Re: Amerindian resistance mode (was: amerindian an offensive

Gerold Firl (
7 Aug 1996 20:54:02 GMT

In article <>, "Stephen W. Russell" <> writes:

|> On 5 Aug 1996, Gerold Firl wrote:

|> > What is your longterm vision for the american indians?

|> Truthfully? I think we ARE going to die out.

When you say "die out", you must refer to the culture, rather than the
people, since the indian people will not die out. The culture is more
questionable, but even there I'm not so sure. Indian culture held out
pretty well against the open warfare pre-20th century, and against the
forced-assimilation policies of the early 1900's, and against the
consumer culture of the late 20th century. Indian culture is very
fashionable in mainstream american culture. It's certainly possible
that the indian tribes will go the way of the european tribes; the
cherusci, the franks, the suebi, the allemands have all melded into
modern-day europeans, but in an increasingly homogenized world people
cherish their ethnic background. I think that indian culture will not
die out, though it will get mainstreamed somewhat.

|> What do you do with people who have no interest in pursuing wealth?

It's really a question of what *you* do, rather than a question of what
is done *to* you. In a world of widespread afluence, consciously
foregoing the acquisition of material wealth is an important ability.
Whether indians want it or not, and whether they ackowledge it or not,
traditional indian values are influencing western cultures in a way
which will help to make the transition to sustainible development. Many
indians are uncomfortable with the idea of whites adopting their
beliefs; I find such an attitude difficult to understand. It's
essential that people adopt an ethic of stewardship towards the earth,
and all thinking people recognize that fact.

|> Where would you
|> > like indian resistance to lead? Personally, I find the idea of vast
|> > tracts of american land being set-aside for a
|> > hunter-gatherer/horticultural lifestyle to be very romantic and
|> > attractive, but unless our total population drops considerably, it just
|> > doesn't appear practical. What would you like to see?

|> My people were sendentary farmers before the Euro Invasion. The second
|> time Euro demands destroyed our way of life, we had a higher literacy
|> rate than the people who moved in after we were evicted at gunpoint. The
|> tribal college from the third time we were done in is still operating as
|> Northeastern State University in Oklahoma.
|> Nobody wants to traipse up and down the country after the buffalo herd.
|> The Plains people will have to speak for themselves (except in the matter
|> of the Lakota and the Black Hills, where they have been very clear). It
|> is in the nature of freedom that it includes the freedom to fail. Our
|> right to self-determination does not depend upon accounting to someone
|> else for what we wish to do with it, but all three of my tribe's periods
|> of prosperity were superior to our situation now whether judged by our
|> values or yours. And all three were ended by what the invaders did--not
|> by our failure to adapt to changing times.

OK, but I'm still wondering about what kind of future you would like to
see. Suppose the indians don't die out? If you don't have a positive
vision for where you'd like to go, you're not going to be able to make
much of a positive contribution.

Disclaimer claims dat de claims claimed in dis are de claims of meself,
me, and me alone, so sue us god. I won't tell Bill & Dave if you won't.
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=---- Gerold Firl @ ..hplabs!hp-sdd!geroldf