Part 1 - In Which I Recognize My LimitsFor regular readers of my Facebook feed (Because I know this blog is anything but regular...), you may be wondering why I have recently covered Kaepernick, the Election, LGBTQ issues, Anti-Islamic sentiment, minority rights, and women's rights issues and NOT DAPL (other than the one link related to something totally different but in the same vein), the reason is simple.
I don't feel qualified to do so.
Part 2 - In Which I Place Matters Into ContextWhile an ally of the tribal members attempting to safeguard their heritage and history (two different things) while protecting their (and our) environment, I do not feel comfortable speaking to the issues as a whole.
Why? because I am a white guy in the West. I have spent most of my adult life within a short drive of various tribal lands - Northern Arizona, El Paso, Montana, Wyoming, Oklahoma, and now Arkansas. I have seen people treat tribal members poorly. A much more ignorant me treated tribal members poorly once upon a time.
With time has come the knowledge and respect of the various cultures and the importance of giving them the right of refusal regarding corporate work on tribal lands.
Part 3 - In Which You Find Out The UpshotI will say I support the collective voice of any tribe when someone attempts to take the tribe somewhere it does not want to go. I support their right to control what occurs on tribal lands. I support the right of activists to prevent damage to their sites of importance - religious, historical, and archaeological.
I do know that as a white guy in the West, I do have a voice. I also know that I am far enough from tribal politics that I should censor myself for fear of misspeaking and saying something that is culturally insensitive.
And so I leave it to You, Dear ReaderI have many friends who are tribally-affiliated or have worked with the tribes across this country. I will let their voices speak loudly and clearly as I know that my own voice will not add clarity.
Now. Go and Speak.