Something is a law when people have the ability to either persuade other people to follow their laws, or have the ability to enforce the laws through police, courts, or military. So, even though it is unconstitutional to violate the law of separation of church and state, unless those with the ability to enforce this law choose to enforce it, which in this case would be towards themselves, I think it's not likely to change. I think one thing we could perhaps change is how we address the issue. I think it's good and useful to be knowledgeable about federal indian law. But, maybe it's even more important to become experts and scholars of out own traditional native law. For example, traditionally, native americans did not accept the idea that you could "own" the land anymore than you could "own" the sky. Yet, for understandable reasons, many of the native tribes have gone to federal and state courts to sue over land "rights". In some sense, we are adopting the Christian-European/and Euroamerican ideology of "owning" parts of our Mother Earth. When we do this, we are in a sense, invalidating our own cultural concepts and beliefs. Maybe instead we could assert that as children of the Creator and Mother Earth, we believe we have the inherent right to live in a clean and safe environment, to obtain what we need to live directly from Mother Earth, and that we have the right to live harmoniously with all other Human Beings. So, instead of approaching the problem from a position of subordination by addressing the issue within the context of another culture's perspective, we could approach the issues from a position of equality by discussing and negotiating the problems from our own cultural perspective. This might also facilitate a better understanding on the part of the other culture as to where we are coming from.
Monday, September 12, 2011 - 17:29