You know, I’m always interested when the media suddenly turns its attentions to the Native Americans…whom they usually ignore when their land is being stolen, sacred places are being desecrated, women are being raped (and when white men do it, they could get away with it because they were white and tribal court couldn’t touch them. My blog on that here.).
So now I’ve read about the Navajo elections and how a candidate does not speak the Native language.
First, the traditionalists, who still follow the ways they were taught (by God), do not call themselves Navajo. They are from the Dineh tribe in Canada. Some of their ancestors moved down here, but they still feel connected to Canada and the tribal name. It is their heritage.
Same with the language. The tribes were subjected to the horrible experience of having their young children taken away to boarding schools where they were beaten and abused if they used their native language. Some were molested by their teachers. They broke their language, all right…along with their spirits.
So holding onto their language is extremely important to them. It is entirely understandable why they do not want someone in office whom does not hold onto the traditional ways.
And I’m suspicious at the sudden attention the media has given this–they haven’t given a rip about them until this point…so I’m curious as to this candidate Chris Deschene…since he does not speak the language, is he also of the mindset of the White world–that is, he is willing to give land away, give mineral rights, oil rights, and other rights away? That is the question that the reporter should be asking.
Ironically, the election supervisor mentioned in the article, is named Fulton. Fulton is the name of one of the officials whom was engaged in battles against the Native Americans from my area. And these election supervisors have now removed the requirement of native language. I smell something rotten in Denmark.
I’ve recently read a piece on Roberta Blackgoat, a Dineh with fire in her soul. She tickles me to no end.
From the piece, written in 1994:
The Hopi were less concerned with the encroaching Navajo than with the white settlers. Their status as a sovereign nation had been guaranteed by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidaglo of 1854, and they argued for the eviction of the whites. The government responded by reducing Hopi land by 60 percent. […]
Under a new law, ten thousand Navajo and Hopi are to be relocated, moved from land on which many generations of ancestors have lived and been buried.
The traditionals say that the United States and their BIA puppet tribal councils (traditionals have never had anything remotely resembling tribal councils) want to get people off the land to make way for coal strip-mining and uranium exploration. […]
On October 28, 1979, a Declaration of Independence was signed by sixty-four elders of the Independent Dineh (Navajo) Nation at Big Mountain, with Roberta Blackgoat as chairperson.
It is excerpted here:
The United States government and the Navajo Tribal Council have violated the sacred laws of the Dineh nation…[…] dividing the indigenous people by politics, Euro-American education, modernization, and Christianity…our Sacred shrines have been destroyed. Our Mother Earth is raped by the exploitation of coal, uranium, oil, natural gas, and helium. We speak for the winged beings, the four-legged beings, and those who have gone before us and the coming generation. We seek no changes to our livelihood because this natural life is our only known survival and it’s our sacred law.
Roberta Blackgoat was actively fighting the relocation, and at one point, she walked around with a sign that said “Relocate Goldwater to Europe”. This was after Barry Goldwater endorsed the forced relocation of the Dineh. Blackgoat said she got a funny letter from Germany, saying they didn’t want Goldwater, either.
I also found a recent 2011 video with Roberta Blackgoat:
Here is a helpful video on the Dineh. Note that the tribal Chief Shirley is featured in it. He is for the traditional way, combined with modern ways. He is the opponent to the none-native speaking Deschene. I definitely smell a rat….I suspect that there are deals made behind closed doors that the Dineh people are not aware of.