It's true that the Original North Americans and people of the Western Civilization culture have completely different world views. It's also true that folks in Western culture are unconsciously acting out the belief paradigms of their culture. They take these unspoken, unwritten beliefs and rules as essentially a given for everyone. It's not their fault, really. It's all they've been exposed to. And, just given the dynamics of Western culture, independent thought and behavior is not exactly encouraged. Actually, it seems to be frowned upon, and especially since it is a hiearchal society, people are socialized to not question those in positions of authority over them. Being different generally is accompanied by costs to social status. I think it's fine if people want to work within the system of Federal Indian Law in order to work for change for the better, as long as they understand the big picture that you are continually reminding everyone of, which is it being in the context of one culture controlling another. I think keeping that perspective in mind is very important, for many reasons. One of the most important reasons is it gives Native People the ability to create their own definition of themselves, which you provide great examples for us to think about and choose from. People giving themselves permission to create their own images of themselves, rather than allowing a currently dominant culture to do it for them, is very empowering. Giving oneself the gift of freedom of thought, completely independent of the thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes of others, is true sovereignty.
Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - 00:31