Native Power and Insight: Essential for What Lies Ahead

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Protesters at the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, in North Dakota, on Saturday. PHOTOGRAPH BY ROBYN BECK / AFP / GETTY

The fact that a corporation sicced dogs on protesters should give everyone a chill. The broader reality of the situation is both exhausting and promising. The former, because this echoes the centuries of abuse that we foreigners have inflicted on First Nations. The latter, because this is a real show of strength and wisdom, in a domain where we’re going to need more of both.  McKibben at the New Yorker:

The events at Standing Rock also allow Americans to realize who some of the nation’s most important leaders really are. The fight for environmental sanity—against pipelines and coal ports and other fossil-fuel infrastructure—has increasingly been led by Native Americans, many of whom are in that Dakota camp today. They speak with real authority—no one else has lived on this continent for the longterm. They see the nation’s history more clearly than anyone else, and its possible future as well. For once, after all these centuries, it’s time to look through their eyes. History offers us no chances to completely erase our mistakes. Occasionally, though, we do get a chance to show we learned something.

 

About cjlingle

I'm a civic engagement strategist working in Seattle and New York, helping organizations build communities and persuade audiences on issues of climate, democracy, and social justice.
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