Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Native Americans in South Dakota are Fighting Back

There are plans to stand up to the draconian anti-abortion law recently passed by the South Dakota Legislature. Abortion under the law, which has yet to take effect, is illegal even for women who have been raped or are the victims of incest.

"President of the Oglala Sioux Tribe on the Pine Ridge Reservation, Cecilia Fire Thunder, was incensed. A former nurse and healthcare giver she was very angry that a state body made up mostly of white males, would make such a stupid law against women.

“To me, it is now a question of sovereignty,” she said to me last week. “I will personally establish a Planned Parenthood clinic on my own land which is within the boundaries of the Pine Ridge Reservation where the State of South Dakota has absolutely no jurisdiction.”

This is heartening news. Nowadays, Indian reservations seem to be more about gambling than anything else.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yay, for President Fire Thunder! I am Yankton Sioux (another Sioux reservation in South Dakota). Hope our reservation is doing the same thing.

BTW, ALOT happens on FIrst Nation land that does not make the American press. The snark about Casinos is the first time anything we've done has interested the media in a long time. It's incredibly awful that the US attacks our tribal people when we have so little options as nations (and very few tribes have casinos). All those economic options have been brutally taken by the United States and used in excessive consumption, building an empire and in waging wars across the face of the Earth to defend and expand that empire. 70 Billion dollars in gold has been taken out of the Black HIlls, Lakota land that was illegally stolen. This is what Custer was doing on Lakota land, bringing a party up to study the potential for goldmining on our land. The U.S. was broke after the Civil War, Fort Knox was empty and guess who refilled it? Yes, the Lakota people. Not just with the gold in our Sacred Places, but the blood, lives and suffering of our people, and our children. We have financed this nations to the hilt.

Until the United Stations (Americans) starts reparations to those whose bones they drive over every day, they should exercise more compassion and attempt a larger understanding of Indian issues than that which is presented to them by the news. I suppose it is more fun, even for outlets like to write articles about Casino-related issues than to write about the continuing poverty, suffering and dismal living conditions (the Oglala Nation is consistantly ranked as the poorest county in the United States) ad infinitum. That is not newsworthy is it? But Greatest Generation, Civil Rights hating, Martin Luther King hating elderlies coming to our rez's to give us their GI Bill riches, is news. Spending their golden years pulling that one-armed bandit, looking for their own Black Hills gold. Isn't it? Personally, I think it is a form of Karmic balancing that this land needs more of.

I'm just saying don't snark on those who have so little. It is incredibly unbecoming. Hechetu ye.

Vigilant Woman (my Dakota name)