Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Geronimo and New Pangaea

I was watching a program on Native American Women Warriors last night on the North Carolina Channel (after Dancing with the Stars) :). I was impressed with the entire documentary and have spent most of the morning looking for it so I could re post it but to no avail. Although I would prefer posting the actual film, I will summarize the points I found most pertinent.

The narrator was a Native American female veteran who was sharing her experience in the Middle East and talking about the perspective of the warrior women in her culture. I believe she was Kiowa, Comanche and Sioux (from the Plains People). Traditionally, female warriors were the protectors of the culture and were not hesitant to fight as needed. Today, that tradition is being followed in another "war." That war is the fight to save the culture through pow-wow's and currently, the fight against the Keystone and DAPL pipelines crossing their land and threatening their water supply. As the Native veteran was talking to an Iraqi officer during the pow wow,  she mentioned a figure well known in American history for trying to save his land in the late 19th Century - Geronimo. 

Upon hearing the name Geronimo, one of the Iraqi leaders indicated he knew of this person.  Evidently, people in the Middle East are familiar with him and the military leader asked a lot of questions about him. As I watched this, I thought, could the struggle of the indigenous people in North America be something that brings cultures of the Middle East together to start working toward deescalation of war? Maybe the "whole world IS watching" and listening to the voices stilled so long ago in this country in the name of freedom and carrying the "white man's burden." The women warriors could be the ones who make this happen. It is the women of Plains' people who are carrying the message, first at Wounded Knee and then at Standing Rock.

One of the most poignant events that I recall from Standing Rock was the gathering of over 4,000 American veterans, many of them Native Americans, who came to serve and help and apologize for the atrocities committed in the name of freedom that eliminated their culture and way of life. The new banner of freedom that these protesters carried at Standing Rock was "Water is Life." For this, they were maced and rounded up and put into jail. Chase Iron Eyes and others are still defending themselves in court in 2019. Leonard Pelitier is still in prison for so called violence against the United States in the confrontation at Wounded Knee in the 1970's. Wouldn't it be interesting if the military leaders from the Middle East became familiar with this story as well as the story of Geronimo? Maybe they are as the warrior women of the Plains' cultures keep the stories alive for the whole world to see.

No comments:

Post a Comment