arrived.

        If you want to call someone names, try the current pope and the Wingnuts. They are the ones reviving the Triumphialist meme.

        •  I lived in Hawaii almost 10 years (0+ / 0-)

          I am aware of the problems of stolen land. If the land is stolen by whites the title is clear. If the land is still owned by Hawaiians but managed by the state of Hawaii, Hawaiians often get a dollar per acre. We haven't stopped stealing from indigenous people.

          And now our troops are in Iraq trying to steal the oil wealth and put it into the hands of Exxon Mobil. Little has changed in the way the voracious right wing businesses operate over the past 150 years. 5 million Iraqi refugees are living a modern day trail of tears.

          I don't call America evil nor do leftists in general, but I do call out evil corporatists who will destroy a country for personal gain.

          "It's the planet, stupid."

          by FishOutofWater on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 05:36:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Dumbness is no excuse (0+ / 0-)

          sometimes an asshole deserves to be answered but his posts are so stupid and childish no good answer is available. This fool is one of those assholes who post to thump their inadequate chests.

          •  If Dumbness is no Excuse, then Stop Talking Dumb (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            FishOutofWater was polite enough to make a coherent reply, which I am grateful for, whereas all you can do is pout and name-call because I interrupted your group hug. Grow up.

            It is quite clear that the issue of lands still being alienated today has to be dealt with in a just and equitable manner. A crime being committed in our time is something we have a moral and legal obligation to deal with.

            However, there is nothing just and equitable about depriving half the population of South Dakota of their land and rights as citizens to enforce a treaty that was a dead letter a couple of years after it was signed--regardless of the moral failings of the government officials who signed it and their shameful reasons for betraying their promises. The best that can be hoped for is a settlement that allows some privileged religious access to the area.

            When I visited Bear Butte a number of years ago, that arrangement had been made. There were Cheyenne there attending to their ceremonies and the non-Cheyenne visitors were politely leaving them alone and enjoying the experience of climbing the butte quietly. That is traditional and proper conduct around anyone's religious ceremonies. Modern religious conservatives lack traditional manners and I would hope they have not been causing trouble.  

            Either way, my core point still stands. No democratically elected goverment of this country, and no court at any level, is ever going to consider reviving the Treaty of 1868 in any serious way, no more than they would turn half of Maine over to the Penobscot or half of South Carolina over to the Catawba. Other than any official involved being universally ostracised, driven out of office, and possibly lynched, any such action would undermine the settlements of all the other treaties with Native Americans and because of that the fundamental legitimacy of the United States as a nation and the legitimacy of its laws.    

            The idea is ludicrous. the campaign a waste of resources, if not completely counterproductive. If you actually can describe a scenario in which this event could occur without divine intervention, I would be fascinated to hear about it.

    •  A pig finally showed up (nt) (0+ / 0-)
      •  A rude comment spoken (0+ / 0-)

        with macho contempt.  Perhaps if you would read instead of merely reacting, your comment would be more substantial.  You owe Midland an apology or at least cancel your troll rating.

        "Man's life's a vapor Full of woe. He cuts a caper, Down he goes. Down de down de down he goes.

        by JFinNe on Sun Jun 17, 2007 at 07:07:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Israel restored Jewish rule after 2000 years! n/t (0+ / 0-)

      The Dutch children's choir Kinderen voor Kinderen (= “children for children”) is a world cultural treasure.

      by lotlizard on Sun Jun 17, 2007 at 03:24:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I want you to read something... (0+ / 0-)

      and get back to me if you're still reading.

      Speakers call for increased international recognition of indigenous rights,Improved participation in own development, as forum debate continues

      Recognizing that most of the world’s remaining natural resources -- minerals, freshwater, potential energy sources and more -- are found within indigenous peoples’ territories,
      the sixth annual session of the Permanent Forum has brought indigenous groups together with representatives of Governments, intergovernmental organizations and United Nations agencies to state their views, voice concerns and suggest solutions regarding their lands, territories and natural resources.

      Speakers representing indigenous collectives from all regions of the world -- from South-East Asia to East Africa to North America -- called for broad adherence to the Convention on Biological Diversity, which included an article guaranteeing the participation of indigenous peoples in their own development and urged the protection and promotion of their traditional knowledge.  They stressed that native communities lived in harmony with, and close dependence on, biological resources, and States should, therefore, make use of their traditional knowledge, especially concerning the conservation and sustainable use of those resources.

      Delivering a statement on behalf of the Shoshone Defense Project and associated organizations, a Native American tribal leader said that corporations were now plundering the air, water and sun -- "the creator’s gifts" -- on indigenous lands.  Native and "First Nation" peoples were now in a life and death struggle to maintain their territories and protect their birthright.

      You say:

      Or that the Lakota planned to recompense any of the enemies they stole land from while building their nomadic hunting empire during that period.

      I answered this general idea over at MLW:

      I am conflicted about this issue (0.00 / 0)  
      and always have been.  Perhaps someone can enlighten me.  Is this all about man's inhumanity toward his fellow man or is it about who controls the land?  In one scene in the movie the US army officer was having a soliloguy with the Indian chief. They were speaking about who was the most ethical vis-a-vis the occupation and control of the land under discussion.  It seemed that the general won the point, which enraged the Chief who promised a fight.  If this is about how the  people were treated who's choice was to submit themselves to the new authority rather then dying, then that clearly needs to be broadly understood.  Peace



      I saw the scene you're talking about:

      1) That was general Sheridan who had the conversation with Sitting Bull, who said, "The only good Indians I ever saw were dead," which turned into "The only good Indian is a dead Indian." He was also responsible for the genocide at Washita, refusing to let the Cheyenne come into Fort Cobb.

      There is a difference between tribes warring over land rights, which some tribes, like the Cherokee, resolved their differences with a game called "Stickball," and deliberate genocide, which Sheridan was a key culprit of. Don't forget the Indian Boarding Schools.


      by: winter rabbit @ Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 07:58:39 AM PDT  


      Also (11.00 / 1)  

      The Europeans armed the tribes and introduced the horse. In addition, Europeans and Americans manipulated tribal hostilities with trade, increasing the violence. Sound familiar?

      Sheridan was revising history to justify his genocidal ends, plain & simple.


      by: winter rabbit @ Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 08:39:05 AM PDT  
      [ Parent | Reply ]  


      I'm down with the genocide (0.00 / 0)  

      aspect and that is the part that people seem to ignore or deny.  There is never a justification for systematically killing off any group of people.  Peace
      by: imhotep


      I hope you know (0.00 / 0)  

      all that was directed at the movie scene. I'm very tired, and wanted to be sure you knew that.

      by: winter rabbit @ Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 15:13:00 PM PDT  

      Peace (0.00 / 0)  

      by: imhotep

       So Midland, Peace.


  •  WinterRabbit, thank you for this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    walkshills, tallmom, Winter Rabbit

    moving and informative diary.

    When I taught US History in Illinois, I had the students read Dee Brown's book.  Each student took a chapter and then did some research based on their chapter.  We all sat in a circle, and the students presented their stories.  I think this was the most important lesson they learned in our (US) history, because it is the basis of who we are as a nation.

    I truly hope we return to the legacy of the indigenous people of this land some day.  So much has been lost, but their spirit is present and can be felt and heard in some places, still, if a person is quiet and sees and listens.

    We who care must forever protect the Black Hills.  I have no native ancestors, but am very grateful that I can live in this amazing land of ours--we have a tremendous debt to those who preceded us.

    "Do your best, and keep your sense of humor."--My Mom

    by mainely49 on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 02:45:41 PM PDT

  •  When I see Americans protesting about Tibetans' (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Winter Rabbit

    ... holy mountain being encroached on by the Chinese central government, I have to think about how those same Americans don't think twice about Mount Rushmore having been established as a triumphalist monument in the holy Black Hills.

    The Dutch children's choir Kinderen voor Kinderen (= “children for children”) is a world cultural treasure.

    by lotlizard on Sun Jun 17, 2007 at 03:28:58 AM PDT

  •  as for Montana history (0+ / 0-)

    I would include the forced trek of the Irish and I'm not kidding.  Because the racial axioms (e.g. black/white) used in this country only serve to distort identity, dumb us down and suppress history.  And the Irish are a big part of what happened in Montana.

    Butte Montana was once the greatest population center of the Irish diaspora. Most of the people came from what are known as the coffin boat Irish, whose land was taken by the English and were given a choice of boarding boats bound for the US or death. It is a part of US history also blackened over by the collective amnesia post-English triumph. People don't realize either that the Irish, by the million (same link) were taken as slaves to be "mated" with Africans to produce a superior slave. When we see blacks who are obviously not entirely African, they are often of Irish ancestry on the white side, born of those who were kidnapped by the English for "breeding" purposes.

    This is why I bristle at terms like "white man" although it is understandable that 120 years ago it was not a clear distinction to the native Americans who were under assault, that not all whites were alike.

    To any who have come to know Africans, Caribbeans, and other "black" people, one acknowledges that all are not rigidly bound by skin color. The tribal differences can be very significant, and not any of them appreciate being thrown under the broad mantle of "black."

    As for the Irish, we are not merely your usual "white people" in the US.  A century ago in New York City signs everywhere forbade: no Irish or Jews. People forget the hideous racism the English practiced against the Irish (please do check that link and see the nineteenth century caricatures of the Irish found in British newspapers).

    What happened in the name of the "potato famine" is now viewed as a planned genocide for the purpose of the English seizing Irish land. Same "social science" applied by the English colonists to native Americans.

    The Irish are surely one people without a land. Those exiled a century and a half ago, as my father's side of the family were, are told now in Montana that we should not call ourselves natives even though the family goes back for generations (very working class - railroading or mining). We were not the economic lords of the place (ranching, mine ownership) which mostly again fell to those of English heritage. Then again we can not just appeal to Ireland to take us back - they have plenty of populace now. Like the African slaves, the Irish are a people without a land, yet are told we may not call ourselves natives of the US. So now where?

    Furthermore now that we are living in Mexico, racial politics in the US are further shown to float much error. The Spanish killed off millions of native Americans, yet there are civic protections in the US for hispanics... but the Irish, I defy the world to hear, have not ever mounted up forces as an imperialist nation. Who claims to have been conquered by the great nation of Ireland? Or when did Irish vessels come laden from a far-reaching empire to her land with the ample booty and slaves of warrior kings such as the Spanish beheld? But yet because we are "white men" we are seen as oppressors, ironically when the scions Spanish who brutally killed and oppressed native American in Mexico are seen as oppressed in the US. Go figure.

    Add to that my grandmother's "secret" she yielded up near to death: that an Irish great grandfather on her husband (my grandfather's) side had married his slave (she well might have been half Irish). We have her word, that and her Norweigian Lutheran social heritage to the family of sitting weeping about this "shameful" secret for years (a century ago this would have been considered unspeakable, to mention an interracial marriage). Now, I'm not about to start calling my blonde person an African American, for I look about as African as I do Chinese (not) and the visual stereotypes do not apply. But the social heritage of oppression does. The Irish were very despised both in Europe and then in the US when they arrived. That is why they called them "coffin boats," is because the Irish who boarded them came over en masse too sick and weak to survive. Entire boatloads of (supposedly dead) Irishmen were sunk in the harbors outside of Boston.

    Now I look white, and mostly am by blood. But when I see a black person - particularly any who are partly of white heritage - I can look them in the face and say I might be their cousin... on both sides.

    Damn simple racial handles anyway. I think the entire "black/white" heritage of thought is probably also the work of the aristocratic cabals who wield the power and sow the confusion in the US. Demolish such thinking please. Yes it was relevant to the ancestors of native Americans so long ago when our histories and our faces were indistinct. But now it is time for the US people to throw off the easy social handles. These only divide the many who suffer oppression.  And if we are to survive this administration, any of us, we need to recognize ourselves, all of us, for who we are and not who popular history would revise us to be.

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