America Has Quite a Way of Saying Thank You

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Photo credit: MotherJones.com

Thanksgiving Needs Some New Traditions Including Tolerance and Trust

Indigenous peoples are asking as we commemorate Thanksgiving to honor the treaties between the two nations.  While the treaties date back centuries to 1851 and 1868, the struggle is happening today with current military tactics being deployed utilizing horrible weapons of war on Water Protectors.

The current Thanksgiving spread this year isn’t very delicious but quite deadly.  The Thanksgiving meal being served by law enforcement from seven different states consists of concussion grenades, chemical mace, rubber bullets, rifles, water cannons — a militarized police force complete with a 1151 up-armored Humvee.  All of this to handle peaceful and prayerful protectors for our mother earth.

And what is a meal without something to drink.  The Indigenous Peoples are protecting their right to water.  Lake Oahe, the source of drinking water for the people, will have a pipeline running underneath it if the construction continues.  Interestingly enough, another town, Bismarck,  stopped the same pipeline for the same reason.  Of course, check out the ethnic makeup of the people there and the answer is quite red and white for all to see.  What are we doing in 2016?

Water vs. oil is how this breaks down. We all love gravy at Thanksgiving.  However, Energy Transfer Partners plan will choke the people just wanting to be left alone with their uncontaminated water on their homeland.

Water vs. oil is how this breaks down. We all love gravy at Thanksgiving.  However, Energy Transfer Partners plan will choke the people just wanting to be left alone with their uncontaminated water on their homeland.

The Standing Rock Sioux Reservation was created with Treaty of Fort Laramie in 1868. The creation of reservations is bad enough as a chapter in our history. The continuing confiscation and chipping away of treaty land is inexcusable.  The plots of land were deemed as wastelands with nothing worthwhile.  However, the decimation and displacement along with further division of land marches on with military force being utilized in the name of progress and modernization.

The severity of crowd controlling weapons to crack down on peaceful Water Protectors is beyond problematic. It puts a mirror up to our current country showing nothing short of racist, profit-pursuing over indigenous peoples demanding dignity.

LaDonna Brave Bull Allard put out the call on April 1 and it’s no joke.  Since April 1, the fourth world of indigenous peoples have arrived in solidarity from every corner of every continent to challenge the current black snake slithering through the heartland of America. A simple prayer camp along the Cannonball River next to the Missouri River now symbolizes the continued practices of prejudices for centuries against Indigenous Peoples. However, Indigenous peoples remain peaceful and dignified in their defiance.  The 1,170 mile project would transport 470,000 barrels of crude oil from North Dakota to Illinois.  Besides threatening the peoples water source, it also denies sacred sites and destroys  burial grounds

The cavalry is coming. Only this time they are coming in peace and to stand with Indigenous peoples. Veterans Stand for Standing Rock is organizing a 2,000 plus peaceful militia to deter future intimidation and the savage assaults carried out by the Sheriff Unit.  As Michael A. Wood, a former police officer and veteran, said, “If we’re going to be heroes. If we’re really going to be those veterans that this country praises, well, then we need to do the things that we actually said we’re gong to do when we took the oath to defend the Constitution from enemies foreign and domestic.”

It is appropriate finally as First Nations have served and protected at a greater percentage than any other segment of society in the United States Armed Forces. The cavalry call is ” to prevent progress on the Dakota Access Pipeline and draw national attention to the human rights warriors of the Sioux tribes.”

Looking at the history of the country, all the Indigenous peoples have received for their generosity and giving was genocide.

During the time embodied in Thanksgiving folklore, the immigrants arriving were in pitiful place unable to provide basic necessities including food.  The Wampanoag nation nurtured the Pilgrims at another rock –Plymouth Rock — sharing their giving philosophy. The spirit of sharing is still at the heart of the holiday; however, it is buried under piles of stuffing and pursuit of material stuff.  The story of survivance should inspire all to recalculate one’s role in the United States of America and everywhere on earth.  Indigenous peoples provide lots of wisdom and practical ways to live in our world.

The Wompanoag had lived in what became Massachusetts for over 12,000 years and were not the only generous nations sharing with settlers.  Today, a delegation of chefs and Code Pink peace protestors from the East Coast are serving up two scoops of justice and awareness of the atrocities.

Code Pink and Chefs understand it’s the Indigenous people that deserve a great deal for always being on the front lines with generosity and guidance for what really matters most in the world.   Judy Wicks, owner of White Dog Cafe points out, “We are rushing toward our own extinction because of climate change.  Native Americans showed early settlers how to cultivate the crops needed to survive. Now, once again, they’re the ones pointing the way toward the survival of civilization.”

Indigenous peoples have been in Standing Rock and everywhere in America and were better caretakers of the land as well protecting it from devastation and destruction respecting the reciprocal relationship.

U.S. Veterans and Code Pink are the representatives to break bread and show some descendants of pilgrims learned how to return the favor and support the practice of sharing and caring for one another.  Earlier actions included bringing solar panels to the camp to provide light instead of sheriff pressure.

The returning of generosity, not genocide, must be how we all continue in this country. It’s Thanksgiving America.  Remember history.  F#*k the turkey. It’s time to hour the treaties.  Pass the human rights please grandma. It’s not time for a damn parade.  It’s time for peace for indigenous peoples. it’s Thanksgiving, it’s the least we can serve up for everything done.

The Army Corps of Engineers just issued order to leave.  This is the same professional group that built five damns on their homeland submerging 200,000 acres to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the treaty.   The new cavalry in the bravery business are determined to stand up against continued human rights abuses. The transgenerational trauma must end now with new era of tolerance and trust.

Of all national holidays, this one should consider the historical context  and hope for genuine peace and human rights to guide our decision-making instead of national greed and progress with perpetual genocide.

Of course, there was still a Cowboys versus Redskins (no less) football game on Thanksgiving.  We do still have a long way to go to get it right.

Mni Wiconi.  Water is life.

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