Descendants of Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse break away from US
December 20, 2007 2:38am CST
http://rawstory.com/news/afp/Descendants_of_Sitting_Bull_Crazy_H_12202007.html The Lakota have withdrawn from the treaties they signed with the U.S. government, some were signed 150 years ago...but they did this because the government hadn't held up their end of the bargain, and the Lakota wish to save what's left of their people. But I've something I'm torn about. I'm kin to the Lakota being part Sioux (though I'm woefully uniformed about my culture and what exact tribes I'm descended from), I'm also part Apache. Which makes me Native American. I'm aware of the politics, I'm aware of the discrimination which frankly -- never really stopped, but I love the United States of America...I also think what the Lakota have done is a brilliant, if maybe a crucial decision. My future has been a shaky one, as of late. I don't want to pay taxes, because I don't want to be forced to do something my government claimed was volentary. I might've done it if they asked, instead of demanded...but still being a teenager, I've time to figure out what I'm going to do with my life. I found the loophole for the American citizen, where taxes were concerned, which didn't involve a big legal battle I'd prolly lose and have no money for...always traveling and doing odd jobs (how can they tax your income when you're only making enough to stay, technically 'homeless'?). But a part of me wasn't satisfied with the loophole...I mean, usually I am. I love being able to find loopholes and exceptions to the rules...it's what I've ALWAYS done, it's only how I've made it through life this long. But as much as my feet have always itched to roam...I know I couldn't move around forever. Eventually I would grow weary of it, and what then? Where would I go? My views in politics aren't that popular within the system itself, my way of life does not fit within the system's neat little boxes. Most of it not even by my choice. So...I realize, this is perfect. I could become a part of the Lakota country, which happens to be within the country I've grown up in and loved my whole life, I wouldn't have to pay taxes, I could move around whenever it suited me and settle again once I grew tired. But what bugs me, is I wouldn't be an American anymore. I so want to do it, because it feels so right, and I'm well aware that we're NATIVES of this country, so we're more American than technically the descendants of the immigrants are...but I don't know which will give first. My pride in being an american, or my pride in being NATIVE. I know there's also repercussions to consider. There will probabl be trouble for anyone who decides to belong to Lakota country instead of America. I know...that deciding to do so, would mean I technically would be freer from all the problems which worry me so much...government spying, education, my children should I ever have any (heaven forbid), the laws they might pass on my religion (I'xpecting it, but you never know these days...craaazy times),the government spying, the secret prisons... But it would be like living inside a tank. An explosive situation, maybe even dangerous. Simply protected by the politics because I belong to a particular race which decided to take back their country...within another country. I'm not sure how it would work. I'm not afraid of that, I probably wouldn't even hate it. I THRIVE in dangerous life, I don't know why. Maybe because of how I grew up. I'm just saying...I'm aware of all that. But I feel as if I'm being tugged in two. Any other Native Americans out there to read this? If so, what do you think about this? Will you join Lakota country and relinguish your American citizenship? If so or if not...what are your reasons? Even if you, the reader, isn't Native American, what's your thoughts and feelings on this bit of news? What do you think will come of this? Do you think its a good idea? Would you join Lakota country?
2 people like this
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
30 Dec 07
Sorry I didn't see this sooner! My husband and I were actually talking about this issue when it happened as well, but I didn't see your post on it! I'm half Native American. It's odd for me I'm also half Irish, and I look far more white than Native American. Yet when I was a little girl I danced at pow-wows with my great-grandfather, and even stayed with a relative of his on a reservation at one point. So I am close to my Native American roots, even though I don't look it. I have friends that are currently in territory that the Lakota are claiming, though most of my friends there are Blackfoot like my family. I can see my old friends throwing in their hats with the Lakota, easily. If I didn't have a child, I could see myself doing so as well. However, like you said, it's like living inside of a tank. I'm not sure I could take my son and do that. The other issue I have is that living inside a Native American nation, I'm not sure I'd feel comfortable with the rest of my heritage. As a kid, when among Native Americans, people often asked my great-grandfather "Who is the little white girl with you?" and such. It's true the Lakota have already invited everyone who lives in that area to join them, but I don't want to have those feelings of "Do I belong here?" again... even though my blood says I should belong. I'm both excited and frightened by the news in general. The Lakota have been saying they were going to pull away for years, and it's exciting to see it finally happening. It's exciting to see someone standing up for Native rights. And it's exciting to think of the possibility of it working... but... it's also scary to think about what the retaliation could be.
• United States
31 Dec 07
I very much agree. I don't have younger members of my family anymore, my little brother's only a few months away from being a teenager, but I don't know how I'd feel with..well, living inside a tank, as you said. I lost my pigmnt after rarely venturing out of the house for two years and sleeping during the day, but I'm re-gaining it..thought slowly, so for awhile more yeah, I can relate. And I have the added issue of not knowing alot about m heritage. I know what blood I have, but not much about the culture..making me feel weird and awkward about entering into a situation where maybe people'd know more about me than I did. I don't like feeling terribly ignorant, so its iffy. It is very exciting to see people standing up for Native American rights...and also for the older laws which this country was founded on. But knowing the current times which aren't really..glowing with appreciation over ANYONE's rights, I shudder to think of what the retalation could be. A last stand, while admirable, isn't exactly in our people's interest for survival. But on the other hand, simply surviving isn't enough. To live is, but so many people, not just native americans, aren't really allowed to anymore, it seems. So..it's kind of a torn subject, yeah heh. I personally decided I'd wait and see what happened before deciding. I mean, that seems wise, right? If it works, and they have a country that's focused very much on freedom and life, then I'll seriously consider moving there. Though what the United States government does in reaction will be the final decider. I never wanted a life full of war and fighting, but if they condemn a group for abiding by their laws, for seeking freedom..then that's the final nail in the coffin, I say, no pun intended. I just..can't live in a country like that. Besides, this option's better lol. I've been worried for a long time, if our current government went down that road..what would I do? I didn't wanna run to another country, to leave America...but by joining Lakota Nation, I'd still be on the land I grew up loving. Even if, I might have to give that up and become a wanderer til the end of my days in the event America declares war on Lakota nation. It's a topic of so many possible futures and extremes, lol. It is very exciting and it gives me so much hope. But its also very frightening, and I fear for worse than what I already said might happen. I mean..as long as good people are scattered, you could never wipe them out. I don't just mean Native Americans, but anti-war protesters and other people who've been watching our country lean away from the principles it was supposed to hold sacred forever. Lots of people have seen this happen and said, OMG..I could go somewhere and stop worrying about whether or not I'll stay free for the rest of my life. So..I'm afraid that most of them really will go to Lakota Nation, as a wonderful thing as that would be...what would happen if someone who's really bad and with lots of power in the American government decided to take advantage of the fact that everyone was in one place? I mean...that's even more extreme than this wonderfully extreme situation, it's probably just an irrational fear. But that's in my head all the same. My hope is that none of the bad things any of us could imagine will happen and that our government won't have any idea what to do with Lakota Nation and so, take the logical action, and do nothing. I mean..as far as I can see, that could happen. I almost wish I really knew what would happen, but...there's something to say aout waiting and seeing I guess.
1 person likes this
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
31 Dec 07
I had the luck of having my great-grandfather and one of his cousins around to teach me about the culture, so I got to learn about that. It kind of annoyed me that other people in my family weren't interested in learning, just as it really annoys me that the people in the Irish part of my family don't learn about that. *sighs* Heritage means a lot to me. If things go well and the danger seems minimal, I still might be tempted to go join them, if my friends are still there especially. It's something for me to think about at least, but it's just a matter of having to decide what would be best for my child right this moment.
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
1 Jan 08
*nods* I was very lucky for both my great-grandparents actually. They were a neat couple: an Irish woman and a Native American man... she serious and hot-tempered, and he silly and hiding wisdom in jokes. He used to say in the old days he would have been a sacred clown perhaps. :P That's how I wound up with my weird over-spiritual worldview: I was learning about shamanic journeying, ancient rituals, and Gods and spirits of both Native American and Celtic varieties when other kids were still working on "See Spot Run". I'm very lucky for my great-grandparents also because they taught me what kindness was, in a world where otherwise I only saw abuse. I miss them, but not as much as I could, because they visit me occasionally from the other side.