American Indians Confront "Savage Anxieties"



welcome mitchen America's original sin and most of us will quickly think of the enslavement of black people with a bitter fruit we're still harvesting rarely though are we summoned to think about the fate of indigenous people the Indians who were already here when Europeans discovered the so called new world even the controversy over the name of the Washington Redskins fails to hold our attention for very long and you can safely bet that not many school children are taught that these Native people wound up in the Declaration of Independence as merciless Indian savages right there in the birth certificate of our nation how is it they came to be mythologized they're so ignorant in primitive they didn't even know the value of Manhattan Island which they sold on the cheap to the Dutch and how is it they became stereotyped as monolithic when in fact opinions and beliefs among the five hundred and fifty plus tribes are as diverse as any other societies for example suppose you were to think All American Indians share a belief that untouched land is sacrosanct then you wouldn't be surprised that the rosebud Sioux in South Dakota opposed the Keystone XL pipeline or that Apaches in Arizona are furious that Congress just slipped through a law turning over sacred land to the foreign corporate giant Rio Tinto for mining copper ore that Navajos in Arizona have protested the snow bowl ski resorts use of recycles sewer water to make snow on sacred mountain sides yet at the same time in the same state Navajo leaders want to build the Grand Canyon escalate a tramway nearly a mile and a half to the floor of the canyon to facilitate tourism to some Indians that would be sacrilegious so monolithic Hartley and that's why my guest is Robert Williams who is out to change how we think about Indians and to challenge the laws that embody bigotry against them Robert Williams teaches law in American Indian studies at the University of Arizona he's presented tribal group before human rights courts and the US Supreme Court and he's written such groundbreaking books as like a loaded weapon about the legal history of racism against Indians in America and my favorite savage anxieties the invention of Western civilization Robert Williams welcome thank you Bill thank you for having me that land deal that gives a big mining company land in Arizona what's your take on that it involves land that is really part of the most sacred land to the San Carlos Apache Tribe many members of San Carlos trace their ancestry back to Geronimo and some of the MIS Apache warriors these are folks that have been fighting the federal government over their land rights and cultural rights for a long time it's gonna be the largest copper mine in the United States and here you have this little small tribe of Apaches one of the poorest tribes poverty rates and unemployment rates double triple that of the rest of Arizona trying to stop this they brought in a large coalition National Congress of American Indian tribes from all over the US to try and fight it but they couldn't overcome the power of the copper industry quite frankly and the economic benefits that this would purportedly bring when you say sacred land I helped me understand what you mean by that from your history yeah in many tribes all land is sacred in the sense that it sustains the tribe but some sites have particular historical and religious significance it may be for example for the Navajos in that development that you were talking about the Escalade project in the Grand Canyon many Navajos believe that that point of the confluence of the Colorado and Little Colorado River was the point of emergence of the Navajo from blessed by the Creator so you can go on reservations and ask is that mountain sacred and maybe half of the folks will say yeah that's a sacred mountain the other half will say no it doesn't mean anything to me so it's very difficult for a tribe to sort of sit down and come to a consensus on which particular pieces of land are sacred each different clan or family will have a different idea so this small tribe fighting the Rio Tinto land swap in Arizona they consider the sacredness of the land by their definition more important than the jobs that it would produce in this particular case yes the opposite in ingre in the Grand Canyon and the grand can never hose more to build this that's right at the same time the Navajos are also fighting a sacred lands battle as you mentioned involving a ski resort and so again the tribe has to come to a consensus what's important to us in some cases that particular piece of land may not have so many associations with it that we can't let it go and let it go to development but in other instances particularly where things might be associated with the Apache with a famous battle between the patching the US Army's where Apaches died Gettysburg – yeah be very similar somebody neighboring get us Gettysburg wanted to build an amusement park people would be offended you represent tribes and land disputes such as these what do these particular stories Arizona Grand Canyon Rio Tinto the ski visit what do they have in common today what we see as tribes moving into the 21st century and facing real 21st century problems of globalization of multinational national resource development of jobs of the need you know tribes have elected leadership they're elected to do a lot of things they're elected to protect sacred lands but they're also elected to provide jobs improve quality of life and so these are the types of situations tribes are confronting on a daily basis and you find lots of different attitudes lots of different conflicts lots of different controversy within tribe is this piece sacred is that piece sacred how sacred is it to which particular part of the tribe for example so you're gonna find a lot of diversity and tribal governments have to manage that diversity I'd have to do what's best for the tribe so is the Rio Tinto deal that just has gone through the familiar to you I mean is it Oh a turn that land was taken away from the tribe and many people in the tribe will tell you to this day that it was illegally taken away but once Congress signs a treaty or issues Indian Claims Commission decision and pays off on it that's it your rights are exhausted and I've looked at a lot of treaties and I keep seeing the same guy sign that treaty again and again and I asked my students what that guy's name is X ya you know and that says yeah and what it says is that the tribes didn't they had a document handed over to them they didn't know what they were signing they were lied to oftentimes it was fraud induced sometimes treaties would be ratified even though the required signatures weren't there and so for Indian tribes the fact that there may be a treaty the fact that they may have been quote compensated for these lands in a process that didn't even award them interest from the date of the taking doesn't mean the case is over US law and international human rights law have radically diverged in the past 20 years in terms of the recognition of indigenous peoples rights international human rights law now looks at not whether or not the tribes have formal ownership or legal title as in a Western legal conception might have it but rather they look at the tribes historical connection to that land so US courts couldn't address it no they wouldn't be able to address and in fact the way that legislation is written the environmental review process is going to be concluded before the land is transferred and then of course once it's transferred there's a mandatory transfer date those processes really have little meaning anymore once the land is transferred environmental laws don't it's because private property and federal environmental laws don't apply yeah you've really hit on it it's this idea of private property you know when Europeans came to the new world the first thing they said is well Indians don't appreciate property there they're savage they're backwards there's uncivilized and so we really don't have to pay them forward if we give them a treaty we really don't have to give them what the land is is truly worth nothing would be farther from the truth tribes have very clear conceptions of their traditional boundaries they maintain their rights in their their claimed sovereignty over their lands according to their own oral traditions and tribal elders and so you can go out there in the reservation and there might be a reservation boundary established by the United States but then there's traditional land boundaries the Navajo for example regard their traditional lands as within the four sacred peaks and one of those is the San Francisco Peaks where the ski resort one of the soleus sacred mountains in in Navajo cosmology and here you've got the city of Flagstaff selling reclaimed water to powder sewage water I mean it's considered a horrible desecration I mean you know put it into another cultural context and you wouldn't be able to think of that being with any other racial group but for Indians because you know we think they really don't care about land or they have primitive ideas they don't ownership we completely disrespect that this has been your passion almost your obsession to to help us understand how American law came to embody this whole notion of savagery your book savage anxieties just opened my eyes to this long 250 year history that you talked about as institutionalizing savagery as a concept to discriminate against right and what I tried to show in that book is that this idea of this fundamental conflict between savagery and civilization goes back to the very beginnings of Western history I go back to the Greeks I go back to the Romans you can read Homer and of course Homer has his great heroes involved in this myth this wonderful mythic contest with savage tribal peoples half human monsters on distant parts of the world when you think about the Roman Empire what was it made of it was made of conquest of the tribes of Central Europe the Germans the Picts the cells you have tribal wars of Charlemagne in the Middle Ages fought on behalf of Christianity Western civilization has been at war with tribalism for 3,000 years and that war was brought to the new world by Columbus by the Spanish conquistadors by the English colonists and what you find is at a very early point in American law Chief Justice John Marshall is asked to decide the status of Indian tribes and what he does is I like to tell my students he goes to the S cart he calls them savages who lacked the same rights as the white people who came over here the Europeans and colonized their land under this what many Americans might regard as an obscure legal doctrine called the doctor and discovery but it is still the most important doctrine in American constitutional law the doctrine of discovery which hold which holds that when Columbus and John Cabot and the other European explorers came to the new world and sailed along the shores and claimed it for their crowns so long as those lands were occupied by heathen infidel and savage peoples their property rights did not have to be recognized Marshall says in this famous 1823 case of Johnson V McIntosh he says when the great nations of Europe discovered this continent they were eager to appropriate to themselves so much of it as they could respectively but the character and religion of its inhabitants made them a people over whom the superior genius of Europe might claim an ascendancy in other words what he's saying in areas when we discovered America was occupied by a bunch of backwards of uncivilized brutes and we were gonna make better use of the land than them so we could take it from them I grew up in Texas in a town named after John Marshall Marshall Texas no one ever told me what Chief Justice John Marshall said in that 1823 decision that you just mentioned in which he refers to Indians as heathens and fierce savages and you say this is one of the most important Indian rights cases ever handed down a Supreme Court absolutely cause because it defines the property rights of indigenous peoples in this country and what it says is that upon discovery the European nation or the nation that succeeds to its interest the u.s. from Great Britain holds superior title and sovereignty to the land belonging to the Indians they have a mere right of occupancy and what Marshall says is that rate of occupancy can be taken away by purchase conquest or any other means and so the reason that this case is so important is it really sets the foundation for this radical approach to understanding the basic human rights of Indian people to hold and control the lands that they occupy it gives the US government the right to relocate it as stands at the bottom of the ethnic cleansing campaigns for example in the removal era and it's continued to be cited today by the Supreme Court even Justice Ginsburg the most liberal member of the court in footnote 1 of an opinion she wrote several years ago involving the Oneida Nation cites the doctrine of discovery the court never questions it and the doctrine of discovery the fact that the white Europeans quote discovered the new world that's right carries with it an inherent right to dominate the people who live there oh absolutely it's exactly why Congress can pass legislation as it did with the Rio Tinto land mine deal because Congress took the land from the tribes ignores their sacred connections to it their cultural connections and does whatever it wants with it it's why Congress can order tries removed in the 1950s Congress terminated tribal status from more than a hundred tries basically said you're not a tribe anymore and we're not going to pay attention to the treaties the Supreme Court has held that when Congress breaches a treaty with an Indian tribe it's not judicially reviewable it's called a political question and if tribes have a problem with that go back to Congress the very people who broke your treaty you write about another case Cherokee Nation versus Georgia the Chief Justice John Marshall again describes Indians as constituting a race of people who were once numerous powerful and truly independent but who had gradually sank beneath our our superior policy our arts and our arms I mean this this from one of the most brilliant men of the founding generation fought with Washington at Valley Forge became the Chief Justice and this is what he's saying that's right the name and and that was the opinion shared by the founders to a man in fact George Washington two weeks after the Treaty of Paris assigned ending the Revolutionary War is asked about his opinions on Indian policy Washington been an Indian fighter since the French and Indian War and a lot of folks particularly in the red states of southern states that had suffered a number of Indian depredations wanted to remove all the Indians to Canada let them go with the English and Washington said well you can try and chase the Indians off their land but the savages like the wolf they'll return immediately you turn your back and so better he said more expedient to negotiate treaties with them because and again this is what the founders believe to a man Indians are a vanquished race they won't be here two to three generations when I talk to the rider tenacity coach recently here he said that African Americans they are bound tethered by the reality the mythology and the legacy of slavery what is what are you saying is the equivalent of that phenomenon for Indians it's the history of dispossession you know very much like African Americans the history of America is taking away resources whether it's labor or whether it's land from one racial group to give them to the dominant racial group so in that sense there is a very similar experience but the dispossession experience that you know african-americans were dispossessed of the land by being brought over here in slave ships where as Indians were on the land and fought literally wars against Europeans for control of that land and that history of dispossession you know if you look at the treaties it's very interesting everyone thinks that Indians were ripped off in their treaties if you look at the first round of treaties from about 1800 to the Civil War tribes secured over a hundred and fifty million acres and may have been one hundred and forty four million acres in those treaties that's a large amount of real estate in the 1880s after tribes were finally defeated in the Indian Wars and put onto reservations Congress passed the 1887 general allotment act and that act ended up dispossessing Tribes of 90 million acres most of it turned over to white homesteaders most of those acres being primed the best lands on the reservation and so that history of dispossession was also accompanied by a history of forced assimilation whether it was in residential schools whether it was in dismantling traditional tribal governance structures and so if that's it's what's been taken away and the justifications for that is that you're not as good as us our systems are better our modes of Education our ways of owning land our ways of working have been continually cited to Indians as the reason for these government policies you're Savage and we're not even though we come from a continent Europe that was wracked by blood and violence and cruelty beyond measure but that term savage never stuck to the white European the way it did to the American Indian no that's right and it was a generic term it was used wherever you see the term used in Australia to describe the Aboriginal people savagery savagery the declaration that that Westerners used to cut again to consciously differentiate themselves from non Westerners to assert that superiority that cultural superiority it comes back to the British Empire and again you know what was the purpose of the British Empire to bring civilization to the Savage no matter where they were whether it was India or Asia or Australia or whatever it's that civilizing mission that characterizes so much of the history of Western colonialism so what what this ideology what this myth did was really excuse America for the disappearance of the Indian it wasn't our fault they were just an inferior race and so Marshall adopts at and the tragedy and the present-day circumstances of that decision are that those racial attitudes are so deeply embedded in these foundational principles of American Indian law so has there been any improvement in the way Native Americans are treated in the John Roberts court more recently no in fact Native American Rights fund has a project called the Supreme Court project and quite frankly it's focused on trying to keep cases out of the Supreme Court this Supreme Court Justice Roberts is actually hard to believe it's probably worse than the Rehnquist court if you look at the few decisions at its issue and justice Rehnquist as before he became chief justice at written several highly negative stereotype charged opinions about Indians one was a horrible case called olefin V Suquamish Indian tribe which deny tribes the right to criminally prosecute non-indians who commit crimes on their reservations that decision has had horrible consequences for law enforcement on Indian reservations but in that opinion justice Rehnquist cites language from the 1830s to explain why White's didn't trust tribes to exercise criminal jurisdiction they were savages I was shaking my head as I read savage anxieties and like a loaded weapon to realize the real meaning of that term the long arm of the law because what you're describing here Supreme Court decisions in 1823 and 1830 and that era that still shape how the Indian the people who were here before John Marshall and the others are seen perceived and governed well I did my job then thank you well I actually developed that title thinking it worked both ways you know if you're an Indian you could be very anxious about some of the Supreme Court's decisions some of the decisions of policy makers so maybe a little bit of irony there but I think our savage anxieties when I titled the book I really wanted to focus people on the challenge that tribes in this country as well as indigenous peoples around the world are confronting Western civilization with and that's the challenge of them saying we don't want to go your way and we want to maintain our culture we want a land base we want a right to govern ourselves and everybody who steps on to that land base according to our ways according to our traditions according to our law and that's something that the West has never accepted what we've had is 500 years of taking away from tribes and it's gonna be very hard to start giving back and to start recognizing those things that were taken from tribes Indian people don't regard that as a permanent situation it's just a project that needs to be worked on and that is the project and that continual work that Indian leaders indigenous peoples are doing throughout the world is getting back what was taken away if there were one stereotype you could immediately change what would it be that Indians are lawless people okay and I would change that because it's probably the most harmful stereotype so I'll give you one other example involved the San Carlos case one of the prime backers of that land bill I was a Republican congressman a Paul Gosar and when he was challenged by an Apache on this bill he said well you know Indians are Ward's of the federal government this happened recently a member of Congress from Arizona whose district includes lots of Indians characterized Indians as Ward's of the federal government that's a 19th century notion that Congress person is obviously stuck in the 19th century when he thinks about Indians how is that person going to legislate and treat Indians fairly and respect their rights when he has this sort of infantilized image of Indians as not being you know up to the same level of responsibility as everybody else but I make this point in my books until we start attacking the root of the historical problems of discrimination against Indians and those roots begin in these stereotypes that Indians are less civilized in us they're less able to exercise self governing functions until we get to the roots of those problems we're not going to change legislation we're not going to change the hearts and minds of the Supreme Court the past is really the invisible hand at our back isn't it well and that's the problem today and many of the situations that we've talked about whether it's the San Carlos whether it's the Navajo fighting for their land rights or fighting to develop their land to try and provide decent jobs on the reservation the backdrop to all that the reason that we have those battles is that history of dispossession the story isn't over for American Indians you may think you know Americans may think well you know Indians are in the past we don't have to worry about that anymore but like those guys that sign that treaty with X Indians knows those treaties were oftentimes negotiated under duress how can you give away a sacred land you know how could any tribal member think about giving away something that means so much to the tribe it's just impossible to conceive and so whether or not it may have been through the Indian Claims Commission in the 1950s or whether through a treaty or through congressional legislation the fact that the tribes may not have Western fee simple title that land doesn't mean there's still a strong connection there and you're gonna see tribe to continue to assert that robert williams let's continue this conversation online and thank you for being with me and I'd very much like that thank you Bill we're near the end of our broadcast next week will be our last but we're continuing our website billmoyers.com that's because democracy is in peril the moneyed interests are winning and even public media cowers from exposing their power and calling them to account we need every possible venue for critical reporting and skeptical voices and we intend billmoyers.com to be one of them so I'll see you there and I'll see you here one more time don't wait a week to get more moyers visit billmoyers.com for exclusive blogs essays and video features funding is provided by and gumowitz encouraging the renewal of democracy Carnegie Corporation of New York supporting innovations in education democratic engagement and the advancement of international peace and security at carnegie org the Ford Foundation working with visionaries on the front lines of social change worldwide the Herb Alpert foundation supporting organizations whose mission is to promote compassion and creativity in our society the John D and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation committed to building a more just verdant and peaceful world more information at macfound.org Park foundation 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18 comments

  1. There is nothing wrong with using land that wasn't being used at all by savages. They were evil people who ate humans.

  2. how can this country tolerate the natives, america is one country and the indians are to conscious of passed transgressions and dont want to integrate so what can be done;?

  3. What a very interesting topic, thanks for having Mr Williams on! One note: not all colonialism was based on spreading Western civilization. There was a strong economic and a slight scientific interest. There was arrogance and ignorance there in strong forms as well, but some decisions are better understood when looking through an economic perspective.

  4. At the core of it, humans are bringing down their own demise through "desire".As the world population increases so will "civilised" people become "frantic" for ownership of anything and everything.There are no boundaries.

  5. 6:01 – 8:55

    Says it all IMO. Thumbs down.

    Correct if I'm wrong here, but didn't the early European settlers in the US leave their homes because they were fairly treated and were land owners back in Europe?

    Or did they leave because they felt "persecuted"  or were landless"?

    And yet they appear to be absolute hypopcrites, by inflicting the same conditions on the native American Indians (as they suffered back home) in order to satisfy their greed by taking land from others. Thumbsdown.

    Rest assured that the capilist system that the invaders now all live under has replaced serfs with "minimum wage earners".

    "What goes around comes around"

    Mick

  6. Fight evermore  the corporate stooge, all the while
    with harp on mute, carry tales of betidings fit for a King
    in ever more layers of guilt ensnarement, hoping for liberation,
    but offering only an unending suburban outrage of ruling guilt.
    Little by little, gnaw at the skin, the structure, the very bones that hold it all.

    Would be it  righteous if the fox came from the woods, and the chicken from the coup
    but who to guard themselves from first, or even last, or perhaps from both, as
    its easier to see black from white when both are held up to the cooling light of reality, and not illusion.
    Strike now with eye and mind, drop the veil to see the fox, to see the chicken.

  7. As a strong advocate for indigenous peoples as well as a long time Moyers fan who enjoyed earlier reporting on native issues, I was looking forward to this video which proved rather disappointing. What is happening today is outrageous by any standard, but you are a poor student of history if you are shocked by racist language in 19th century Supreme Court decisions. Mr. Williams is washing over much of early North American history and seems to be equating the injustice of the legal code with a systemic moral failure of European civilization. He also ignores the fact that the Chinese for example have a similar conception of the civilized and the savage which even permeates its legal code today. He thinks erroneously that this is somehow a Western phenomena or that Native Americans did not have disparaging and supremacist remarks for Europeans as well. This is true of all cultures encountering the other not just western.

    A closer look at American history will show that the majority of Europeans who had direct contact with Native Americans, learned their languages, and dealt regularly with them were sympathetic to the indigenous peoples, expressed admiration for their cultures, and many even advocated for them against imperious legal actions which one does not see in Chinese history.

    It is wrong to equate thoughtless, self-serving actions taken by a distant government to those of the people they supposedly represent which is what Mr. Williams seems to be implying by looking through the narrow lens of the law from which only so much can be inferred. The history of exchange between Europeans and the indigenous peoples of North America is far more complex than the all too simplistic explanations that circulate in the American psyche which he is simply reinforcing though that is not to deny the very real racism and conflict that did and does still exist.

  8. great program and like the interview with Sherman Alexie I found it extremely wonderful and its raised my respect for Mr.Moyers on a bigger level because the issues surrounding the plight of Native Americans is one of the most suppressed issues in the US that even independent journalism doesn't seem to touch or should touch more. So it was great that on Mr.Moyer's second to last show he shed light on Native Americans. America is still very much a country with institutional racism even if its not explicitly inscribed in any law. While most focusing and rightfully so speak out against racism towards black and Latinos and Hollywood films and TV shows shed light on it, no group has been oppressed more then the First Americans. If the US is very much a caste system and the Native Americans are the untouchables I feel. Whether its celebrating Thanksgiving Day or Columbus Day, or the 4th of July which celebrates the stealing of land and banishment of the Native people or the popular Hollywood and TV shows which denigrate Native Americans or even rewrite history like Pocahontas which showed John Smith as a good guy when he was a mass murderer and showed the Natives and White settlers as living happily ever after when really it was only true for the settlers, or the celebration of racist Western films or TV shows like Shameless or the Sopranos that get away with racism against Native Americans its just disgraceful plus their image being used as caricatures in sports. The fact of the matter is Jim Crow laws may have been removed against blacks and all people of color, The US is a melting pot of cultures, and this is one of the most racially diverse countries in the world, and entertainment media has shown the bloody history of segregation, racist laws, White power groups, slavery and so fourth. But all these accomplishments are only half won until the Jim Crow laws are removed from Native Americans such as the government reserves they are forced to live in which basic human rights are denied to them, apologies are given for the genocide, the theft of their land, the Residential School Programs and so fourth, and justice and honoring of the Treaties is given to the Native Americans. They deserve reparations more then anyone who has been wronged by white supremacy and I found it shocking when that journalist for the Atlantic who talked about how black people are owned reparations for the stages of injustices inflicted on them by White America, he's been on Moyers and Company twice, when he was on the Colbert Report and Stephen asked him 'what about Native Americans/Indians' he answer was 'ehh possibly'. I thought that was disgraceful 'possibly more like 'right on'. As the great John Pilger said about the Aboriginals in Australia 'for until we give them back their nationhood we can never claim our own'.
    thank you Bill Moyers for being that rare journalist to highlight this issue along with Abby Martin of RT US, Keith Olbermann, John Pilger, Thomas Hartmann, Aloyna formerly of RT US now Huffington Post, the late Howard Zinn, and the late Johnny Cash (though he's not a journalist).

  9. I'd redefine this guy's statement of the problem as NOT being that the West, as he defines it does not recognize Native American rights to govern themselves, but instead that the Western system, while great in theory, is crappy for everyone but a few in practice.  That would supersede the problem of Native Americans, or rather the problems that the West has pushed onto all indigenous people.

    The system and philosophy of the West is great, and there is no sense in every tribe or group in the world having their own government to evolve and change over time when we have the structure and system in place that would work for all – if it would just get fixed.

  10. John Handcock: Since you asked about the Buddhist view, I'll tell you that compassion and understanding should drive the process. It's time our country validate the culture of native Americans, along with blacks, latinos and Asians, and realize that stereotypes under any guise is wrong. Native Americans are treated as third-class in our country and that view has forced them into deep poverty.

  11. Totem Worship vs $$$
    I think even a buddhist monk would likely tell you that this fight is bringing pain upon yourself, this suffering you cry about is coming from your own eyes. This is not 1350, it's 2014. And to be specific, this is about specific tribes and not all American Indians. This is about a small group of people trying to appeal to the culture of a very regional area on the west coast. I said this to white people, black people and asians and I'll say it to the indians; I couldn't possibly give less of a shit about your drought in Cali, Arizona or Texas. I don't care, I don't care, I don't care, I don't care, I don't care, I don't care. Because if you listen to the comments going around about this, apparently that has something to do with it too. "We can't allow this because they'll use too much water!!!" oh for flying fuck sake even the indians in other tribes are rolling their eyes by now.

  12. I wonder if there is any way to separate the Native American ethos to allow racial non-Native American in to support it.  I would imagine that there are many regular Americans who would like an alternative to what our society and economy has become.  If they could petition the government to expand the Indian reservations to include those who wanted to live in peace with the land in a different way under a different kind of democracy?  

  13. I never heard of this before. 10:09 The Doctrine of Discovery, European Countries could take land that was inhabited by so-called barbarians.

  14. A very important subject.  There were few subjects in my studies, or indoctrinations of history as the story of the Native Americans.  We have the story of Thanksgiving counterposed against the story of the Little Big Horn.  We have pictures of mountains of dead buffalo, and we know that few of us every meet native Americans in our lives in this day and age.

    But almost what is worse, if there could be, than the horrors of the past is that the same patterns keep going and these people and any possible source of wealth or revenue is still being exploited by our political system and anyone who can bend it to their will.

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