If you know the basics of American Indian Studies then you know all to well that the Bureau of Indian Affairs was originally placed under the war department. Comes to show the initial relationship boundaries America was setting forth with the indigenous people of Turtle Island. The truth is that America committed genocide against my people and all indigenous people of North America. Genocide was necessary in the colonizer eyes because it was the most efficient method at acquiring land and resources. Turtle Island was land never intended for private ownership, because how can you own your mother? There were territory rights but not enough to go and put imaginary lines that cut through sacred land and sites of cultural significance.
Military and war ended up being the go to strategy back then and even today. So this brings me to the point of this blog, that BIA needs to recognize the trust relationship and uphold the law put in place. I traveled to Tuba City to go drop off a friend at Navajo Mountain. My front headlight was out and so it gave the BIA cop ample opportunity to pull me over. He quickly went to me side and asked for the basic license, registration, and insurance; I did what I was told. He then said he smelt Marijuana in my car and asked if there were any he should no about. I simple said, “No.” He told me to get out and without asking for my permission he went ahead and started searching with another BIA cop, D. Martin. Because it was in January and I was already peeved that I had to come all the way to Navajo Nation and since I knew they would not find anything in there I just kept my mouth shut.
D. Martin was your typical power tripping cop, I had my fair share of these insecure people that I don’t put up with it. He was upset because this overweight man was really huffing and puffing because they searched everywhere in my car. He tried to scare me by saying they were going to bring a drug dog. Apparently it scared my friend and so he admitted to having a grinder in his duffle bag. I rolled my eyes because they would have never found it if you didn’t fall for their scare tactics. Martin came up to my face and was said, “Oh so you are a liar because there is marijuana in your car.” When he pulled me aside and tried to get me to confess to nothing it was apparent he had no respect for me or my belongings. He said he was going to take me to federal prison because he found what he was looking for.
I asked to see the evidence and all he showed me was a metal circle device things. I said, “What is that.”
He said, “A grinder.”
I said, “I don’t know what that is but it don’t look like marijuana.”
He said, “You put marijuana inside it.”
I said, “I want to see it, then.”
He tried to open it and explain how a grinder is used.
I said, “Hmmm I don’t see any marijuana inside of it so I guess you are the liar now.”
He got upset and I said, “If you are threatening me by taking me to prison then I have a right to see the evidence you are booking me on and as far as I am concerned that is not marijuana it is a metal container that I have no knowledge of.”
At that point he was beyond mad and said, “We are not like those Navajo cops, we are federal and I have no problem taking you to federal prison.” At that point he put handcuffs on me and put me inside the vehicle.
As I sat inside the much warmer vehicle I over heard the deep rez accent dispatcher say, “Oh and that canine got loose, you know the new one we got.”
So I knew Martin was full of shit and ended up being the liar he was accusing me of. When the searched and searched and found nothing Martin came to get me out and you can tell he wanted to discuss my behavior. He ended up telling him, “All I want is respect, same as you. And it is really hard to give respect with the way you are treating me. I also told him that I expect this behavior because the majority of cops I dealt with have authority issues.
They way Martin treated me was unnecessary and if he is treating me with such disrespect I wonder how many other brothers and sisters had to deal with this unjust treatment. There is no need to treat people as if their are inferior and stupid and is time it end. BIA is unnecessary now more than ever and if this trust relationship is to ever work they need to make non-natives take training on how to treat natives with respect.