Elizabeth Cook-Lynn: Privatization is just a prelude to termination

Elizabeth Cook-Lynn. Photo: Arizona State University Department of Archives and Special Collections

Privatization of Indian lands a prelude to termination
By Elizabeth Cook-Lynn
Native Sun News Today Columnist

These days of uncertainty we ask about the historical perspective of trying to make sense of how to live good lives as Indian people even as others burn away our hopes and dreams. That is the condition of oil rich Indian reservations looking back at the defensive efforts of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe turned into a flaming fiasco at Cannon Ball in 2017.

It’s not just here in our region … such betrayals are happening at a dozen other Indian enclaves throughout the United States. What can we say about Federal Indian Policy and State Government regulations that allow the commoditization of nature, water, air, the deregulation of mining and a voting public that says the backstabbing of the Sioux Nation that has taken place at the banks of the Missouri River is okay. What can we tell our children?

For some of us who read history we can say, “Yes, Virginia, history does repeat itself.” Unfortunately, we humans often vote for such repetitions of histories that sometimes turn into calamities. That is the downside of Democracy that Socrates and Plato argued about. Older Americans (including Indians), can remember that in 1938 Austria, a European republic of great significance, willingly voted to give itself over to the German power mad regime that became Nazi-ism. And they started writing the Nuremberg Laws, passed them and implemented them to destroy six millions of their relatives who happened to be Jews. Today we in America have willingly voted into power an “America First” government based in White Supremacy, aggressive capitalism, deregulation of resource development and greed.

About Indians, who really never participated in American Government nor State Government until 1924 when U. S. Citizenship was conferred on them (whether they wanted it or not), the truth is that their reserved lands while they cover just 2 percent of the United States they probably hold about one-fifth of the nation’s oil and gas, along with vast coal reserves. Just like Germany was not the best place for Jews in 1930, America has never been the best place for Indians since 1492, and particularly since the recent rise of the slogan: “making American great again."

As our new president faces up to the task of defending his “white nationalist” base of communal voters, it is imperative that Indian scholars and activists begin to look deeper into third world history and the current legal thinking that drives American politics. We have done that before (Read Vine Deloria, Jr.), but it is time to pay attention!

Read the rest of the story on the Native Sun News Today website: Privatization of Indian lands a prelude to termination

(Contact Elizabeth Cook-Lynn at ecooklynn@gmail.com 605-341-3228)

Copyright permission Native Sun News

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