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Date: Thu, 5 Jan 1995 23:54:30 -0800
Subject: nanews03.001 (part A)
To: Multiple recipients of list IND-NET (IND-NET%WSUVM1.BITNET@cmsa.Berkeley.EDU)
By Larry Kibby <kibby@scs.unr.edu>

Heritage Preservation

By Larry Kibby, in Kanoheda Aniyvwiya,
Vol. 3, no. 1, January 1995

This article is from volume 03, issue 01, 7 January 1995, of Kanoheda Aniyvwiya ( Native American News). Ikche/Kanoheda Aniyvwiya are now being archived at a World-Wide-Web site. The URL is http://ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu/~marc/journals/nanews/ This is a test site, and at some point in the future the location of these files will change.

With the New Year upon us, and having gone through a national election, the U.S. Government is facing some very serious changes in Congress and the Senate, and where will that leave the effort of safe-guarding the Heritage of the Native American Indian?

Will the Government endorse legislation in1995 that will enhance the preservation and protection of the ceremonial and burial sites of the Native American Indian?

And what of the Government to Government policy? Will this new change also advocate a continued effort to work with the tribes, so that they can enhance their economic, health and housing policies?

What proposed changes are in store, if any for the Native American Indian? Will issues be placed on the back burner? Or will issues be set completely aside and the Indian be made to wait another ten or twenty years before any accomplishments can be achieved?

Too many questions it seems and the fate of the Native American Indian is awaiting the turn of the New Year. It should not be this way, but down through the years, through no fault of our own, we have allowed our issues to be addressed by a people who had no serious regard for the future or well being of our people.

New Age. Environmentalist. Instant Indians. Self-Proclaimed Chiefs. Self-Proclaimed Spiritual Leaders. Christian Indians. B.I.A. Indians. IRA Indians and etc. Over the years, some of these people have gone before the Government and claimed to be the true representation of the Traditional Native American Indian, and yes, the government and society believed.

For the most part, inflated ego's of non-Indians and Indians alike, hindered the efforts of the Traditional Indian from achieving their goals and objectives. These people with their swelled heads would make rash decisions or judgmental statements, before the public, congress and the senate, that would do more harm than good for the Traditional people.

False representation has had a serious impact on the Traditional claims to preserve and protect the ceremonial and burial sites. Now the Traditional Indian must act swiftly in his struggle to maintain his position and identity. Now the fallacies and egotistical regards must be cleaned up and an avenue of constructive factors be set in place, so that truth and honor can be restored with some dignity and pride.

If false representation is such a determined factor, who shall represent the Traditional People? What is so wrong with the Traditional people representing their self? It seems that the Elderly can still remember the Tradition and Traditional Belief and many of them are passing down these Ancient Customs and Sacred Beliefs, which are being used and kept from public view.

What is so good about hiding the Tradition and Traditional Belief? Shouldn't the public have knowledge of these ceremonies or know where these Sacred Grounds and burial sites are? Yes and no. Yes, the public should have knowledge of the ceremonies, in a sense that questions can be answered for those who have a concern and interest, but as for public viewing or use, no, it should be a matter of respect, that only we be allowed to safe-guard and participate in our most Sacred ceremonies.

What about the ceremonial and burial sites of your Ancestors that need protection, don't you think it would be best if we knew where they were so that some justifiable effort can be made to preserve and protect them? Yes and no. Yes, the public should have knowledge that an effort is being made to preserve an area of concern, but to disclose its where abouts, no. Already, pot hunters and the likes have desecrated the burials of our Ancestors, and when a voice came from the Traditional people, all that was said is, They're only bones, nothing of value, we need them for scientific research!

Do you think its right to be so insensitive to society or a people that are just trying to help? Some people do care and would like to see the Indian get some fair form of justice for all the injustice that has been bestowed upon, so why should we step aside?

First, it is not our intent to be insensitive, but society or a people should try and understand, that for too long have we stood by and watched as our Tradition and Traditional Belief was being made a mockery of. We watched as insensitive people dug up our ceremonial and burial areas and for what? No, it is not a matter of being insensitive, we would just like to express that our issues are still important and that for a change, we would like to represent ourselves.

Secondly, we are not asking you to step aside, but to slow down and help in a way that will preserve and protect our Tradition and Traditional Belief, not distort or destroy it. Remember, our Youth need a unique form of Heritage, that they can pass on to their Youth, and that can only be arrived at if there is a serious effort made to change that in which has never been changed and that is History.

Then if you want our help, and won't show us your ceremonies and burial areas, how can we help? First understand, that there are certain ceremonies or events that you can participate in. Not all activity is closed off, but remember to ask first, so as not to offend attending tribal Elders or others, whose interest must be regarded as a priority, which hasn't been done in the past.

Then, remember, your interest and concern is of value, however, instead of jumping right in the middle of an issue, try and seek out the right source of information. All to often, we accept someone's word and don't stop to think if they are in fact a true representative. And all the while they have been putting your money into their pockets, which is one reason some of our issues have not been properly addressed.

Help preserve and protect history. Help preserve and protect the Native American Indian Tradition and Traditional Belief. Help preserve and protect Native American Indian Ceremonial and Burial Sites, so that justice will prevail. Help restore an American Heritage, so that the Native American Youth, tomorrow's future tribal leaders will have a past of truth and honor, that can be promoted before a Government and a Society with the pride and dignity of their Ancestors.

1995, a New Year, a year in which a long awaited justice can be arrived at, through a constructive form of assistance from valuable concerns and interest of a people, who are willing to help in a manner relevant to the effort of preserving and protecting the Native American Indian Tradition and Traditional Belief.