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Whose Land?

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posted on Dec, 14 2009 @ 07:54 AM
How long will we base our worldview on violence? We take what isn't ours and leave no time for regeneration. Have we forgotten how our environmentally peaceful Native American brothers fell to defend a homeland they didn't even claim to "OWN"? What happened to the sacred lands that once existed here? Will we continue to discriminate as more "illegal aliens" come and settle in "OUR" lands? Whose lands are these? For how long will we live under this illusion? Let us remember our history and not base our future on the shortcomings of murderers.

posted on Dec, 14 2009 @ 08:01 AM
The biggest difference between native americans and white americans is that native americans don't beleive they own the land, they beleive the land "owns" them.

But what a difference that attitude makes.

As for what lands are sacred, the natives felt that all land was sacred, not just this or that spot because it happened to be exceptionally beautiful.

By extension they also believed all life was sacred. We (white americans) can do the same thing, we're not conditioned to think that way but we still can, it's a conscious decision that anyone can make.

[edit on 14-12-2009 by Asktheanimals]

posted on Dec, 14 2009 @ 08:08 AM
This is very true, I think that the sacred exists; we just need to acknowledge it. Without this environment, this planet, or this continent, we wouldn't exist. We should be thankful for what we have and share with one another.

posted on Dec, 14 2009 @ 08:21 AM
There is a speech attributed to the great Chief Si'ahl, otherwise known as Chief Seattle. While there is much controversy over the speech and there are various versions of the speech, it is a worthwhile read. The speech was reportedly given in 1854 as a sort of concession speech to the white man, and the version I offer ATS readers was printed in the Seattle Sunday Star on October 29, 1887:

Yonder sky that has wept tears of compassion upon my people for centuries untold, and which to us appears changeless and eternal, may change. Today is fair. Tomorrow it may be overcast with clouds. My words are like the stars that never change. Whatever Seattle says, the great chief at Washington can rely upon with as much certainty as he can upon the return of the sun or the seasons. The white chief says that Big Chief at Washington sends us greetings of friendship and goodwill. This is kind of him for we know he has little need of our friendship in return. His people are many. They are like the grass that covers vast prairies. My people are few. They resemble the scattering trees of a storm-swept plain. The great, and I presume -- good, White Chief sends us word that he wishes to buy our land but is willing to allow us enough to live comfortably. This indeed appears just, even generous, for the Red Man no longer has rights that he need respect, and the offer may be wise, also, as we are no longer in need of an extensive country.

There was a time when our people covered the land as the waves of a wind-ruffled sea cover its shell-paved floor, but that time long since passed away with the greatness of tribes that are now but a mournful memory. I will not dwell on, nor mourn over, our untimely decay, nor reproach my paleface brothers with hastening it, as we too may have been somewhat to blame.

Youth is impulsive. When our young men grow angry at some real or imaginary wrong, and disfigure their faces with black paint, it denotes that their hearts are black, and that they are often cruel and relentless, and our old men and old women are unable to restrain them. Thus it has ever been. Thus it was when the white man began to push our forefathers ever westward. But let us hope that the hostilities between us may never return. We would have everything to lose and nothing to gain. Revenge by young men is considered gain, even at the cost of their own lives, but old men who stay at home in times of war, and mothers who have sons to lose, know better.

Our good father in Washington--for I presume he is now our father as well as yours, since King George has moved his boundaries further north--our great and good father, I say, sends us word that if we do as he desires he will protect us. His brave warriors will be to us a bristling wall of strength, and his wonderful ships of war will fill our harbors, so that our ancient enemies far to the northward -- the Haidas and Tsimshians -- will cease to frighten our women, children, and old men. Then in reality he will be our father and we his children. But can that ever be? Your God is not our God! Your God loves your people and hates mine! He folds his strong protecting arms lovingly about the paleface and leads him by the hand as a father leads an infant son. But, He has forsaken His Red children, if they really are His. Our God, the Great Spirit, seems also to have forsaken us. Your God makes your people wax stronger every day. Soon they will fill all the land. Our people are ebbing away like a rapidly receding tide that will never return. The white man's God cannot love our people or He would protect them. They seem to be orphans who can look nowhere for help. How then can we be brothers? How can your God become our God and renew our prosperity and awaken in us dreams of returning greatness? If we have a common Heavenly Father He must be partial, for He came to His paleface children. We never saw Him. He gave you laws but had no word for His red children whose teeming multitudes once filled this vast continent as stars fill the firmament. No; we are two distinct races with separate origins and separate destinies. There is little in common between us.

To us the ashes of our ancestors are sacred and their resting place is hallowed ground. You wander far from the graves of your ancestors and seemingly without regret. Your religion was written upon tablets of stone by the iron finger of your God so that you could not forget. The Red Man could never comprehend or remember it. Our religion is the traditions of our ancestors -- the dreams of our old men, given them in solemn hours of the night by the Great Spirit; and the visions of our sachems, and is written in the hearts of our people.

Your dead cease to love you and the land of their nativity as soon as they pass the portals of the tomb and wander away beyond the stars. They are soon forgotten and never return. Our dead never forget this beautiful world that gave them being. They still love its verdant valleys, its murmuring rivers, its magnificent mountains, sequestered vales and verdant lined lakes and bays, and ever yearn in tender fond affection over the lonely hearted living, and often return from the happy hunting ground to visit, guide, console, and comfort them.

Day and night cannot dwell together. The Red Man has ever fled the approach of the White Man, as the morning mist flees before the morning sun. However, your proposition seems fair and I think that my people will accept it and will retire to the reservation you offer them. Then we will dwell apart in peace, for the words of the Great White Chief seem to be the words of nature speaking to my people out of dense darkness.

It matters little where we pass the remnant of our days. They will not be many. The Indian's night promises to be dark. Not a single star of hope hovers above his horizon. Sad-voiced winds moan in the distance. Grim fate seems to be on the Red Man's trail, and wherever he will hear the approaching footsteps of his fell destroyer and prepare stolidly to meet his doom, as does the wounded doe that hears the approaching footsteps of the hunter.


posted on Dec, 14 2009 @ 08:21 AM
Speech by Chief Seattle Continued...

A few more moons, a few more winters, and not one of the descendants of the mighty hosts that once moved over this broad land or lived in happy homes, protected by the Great Spirit, will remain to mourn over the graves of a people once more powerful and hopeful than yours. But why should I mourn at the untimely fate of my people? Tribe follows tribe, and nation follows nation, like the waves of the sea. It is the order of nature, and regret is useless. Your time of decay may be distant, but it will surely come, for even the White Man whose God walked and talked with him as friend to friend, cannot be exempt from the common destiny. We may be brothers after all. We will see.

We will ponder your proposition and when we decide we will let you know. But should we accept it, I here and now make this condition that we will not be denied the privilege without molestation of visiting at any time the tombs of our ancestors, friends, and children. Every part of this soil is sacred in the estimation of my people. Every hillside, every valley, every plain and grove, has been hallowed by some sad or happy event in days long vanished. Even the rocks, which seem to be dumb and dead as the swelter in the sun along the silent shore, thrill with memories of stirring events connected with the lives of my people, and the very dust upon which you now stand responds more lovingly to their footsteps than yours, because it is rich with the blood of our ancestors, and our bare feet are conscious of the sympathetic touch. Our departed braves, fond mothers, glad, happy hearted maidens, and even the little children who lived here and rejoiced here for a brief season, will love these somber solitudes and at eventide they greet shadowy returning spirits. And when the last Red Man shall have perished, and the memory of my tribe shall have become a myth among the White Men, these shores will swarm with the invisible dead of my tribe, and when your children's children think themselves alone in the field, the store, the shop, upon the highway, or in the silence of the pathless woods, they will not be alone. In all the earth there is no place dedicated to solitude. At night when the streets of your cities and villages are silent and you think them deserted, they will throng with the returning hosts that once filled them and still love this beautiful land. The White Man will never be alone.

Let him be just and deal kindly with my people, for the dead are not powerless. Dead, did I say? There is no death, only a change of worlds.

posted on Dec, 14 2009 @ 08:25 AM
reply to post by betosuave

Well, my favorite passage in any history book is how the English settlers came here, claimed the land as "Theirs" and fought off the natives to take their inherited land from them, basically robbing the land and resources for the common good of mankind. Then, years later, they called it Capitalism. Screw the animals, trees and water, MONEY rules all. If it makes a profit, its good for man. Makes a person sick...

Good thread. Exactly. Who's land was this? Not the English settlers, that's for sure. I would be right in assuming they stole it.

But for the other side of the coin, if they hadn't come here, I wouldn't be here right now. So...its a conundrum.

posted on Dec, 14 2009 @ 08:42 AM
Sadly it is greed that drives mankind to want to possess things. It is not a new concept or one that was originated by white Americans. I believe in my heart that if we could turn back the hands of time and observe true history first hand, we would see that even the Natives fought for control of territory on occasion which could have been actions driven by greed or hatred or even differences in beliefs.

Being a descendant of the Cherokee tribe myself I refuse to forget what Natives suffered in the past. I will also never forget that the conquering of lands was also not a concept originated by those that came to this country from across the ocean long ago. History is not always pretty, but it is something we need to learn in order to avoid repeating mistakes.

posted on Dec, 14 2009 @ 08:44 AM
It is amazing the atrocities that Christopher Columbus and his cronies are responsible for, while he is portrayed as a hero in schools. This is written into our history from the perspective of conquerors. I suggest reading Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States.

posted on Dec, 14 2009 @ 08:58 AM
reply to post by betosuave

Your exactly right...flags mean hell with my country and every other country...I hate the word "country"...all these divisions which occur within the human race...disgusting...

It's like little kids fighting over a toy...'It's it's I had it you didn't" then it always ends up leading to violence and wars...we need to learn to get along and share...

[edit on 14/12/09 by CHA0S]

posted on Dec, 14 2009 @ 09:13 AM
reply to post by CHA0S

Great idea!

But how do we deal with the inevitable brats that want more then what everyone else has?

posted on Dec, 14 2009 @ 09:20 AM
How do we know that brats will always be inevitable? Just because humans are one particular way now, doesn't mean that we will continue in this fashion. Let's not rule out completely the idea of peace. We can change, change is the only constant.

posted on Dec, 14 2009 @ 11:41 AM
reply to post by betosuave

The change you suggest would require an evolutionary leap taking us from Vulcans.

I know that sounds extremely pessimistic, but envy and greed IMHO would be the hardest thing for the human race to overcome. Those feelings can stem from something as simple as one lazy a$$hat in the tribe of man that wants to reap just as much but do less. It doesn't take long before everyone looks around and asks, 'why is he getting just as much for working less then us'?

I would like to think that we could evolve to something greater...but to evolve to a place where we can all share and feel treated equally is a leap that mankind hasn't been able to make for thousands of years, and I doubt I have another thousand left in me to wait around to see if we can make it happen or not.

posted on Dec, 14 2009 @ 12:45 PM
I've never been a Nationalist because I've personally never understood the notion of a people claiming land that had been there for billions of years before them and will continue to be there for billions of years after they are gone.

You will never overcome that fatal flaw universal in the Human Condition that perpetuates greed, however. Individuals and small communities may find a way to diminish it, or circumvent it, but it will always be there preying upon the weak of spirit, heart, and mind. Some things are eternal...and Greed is one of those things.

It is perhaps then asking too much of Humans (on a whole) to rise to their Higher Natures and take Stewardship of that which their life and livelihoods are dependent upon, rather than seeking to use and exploit it as a stepping stone to illusory power and wealth.

The predominant Culture in contemporary Western Civilization only acerbates this problem by removing people from any kind of relationship with their land. The average person now gets their sustenance from a Grocery Store or Fast Food Restaurant instead of through a personal relationship with the land. Even land ownership is becoming far more rare as people are Renters to the Land Owners. We have become familiar with the Concrete Jungle while the last vestiges of Wilderness have become a distant memory.

As such, it becomes paramount that one must merely content themselves with setting an example for others by living a life that is in balance, that does not take from the Earth without contributing to it, so that others may learn from our example.

The immigration thing is pretty funny too. I never understood the mentality of the descendants of immigrants being so strongly against immigration. The "Now that *WE* are here, no one else should be allowed to immigrate here" mentality is hypocritical irony at it's finest, however, I see the same thing happening on a Microcosmic Scale every day. Californians immigrate en masse to Southern Oregon to take advantage of lower priced Property and lower Property Taxes, and after building their 10,000 sq.ft homes on the mountain sides that blot out the sun, are the first ones to lobby the Housing Board to prevent others from doing likewise, or to try to prevent other Californians from moving here. It's the same kind of lunacy as is happening to us as a Nation of self-entitled, privileged, narcissistic and xenophobic Americans.

We have forgotten that what made this Nation great is the fact that we were a Land of Promise that held open arms to immigrants willing to give their life's blood to have an equal opportunity in the pursuit of happiness. Even the New Colossus inscribed at the base of the Statue of Liberty reads

Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. The wretched refuse of you teamming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

We wonder why America has lost it's edge, why it is no longer the Land of Promise, and why we have fallen into Economic Ruin and Despair, yet we deny entry to those who are eager to help build a strong and successful Nation because of their ethnicity or land of origin...for no other reason than now that we are here, no one else should be allowed in.

You are right. It is madness...and makes no sense.

[edit on 14-12-2009 by fraterormus]

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