Blackfoot Struggle

Craven, Jim jcraven at
Mon Aug 26 17:10:08 MDT 2002

I knew it was about to get surreal as soon as I hit the Blackfeet Rez at
Browning. At the rental car place, on Blackfeet land at East Glacier (I do
not use family Rez cars as any accident would be catastrophic economically),
in a glass case for sale, were "genuine former Soviet vodka flasks",
stainless steel, with a portrait of Lenin on the cap and either a "KGB
crest" or one with a "hammer and sickle" on a "red star" surrounded by a
"wreath" and the emblem of some supposed "elite" division of the soviet
army. I bought the one with the "hammer and sickle" and "red star" for
$22.95. Of course the irony did not escape me: Selling flasks for booze to
customers renting their cars? Was this a trick to weed out commie drunks? Is
this some kind of test by the local FBI to weed out potential radicals? Were
they selling flasks to see which potential drunks might be interested in
additional insurance sold by another of their companies?

A new tribal chairman at Browning, whom I know to be honest, was signalling
a new day for the Blackfeet Tribe at Browning. All sorts of corrupt
sell-outs were being fired and replaced by those known to be honest and
uncorruptable. Time will tell how much change the BIA and U.S. government
will "tolerate" as they have been able to do genocide only with the active
complicity of many sell-out Indians.

Off to Blackfoot Country at Cardston (Kainai Blackfoot) and Brocket
(Apatohsipiikani, Blackfoot) Alberta.
At Brocket, on supposed "Treaty 7" lands, Blackfoot loggers had been
restricted to small "enclaves" while white logging comanies like the Johnson
Brothers roamed freely all over the Rez clear cutting the shit out of
everything they touched. One of the Blackfoot, along with his family, had
had his equipment and logs seized in the Porqupine Hills, one of the oldest
and most sacred parts of historical Blackfoot terrtories. A decision was
made to take it back through mass action and CBC, CTV and the print media
were contacted to cover our action.

Hereditary Chiefs, Blackfoot Edlers, male and female, and Blackfoot
activists converged on the place. We waited for the media and then began to
cut off all the timber impound notices nailed to the impounded logs and then
took seized equipment and began to continue logging on film. All who were
there, and that included 70+-year-old Blackfoot women and men expected, RCMP
action against us and to go to jail. The RCMP did not show up, nor did
anyone from the Alberta Government, knowing that we are ready to stand and
litigate as well as assert (not ask for) our exiting rights to sovereignty,
independence and self-determination of a Sovereign Nation. The usual
traitors in the DIA-run offices did not show up but did take the "daring"
step of issuing a dateless (and therefore unusable) "Tribal Resolution" that
we were within our traiditonal and legal rights to log whenever, wherever on
"Tribal lands" without any permission from any agency of the Canadian
government. We made the point that genocide is a multi-headed/dimensional
creature and that these restrictions on logging were but a part of a broader
pattern and plan of genocide; none of the reporters had ever heard of, let
alone read, the 1948 UN Convention on Genocide until we informed them of its

More will follow.

Jim Craven

James Craven
(Blackfoot Name: "Omahkohkiaayo-i'poyi-inaa")
Professor/Consultant Economics; Division (Business) Chairman;
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

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