A Lethal Agent Orange Legacy
The San Carlos Apache are slowly being choked by chemical death, writes Michael Paul Hill:
In 1962, the San Carlos Apache Tribe permitted the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the U.S. Geological Survey to test the 2-4-5 TP chemicals dioxin and furans, a.k.a. Agent Orange, in the Gila and San Carlos Rivers and in the Pinal Mountains. The reason was to remove salt cedar vegetation along the river and waterways.
But Agent Orange has done nothing to stop the growing of the salt cedars along the river. Instead, we have been invaded with illnesses ranging from birth defects, heart diseases, cancers of all kinds, diabetes, thyroid problems and memory issues such as Alzheimer’s. We were
used as lab rats to test the effects of the chemicals on our bodies and those of our neighbors in the Globe area.
The diseases we now suffer from were never hereditary until their introduction through Agent Orange. It has soaked in the clay sediment strata, thus infecting the vegetation, wildlife, the air we breathe, and the water we drink and bathe in.
Many people are being infected by the death of chemical waters. Millions are drinking poison water and eating poison foods. Yet we are told this is normal and derives from our ancestral heritage. I am sure you have heard the saying, “It’s in our DNA.” Quite the contrary. It is utterly abominable and hideously abnormal.
Living under the shadow of disease and illnesses within our communities only allows future generations to inherit the pain of now, whether it is physical, social, psychological, environmental or, most importantly, spiritual. Accepting the reality that we have been contaminated is the first step toward healing. http://bit.ly/2e4Klw1
The Native Phoniness of Jill Stein
Is Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein really a legitimate candidate for Native Americans? Terese Maihot has her doubts:
Jill Stein is that white girl who goes to Native functions and gets so outlandish that the cops show up and arrest everyone but her. She looked thrilled to write graffiti on a bulldozer at recent protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline. I’m familiar with that face. It’s the face of tourists when they smudge themselves at our gatherings, or look at our regalia, or do anything that makes for good dinner party fodder or a compelling Facebook status.
Stein gets to congratulate herself and benefit from the exposure, but what has she actually accomplished for Native people? Why are people acting like she’s not an Ivy League graduate and isn’t estimated to be worth millions?
Yes, she’s the only candidate who cares about Indigenous Peoples. But aren’t we familiar with how privileged white people help our community? It becomes paternalistic, nearsighted and downright insulting. I don’t need a tourist to better my circumstance. A true ally doesn’t pose for pictures or walk in the front of the march.
Stein has, outlandishly, entertained anti-vaccine sentiment by parsing and legitimizing the claims that vaccinations can be harmful. I’d like to see her shot records, mostly because I’m sure she’s been inoculated. I wasn’t and I have the tuberculosis to prove it. Because of this, it’s imperative that my children get the shots I needed. If anyone could understand why there should be questions concerning vaccinations, it’s a Native person. After all, we’re familiar with how our own government is capable of putting us at risk.
This all might seem didactic, but I’m living in a theatre of the absurd right now. http://bit.ly/2dW2gpX
A Different Kind Of Wolf Policy
It’s time to reconsider how we perceive wolves as an endangered species, argues Melissa Smith:
Those howling for delisting the wolf as an endangered species in the Western Great Lakes should support reasonable wildlife compromises on their management. Currently there exist in the wolf hunt law no prime habitat protection zones, no tribal authority, and no voice of wolf advocates or cultural consideration of the Ojibwe people.
Indeed, there is widespread recognition of crisis within state agencies nationwide—of legitimacy, best available science and representation. Agency personnel and leaders could find common ground on restructuring how these agencies are funded. Wildlife advocates could also find common ground with promoting revision of the North American Model to better include non-hunting stakeholder interests and greater public involvement.
And leaders of wolf management within state agencies should be enthusiastic allies of certain efforts in Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota. These initiatives recognize that some sporting groups, such as the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association, are aggressively organizing to prevent financial and political reform. We saw this at the Wolf Summit a few weeks ago. In Wisconsin, there are no checks and balances; the state’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is a political agency, with a secretary appointed by the governor. The DNR has made clear that public opinion plays no role in its decisions. How does that provide a service and equal protection for state citizens or our wildlife?
Wisconsin’s DNR continues to be dominated by older white males who support sport hunting and fishing over all other management outcomes, and who tend to disregard the input of nontraditional stakeholders. Until public trust is embraced, and the notion of wildlife as a resource for all is accepted, we can’t energize a new wildlife constituency.