There's nothing wrong with a little pride in your country, but this thread seems to be descending into another "ism" - nationalism. That's the one that says you are less or bad because you come from a certain place, and all who come from that certain place are equally less/bad because they ALL think or act the same.
Thank you to those who realize that all Americans do not want to destroy the Alaskan (or any other) wilderness. Many of us work to ease the burdens of poverty; many of us share what we have with those who don't have. Thank you also to those who realize that there are voices all over America, allover the world, that are witness to the destructive actions & ideas of the wealthy & powerful, and who will not stop calling out for it to stop. You are right, you who said we do not always learn from history; we continue, country by country, to make the same mistakes made by other countries/cultures.
Yet, it was Americans who stopped the Vietnam War started by other Americans in their search for wealth and power, or just power alone, mostly. It was Americans of all races who joined Martin Luther King, Malcom X, Wounded Knee Legal Defense, etc. to support the struggle for freedom to enjoy the same freedoms of those in power. Yes, I know, we are a very confusing people!
I do agree that many indigenous people are adding their voices to those crying out for justice. In some cases, it was indigenous people; in many cases, though, Am. Indians had to be awakened to many injustices by those outside our tribes. We/They are not they only ones who lend their voice. Many "first worlders" are saying the same things. So why do these things not come to pass, or stop, as the case may be? Because we do not hold power in our societies; nor do we hold wealth enough to confront the power holders. And too often, we do not hold power because we are no longer the strong people we once were. We have been assimilated.
What wonders me is that you CC'ers have everything you need to wrest the power from the corrupt or mis-guided hands that hold it now. But you do not. You do not give voice tirelessly to what is wrong, i,e., no land for CC'ers or other BZE's either. You do not seek to organize yourselves. You have such a small island; yes, some problems are big, but they are approachable because your territiry is small. We Americans who want to change things have so much to fight, so many layers, so many with absolute power to struggle against. But we have not quit. Have you?
The poster who said that we should live each day to it's fullest, do what is right is saying that all we can be sure of is our personal power. The power to do right, and refrain from doing wrong. The power to have, and to share what we have. The power to be grateful for the creation and it's gifts, which include the 4 colors of humans (yeah, yeah, I know there are more, but we're talking basics here, nit pickers) And when we meet others who have their personal power, we can join with them.
I disagree with the poster who says that when Anglos conquered the Indians, there was an xchange, with customs/traditions going both ways. No, there was a taking of all good things that the Anglos could use; our land, our buffalo, some of our words, and our native foods. What we were given was rotten meat, disease infested blankets, trinkets, and an alien way of life. If we did not conform, we were beaten or killed. Our children were sent to boarding schools, often ripped from the arms of their families, their hair was cut & they were punished for speaking their language. Our children, who became our grandparents & parents, were taught shame. Some became proper little Anglos. But they were brown & Indian &...less than whites. So they could never truly be Anglos. But they/we could damn sure act like 'em. And we hated ourselves for it, and we lost our power, both personal & political. We are working to get it back, at least a few of us are. And now, the Anglos want our ideas, we are chic, we are sexy, we have been wronged, and the liberals feel sooo baad about it, they just want to tell us how much they admire us & that Our ways will save the earth & it's people....
I said on another post, that now that I live in the city, I am poor. If I do not earn enough money, I will have no place to live, my car will stop running, I will go hungry sometimes, etc., etc. But when I live on my Indian reservation, I can never be truly poor. I can fish, hunt, barter for just about anything. Use my talents of storytelling. singing & dancing, traditional crafts, etc. My people will not let me freeze in the winter- I will be given shelter. In the summer, I can camp. Berries & wild food is (for now) plentiful. (NOT enough to support all our tribe, though!!!)
I see in CC what I see in my homeland (Red Cliff). I see the past oppression continuing to define the way people live & think. With BZE, it was, I guess, the British. Your "official" language is English. Not Mayan, not Garifuna, not Creole, not Spanish, but ENGLISH. This is the first thing that is taken away. Your language: it is not good enough, it must be put aside, or used at home, or among your own. Your gov't: it is modeled on the British gov't, yes? Perhaps a bit of other western countries, as well. Then, your spirituality. You cannot worship in the old ways of your culture, or if you do, you must do it quietly, lest you be ostracized by many. You are now catholic, protestant, whatever. And then your land. All Britain had to do was take a good portion of your land & give it to non-BZE's, and a select few "locals" who would play along, to get power & wealth, or at least more than they had. Then they left. They just left. In the end, your are more fortunate than the Am. Indian. They left. We still have our oppressor right across the res line, and inside it as well!
We have met the enemy and the enemy is us.