Nothing Has Changed
How smooth must be the language of the whites, when they can make right look like wrong, and wrong like right.
Black Hawk, Sauk
"The white people who are trying to make us over into their image,
they want us to be what they call assimilated, bringing the Indians
into the mainstream and destroying our own way of life and our
own cultural patterns. They believe we should be contented
like those whose concept of happiness is materialistic
and greedy, which is very different from our way.
We want freedom from the white man rather than to be integrated.
We don't want any part of the establishment, we want to be free
to raise our children in our religion, in our ways, to be able
to hunt and fish and to live in peace. We don't want power,
we don't want to be congressmen, bankers, we want to be ourselves.
We want to have our heritage, because we are the
owners of this land and because we belong here.
The white man says there is freedom and justice for all.
We have had "freedom and justice," and that is why we
have been almost exterminated. We shall not forget this."
1927 Grand Council of American Indians
"A treaty, in the minds of our people, is an eternal word.
Events often make it seem expedient to depart from the pledged
word, but we are conscious that the first departure creates a
logic for the second departure, until there is nothing left of the word."
Declaration of Indian Purpose (1961) American Indian Chicago Conference