Self Determination for Indigenous Peoples

Does everyone really have the right to self-determination? Does everyone in these times have equal rights under that human construct called “the Law”? Why hasn’t the United States ratified the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples? I suspect it has something to do with Buffy Sainte-Marie’s references to water rights and uranium rights and all those gas and oil leases on Native American Lands that are at the heart of the Cobell vs Salazar case–and that apparently some folks in the US government consider too expensive to PAY to the Indian people they’re hoping will just die off and vanish according to the photographs of Edward S. Curtis. Oh yeah, we have money to wage war but not money to pay people for what we’ve already taken from them. It’s GOOD to be a member of the rich elite class in the United States. Being rich allows you to hire the best lawyers possible to suit your profit-making agendas.  Yes, Virginia, there are “classes” in the United States. These “classes” are defined by economics. Money gives one power and social identity in mainstream American culture. Poverty will get you nowhere in regard to the American Dream–yes–that dream that is still being foreclosed upon for millions of middle class Americans. See, being in the economic ‘middle’ is still a long way off from being part of the fiscally elite.  We’ve all seen the difference between what happens when the folks of BP destroy the environment–they run public relations campaigns everywhere to downplay their negative image as careless exploiters of everything and everyone.  Now considering that the rate of unemployment on the Pine Ridge Reservation is about 85%–give or take five or even ten percent–just how much political power do those Lakota–or other Indigenous tribes wield? Where’s their public relations campaign? A very tiny tiny piece of it is here. I hope.

Blackfeet Nation Woman versus United States:


Read the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples:

Oh this darling document even covers the right to NOT have children forcibly removed from their own families and cultures.



Edward S. Curtis–Vanishing Race, Navaho

Yes, I am positive it was an elderly Navajo woman and her young female relative I encountered at Arlington Cemetery a couple years ago.  They were definitely NOT vanished.

If you can, please take a few moments to educate yourself about the reality of life for others who are often ‘invisible’ in the corporate media.

Yes, this is a rant–but only partly so. As always, comments, questions and funny stories are welcome.


  1. artistatexit0 said,

    September 15, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    Almost too many tracks to follow here. I believe we only have two actual economic classes now. Those that have…and those who do not. Many people may espouse “middle class values”, but when this country can support nearly 500 billionaires…they tend to skew the stats some. Years ago I heard that to be middle class by the numbers you need to make about $250,000 a year. Why also haven’t we signed the anti-landmine treaty? Answer, we make too much money manufacturing them to care who’s legs they blow off. I think I also read that many of Curtis’ photographs are inaccurately staged…the wrong costumes on the wrong people etc…He apparently was more interested in art than the truth.

    • September 16, 2010 at 12:25 am

      Ah we are much in agreement here, artistatexito. As for Curtis–oh yeah–he certainly manipulated his photographs–and his subjects to suit his artist agenda. Consider the Hopi women grinding corn dressed in their very best clothing for his photograph. Still his portraits are a record of a certain sort for people. Their faces remain THEIR faces.
      But the photo I’ve used is one that I take issue with for the hopelessness it conveys and its ‘message’.
      Regarding landmines and such–have you seen Micmacs? It’s a great foreign film by the maker of Amelie. Quite a take on how to deal with the makers of landmines and weapons.
      If $250,000 defines the middle class then what are the likes of ‘me’? LOL.

  2. Artswebshow said,

    September 14, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    That sounds really bad.
    I wonder if equality will ever be so

  3. slpmartin said,

    September 14, 2010 at 2:33 am

    Not a rant…but a justifiable complaint…questions ignored for so many years…perhaps the US government will hand out blankets again. ;-( to resolve the issue like before.

    • September 14, 2010 at 8:23 pm

      I think the Natives are ‘on’ to that blanket warfare at this point. Hi slpmartin.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Agitate, Educate, and Organize ~OO~


News and analysis for San Antonio and the South Texas bioregion.

Incidental Makyo

a place for reflective expression.

Shechaim's News of the Day

Warfarin, Coumadin, Jantoven, Eliquis, Aspirin?

Free Alabama Movement

National Movement Against Mass Incarceration and Prison Slavery

Books Can Save A Life

"Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive." Barry Lopez

The Greenery

Ideas That Grow and Bloom

The Case for Global Film

'in the picture': Films from everywhere and every era


Wellness Leadership Education

Tales from the Conspiratum

Warning: This site may contain conspiracies

Make No Bones About It

‘Do not be afraid of the truth’ -John Trudell

Beyond Extreme Energy

No new permits for fossil fuel infrastructure. Renewable energy NOW.

Mugilan Raju

Prime my subconscious, one hint at a time

Cheri Lucas Rowlands

Editor at Longreads. Automattician since 2012. Californian since 1979. Junglist for life.

Interesting Literature

A Library of Literary Interestingness

Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Science Fiction and Other Suspect Ruminations

Reviews of Vintage Science Fiction (1945-1985)

Cynthia Reyes

The blog of Canadian author Cynthia Reyes


Uniting the world, One Love at a time. :D

The Stay-at-home Scientist

Science, Gardening, Work-Life Balance

People Powered Machines

Our business is committed to saving energy, reducing emmissions and waste.


Just another site


". . . first hand coverage, second hand news"

Espen Stenersrød- From Pen To Heart

Jack Kerouac with a scent of Henry Vaughn

Army at Wounded Knee

A blog dedicated to documenting through primary sources, the Army's actions at Wounded Knee


Vague Meanderings of the Broke and Obscure


Stories and Essays by Isaac Yuen

Red Wolf Journal

A literary compass for finding your voice..."You turn toward me, your lips move, wanting to speak."--Stephen Dobyns, "Wolves In The Street"


The poet can reach where the sun cannot. -HINDU PROVERBThe greatest site in all the land!


Working together to make the world a better place to live! A fine site

Spirit In Action

Change IS coming. WE can make it GOOD.

Rezinate's Blog

Just another site

Through the Peacock's Eyes

Insights for Spiritual Living


Living Mental Health Rehab in Israel

the zen space

a space for zen words

We Write Poems

a community of people reading & writing poems, moving words


Bringing Social Issues To The Forefront

R. L. Culpeper

Sapere Aude


For Peace On Earth In This Generation


You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.

Eléctrica in the Desert

News, photos, stories, and trouble from the borderland

Coco J. Ginger Says

Poems and stories of love & heartbreak.

%d bloggers like this: