[Marxism] How Each Side Sees The Other Side [Native views -- and Anglo business views]

Hunter Gray hunterbadbear at earthlink.net
Fri Aug 27 06:58:51 MDT 2004


How Each Side Sees The Other Side [Native views and Anglo business views]

Note by Hunter Bear: [at www.hunterbear.org]

It's almost always tough to be an Indian in the City -- where economic
privation and interpersonal alienation can be rough and such Anglo values as
cut throat competition and conflict frequently clash directly with the basic
Native cultural ethos of communalism, cooperation and service to one's
Indian community.  As long as there have been essentially Anglo cities in
the Hemisphere, some Natives have been entering them -- almost always for
primarily economic reasons.  But in the early and mid '50s, the Federal
government launched its general, reactionary attack on the pretty much
excellent FDR/John Collier Indian New Deal. [The Feds and a great many
corporations sought to end Federal Indian services and steal remaining
Indian land and resources -- goals that are far from abandoned though they
have become more subtle.] They launched treaty-breaking efforts under the
label "Termination," delegated much Federal jurisdiction to some states
under Public Law 280 -- and, using a stick and carrot [economic poverty on
the reservations and empty promises] approach in "Urban Relocation,"
maneuvered many, many tens of thousands of Natives into the cities where
they were dumped into poverty minus Federal Indian services.  Most tribes
resisted the hideous "Termination" and that policy was ended in the JFK
administration [but justice to those tribes so affected has been very slow
and paltry].  PL280 was primarily "contained" by Natives and their allies
[and is being very slowly reversed on a piece-meal basis where it did
occur]. And Urban Relocation formally ended a generation ago.  But, given
the still frequently poor economic situation on the reservations, many
Indians continue to come into the cities and the "urban Indian" population
in the 'States [and Canada] is extremely large.  And, as I say, it is
tangibly and psychologically tough for Native people in those settings.

Most Natives in the City [whichever city is involved] have stayed pretty
concentrated in a fairly specific geographical area therein, long ago
developed urban Indian Centers and urban activist programs, and -- staunchly
resisting assimilation -- have successfully maintained their primary
commitment to tribal and ethnic identity.

At the beginning of the '70s, Chicago had a growing Native population of
about 25,000 with 100 tribes represented.  A number of us, with backing from
several major church denominations and liberal foundations, launched the
successful all-Indian Native American Community Organizational Training
Center -- of which I was privileged to serve as Chair for a number of years
[I lived at Chicago and then at nearby Iowa City, eventually moving to
Upstate New York.]  It trained many Natives from an activist perspective.
See http://www.hunterbear.org/training%20center.htm

Once, at our Center, eight Anglo business leaders met our trainees [who were
from various tribal nations]  -- and everyone discussed stereotypes.  This
list emerged [serving as the basis for a long article which I wrote and
which appeared in Integrated Education [U Mass] July, 1981, a journal which
had, among its editors, Sioux activist and writer, Vine Deloria, Jr.]  In my
long piece, I agreed in detail with my Native brothers and sisters and took
sharp issue with the Anglo business views which are, of course, shared by
some segments [not all] of the general Euro-American population.  The
article was subsequently widely used, including by a great many church
activists including Jesuits.]

"How Each Side Sees The Other Side"

 Some Anglo business stereotypes of Native Americans:

1] Lazy -- not motivated to work
2] Savage or wild
3] Get drunk quickly or drink a lot
4] Lack sense of humor
5] Soft spoken or quiet
6] Have no money sense
7] Make little effort to get an education
8] Close to nature all the time
9] Adhere to "Indian time"
10] Most of the work they can do is associated with handicrafts
11] Want their land back
12] Wallow or live in the past
13] Always asking for handouts
14] Feel world owes them a living
15] Ostracize themselves by failing to blend into society
16] Lack of unity and tribal factionalism
17] Worship pagans

Some Native stereotypes of Anglo-Americans:

1] Not trustworthy or back-stabbing
2] Speak with forked tongue
3] Materialistic and money hungry
4] Greedy -- don't share with fellow man
5] Competition or power hungry
6] Evasive
7] Business oriented/selfish, self-centered
8] Narrow minded and prejudiced
9] Live by time clock
10] No respect for fellow man
11] Manipulate nature/have no respect for nature
12] Want others, especially minorities, to conform to their ideals
13] Fail to show equality in court
14] Hypocrisy in Christianity

As I say, I agree with my Native brothers and sisters -- and dispute the
Anglo business views.

Albuquerque Diné voice concerns, needs

By Levi J. Long
The Navajo Times  8/26/04

ALBUQUERQUE - The largest city in New Mexico is home to many Native
Americans. But for some urban Navajos, the city isn't proving to be the
Promised Land of milk and honey.

On Aug. 18, the Dineh Chapter of Albuquerque, a small group of Navajos who
live in the city, gathered at the local Indian Health Service hospital to
talk about issues and problems.

Getting better health care, assistance for housing, and more money for
scholarships and veterans are issues urban Indians face, said Norman Ration,
a spokesperson for the Dineh Chapter.

"Most of our group members left the reservation in search of better jobs and
education," Ration said. "Yet we still yearn for tradition and culture."

Ration and six other founding members of the chapter gather each month at
the Albuquerque Public Health Service Hospital (801 Vassar Dr. NE.) to talk
about how their group can get more members.
And finding them in the city might not be so hard.

In the 2000 Census, there were 6,958 Navajos residing in metropolitan
Albuquerque. And more Navajos keep moving to the city each year, Ration
said.

In July the chapter organized a community barbecue for Navajos who live in
Albuquerque. Feasting on mutton stew, roasted corn and frybread, the group
had a promising start with over 50 people attending.

"We're also trying to get recognition from the Navajo Nation," Ration said.
"As well as the city, state and federal government."

The group sent invitations to President Joe Shirley Jr. and Speaker of the
Council Lawrence Morgan and numerous council delegates. So far there haven't
been any visits yet.

Earlier that day the group also met with the state chair for the Kerry
campaign to talk about getting more funding for the PHS hospital.
"The meeting didn't go very well," Ration said. "Once the state chair found
out we weren't tribal representatives from the Navajo Nation, they didn't
take us seriously."

The group was started in May and came about as a collaboration of four other
Navajo groups in the city that had similar goals, said Frank Adakai, one of
the chapters founding members.

"We just combined everyone together," Adakai said.

The group said they're not trying to organize their own satellite chapter of
the Navajo Nation. Instead they want to focus on community outreach programs
and workshops for Navajos who live in the city.

Raquel Mull, a pastor with the United Methodist Church in Albuquerque, said
there are a lot of domestic violence cases involving Navajo families in the
city.

"But a lot of the times the legal system doesn't work for our people out
here," Mull said. She said that's why setting up some sort of domestic
violence help line or program is important.

Now the group is trying to raise funds from the Navajo government, city,
state and federal programs and hopes are high.

At a February meeting of the Phoenix Dine, Inc., Shirley, Morgan and Sen.
Albert Hale, D-Window Rock, gave a $449,000 grant to the urban Navajos who
live there. The Phoenix group had over 150 people at that meeting.

"So it can be done," Adakai said.
One of the major concerns the group deals with is getting counted in the
Navajo tribal rolls but not being able to get any of the benefits.

"We're enrolled with our chapters and with the Navajo Nation, but we're not
getting any thing," Ration said. "Yet they count us. But then they say, too
bad, you left, you can't get any benefits."

Johnny Belone, a member of the group, said there are also a lot of homeless
Navajos on the street.

"They're seen wandering around without anyplace to go," Belone said. "Those
are the people we're concerned about. Who's going to look after them if not
us?"

Fraternally and In Solidarity -

Hunter Bear [formerly John R Salter Jr]

HUNTER GRAY  [HUNTER BEAR]   Micmac /St. Francis Abenaki/St. Regis Mohawk
www.hunterbear.org
Protected by Na´shdo´i´ba´i´
and Ohkwari'

In our Gray Hole, the ghosts often dance in the junipers and sage, on the
game trails, in the tributary canyons with the thick red maples, and on the
high windy ridges -- and they dance from within the very essence of our own
inner being. They do this especially when the bright night moon shines down
on the clean white snow that covers the valley and its surroundings.  Then
it is as bright as day -- but in an always soft and mysterious and
remembering way. [Hunter Bear]

















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