I have, not only the right, but the moral duty to rob you.
Barbara H. Peterson
First they came for the Indians…
I cried today. I cried because what we think of as ‘America the Land of the Free’ is really ‘America the Land of the Governed,’ founded on theft and robbery.
In their arrogance, government officials spout rhetoric about how Indians (the indigenous/native people of the land) should integrate into American society. They compare them to immigrants and boldly state that it is they who are supposed to fit in and learn American ways in order to become citizens. But who is the immigrant? Who came here in ships, declaring the land ‘theirs’? Foreigners. Those who believed the dictates of Manifest Destiny and thought that because of their ‘Christian’ beliefs they had a right to the land and the indigenous people were unworthy to own that land because they did not subscribe to the correct religion. Their justification for the theft was called the Doctrine of Discovery:
“The “doctrine of discovery” claimed that any Christian European discovery of territory held by non-believers gave Christians title to the land…
Using the Doctrine of Discovery, referred to as pre-emption in colonial times, the colonists claimed that they held title to all Indian land and that the Indians only had the right to occupy the land. Should Indians decide to sell their land, they could only sell it to the colonial conquerors.” (Humboldt State University)
The natives of the coveted land were re-named Indians, labeled savages, degenerates, sub-human, and therefore deserved whatever ill treatment they received at the hands of the invaders, including theft of their land and subjugation of the people. It was the ‘moral duty’ of those who came in contact with these ‘savages’ to ‘save’ them, so whatever suffering was inflicted on them, they brought on themselves. Like the abusive spouse blaming his/her partner for each and every blow inflicted, shouting “You made me do it. It’s your fault that I am forced to treat you this way. If you weren’t the way you are, I would not have to do this.”
“Surrounded by our settlements, these Indians have neither the intelligence, the industry, the moral habits nor the desire of improvement which are essential to any favorable change in their condition. Established in the midst of another and a superior race, and without appreciating the causes of their inferiority or seeking to control them, they must necessarily yield to the force of circumstance and ere long disappear.” (President Andrew Jackson, Message to Congress, December 1833) (Humboldt State University)
Yes, this is our true American heritage, like it or not. And we the people have been brainwashed to accept that this is okay; raised by a system which espouses that robbery and abuse are right and good and perfectly okay if done in the name of religious moral obligation. It is the Indians’ fault that they lost their land, not the invaders’ fault for stealing it. After all, if the Indians were not sub-human because their ways were different, they might have been spared. NOT! A classic narcissistic outlook with a predictable end.
(Joni Mitchell Song – Raised on Robbery)
The invading armies wiped out most of the buffalo to starve the Indians out, purposely inflicted them with disease, rounded them up when they were outnumbered, sick and hungry, drove them to sectioned-off parcels of land, and forced them to conform to the white man’s ways by mass conversions to Christianity in order to ‘save their souls,’ which included physical alterations of hair and clothing, and the complete eradication of any trace of their way of life.
(Humboldt State University)
The captives were then blamed for the poverty existing in the newly formed prisons, later termed ‘reservations,’ and what subsistence they received from the invaders was begrudgingly called a ‘hand-out.’ Oh yes, and don’t forget, these reservations are still owned and the land held in trust for the tribes by the very same invaders that stole it in the first place. That abusive gang of thieves is now known as the United States (U.S.) Federal Government. Not one square inch of reservation land actually belongs to any of the tribes. And the thieves accomplished this complete takeover using lethal force in the name of salvation and contracts called ‘treaties.’
What are Indian treaty rights?
“From 1778 to 1871, the United States’ relations with individual American Indian nations indigenous to what is now the U.S. were defined and conducted largely through the treaty-making process. These “contracts among nations” recognized and established unique sets of rights, benefits, and conditions for the treaty-making tribes who agreed to cede of millions of acres of their homelands to the United States and accept its protection. Like other treaty obligations of the United States, Indian treaties are considered to be “the supreme law of the land,” and they are the foundation upon which federal Indian law and the federal Indian trust relationship is based.” (Bureau of Indian Affairs)
In other words, like a true extortionist, the U.S. Federal Government took complete control and at the present time, agrees to grant government-recognized tribes who signed treaties relinquishing the land in order to stay alive, protection. However, if you do not agree to the terms and conditions of your continued enslavement, you are on your own and have no rights within the ‘tribe’ and no right to live on the land reserved for that tribe.
What is a federally recognized tribe?
“A federally recognized tribe is an American Indian or Alaska Native tribal entity that is recognized as having a government-to-government relationship with the United States, with the responsibilities, powers, limitations, and obligations attached to that designation, and is eligible for funding and services from the Bureau of Indian Affairs [BIA].
What is the federal Indian trust responsibility?
The federal Indian trust responsibility is a legal obligation under which the United States “has charged itself with moral obligations of the highest responsibility and trust” toward Indian tribes (Seminole Nation v. United States, 1942). This obligation was first discussed by Chief Justice John Marshall in Cherokee Nation v. Georgia (1831). Over the years, the trust doctrine has been at the center of numerous other Supreme Court cases, thus making it one of the most important principles in federal Indian law.
The federal Indian trust responsibility is also a legally enforceable fiduciary obligation on the part of the United States to protect tribal treaty rights, lands, assets, and resources, as well as a duty to carry out the mandates of federal law with respect to American Indian and Alaska Native tribes and villages. In several cases discussing the trust responsibility, the Supreme Court has used language suggesting that it entails legal duties, moral obligations, and the fulfillment of understandings and expectations that have arisen over the entire course of the relationship between the United States and the federally recognized tribes.” (Bureau of Indian Affairs)
(NPS Reservations)(click to enlarge)
Mighty white of them. A true Mafia-style takeover with delusions of grandeur and a ‘might makes right because we are superior and God is on our side so we are moral and can do whatever we want to you’ attitude. It’s a protection racket, plain and simple. And what is given, can be taken away and given to someone else at any time, such as what happened with 2,400 acres of Apache Ancestral Homeland in the Tonto National Forest.
“WASHINGTON — When Terry Rambler, the chairman of the San Carlos Apache Tribe, woke up Wednesday in Washington, D.C., it was to learn that Congress was deciding to give away a large part of his ancestral homeland to a foreign mining company…
…the House and Senate Armed Services Committee had decided to use the lame-duck session of Congress and the National Defense Authorization Act to give 2,400 acres of the Tonto National Forest in Arizona to a subsidiary of the Australian-English mining giant Rio Tinto.” (Huffington Post)
It appears that almost anything can be done in the name of national defense.
And now they’re coming for the ranchers…
In the beginning, foreign invaders grabbed the land now called America from the native inhabitants using such things as forced contracts called treaties, and later on what became the U.S. Federal Government placed the small sections of land the Indian prisoners were allowed to live on in trust for federally recognized tribes only, and sold whatever was not sectioned off for the defeated captives or kept for the ruling class of Mafia-style dictators, to settlers and ranchers. And now, the very same entity that was elbows deep in stealing the land from the Indians and selling it to the ranchers is now stealing it back from the ranchers and selling the mineral rights to anyone it chooses. These are our ‘public lands;’ lands supposedly protected by the government for the public good, but in reality, owned by the U.S. Federal Government, and instead of being managed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), these lands are governed by another arm of the government Mafia called the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and other miscellaneous federal agencies.
The BLM manages public lands and decides who is allowed to go there, sells grazing rights as well as mineral rights, and controls access to water. It also supposedly protects the ancient Indian artifacts located on that land.
Recently, the BLM has come under the spotlight for using heavy handed tactics to force ranchers off the land by restricting their access to water, revoking their original grazing rights, billing them for unlawful fees, forcibly taking their cattle, and then moving on to imprison them on false charges if they fail to peaceably comply and simply go away. One of the latest most egregious events was the combined Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Oregon State Police’s (OSP) killing of rancher LaVoy Finicum while he and others were going to a town meeting to discuss Constitutional issues as they relate to the BLM’s land grab. A Constitutional Sheriff was to meet them there. That meeting never happened.
The Federal Government is making it crystal clear that the Constitution is not a document that it considers relevant, and so-called Public Lands are really lands that it can do whatever it wants with, including sell the natural resources to foreign multinationals, and the media is all too happy to manipulate public opinion to go along with the program. Anyone who gets in the way is merely collateral damage. A real-life drama brought to you by those who would be kings.
The stage is set. Lights! Camera! Action! Introducing the blockbuster movie titled “Cowboys vs. Indians,” in which one side is pitted against the other so that the BLM can step in and pick up the pieces, dressed in a white hat, with a ‘public lands for the people’ script in which the BLM exists as the only thing standing in the way of environmental desecration of our American and Indian heritage. Enter the bird watchers and cyclists who stand and shout “Down with the ranchers and cattle who are destroying the environment and trampling sacred native land and artifacts.” Meanwhile, drilling rigs are waiting in the wings to take over when the dust settles and the Indians and environmentalists are looking the other way.
Yes, this elaborate staged event is a misdirection to hide what is really going on. And that is – it is the government that is stealing the land and raping it and the individuals who are on that land now as it was in the beginning. It is much easier for this to happen when we are at each others’ throats instead of realizing that the real enemy is not the cowboy or the Indian, but an abusive, un-Constitutional, arrogant, power-hungry, over-reaching ‘government gone wild,’ and any contract that it makes with the people, Indian or rancher, it can break at any time, whether it be a treaty or the Constitution.
Watch the following video and note the striking similarities between what the government did to the Indians at Wounded Knee, South Dakota in 1973 and what it is doing to the ranchers now. Also take note that uranium and gold mining, as well as oil and gas acquisition by multinational corporations are at the core of the issue. It’s not about grazing rights, and it’s not about making sure that birds, fish, wildlife and native artifacts are protected. It’s about grabbing the land for its resources in the guise of protecting it, when in reality, just the opposite is true.
Just like when the foreigners initially invaded what is now known as America, subjugated its people, herded them into small sections of land called reservations, and placed that land in trust, offering ‘protection’ to the tribes. It’s not about protection at all. It’s about exploitation. It’s about the U.S. Federal Government sending the FBI in to fabricate evidence, stage violent and lethal confrontations to justify the theft, and then playing a fictional B movie to the public via the media to glorify and legitimize its unlawful, Mafia style tactics in pushing forward a rogue government’s agenda of total control over its population. Rights? The people don’t need no stinkin’ rights, they are mere pawns in a multinational game of power, land acquisition and rape for profit, the people be damned. And like it or not, this, my friends, is the real American Dream. Or should I say, nightmare.
Warrior: The Life of Leonard Peltier
“This is the definitive feature documentary about American Indian activist, Leonard Peltier. His story is told within the context of the American Indian Movement, the US Federal Government, and the multinational companies interested in mining the land in South Dakota.”
©2016 Barbara H. Peterson
Tags: Barbara H. Peterson, BLM, bundy, Constitution, corruption, Farm Wars, farmers, farmwars, federal government, finicum, greed, hammonds, indian, land grab, native american, peltier, reservations, treaty, wounded knee