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GiovanniG 06-02-2017 02:19 PM

To daddo: A little different here
In Alaska things are a bit different... The Alaska natives rather than having reservations like the lower 48. They have non profit corporations which exploit their natural resources. These corporations mine their gold, silver, oil, etc. and some are very wealthy. The natives have shares in the corporations and get dividend checks. Which is similar to the natives in the lower 48. They are interestingly having a major problem with mixed marriages and the children that result. The percentage of native to white that results is falling below minimums so these children have no share of anything on the lands the tribe controls. They can't hunt, fish or share in the tribal wealth.

On the island I live on their are no businesses of any kind but a general store. The reason there aren't any businesses is that no bank in all of America can lend money to a native as there is no collateral for a loan. You see the land and everything on it is sovereign and belongs to the tribe forever. None of the land or anything on their land can be pledged to a bank. Therefore there are no businesses and no jobs. Poverty and government handouts are they only thing that sustains the tribe.

You mention that their lands were taken from them by the immigrants which is true. But you see the immigrants were forced out of Europe by poverty and governments taking the immigrants properties via programs and forced migration and religious persecution. The immigrants that came to America and Australia were persecuted peoples too. Europe should be paying reparations to the peoples it forced to move away and they should be paying them to the natives that were displaced by the in migrations of persecuted immigrants. A little different take on the plight of these native people and who really caused their problems. The raw deal originated in Europe and screwed everyone.
Hope you have a sense of humor........ GiovanniG

daddo 06-03-2017 12:29 AM

I follow what you are saying. I think that the changes that you mention are relatively new as I do remember that the Inuits only got sovereign control relatively recently as I do remember the news on that. By contrast the Aborigines are still asking for a treaty as they have little or no control over the resources and have no native body to speak on their behalf or to represent their interests in parliament. As for who came and why, the gold rush in both America and Australia was responsible for a large influx of foreigners who ultimately settled down and expanded their interests at the expense of the original landowners. The story of the Black Hills and the negation of one treaty after another is a stark example of greed and exploitation. You'll need to explain what are the 48 as it's a term I have not heard before.
Thanks for your lengthy and informative explanation. In historical terms the rot had set in in the Americas with the Conquistadors and their search for El Dorado which decimated a people and civilisation and was motivated purely by gold fever. Ciao.

GiovanniG 06-03-2017 02:04 PM

Lower 48
The lower 48 refers to the 48 states in the U.S. mainland.

You are correct in the fact that the Alaska natives did secure their rights to their lands via non profit corporations relatively recently.

I also agree the natives got a bad deal with the in migration of the Europeans. It was not good for them in any way. That said most immigrants coming from Europe came because of wars, famines, and religious intolerance rather than seeking gold. Most were forced out of Europe. Europe of course chooses to look at the issue as being the fault of Americans but it actually was the result of Europeans blunders or political moves.

I think most Europeans are very naive. They have an overly simplified view and tend to look to fix blame. As I see as things now exist the reservation and sovereign lands method of helping the natives is failing in many ways. The reservation sovereign lands tend to fix the natives a location and make them totally dependent upon the national government and its welfare system. The tribes can't economically succeed because there is no sustainable economic model which works. Selling resources results in gain only for a short period of time. Their sovereignty prohibits any economic investments. Their gradual mingling with the rest of the American gene pool inevitable results in ethnic collapse and the forced departure of the resulting children who have no stake in the aboriginal mother land. After a few centuries of intermarriage the entire culture collapses. On the island I worked at you see the cracks in the culture as drugs, alcohol and suicides take a tremendous toll. Children lose all hope and cease trying to learn anything in school as there is no benefit for them in getting an education.... They lose hope and turn to drugs, alcohol and suicide. The older folks see their cultural heritage and lore disappear as the children turn to the internet and popular culture rather than uphold the old ways. It's in a way doomed path that no one from outside or inside can arrest. It's very sad to witness and I see no possible solutions.

daddo 06-04-2017 12:59 AM

Ciao Giovanni. I see many parallels between the Natives there and the Aboriginal tribes here. We have glue sniffing, a cheap way of getting high, suicides and renal failures from alcohol consumption. In some reserves the elders have banned the sale of alcohol and proclaimed these as dry areas. But unscrupulous individuals from outside have found ways of selling their poison.
The problems, as I see them, started long ago with the dispossession of traditional land, rounding up of various language groups and in some cases peoples who had a history of antipathy towards each other and putting them all in missions/reservations. There they were "looked after" by white administrators and religious groups many of whom were abusive and keen to obliterate languages, beliefs and customs. (To this day we have white administrators in reserves who scoop the cream of government grants for admin costs etc and leave the people living in third world conditions.)
The children were told that their forefathers were ignorant and primitive. Here, if children were caught speaking their language, they were punished. In some cases they had their mouths washed with soap and were placed in isolation. As for sexual abuse, the cases were horrendous. But possibly worst of all was the removal of children from those who loved them.
Now, all of this begs the question of how can people who have been brutalised over a number of generations regain their confidence and upon which broken pieces of their past build a structure for a coherent present and a promising future for their children.
It is interesting to note that in America and Australia in the middle of last century the inmates in psychiatric wards were over represented by migrants who having been encouraged to assimilate and detach themselves from their heritage, found that despite their efforts, they were still seen as foreigners or unworthy of top jobs. They too were caught in limbo, neither here nor there.

We have in Australia a very small population of First Australians, yet they have the highest rate of incarceration, in Western Australia prisons hold as many as 35% Aborigines. They also have a mortality rate ten years lower than the rest.
Every time they trie to gain some sort of self rule, they are thwarted. Having been denied education for so long, it is only recently that they have erudite and confident spokespersons who can present a case for their people.
Suffice it so say that after being custodians of this continent for more than 40,000 years, they had been classified until 1968 as part of the FAUNA and were not included in the census.

So forgive me if I don't share your views about the kind Europeans, for if they fled persecution and misery, it is those very people who should have had some empathy towards the natives. When truth be told, when they saw all those fertile valleys, all that open land, it was very tempting to grab it all- no questions asked. And let's not forget God was on their side as they tried to convert these people before sending them to their maker. Ah, the White Man's Burden- a historical terms filled with nastiness.

GiovanniG 06-04-2017 04:16 PM

Well said sir
Your explanation is accurate and totally true. It was much the same here in America and I think we copied each other in the way we treated the original inhabitants.

The problem remains and it seems to me to be a clash of cultures. The systems set up as they now exist do nothing but exacerbate the problems. Isolation in a sovereign territory hasn't proved to be effective. Reeducation has of course been a failure. Forced assimilation has been an insult and a crime. Your explanations of the gross sins of the past are accurate and well said.

Moving from the past to the present I am not at all encouraged that any solutions are plausible. The systems that have been established are total inadequate and are in fact detrimental. They are chained to a system which keeps them poor, uneducated and offers no hope for their future. The old system of forced indoctrination failed miserably and was criminal in its methods and results. And the new American system of self determination and giving them meager amounts of money isn't proving to a disaster too.

My myopia comes from living amongst them and seeing the futility of the status quo. I don't see even a glimmer of hope and I am without any suggestions on how to improve it. I do not think though that the reservation / sovereign lands set aside is beneficial. Sovereign lands make investment and sustainable economics impossible. Sovereign lands bind the impoverished peoples to reservations in America where they are required to live in order to qualify for public assistance. It in essence chains them to their ancestral lands without any hope of a sustainable economy. It chains them to federal assistance as few jobs exist on the reservation. It discourages them from getting an education. To get a degree or even graduate from high school results in zero economic benefit unless they move away from the reservation.

This does not diminish the guilt of the past generations of immigrants. This does not diminish the guilt the Europeans should feel for forcing their citizens to flee their home lands. But the guilt belongs to the peoples who are long dead. The guilt doesn't belong to those who are alive today. The people who are alive today should learn from the mistakes of their ancestors and attempt to all they can to help the native population.... I don't feel that any solutions exist with the things as they are. I don't feel that anyone has a solution nor could one be implemented if one existed as it is politically impossible. I expect that the American people will pay billions of dollars for ever to fund the natives existence on their reservation which will keep them poor, uneducated and without hope. Such a sad commentary for such wonderful people. Sorry I am so, so gloomy on this subject.

daddo 06-05-2017 12:45 AM

You might be interested to know of the term "smoothing the dying pillow" which was used by the government for the people in reservations (full bloods) where the plan was to take the mixed race children away from their parents by force and absorb them into the white society to become stockmen (men) and domestic maids (women) with the projection that the Aboriginal blood would dilute over a number of generations. The full bloods were to die out, hence the term about making their exit less painful. This is after the previous efforts by settlers to decimate them in shooting expeditions, through poisonings of waterholes and in giving them blankets infested with chickenpox against which they had no resistance.
As for current and previous generation and the sense of guilt, we have living amongst us people who, as mixed race children, had been forcibly removed from their remote communities and have grown up in foster care. Have a listen to Archie Roach's songs on youtube, especially if you can find "They took the children away", something he experienced himself.

All I can add about Aboriginal people is this: that despite the cruel policies of the past and present, the deposition, the problems with alcohol abuse and general apathy of the wider community, they are still here fighting for justice and a fair go. So there is still hope, especially as the younger Australians are more prepared to listen.

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