The Only Good Indian

by Larry Kibby
                      "THE ONLY GOOD INDIAN IS A DEAD INDIAN"
                           General Philip Sheridan, 1868
                                  U.S. Union Army

The slogan of "the only good Indian is a dead Indian", (actual words were, "the only good Indian I ever saw were dead, as spoken to Tosawi of the Comanches) uttered by Union Army General Philip Sheridan, is still being voiced by some non-Indians today and can be heard especially by the "State's Rights Activists", who are trying to promote all so-called "Public Land" managed by the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service into "State Owned Land."

Traditional Native American Indians who are trying to preserve and protect their Sacred Ceremonial and Burial areas, are finding that their endeavors are being met with open hostilities as they try to promote an effort to safe-guard the Sacred Lands of their Ancestors. Lands that had been used for time immemorial, and long before the Euro-American or Spanish invasion took place.

As the Indian tries to achieve a sense of respect for these Sacred areas, it seems that their voice is not being heard and it is almost obvious that in some cases their efforts are frustrated by their own people, who choose to refute the Traditional claims and use these issues for their own political and personal gain.

What is almost as bad, is that New Age policy is being viewed with much greater respect, than Traditional policy. Unity is proclaimed by New Age, for all people to join in and become the same, despite race or religion and that the Tradition and Traditional Belief of the Native American Indian can be utilized by all who believe in it.

And then, there is the cry, "don't cause problems for the non-Indians, they support our pow-wows and culture!" Then to, there is the voice of some of the environmentalist, Bureau of Indian Affairs Officials, professors, historians and theologians, who declare that their knowledge and regard for "Indian Issues" carry's a far stronger intelligence then those Native American Indians of the Traditional Movement, who may or may not be educated.

Termination and assimilation process is still on-going. The practice of these federal government programs is still a determined factor to get the Indian fully adopted into society, whether we believe it or not. In time, the government will close the door on all Indian policy, and declare that the Indian does not have any legal regard to this land, despite our legal effort to preserve and protect those Sacred areas.

"We must all work together, our goals and objectives are all the same!" "We have all the connections and support of the non-Indians, therefore we shall have the control and will make sure that everyone is included at some point in time," states the New Age. And those statements are looked upon with favoritism, not only by the government, but by society and some tribal government Indians.

There is no justice or system of justice, that promotes an un-willing regard for voices of a people whose sole intent is to distort the value of a Tradition and Traditional Belief. That would take Ancient Customs and Sacred Beliefs and use them for monetary, political and personal gain. Yes, but this is okay as far as society and the government is concerned, because it helps to separate the Indian from his land, which is what the government is still striving for.

Ego. Self-Proclaimed Healers. Self-Proclaimed Chiefs. Self-Proclaimed Medicine Men. Self-Proclaimed Spiritual Leaders. Self-Proclaimed Indian Scholars. These are vices that promote ego, for once they are before the cameras, once in the headlines, there is no end and the world is at their finger-tips, with their every word regarded as truth.

Is there realism in the Traditional Movement? Yes, but it does not mean the unity of the Traditional with the New Age. The Traditional would like to preserve and protect their Sacred Grounds, not advocate them for the public or the media. For what sense would there be in allowing the media to know where all the Sacred Grounds and Burials are? All that would do would allow for these Sacred Grounds to be trespassed on, and be further desecrated, with looting and illegal excavations.

Do you have a monopoly on the Tradition and Traditional Belief? No, but we do not want to see it further abused like you have already abused your own religion and customs from time to time. Already the Indian has lost far too much and much of that cannot be ever returned.

So what lays is store for you Indian, if you do not want unity? Who is going to help you Indian, if your ceremonies are not shared, if your burials are not shown to the people? How do expect to accomplish anything Indian, if you do not want our help? Our wisdom? Our knowledge? Our understanding?

Respect. Respect goes along ways. Know that it is not your help that is not wanted, but your understanding that is needed. There are many non-Indians who now stand beside us and are willing to help, and they do not request to practice our ceremony's and such, but ask only that they be allowed to understand and help when help is needed. There is no wrong in explaining and answering questions of those who have a concern and interest. Education is a tool of life, and there is a right way and a wrong way to educate people. Help preserve and protect the Native American Indian Tradition and Traditional Belief, help stop the abuse and misuse of the Tradition and Traditional Belief. Thank you.

                          STATE RIGHTS ACTIVIST
       State Right Activist have advocated that there is a growing
 number of citizens within 14 Western States and throughout the country,
 that are putting their names to a petition that demands the 104th
 Congress return "ALL" Public Lands to states, abolish the income tax
 and pare back federal agencies to bare bones.
       Included within this voice is an explanation to define in clear
 and simple terms to the common citizen that "TREATIES" cannot give expanded
 authority to the Executive Branch beyond what is limited in the
       State Right Activist hope that county governments across the states
 such as here in Nevada in Elko County, and country would pass resolutions
 in support of the petition, in order to reduce the rule of "Tyrannical
 Bureaucrats" who commit overt acts of usurpation with no regard for citizens
 life, liberty and property.
       In this effort to declare "Sovereignty" the State Rights Activist
 have indicated no recognition in regards to "Tribal Sovereignty", that
 are historically those Treaties which under Article VI of the Constitution
 declare all Treaties to be the Supreme Law of the Land. Many of these
 Treaties have contents within their bodies that declare certain lands to be
 within their Traditional Territory, that has been declared to be associated
 with so-called Public Lands, that the State Rights Activist are after.
       The State Rights Activist have made it very clear, in a manner of
 speaking, that their attack is against the Federal Government and its
 agencies of the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service,
 however, within the Traditional Movement of the Native American Indians,
 it is the goal and objective to assure that those Traditional Territories
 having a significant value of importance to the Tradition and Traditional
 Belief of the Nations, be preserved and protected with relation to those
 Ceremonial and Burial areas, used Traditionally for time immemorial.
       Every effort must be made to hinder and or distort the State Rights
 Activist Movement, in order for all Native American Indian Nations to be
 given the opportunity to enhance their goals and objectives in their
 struggle to identify and have full control over their Traditional Territory
 so established and proclaimed within those Treaties which are the Supreme
 Law of the Land.

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