Voices That Matter
With all the shit talking, there is a voice that people have refused to hear, a voice that matters most--those that were here long before us: The American Indians.
Here is a small compilation of some of these voices. Listen the hell up!
" The immigration issues are many and so very complex; however, we cannot have a productive dialogue about anything when we begin the conversation, thinking it is "us against them" or when the "truth" is only half true or we only use rhetoric to back our claims. We can't resolve any of these complex issues is we label our neighbor as an "immigrant" and not as a relative, friend, or human being."--Nadine Tafoya, Mescalero Apache-Salt River Pima-Maricopa
" I feel that as Native Peoples of the Americas, we have the right to be anywhere on this continent as we have for generations. To hear people telling my relatives that they are "illegal aliens" and criminals and to get out of their own land is very disturbing."--Maria Yellow Horse Brave Heart,PhD,Pres./Director-The Takini Network
" Indigenous peoples haven't known any borders. Colonial borders are new. It's ironic that essentially white men of privilege who created the category of white-that it is they who determine who gets permitted into our lands."--Winona LaDuke,founding director-White Earth Land Recovery Project
" From the point of view of the lands of the indigenous nations of North America, the Europeans are the original illegal immigrants in the area of North America. The United States...has, for more than 200 years, methodically and militarily violated indigenous law, and even solemn treaties, in order to take over and occupy the vast majority of the lands of Indigenous nations and peoples...it is hypocritical in the extreme for people of the United States to now pretend that it is paragon of virture, and a country that has always conducted itself on the basis of the rule of law."--Steven Newcomb,Indian Law scholar
" The movement to try and force the Mexican people to learn the English language and the cultures and traditions of America to stay in this country may not be totally successful. I can tell you from firsthand experience that when the federal goverment tried to strip me of my language and traditions, it did only a partial job, because of my resistence to being subdued. Today I am glad I have retained my culture, traditions, and the Keres language, for that is where my heart and soul belong..."--Katherine Augustine,Laguna Pueblo
" Too bad WE didn't think of insisting that European arrivals speak OUR language. We'd all be speaking Ojibwemowin right now."--Patty Loew,Assoc.Prof.UW-Madison
" The white supremacists masquerading as patriots are building a fence at the southern border to keep out the brown people. Notice that they aren't building a fence at the northern borders...Recall too that the 9-11 terrorists were here legally, complete with frequent flyer numbers. I'm for all that Native people to have cross-border privileges up and down our hemisphere, and would close the borders against all the peoples from other places who look down on us."--Suzan Shown Harjo,Cheyenne & Hodulgee Muscogee
" The argument used by the Minutemen, that their mission is to keep terrorists out of the U.S., cannot be ignored:With terrorist training camps recently found just north of the U.S.-Canadian border, their mission makes little sense and gives weight to my belief that the Minuteman movement is clearly racist. So is the new U.S policy to keep our southern relatives out by militarizing the border to the south. Not that troops are wanted on the northern border either, but why send 6,000 troops to the southern border when no terrorists ever have been detained there?"--JoKay Dowell, Quapaw-Peoria-Cherokee, Ok, Eagle & Condor Indigenous Peoples' Alliance
" Indigenous peoples are brother and sisters, regardless of which side of the line drawn in the desert sand they are from. Our historic relations pre-date any European conquest. Our 'free trade' was much less conflictual, and was on more of an equal basis. Corporate 'free trade' is the driving force behind American politics and international actions...It continues to be, contradictory to the interests of humanity."--Karen S., Ypsilanti
" If America is a shining beacon of hope for legal immigrants perhaps the laws should be adjusted to make it a reality for the illegal immigrants. They also see America as a place where dreams can be lived. Ironically, most of the illegal immigrants are Indians, or Indios as they are known in Mexico, and in Central and South America. Most of their ancestors did not come over on the Mayflower or the Spanish galleons. They were indigenous to the Western Hemisphere."--Tim Giago,president of Native American Journalists Foundation
" Americans can say, surely not with pride, that our country knows from centuries of personal experience how unchecked immigration devastates life and why it's an issue that deserves the best of our thinking and empathy. These are thoughts that cross some of our minds when we hear rhetoric about the so-called invasion of illegal immigrants(many of whom are-gasp-Indians) and calls to protect "our" land. If we smile in response, it's not so much out of agreement. We see a payback coming home to roost."--David House,mixed Cherokee/Scots-Irish
" It's never been clear to me why animosity exists toward today's immigrants, considering the founding fathers arrived as immigrants. Are today's anti-immigration voices afraid of a new Manifest Destiny? Many native prophecies foretell the demise of U.S. indigenous people from European invaders. But the stories also speak of a time when the land will be reclaimed by indigenous people.Perhaps the time has come."--Jodi Rave reports on Native issues for Lee Enterprises.