Save Oak Flat: Protect The Sacred

Oak Flat, another story of many in which the federal government is trying to destruct a sacred site in the name of profit. Now we all know this story, these stories pop up in our movies, books, and other media. In those stories, we are taught that money and greed does no good to a person’s soul. We feel bad for the good guys who are trying their best to fight a corporation. Of course, to make the story good there is a long and hard carried out fight, however the good guys always win. Greed and evil do not prosper in the stories of Western media. So why can we not have those same successes in real life; for land that matters for fights that are happening right now? The extraction and destruction of a sacred site is deep especially looking at it as a continuation of the forced colonization of indigenous people. The space the Apache holds sacred has songs and stories tied to that spot. There is knowledge, food, relationships, and space that exist in Oak Flat. Just the other day my brother and I picked a few wild onions and Cholla buds to make a nice vegan dish for our family. My younger brothers and sisters are Yavapai/Apache on their dad side. I always encourage them to get involved and to develop a relationship with the land. How can they do that when the government rather gives it away for billions of dollars that I am sure my siblings will not see one penny? Nevertheless, they will face endless harm on their culture and identity because Oak Flat is one less sacred place that will be available for them and their future generations. Just like San Francisco peak, the Verde Valley, and the depletion of the Verde River. Soon enough there will be nothing for my brothers and sisters to have any ties to the land. That pisses me off.

The words on the paper will never be able to scream out the anger and pain I feel. My only hope is that many will see the words and feel the same pain or have felt the same pain and are tired of it. All over indigenous land, which is the entire world, is facing destruction. Day by day inherent knowledge is being lost because elected authoritarian figures feel we need more capitalism and more opportunities to waste our precious minds on entertainment that takes us away from what really matters. Water, air, land, culture, memories, family, our neighbors that is what matters; knowing that I can give birth in a world that honors the stories and knowledge of the land so my future generations can flourish, that is what matters. Yes, Betsey Johnson, Coach, Dolce and Gabana make some nice shit. Yes, going to the movies or concerts are fun. And yes, sitting down watching reality TV with a big bowl of gluttony sounds like a relaxing time. However, that shit won’t last and when there is no more water to power your electricity or no more gas to ship in the latest trends, or no more beautiful natural spots to escape, you will then realize you should have done something sooner.

Lets stand behind the Apaches in their fight for their sacred land and lets all start mobilizing and stand in solidarity with the fighters who are trying their very best to create a sustainable world for all of us. Let’s not compete anymore, let’s not try to prove ourselves anymore, that can only take place when our Earth is not in pain. But we have a crisis here and I am sure if you were facing the same threat to something that means so much to you, I am sure you would want the world on your side. If we come together as one community, I am sure corruption will step back and we can have a successful story just like the movies.

Here is a link to the Saving Oak Flat Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Saving-OAK-FLAT-Campground/202998493114242

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The Fist

Heart is heavy, explained by genetic memory linked with stolen sisters and taken brothers.

Decolonize and realize that in civility reality becomes a fallacy, forced into this mentality, inferior to the superior, stories with white heros, taught by monsters who have mimosas during games of golf.

While I waste my time trying to understand why traditions like Thankstaking still stand on native land, and as we yell racism making accusations creating noise that destroys the real issue.

A ploy from UNLEARNING white is right; and that dark/ an exotic space meant to be explored, exploited, expendable.

Well, the people have you had enough? You learned their forked tongue and learned their tactics, have you had ENOUGH.

Solidarity means more than sincerity. Commitment to action to people; freedom from evil.

Don’t reason with the weasel. Rise with the eagle.

Colonization

Some would say colonization does not exist anymore. I chuckled when I heard that. Yes, the monster of colonization has morphed into new tactics since WWII, and now new names have been created to explain these new markers such as neo-liberalism, settler-colonialism, and globalization. Settler-colonialism is in some ways more dangerous than colonization; similar to a deathly invisible and odorless gas. Settler-colonialism is difficult to detect because our own indigenous people are crossing over down into the rabbit hole of assimilation and they don’t even have a problem with still calling themselves native. Discussion about identity, enrollment, gender roles, normalization of certain acts all come into question. Another indicator is that settler-colonizers will now proclaim that settler-colonization does not exist because it ended a long time ago. As long as exploitation, a sense of othering, injustice, and patriarchy continues then colonization will continue.

All species have been affected by colonization. The diverse species of food is going extinct because of GMO’s and industries such as Monsanto. People and living entities are now being patented, which is the most insane act a person can do. Human’s, settler-colonialist, are now taking the act of creation in their own hands and are messing with the natural order and are playing God. When I say God I do not in any way mean Christianity, I am referring to the force that ensures that humanity can enjoy another day on earth. Messing with the possibilities of DNA is the new “frontier” and will eventually be destroyed; just like the land that needed to be discovered during the time of the Frontier Thesis by Frederick Jackson Turner was written.

Now in 2015 we see so much of our earth and people are being threatened by authorities that have agenda based off the spirits of greed and exploitation. We as the people of this earth need to put a stop to this atrocity and put our foot down as authorities of the land. Corporations and politicians are afraid of the people when organization happens without the authorities that identify themselves as formal leaders. If we let destruction continue on we will have no future for our grandchildren. A colonial mind is a disease and is more destructive that any disease they treat in a hospital because it keeps an individual from being a good relative to not only other humans but to the land as well. A colonial mind creates this false reality that an individual is separate from the world around the. This separation allows them to destroy the land and being able to have a good nights rest right after.

If you want to read more about the colonial mind I suggest you check out the work done by Dr. Michael Yellow Bird who is a professor at North Dakota State University. Also a good book to read that discusses the relationship between the colonizer and colonized is a book by Albert Memmi titled “The Colonizer and the Colonized.”

Warning: exploitation of Indigenous identity

We are in a time where we have to be cautious of the people who claim an Indigenous identity. Sometimes we have to questions ourselves when we claim an Indigenous identity. Why? Well there are benefits associated with certain groups, such as federally recognized Indians, which through treatise are promised healthcare, grants for education, and the incentives of living on reservations. If one is able to comprehend, these “benefits” continue to ensure genocide and “kill the Indian and save the man” methods of destroying the ideologies of traditional Indigenous societies.

These benefits, provided by institutions, continue to damage Indian people. Doctors at Indian Health Service would do cesarean section on women because they would get paid more for these operations. Indian Health Service would also sterilize Indian women without their consent (http://cbhd.org/content/forced-sterilization-native-americans-late-twentieth-century-physician-cooperation-national-). Indian Education is no better, this agency rather spend money forcing an ineffective method of teaching over finding innovative methods to meet children’s needs.

No matter what these incentives do not tell the story of survival Indigenous people deal with in their day to day interaction with society. Growing up as an Indian one realizes that this world was not made for us. It was made by and for white-straight-Christian-males.

However, there are new incentives of identifying as Indigenous, Native, Indian, First Nations, Aboriginal and it serves the idea of settler-colonialism. Settler-colonialism has not received much attention until recently and it discusses the idea of colonialist identifying as native because they develop stories of a certain space over time.

Being in the American Indian Studies field for six years I myself have to question what is an Indigenous identity? It changes across location and now it even changes among individuals. There are legal, biological, cultural, self-identification definitions of an Indigenous person; no wonder why we are so confused as to who and what we are. I say to hell with all those definitions.

There is nothing wrong with all Indigenous nations coming together and developing a space of discussing common goals, cues, and guidelines of what it means to be Indigenous. We must reclaim our histories, identities, lives, and space so future generations can start to live. I read a quote in a book, which I cannot remember but always sticks with me, and it states “We (Indigenous people) are not living we are merely surviving.” I guess a good place to find the answer of your identity as Indigenous is whether or not you agree with the quote.

This distorts the perception of Indigenous women. In North America 1 in 3 Indian women will be raped and a majority of those crimes are by non-Indian men.

This distorts the perception of Indigenous women. In North America 1 in 3 Indian women will be raped and a majority of those crimes are by non-Indian men. Not to mention imagine the damage this does to Indigenous children.

This is what real Indigenous women look like. Our people are not costumes.

This is what real Indigenous women look like. Our people are not costumes.

My Idle No More experience

#IdleNoMore has gained attention from all over the world. I took the opportunity to attend the Los Angeles #IdleNoMore protest at the Canadian Embassy on 12/21/12. It was my first protest and I got to share this experience with my little sister. At this time I didn’t know much about #IdleNoMore except that it mainly concerned First Nation Canadians.

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Once I got back in AZ there was a Round Dance Flash Mob being held at Arizona Mills Mall in Tempe. I was excited because I saw a picture of the Edmonton mall RDFM and felt privileged that it is taking place in AZ. http://youtu.be/RyFtIuponuc This link will take you to my video that my sister shot at the RDFM.  Overall the experience was short and entertaining.

After that RDFM I then attended the Tempe Marketplace RDFM, Metro Center Mall RDFM, Scottsdale Fashion Square RDFM, Downtown PHX rally, and New Years Eve Round Dance on Mill Ave.

I then had the honor of planning the RDFM at Westgate during the Fiesta Bowl and the IdleNoMore Potluck social at the Puente building. After the potluck a core group of us collaborated with Puente and held a Art party so we can make signs for upcoming protest.

One event that wasn’t successful was the 2nd RDFM at Scottsdale Fashion Square. I was one of the host, however did not partake in planning the event. The other host told me she got permission to have the RDFM at Fashion Square again, however when we got there the Mall manager and security threatened to have us arrested. And the other issue is that the drummers cancelled last minute.

Leading an event is something I prefer not do I rather be that person that shows up and participates. Organizing is a lot of responsibility and hard work. People become organizers because they are really passionate about a cause so that’s the reason why I obligated myself to become an organizer for some of the #IdleNoMore events in AZ.

I learned a lot and have met many awesome, good, smart, funny, giving, humble individuals that will have a lasting impact on my life. I will forever be thankful for the Idle No More movement because it helped me find my voice, helped create a space for discussion on environmental and human rights issues and created a sense of community among the Indigenous people of the Phoenix metropolitan area.

#IdleNoMore RDFM at Westgate during the Fiesta Bowl

#IdleNoMore RDFM at Westgate during the Fiesta Bowl

This is the #IdleNoMore round dance on New Years Eve at Arizona Mills Ave
This is the #IdleNoMore round dance on New Years Eve at Arizona Mills Ave

This is another shot of the #IdleNoMore event on Mill Ave

This is another shot of the #IdleNoMore event on Mill Ave

This is the #IdleNoMore rally at the Downtown Phoenix Civic Center

This is the #IdleNoMore rally at the Downtown Phoenix Civic Center

 

Sorry for the inconvenience I’m trying to save Mother Earth

How can we own our mother? How can we divide her up and put a profit on her? Has she not done enough? Has she not given man all the necessary tools to live life? Why must mankind continue to over consume the finite resources our planet holds?

These are some of the few questions a continuously ponder upon. These questions are why I decided to start a blog. As a marginalized voice located in another marginalized voice there are not many resources for women of color to get their voice heard. The above questions are something every human-being should consider because it is our species that is ruining the planet for all the other life forces that depend on the planet.

Indigenous people all over the world are vastly different though they do share similar portraits of forced assimilation and they also have comparable values relating to kinships. That is why it is vital Indigenous people across the globe unite and use their marginalized voice to make an impact. Many Indigenous people feel we don’t have a choice anymore, we either have to save the world now or say our last goodbye.

Tell a child their limits are endless and the might choose saving the world as an occupation. I know that’s what I decided on.