Friday, October 14, 2016

how to deal

The Art of the How to Deal with a Bloviating Asshat:

Monday, October 10, 2016

Dave Archambault II of the Standing Rock Sioux Nation address to the UN Human Rights Council - September 20, 2016

Human Rights Council President Choi Kyong-lim: I give the floor to the distinguished representative of Indian Law Resource Center.

Chairman Dave Archambault II: Thank you, Mr. President.

My name is Dave Archambault. I am the Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Our tribal nation is a sovereign nation located in the United States. Our sovereignty is recognized by the United States through the legally binding treaties of 1851 and 1868, signed by our traditional Lakota government, Oceti Sakowin (Oceti Šakowin, the Seven Council Fires), then passed by the United States Senate, and proclaimed by the President of the United States.

I am here because oil companies are causing the deliberate destruction of our sacred places and burials. Dakota Access Pipeline [Dakota Access, LLC, a subsidiary of Energy Transfer Partners; a.k.a. "Dakota Access"] wants to build an oil pipeline under the river that is the source of our nation's drinking water. This pipeline threatens our communities, the river, and the earth.

Our nation is working to protect our waters and our sacred places for the benefit of our children not yet born. But the oil companies and the government of the United States have failed to respect our sovereign rights. Today, the pipeline construction continues. Although it has temporarily stopped near our nation, this company has knowingly destroyed sacred sites and our ancestral graves with bulldozers. This company has also used attack dogs to harm individuals who tried to protect our water and our sacred sites.

I condemn all violence, including the use of guard dogs.

While we have gone to the court in the United States, our courts have failed to protect our sovereign rights, our sacred places, and our water. We call upon the Human Rights Council and all Member States to condemn the destruction of our sacred places and to support our nation's efforts to ensure that our sovereign rights are respected. We ask that you call upon all parties to stop the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline and to protect the environment, our nation's future, our culture, and our way of life.

Thank you, Mr. President.

Wooden Duck

Just to think, I may be the first.
I walk through the small iron door,
    small like an Anasazi opening.
There on the stool
    a bearded English man pours sour ale.

The stained glass windows speak a story:
    a running rabbit, a human caterpillar,
    a disappearing cat, and a queen of hearts.
My emotions ebb like those of Alice's, out of place.

Outside the window
    a green hill supporting Windsor castle.
It stands like an adobe village atop a mesa.
The ground is black soil,
No signs of the red reservation dirt.

A small black bird perches on the wooden sill.
Is it a corn-stealing reservation chicken?
No. It's a Scottish raven, and Indian crow mirage.

No frybread with mutton stew.
I order Yorkshire pudding,
A meat pie.

Around the pub
    spreads the spired city of learning: Oxford.
Like tipis of the annual Crow Fair,
    these colleges choke the town:

Pembroke, Old Crow; St. Peters, Black Eagle; Christ Church,
Red Wolf: Magdalen, Old Coyote . . . . 

Here in the pub
    Queen Elizabeth rules by her crown.
Across the great diving lakes,
Within the sacred mountains,
Grandmother Little Owl weaves her loom.

In this room,
I am the red Columbus.
There are no Indian brothers.

I hear the echo of an eagle,
The sun dance drums,
Whistling Canyons.
But the wailing spirits of Stonehenge
    silence their chants.

I truly am the first Navajo in the Wooden Duck.

Hershman John, I Swallow Turquoise for Courage (2007) 

the New World

I see him as a funnel and through this funnel the New World pours into my genes and becomes, perhaps, the saving remnant. For what this discovered hemisphere gave us is a chance to recover the irrational, the illogical, and the powerful. The forests that overwhelm us, the mountains that dwarf us, the forces that crush us. Here the drums were not yet stilled. Here God still lived, though at times God drank copious goblets of blood, or was a stone, or a buffalo skull, or a mountain.

But the mess we lament, that is the thing that a part of me celebrates. The strange mongrel mixture of races, ideas, seeds, spores, viruses, bacteria.

The landmass we call Europe had been butchered, all the forests made groves, all the meadows made fields, all the ground made tame. All the signs of decadence were present  and this failure of the heart was seen as innovation. A new burst was occurring in writing, in painting, in machines. The things scholars for the coming centuries would celebrate and call a rebirth, these things were actually signs of a vast dying of the spirit. Of this I am convinced because five centuries later I live at a similar moment in the history of my breed. We too live in a dead culture with dead gods and yet we are flailing outward into space, the depths of the seas, the secret crevices of the earth, the once sacrosanct gardens of our cells. We are mining the double helix, poking about in the strange codes of life itself. We sail on our clumsy caravels and galleons just as Christopher himself once did.

What the jungles and plains and mountains and deserts and forests of the New World accomplished is this: they permanently poisoned the faith of Europeans in rationality. They brought us back the night.

Charles Bowden, Blood Orchid: An Unnatural History of America (1995)