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Topic 1: The Lakota/Keystone problem
Once again the United States is breaking a treaty with the American Indians, and, this time, it is actually taking part in a time period when such things are visibly obvious to the public.
Here’s what is happening…
a) Rosebud Lakota Sioux president Cyril Scott : “The House has now signed our death warrants and the death warrants of our children and grandchildren. The Rosebud Sioux Tribe will not allow this pipeline through our lands,” President Cyril Scott said in a statement. “We will close our reservation borders to Keystone XL
That is not hyperbole, either. Whether it is the death of the people, themselves, or the death of the culture that they are desperately holding on to from the past, it would be death.
b) Scott said that neither he nor any other tribal elder has ever been consulted on the Keystone XL pipeline issue, and says that the House vote violates the Fort Laramie treaties signed by the US in 1851 and 1868.
These treaties give the Black Hills area of South Dakota to the Sioux nation.
The 1851 treaty gave the Black Hills area to the Sioux, and it was violated after the area was discovered to be gold-heavy. Prospectors crossed the borders to dig up the gold, while the Sioux were pressured by the government to remain on their lands.
Eventually, tin 1876, the Great Sioux War began, which led to the Battle of Little Bighorn, also known as Custer’s Last Stand.
If you know your history, that battle was a victory for the Sioux and Cheyenne, and, though it was not the only one, the war, itself, was devastating to the Indian tribes and it led to the construction and placement of the reservations.
By the way, the USA won that war by devastating and demolishing the homes and families of the warriors. Just so you know the mindset involved on behalf of the government.
c) As you can imagine, all of the treaty violations that can come about due to Keystone XL has brought up some very sharp memories of the Indian tribes, and deservedly so.
Topic 2: Treaty Violations
Out of the nearly 400 treaties signed by congress and accepted by the various Indian tribes, almost all of them have been violated.
Can uyou imagine that? Just think about that for a moment. 400 treaties, ALL of them violated, by the US government.
And if a tribe resisted a treaty signing, refusing to move from where they had flourished for centuries, and move to a new location, sometimes thousands of miles away?
Well, the government would just force their move. One such case was the Trail of Tears… When the Cherokee, Muscogee, Seminole, Chickasaw, and Choctaw nations, among others, were forced from their homelands to Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River.
Thousands of people, forced at the end of a bayonet to move from one place ot another, died on their way to these new lands.
If that were to happen today, right now, you would see the media explode. There would be an outrage over it.
And yet, no one even batted an eye.
All of this was done to grab as much land as could be grabbed. All of it was done, in violation of treaty after treaty, to a sovereign people. A people, by the way, that the white Europeans and their descendants moved in on and killed, decimated,.
All for the sake of Manifest Destiny.
The Supreme Court held that Congress has “plenary power” (full and complete authority) over the Indians and can break a treaty essentially whenever it wishes.
Obviously, they still think they have that power today.
Topic 3 : The Destruction of a Culture
Did you know that, in the late 1800s and up through the 1940s, a policy was in place that would allow “social reformers” and missionaries to remove Indian children from their reservations and place them in boarding schools?
There, they would literally have the Indian beaten out of them.
They would be beaten if a word of their language was spoken, or if they decorated their hair a certain way, or did anything even remotely “Indian”.
At the same time, the adult Indians would be prevented from leaving their reservations in hopes of finding these children.
The culture today of almost every Indian tribe has been devastated because of this policy. There is very little left of their past, of their connection to who they were or what they meant.
In fact, a great number of Indian people refuse to call themselves Indian now, because they were taught to hate themselves and everything about where they came from.
And they have passed that down to their children and grandchildren.
Another thing that was done was to depopulate those on the reservations through the removal of their ability to hunt.
Topic 4 : And now we have Thanksgiving
So now we have this issue cropping up, right at the time of Thanksgiving.. a time which was meant to celebrate the way that the European settlers were treated by the Indian tribes they met, and would never have survived here if it weren’t for them.
What a lovely way to say thank you.