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Native Americans Wage War Against New Virus and a 400-year Disease of Bias, Ignorance

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/05/15/native-americans-wage-war-against-new-virus-and-400-year-disease-bias-ignorance

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‘I asked Bald Eagle what he’d like other Americans to know about the Cheyenne River Sioux. “When we go to school on the reservation,” he said, “we have to learn English and about Christianity and other religions, and your forms of government and banking and your society. But our way is not taught to you, and we have to live among each other.”’

This song stands out in my mind as a classic summary of this nation’s flawed history:


Because of where I live, I travel across and along the Trail of Tears frequently and have traveled extensively throughout the Lands of First Peoples throughout this continent, both where they Lived and where they are now Confined. Covid-19 may be just another reminder that the Cree proverb has teeth.


Continuing the tradition; it was the Sioux and Cheyenne that wiped out Custer. That dummy attacked the largest encampment of plains natives in history, 10 to 15 thousand with 5 thousand warriors.

They are smart cookies. South Dakota has a governor as dumb as Custer. She’s going to get a lot of her citizens killed by the virus.


Search for “Now That the Buffalo’s Gone” by Buffy Sainte-Marie. Paul Revere & the Raiders are a liitle vanilla for my taste, but kudos to them anyway for having tried.


Yes, it is science based but a much older science that is hard pressed to deal with newly created diseases. Good article.

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I believe the 2 million number of First Nations peoples in the USA pre-contact is vastly understated. It is estimated that Canada had around 1 million and the rule of thumb was that the lower 48 states had a population 20 times higher.

The First nations peoples in the USA were agrarian in great part meaning they could support larger populations then could the Hunter Gatherer populations in the upper US Midwest and in Western Canada. In Canada the West Coast natives also had a higher population due to the salmon harvest.

In other words the number of First Nations peoples lost due to the arrival of the Europeans was more likely in the 10s of millions and coupled with that this was in many ways by design and not something that could not be helped.

The Colonists made war on the First Nations peoples , not by engaging their warriors, but by attacking villages when the warriors away and destroying the food supply. They tended to launch these raids right before the harvest. This in turn would lead to malnutrition and peoples suffering malnutrition are more susceptible to disease.

On the Plains and through the Midwest they did the same thing by eliminating the herds of Bison that roamed in a very deliberate policy of forced starvation.

The Navajo Nation has every right to do as they are doing to protect themselves as history has shown that the Government will do little to protect them.

Because our library is closed, and I’m out of new reading material, I am currently rereading one of my favorite books, The Inconvenient Indian; A Curious Account of Native People in North America, by Thomas King.

Well written, often sarcastically witty, chocked full of sad and maddeningly frustrating facts, not very long (266 pages), but speaks volumes.

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"Guns, Germs and Steel,’ by Jared Diamond is a good read as well.

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What no pow wows, I admit the circle is a bit smaller. If you don’t have the real thing, then, “Neither Dog Nor Wolf” is a pretty good story. (Kent Nerburn)

“When you are here, you are here. When you are gone, you are gone. It isn’t a problem to be gone, so long as you are really here when you’re here.” Kent Nerburn

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Buffy Sainte-Marie and her band’s last 3 albums on True North have blown me away. The remakes of such vital and blacklisted songs (blacklisted by both Republican and Democratic administrations) are more than remakes. See the Wikipedia page dossier on Buffy Sainte-Marie.

Ever the artist and growing musically, with a symbiotic band in studio and on the road, Ms Sainte-Marie revises and re-envisions for our current times circa 2017 on the indie True North label, titles such “Priests of the Golden Bull,” “You Got To Run” (Spirit of the Wind w/renowned Nunavut throat singer Tanya Tagac), “The War Racket”, “Disinformation”, “Power In the Blood”, “No, No Keshagesh” (a timeless answer to Neo-Liberal E-CON’s doctrine of the Chicago Boys and Milton Friedman’s “Greed Is Good” Cold War weaponized media meme that got Blown Back via Washington-Wall Street’s Mighty Wurlitzer in the race to the Robber Baron-ruled bottom of the evolutionary sweepstakes).

“Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee”, “Starwalker” and from her previous indie label True North album POWER IN THE BLOOD that won Canada’s Juno Polaris Music Prize 2015 Award “It’s My Way”, “Farm In the Middle of Nowhere”, “The Uranium Wars”, “Sing Our Own Song”, and “Carry It On”.

See under keyword search for interview excerpts at “CBC Unreserved Music As Medicine Buffy Sainte-Marie Talks Politics November 20, 2017”

To hear this vital and historic CBC interview of 11-20-2017 on Rosanne Deerchild’s UNRESERVED program if you are outside of Canada go through the Buffy Sainte-Marie website under “podcasts”

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Mitch Ritter\Paradigm Sifters, Shifters and Song Chasers
Lay-Low Studios, Ore-Wa
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