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  • The Right To Be Anywhere On This Continent

    ************************************************** ******************
    This Message Is Reprinted Under The FAIR USE
    Doctrine Of International Copyright Law:
    _http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.html_
    (http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.html)
    ************************************************** ******************
    -----------------
    Forwarded Message:
    Subj: THE RIGHT TO BE ANYWHERE ON THIS CONTINENT Date: 17/06/2006 12:20:38
    PM Eastern Standard Time From: [email protected]_ (mailto:[email protected])
    To: [email protected]_ (mailto:[email protected]) Sent from the Internet
    _(Details)_ (aolmsg://0625eef8/inethdr/2)

    * Please post, forward & disseminate widely. If you would like to
    receive our column directly, write to us at: [email protected]

    COLUMN OF THE AMERICAS
    BY ROBERTO RODRIGUEZ & PATRISIA GONZALES
    JUNE 19, 2006 (Media Release upon receipt)
    "THE RIGHT TO BE ANYWHERE ON THIS CONTINENT"

    * SPECIAL DOUBLE EDITION

    Along the U.S.-Mexico border, the body count continues to pile up
    daily. Meanwhile, the Minutemen patrol the U.S.-Mexico border and
    shameless politicians find it easy to denounce illegal immigration as
    the cause of all the nation's problems – including linking it with
    "the war on terror."

    Amidst all the clatter, the only views not being heard are the ones
    that matter most. Thus here, we bring you a truly historic column,
    featuring the views of the nation's only non-immigrants: American
    Indians:

    "The immigration issues are many and are so very complex; however, we
    cannot have a productive dialogue about anything when we begin the
    conversation, thinking it is "us against them" or when the "truth" is
    only half true or we only use rhetoric to back our claims. We can't
    resolve any of these complex issues if we label our neighbor as an
    "immigrant" and not as a relative, friend or human being."
    Nadine Tafoya, friend and colleague
    Mescalero Apache -Salt River Pima -Maricopa

    "I feel that as Native Peoples of the Americas, we have the right to
    be anywhere on this continent as we have for generations. To hear
    people telling my relatives that they are "illegal aliens" and
    criminals and to get out of our own land is very disturbing!"
    Maria Yellow Horse Brave Heart, PhD
    President/Director, The Takini Network

    "Indigenous peoples haven't known any borders. Colonial borders are
    new. It's ironic that essentially white men of privilege who created
    the category of white - that it is they who determine who gets
    permitted into our lands."
    Winona LaDuke, founding director,
    White Earth Land Recovery Project

    "From the point of view of the laws of the indigenous nations of North
    America, the Europeans are the original illegal immigrants in the area
    of North America. The United States… has, for more than 200 years,
    methodically and militarily violated indigenous law, and even solemn
    treaties, in order to take over and occupy the vast majority of the
    lands of Indigenous nations and peoples.… it is hypocritical in the
    extreme for the people of the United States to now pretend that it is
    paragon of virtue, and a country that has always conducted itself on
    the basis of the rule of law."
    Indian Law Scholar, Steven Newcomb

    "The movement to try to force the Mexican people to learn the English
    language and the culture and traditions of America to stay in this
    country may not be totally successful. I can tell you from firsthand
    experience that when the federal government tried to strip me of my
    language and traditions, it did only a partial job, because of my
    resistance to being subdued. Today I am glad I have retained my
    culture, traditions and the Keres language, for that is where my heart
    and soul belong….
    Katheirne Augustine - Laguna Pueblo,
    retired nurse, excerpts from Albq Tribune

    "Too bad WE didn't think of insisting that European arrivals speak OUR
    language. We'd all be speaking Ojibwemowin right now."
    Patty Loew
    Assoc. Prof., UW-Madison

    "In an important and emphatic way, the indigenous peoples of the
    Americas are reclaiming their continent, whether with the ballot, by
    boat, by air, or on foot. Let us call it repatriation on the march."
    Shirley Hill Witt,
    Coauthor, El Indio Jesus

    to be cont...
    Don't worry that it's not good enough for anyone else to hear... just sing, sing a song.sigpic

  • #2
    "The white supremacists masquerading as patriots are building a fence
    at the southern border to keep out the brown people. Notice that they
    aren't building a fence at the northern border… Recall too that the
    9-11 terrorists were here legally, complete with freakin' flyer
    numbers. I'm for all the Native people to have cross-border
    privileges up and down our hemisphere, and would close the borders
    against all the peoples from other places who look down on us."
    Suzan Shown Harjo - Cheyenne & Hodulgee Muscogee
    Dir., Morning Star Institute

    "The argument used by the Minute Men, that their mission is to keep
    terrorists out of the U.S., cannot be ignored: With terrorist training
    camps recently found just north of the U.S.-Canadian border, their
    mission makes little sense and gives weight to my belief that the
    Minuteman movement is clearly racist. So is the new U.S. policy to
    keep our southern relatives out by militarizing the border to the
    south. Not that troops are wanted on the northern border either, but
    why send 6,000 troops to the southern border when no terrorists ever
    have been detained there?"
    JoKay Dowell, Quapaw-Peoria-Cherokee, OK
    Eagle and Condor Indigenous Peoples' Alliance

    "Indigenous peoples are brothers and sisters, regardless of which side
    of the line drawn in the desert sand they are from. Our historic
    relations pre-date any European conquest. Our 'free trade' was much
    less conflictual, and was on more of an equal basis. Corporate 'free
    trade' is the driving force behind American politics and international
    actions…. It continues to be, contradictory to the interests of
    humanity."
    woliwon chi miigwech,
    Karen S., Ypsilanti

    "Are 'immigrants' the appropriate designation for the indigenous
    peoples of North America, for enslaved Africans and for the original
    European settlers? No. Are 'immigrants' the appropriate designation
    for Mexicans who migrate for work to the United States? No. They are
    migrant workers crossing a border created by US military force. Many
    crossing that border now are also from Central America, from the small
    countries that were ravaged by US military intervention in the 1980s
    and who also have the right to make demands on the United States. So,
    let's stop saying 'this is a nation of immigrants.' "
    Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz – mixed-Cherokee
    (Excerpted from The Nation)

    "… False and violent borders have been imposed upon our many peoples
    and upon the landscape, dissecting our Mother Earth, our home
    continent, in two and attempting to sever our deep connection with the
    land, and with each other… We maintain our recognition and respect
    for all our Indigenous brothers and sisters of the Western Hemisphere,
    with whom we traded, learned from, loved and laughed with for a
    millennia. We are Indigenous, of this place on Mother Earth, called
    Turtle Island, the Middle Place, Abya Yala and the Fourth World. And
    we remain bonded together forever, knowing ourselves as the K'iche and
    Karuk, Saraguro and Cheyenne, the Cherokee, Xicano and Chumash, we are
    all relations."
    Tia Peters
    Zuni, Seventh Generation Fund

    "If America is a shining beacon of hope for legal immigrants perhaps
    the laws should be adjusted to make it a reality for the illegal
    immigrants. They also see America as a place where dreams can be
    lived. Ironically, most of the illegal immigrants are Indians, or
    Indios as they are known in Mexico, and in Central and South America.
    Most of their ancestors did not come over on the Mayflower or on the
    Spanish galleons. They were indigenous to the Western Hemisphere."
    Tim Giago, president
    Native American Journalists Foundation

    "Americans can say, surely not with pride, that our country knows from
    centuries of personal experience how unchecked immigration devastates
    life and why it's an issue that deserves the best of our thinking and
    empathy. These are thoughts that cross some of our minds when we hear
    rhetoric about the so-called invasion of illegal immigrants (many of
    whom are -- gasp -- Indians) and calls to protect "our" land. If we
    smile in response, it's not so much out of agreement. We see a payback
    coming home to roost."
    David House - mixed Cherokee/Scots-Irish
    Fort Worth Star-Telegram

    "It's never been clear to me why animosity exists toward today's
    immigrants, considering the founding fathers arrived as immigrants.
    Are today's anti-immigration voices afraid of a new Manifest Destiny?
    … Many Native prophecies foretell the demise of U.S. indigenous people
    from European invaders. But the stories also speak of a time when the
    land will be reclaimed by indigenous people."

    Perhaps the time has come."
    Jodi Rave reports on Native issues for Lee Enterprises.

    On Haudenosaunee citizenship & naturalization:
    "Naturalization was not race-based as the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois)
    granted citizenship to other ethnic groups. Once a person became a
    Haudenosaunee citizen they were expected to discard any previous
    connection to their birth nation. They had to speak an Iroquoian
    language, dress as Iroquois, contribute to the security of their host
    nation and provide for the well being of their new families and
    communities though a host of activities ranging from hunting, fishing,
    food preparation and home building. They took part in the elaborate
    ceremonies which defined Haudenosaunee spirituality and were given
    extensive instruction into the history, customs and beliefs of their
    new nation.

    In the end, the Haudenosaunee people expected the new citizen to
    undergo an almost complete transformation; physically, mentally and
    spiritually. This process worked extremely well… [it] secured our
    survival and provided for our prosperity...."
    Doug George-Kanentiio
    Mohawk writer

    The Popul Vuh– one of the most important books ever written on this
    continent -- offers us a valuable lesson and roadmap about migration
    disputes. The volatile conflicts among the Maya finally ended when
    those who were new to the land accepted those who were here before
    them as their guides. In this spirit, we do the same. So too should
    the general public, Congress and the president.

    * Feel free to send us your views at [email protected] or
    608-238-3161. Our bilingual columns are posted at:

    Info regarding our Amoxtli San Ce Tojuan documentary and
    origins/migrations research can be found at:
    Don't worry that it's not good enough for anyone else to hear... just sing, sing a song.sigpic

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