One of my problems is the use of "We". "We" no more changed Native American
cultures than the modern French are responsible for the change in English
culture after William.
The U S Army was beaten by the Sioux. The reason was that the Sioux were
using "modern" repeating rifles and were very angry while Custer's men were
using U.S. Army specified single shots.
The Navajo were defeated by Kit Carson because certain spiritual leaders had
convinced them that they were unkillable and led them into a box canyon on
the Dine'tah. They got beat by their own traditions on their own lands
because of mis-leadership by their own leaders.
The Seminole were never defeated by the U S Army and have yet to sign a
treaty. They are, I assume, still at war with the United States.
BTW: around 1960 the Taos declared war on the United States over the use of
a sacred lake by fishermen. The Taos won perhaps the last "Indian war".
BTW: Within the last 4 years one of the New Mexico Pueblo Governors set up
road blocks on one of New Mexico's main highways where it crosses his
Pueblo. He won his dispute.
BTW: The Navajo, the largest US Native American tribe, about 500,000 live
in Dene'tah, has no casinos that I know of. The Dene' are against gambling.
Furthermore so as not to confuse the Europeans overly much, the U S
constitution delineates specified powers to a Federal government. The
constitution specifically assigns all non delineated powers to the several
States. Because the Virginians at the constitutional convention were
concerned their citizens would be deprived of certain rights they had under
their existing constitution a Bill of Rights was attached to the
constitution. This specified certain rights of Individuals that any
government could not infringe upon. Interpretations of this Bill of Rights
has resulted in a great extension of the power of the Federal government
especially in the last 50 years. However, the individual states are still
very individual. There is an enormous amount of difference between New
Mexico law and the law of the neighboring state of Colorado. An entirely
separate body of law under the U. S. constitution governs Treaty law. Many
of the various Native American tribes have treaties with the U S government.
The relationship of those tribes with the U S government and the State or
States that they live in is much colored by those treaties. The various
Native American tribes, and especially the Navajo, have members who are some
of the most respected practicers of Treaty law. A trip to the Dene'tah town
of Shiprock, NM is most educational. One is immediately struck with the
Sovereignty of the Navajo.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Nancy Gish" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Sunday, September 21, 2003 10:56 AM
Subject: Re: TSE Digest - 9 Sep 2003 to 10 Sep 2003 (#2003-203)
> Dear Richard,
> I do know about the very different histories of native cultures after
> Europeans arrived, and I realize many retain sovereign nations and
> cultures. The largest "minority" in Maine is native American, and
> they also are sovereign--though that does not stop the state from
> intervening in water rights and fishing rights and causing conflicts.
> So you are right that I was too general in my statement. But it is
> true that Europeans took the land and that the United States is now
> a nation and a culture based on European (mainly British) legal,
> political, and cultural history. The native Americans own pockets of
> land and often struggle to sustain their ways of life (hence casinos,
> etc.). So "destroyed" may be too strong, but in comparison to the
> time before "we" (though I have a native American ancestor, I have
> no family history of the culture) came, it is probably not.
> Date sent: Sun, 21 Sep 2003 10:28:30 -0600
> Send reply to: "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum."
<[log in to unmask]>
> From: Richard Seddon <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: TSE Digest - 9 Sep 2003 to 10 Sep 2003
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Which Native American culture are you referring to, the Navajo, the
> the Mescalero Apache, the Jicarilla Apache, the Hopi, the Santa
> the Jemez, the Zuni or some Peoples? The Navajo and the Taos
> languages as different as German and Italian. There are at least 5
> separate languages among the Puebloans. You are assuming a
> American culture that never existed except maybe in Hollywood.
> Furthermore, all Native Americans did not experience the total
> eradication that the Native Newfoundlanders did at the hands of the
> European Canadians.
> Many members of the tribes I listed live in their traditional culture and
> would very much resent it being dismissed as "destroyed".
> BTW: The sovereign tribes of the Navajo and the Hopi happen to be
> currently in a state of aggression towards each other. They are
> sufficiently sovereign to have "foreign" policies. Few puebloans like the
> Navajo and some actually prefer Anglo company to Navajo. Since I spent a
> significant part of my "growing up" time with the Navajo I sort of side
> with the Navajo but can understand the Puebloan point of view.
> Rick Seddon
> McIntosh, NM