A word about history should not be completely out of place at this time.
The past causes the present, and therefore causes the future.
Any time we try to know why something happened—whether a shift in political party dominance in the American Congress, a major change in the teenage suicide rate, or a war someplace, we have to look at what happened in the past.
Sometimes fairly recent history will suffice to explain a major development, but often we need to look further back to identify the causes of change.
Only through studying history can we understand how things change. By studying history we can see what in society stays the same in spite of other changes.
Thanksgiving has historical value. Starting in childhood, we Americans hear a story about those hearty Pilgrims, whose search for freedom took them from England to the ‘New World’ and to Massachusetts. With the help of friendly Indians, they survived in a new and harsh environment, leading to a harvest feast (the first Thanksgiving) in 1621 following the Pilgrims first winter… there are some truths in this story…
Other truths are that for the United States this began our original sin -- the genocide of indigenous people.
In 1637 Massachusetts Gov. John Winthrop declared a ‘thanksgiving’ for the successful massacre of hundreds of Pequot Indian men, women and children. This was part of the long and bloody process of opening up additional land to the English invaders.
This murderous pattern would repeat itself across the continent until between 95 and 99 percent of American Indians had been exterminated and the rest were left to die on ‘reservations’.
George Washington, in 1783 compared Indians to wolves, saying "both being beasts of prey, tho' they differ in shape."
Thomas Jefferson referred to Native Americans as the "merciless Indian Savages" in 1807 from wrote to his secretary of war that in a coming conflict with certain tribes, "[W]e shall destroy all of them."
As the genocide was slowing in the early 20th century, Theodore Roosevelt defended the expansion of whites across the continent as an inevitable process "due solely to the power of the mighty civilized races which have not lost the fighting instinct, and which by their expansion are gradually bringing peace into the red wastes where the barbarian peoples of the world hold sway."
Roosevelt also once said, "I don't go so far as to think that the only good Indians are dead Indians, but I believe nine out of ten are, and I shouldn't like to inquire too closely into the case of the tenth."
The truth is that a majority of our most revered historical figures had certain moral values and political views virtually identical to the Nazis.
Looking at the past helps our understanding of the present… the genocide continues to this very day.
We should all learn of the background facts that surround the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota… what court decisions effected who owns the land? — what control does the US government exert and by what authority? — what promises and treaties were made and when? — what is the truth about what is going on there today where peaceful people of all races and backgrounds are being brutally attacked by “law enforcement”.
We owe it to ourselves to understand what is happening in our own land, in our own country, and why it is happening… we owe ourselves…
There are many issues involved in this situation. That Native Americans are now and have been since 'history' began in this 'newly discovered' land the victims of every type of abue imaginable is clear. That the history of genocide continues in the Standing Rock show-down is clear.
That we humans on planet Earth cannot afford to burn any more fossil fuels is also very clear. That global warming and climate change are huge threats to human interests is evident to everyone except our leadership. Why would we be at Standing Rock abusing innocent and peaceful protesters so that we can build a pipeline to carry more fossil fuels to be burned is insane. And the fuel to be carried results from 'fracking'... even more insane.
This is on land we stole from the rightful owners and then agreed through forced treaties to allow them to own again. Now we are brutally forcing the owners of that land to allow transport of fossil fuels, to everyone's detriment.
Who owns the land?
The Standing Rock Sioux Reservation was originally established as part of the Great Sioux Reservation. Article 2 of the Treaty of Fort Laramie of April 29, 1868 described the boundaries of the Great Sioux Reservation, as commencing on the 46th parallel of north latitude to the east bank of Missouri River, south along the east bank to the Nebraska line, then west to the 104th parallel of west longitude. (15 stat. 635).
The Great Sioux Reservation comprised all of present-day South Dakota west of the Missouri River, including the sacred Black Hills and the life-giving Missouri River. Under article 11 of the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty, the Great Sioux Nation retained off-reservation hunting rights to a much larger area, south to the Republican and Platte Rivers, and east to the Big Horn Mountains.
Under article 12, no cession of land would be valid unless approved by three-fourths of the adult males. Nevertheless, the Congress unilaterally passed the Act of February 28, 1877 (19 stat. 254), removing the Sacred Black Hills from the Great Sioux Reservation. The United States never obtained the consent of three-fourths of the Sioux, as required in article 12 of the 1868 Treaty.
The U.S. Supreme Court concluded that "A more ripe and rank case of dishonorable dealings will never, in all probability, be found in our history." United States v. Sioux Nation of Indians, 448 U.S. 371, 388 (1980).
The Standing Rock Agency was established at Fort Yates in 1873. The Executive Order of March 16, 1875 extended the Reservation's northern boundary to the Cannon Ball River.
In the act of March 2, 1889, also known as the Dawes Act and the Allotment Act, Congress further reduced the Great Sioux Reservation, dividing it into six separate reservations, including the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. (25 stat. 889).
This opened up the reservations throughout the United States to settlement by non-Indian entities, thus creating checker-boarded land ownership within the Standing Rock Reservation.
Read the full legal description of the violations against the Sioux by the United States Government in this one fraudulent real estate deal... United States Supreme Court
UNITED STATES v. SIOUX NATION OF INDIANS, (1980) No. 79-639
Argued: March 24, 1980 - Decided: June 30, 1980
The Court ruled that the Sioux must be awarded compensation with interest for the U.S. confiscation of the Black Hills. Despite the ruling, the Great Sioux Nation, which never willingly relinquished title to the land, has refused to take the monetary settlement because the land was never for sale but was stolen and they want to keep their land.
Native people have been protesting the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline since April. When built, the pipeline will stretch more than 1,100 miles from oil fields in North Dakota to a river port in Illinois.
In U.S. federal court, the tribe claims that the pipeline would threaten their sole water source and that, more importantly, they were not consulted before the pipeline was approved.
The defendant is The Army Corps of Engineers, established over two hundred years ago for surveying roads and canals “of national importance, in commercial or military point of view, or necessary for the transportation of public mail.”
Today, according to their website, "evaluate permit applications for essentially all construction activities that occur in the Nation's waters, including wetlands."
During the westward expansion of the United States, whole tribes of Indians were forced off of land they had occupied for centuries and relocated to reservations. Laws have been passed that take into account the fact that where Native Americans live today, may have no relationship to where they lived historically.
Many Native Americans don't occupy the land where they once raised their families and buried their dead. When the Corps of Engineers is considering any construction project, they "must make a reasonable and good faith effort to identify Indian tribes that attach such significance but may now live at great distances from the undertaking's area of potential effect."
According to court records, the Army Corps of Engineers failed to do their duty.
A district judge ruled that the Army Corps "likely complied" with the law, but other than the pipeline company, nobody believes that is true.
The current path of the pipeline is actually a rerouting, with critics calling this reroute an act of "environmental racism."
A previously proposed route for the 1,172-mile pipeline had it crossing the Missouri River north of Bismarck, North Dakota, according to a document filed as part of the permitting process.
“This pipeline was rerouted towards our tribal nations when other (white) citizens of North Dakota rightfully rejected it in the interests of protecting their communities and water. We seek the same consideration as those (white) citizens," Dave Archambault II, chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, said in a statement on Sunday.
of Various Subjects