Cliven Bundy; an indigenous perspective on the armed militia response

In so many ways these ranchers remind me of the Scottish settlers used as pawns by the English when colonizing the Ulster Plantation. An exploited class, yet traditionally hostile to Natives, because of….tradition. I was horrified to see the Mexican State disarming the indigenous self-defence groups last November, allowing the cartels to butcher the locals. In so many ways this is why we need a clear vision of how to live without the State that people from all walks of live can find hope in. It seems creating personal relationships with those who “should” be our enemies is worth all the risks involved, as our common enemy is willing to chew any of us up and spit us all out. And of course, a Chinese corporation had it’s eye on this land for a solar farm, but “radical environmentalists” get to take the blame over the endangered Desert Tortoise. Divide and conquer, as always.

Lingit Latseen

I am personally ambivalent regarding Mr. Bundy’s specific claims to grazing lands and cattle grazing in Nevada. I feel certain there are environmental issues with cattle grazing practices in an arid region. As an Alaska Native and American Indian (descended from two distinct tribes) I would also be very sympathetic to any current indigenous claims to the land in question; but I am not aware of any.

I have seen two different reactions to the situation through social media from fellow Natives. The first has been unabashed support for anyone fighting the Feds. We have our own history of armed standoffs with government forces. Consequently, our organizations have been the target of intense repression by COINTELPRO and law enforcement. Additionally, a number of incidents, from entrapment of indigenous trappers to raids on hemp farms in sovereign territory have put the native population at odds with the Feds; nevermind the centuries…

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