National rights

Craven, Jim jcraven at
Wed Aug 25 09:54:51 MDT 1999

James Craven
Clark College, 1800 E. McLoughlin Blvd.
Vancouver, WA. 98663
(360) 992-2283; Fax: (360) 992-2863
blkfoot5 at
*My Employer Has No Association With My Private/Protected Opinion*

Jim Monaghan wrote:

The Blackfeet in the USA and Canada may not be a viable nation but there
are rights as a people they are entitled to under any democratic norm and
especially under the extension of democracy that I believe is Socialism.

Oh for a debate on nationalism and oppressed groups that covers all the
Jim Monaghan


We are a "nation" by all the conventional criteria of a "nation" (an
aggregate of people who share: 1)Common territory and historical territorial
base; 2)common language, 3)common economic life, 4)common culture, 5) common
history, 6) common political institutions

These criteria also allow for "nations" within "nations". But in the case of
Pikanii (Blackfoot) and other nations, just as in the case of the
development of underdevelopment, and imperialism in general, with an
inexorable and dialectical relationship between "wealth" at the core and
misery on the periphery, Blackfoot and other nations cannot survive as
nations as "dependent captive nations"; in other words, it is integration
not separation that has compromised the "viability" and survival of the
Pikanii and other Indigenous nations. This system, historically and in the
present, has made it clear that "nations within nations" will not be
tolerated and that Indigenous Peoples and Nations will be exterminated
either by direct military extermination or through "indirect" means:
dope, alcohol, forced assimilation (Schools), abductions/adoptions, tribal
corruption, miserable conditions feeding crime and death, diseases
untreated, redefinition of "Indianness" through blood-quantum rules, corrupt
trusteeships of BIA/DIA and like agencies in other areas with Indigenous
Peoples, broken treaties, stolen lands, forgery/fraud in land sales and
de-Indianization of Tribal lands, etc etc...

For Pikanii Peoples and for those Tribes and Nations bordering the US and
Canada there are added problems in that our historical land base and even
Reservations/Reserves are contiguous across the border of two "nations" US
and Canada such that the existence and "sovereignty" of these two nations,
and their own laws for protecting their respective territories, plus the
fact that only one of them recognizes the Jay Treaty, causes further
divisions between and destruction of Tribes of the historically whole
Pikanii or Blackfoot Nation. Under all the International Law, Conventions
against Genocide, the Vienna Convention and general principles of
internation law that both the US and Canada assert as legitimate in order to
assert their own nationhood and sovereignty, Pikanni and other Indigenous
Nations, recognized as nations through Treaties (nations do not sign
treaties with individual citizens or even groups of citizens of their own
nation), possess the same unalienable rights of national sovereignty and
self-determination. Indigenous nations need only apply the non-Indigenous
nations "own sacreds" (which really scares the hell out of them, not that
they mind hypocrisy, but they do have a sense of contradicitons undermining
their own asserted principles of legitimacy)but they have additional
fundamental and universally-recognized principles confirming nationhood and
rights of sovereignty and self-determination.

The fact is that without total separation, destruction of all trustee
relationships, reparations payments for genocide etc, there will be no
"nations within a nation" or even distinguishable Indigenous Peoples within
three to four generations. Clinton recently met with Tribal Chairmen of the
Dakota and Montana tribes. Among them I can tell you from first-hand
knowledge, were two individuals--and probably much more--involved in
corruption, murder, theft of Indian lands, wholesale looting of Tribal
treasuries, narcotics trafficking etc and the Feds knew/know it well and
Clinton of course had access to all of it. They do nothing about it because
they are committed to dealing with the "Indian problem" and taking the most
precious and mineral-rich lands through the new/not-so-new forms of
"Infected Blankets" available and corrupt and sell-out Indians are central
to that strategy. To suggest that Indigenous Nations fight for or accept
anything less than total sovereignty/self-determination is like asking the
Jew or Roma or anti-fascist to accept a ride in the train to an "unknown"
destination from the nazi.

Jim Craven

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