Recognize the Urban Reservation, and envision an Intertribal Future for the San Francisco Bay Area.
An open plea for togetherness, and effective organizing; and for the protection of all shellmounds in the San Francisco Bay Region.
After checking out Timbisha Shoshone Tribe v. Salazer, in the United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia, No. 11-5049, decided May 15, 2012, one major thing popped out to me, that seems to be a recurring theme–other than lack of standing, and failure to state a cause of action…
One of the families involved in this case filed an amicus brief against the moving party to stop the litigation from moving forward, because they wanted to fight over who was the tribal council, while the actual legal issue was whether or not any tribal council can be recognized.
This isn’t new at all. Lots of fighting happens inside all sorts of different types of organizations and groups [ask Norman Lincoln Rockwell], in fact this kind of family law stuff is usually found in Probate…
But… this fighting lead to delays and undermined the credibility of the tribe–as a whole. It put the common good of of the many behind the petty quarrels of the few. And risked permanent, long-term damage to the recognition of the tribe, and threatened to preclude any descendant from ever be able to petition the court, for anything.
These types of politics need to go.
No one wants to talk about about it, because it’s embarrassing, and a source of shame for anyone who considers themselves Native American; but this kind of sabotage is common. Sometimes it seems like we’re more willing to hold everyone down than lift them up, if it means an individual or single family can get money or power by doing it.
The amount of gate-keeping, and selfishness over something that should be communal always amazes me. The elitism is fierce.
I’m not really here to criticize this. But, critical analysis is sort of unavoidable, when you read the actual story. It would be profoundly irresponsible for me not to mention this case, or this issue, when I examine the intricacies behind the real-world legal battles over Native Land, the Loss of Life, Livelihood, Language, and Culture.
I just think it’s interesting, the juxtaposition between the universal togetherness that Native America tries to project, and the actual, divisiveness, isolationism, xenophobia, and individualism that permeates our real, everyday lives; and the direct parallels to how Native American People and Tribes have been treated. It’s almost a carbon copy.
This is also why I decided to leave the Non-Profit Sector, all together.
Because I would rather get something done, instead of watering down my mission, every single step of the way, because I need to coddle someone else’s bullshit, or because I have to argue with someone who really only cares about their name being on the top of the bill, or their face on the front page–and try and convince them that their narcissism is great for pictures, but it’s shit for leadership.
And because I decided that disbursing Ryan White Funds should be done according to real data; and that the reporting on the effectiveness of the spending of funds earmarked for AIDS Testing, Treatment, Social & Support Services be true and accurate, even though I was basically told to produce a lie that said the services were all doing great. They even tried to sue me. But I still have the original report those chumps actually paid me to make.
So I’m a free bit, now. Solo act. Independent. Beholden to no one, and thankful to those who choose to support this effort.