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Old 06-23-2008, 08:17 PM   #13
grayback
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Join Date: Mar 2002
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Blackbear--

I'm not going to go on arguing about any of this, although there are three things in your new post that I still disagree with. Strongly.

But I've said what I feel and think about the basic issue, and I'm gonna leave it at that. I think what you, I, and eap have written pretty much covers both sides' perspective.

I learned a long time ago that to keep on talking when neither side agrees or is going to budge, is nonproductive. I could go on all day with examples of what I've seen, of what others see, but I suspect you're going to come back each time with, "Sorry, never see it happen." My feeling on that stems basically from the fact that one of the first things you wrote in reply to me, was an aspersion against how Indian you felt I might be, if only by some lack of involvement with my own community.

That's usually the best sign that a 'discussion' is about to go South. No one is ever 'less' Indian, just because our opinions or practices don't happen to mesh. I might think someone is wrong in something they do, but it's got nothing to do with them not being 'Indian enough' to know otherwise.

People see things, or they don't, and that's how it is. Either they take part in the discussion to change a problem (perceived or otherwise), or they don't. If you don't have problems like this up where you live, then I envy you. I assure you that it isn't the same down here.

Others have privately messaged me to agree that they see the same problems in their area, but have chosen not to make those comments public on this thread. I respect that, but I wish more folks who see what I and others see, would also speak up publicly about it. These abuses aren't even half so rare a problem as a lot of Indians would make it out to be.

But I respect their decision to keep the peace, so to speak. Most of the time, I keep quiet myself, because I know that what I or others say about this isn't going to make any difference in where it's going. Not enough people give a sh*t.

I personally don't dance or even attend many powwows anymore. We each make our own decisions about these things, which is all anyone can or is free to do.

Now, a few minor comments on other things in your post:

You:
"The repository isn't the US government's way of regulating natives... but it is a way that was set up to get feathers to us."

Me:
"When the birds do die, they DO hand those feathers out to Natives. What the hell more do we want from the government? They have laws to protect the birds, but they still do what they can to get those feathers into the Native community. It's win-win, as far as I can tell."

Note that I did point that out. I've argued this very thing in my post over on the "eagle feathers?!??!" thread.

I've never said the repository is a way to control Natives. In fact I believe it does "our" community a service (is the parenthesis any better?). I've never claimed the contrary. Never will.

The 'community' I'm talking about is the one we ALL belong to. Like it or not, pan-tribalism in the competitive powwow arena is here to stay. Problems for one tribe or one area affect us ALL, eventually. Ask any tribe who thought to stand up to the White Colonials by themselves.

'Alone' don't float.

All the same, I'm gonna leave this thread alone, now. ;)

It's funny to me, but... back when I first joined this website in 2002, I got involved in some discussions (occasionally arguments) with you and a few others. Mostly we disagreed--some things don't change, it seems. Given that you were so conservative upon cultural changes I was far more liberal upon, I was a bit surprised to see us disagree on this one. It did make me laugh, though.

Thanks to those of you who've lent your support to what I've said both here and on the "eagle feathers?!?!?" thread. Public or private, I appreciate it.

-grayback
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