The Trail of Tears Continues

There is no end to United States’ fatal exploitation of America’s indigenous peoples.

Photo by Hammerin Man Flickr/creative commons

Photo by Hammerin Man
Flickr/creative commons

First the wholesale genocide of 95% of native Americans, the holocaust at the founding of the USA. Indian schools that shattered families came next followed by the granting and taking away of promised land, and the concentration camps called reservations where healthcare and educational opportunities are denied. Our government’s invasion of sacred lands on behalf of corporate fossil fuel production are part of this disastrous tapestry, all speaking to humanity’s inhumanity.

Congress speaks of reconciliation but never backs it up, and has so far ignored formal probes from the United Nations and calls to return stolen lands.

“The indigenous peoples of this country … suffer from poverty, poor health conditions, lack of attainment of formal education [and] social ills at rates that far exceed those of other segments of the American population . . . These conditions are related to a history of wrongs that they have suffered.”
—  James Anaya, the U.N. special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples.

The past Columbus Day we saw more and more people rejecting this celebration so closely identified with enslavement and murder of First Peoples. By this year, eight US cities have ended it, and lots of people spent a few days forwarding memes in support of an Indigenous Peoples Day.

BUT, if you are truly interested in contributing the welfare or rights of indigenous peoples, click here for some links to get you started.

Like needed reconciliation to heal the wounds suffered by black people in this country, we must ask, demand, this for First Peoples. We will continue to fake power instead of have power until we do.



Alison Gardner