Thursday, July 29, 2010

Separation of the Races in Blackfoot Confederacy Lands


In 1867 Agent Wright outlined the terms of the new order of things by recommending separation of the races, so that in the new order of things the Indian could progress along his own lines of reckoning and the white man could have his land [Montana] unfettered by Indians. The border white man wanted to exterminate the Indians and take all of the Indian lands, but the agent said there would no longer be a need for agents or agencies if the Indians are exterminated, and then what shall we agents do? There will be no Indian annuities for the merchants in Fort Benton to steal. There will be no Indians for the Christian churches to fight over to tame the wild Indians and get government money. Way back at America’s birth the founding fathers of America were sure the nation would suffer the wrath of God if the Indians were killed off or defrauded of their properties. Agent Wright supposed the Old World [Europe} had to be taught a lesson that the United States was acquiring Indian lands by treaty rather than by force. The Civil War confederate border-whites were having no such qualms about killing Indians on sight or taking their lands by force in Montana Territory. They had just lost their war to keep African slaves and needed some fast cash and wished to fill their pockets with Blackfeet gold.
The compromise arranged in the treaty followed the formula of separation of the races so each can progress according to his merit and character in his own lands free of oppression. These treaty provisions were agreed to by the Territory and State of Montana, the United States of America and the Blackfoot Nation. In 1870 the border whites and their hero Governor Meagher of Montana Territory caused the massacre of Heavy Runner’s band in Blackfoot Confederacy lands as a last attempt to exterminate the Indians and take all of the land. Governor Meagher, a well known drunkard, fell off of his floating command post on a steamboat on the Missouri River and drowned. Agent Wright called his “War on the Black-Feet” the biggest humbug of the age, got up to make a raid on the national treasury for the bummers who hang onto to him. He reported no hostile Indians in the territory, but the army was called in anyway to massacre the Indians. The Priests or Black Robes, as the Blackfeet named them, testified to the murders and outrages of the border whites against the Blackfeet in their own lands. It is always the border white man who has violated these sacred words and agreements and caused a conflict on the reservation over control and jurisdiction of the Blackfeet land and economy, both clearly the domain of the Blackfeet Nation and the United States Congress. The root of the conflict today is the crimes of the border-whites and state in encroaching upon the reservation via forced patent frauds and conspiracies with crooked Indian Service employees manipulating the vested powers of the Interior Department to commit conspiracies by the thousands against Blackfeet treaty Indians, and wards of the government. It is very insulting to have the federal trustee of the national government to conduct the conspiracy to defraud the trust Indian of his trust property for the benefit of the state emigrant land grafters. Complicity is at the bottom of these crimes in every form and at every level of government. It is as though the American Government went mad for a time and descended into fascism and genocide. In 1913 the border-whites and Indian Service employees caused the deaths of over 100 Blackfeet Indians by starvation related disease because the Indians would not agree to cede the reservation lands coveted by border-whites. It was greed plain and simple that was at issue.


It was Thomas Jefferson, founding father, who said a man needs to own property to create wealth; it can be done no other way. It is as critical for the American Indians as it is for the Euro-Americans in the American economy to own and control one’s own property to become self-sufficient. This tribal property right is written into the Blackfeet Agreement of 1896/Article Five. This is important because a treaty right can only be changed by Congress with the prior consent of the Indians, and that stipulation is written into the treaty and state constitution. What the founding fathers guaranteed in the Constitution, the Interior Department took away in the BIA forced patents land frauds. These crimes are treaty violations and need the attention of Congress. I could never understand why our leader Old Person always ran to the BIA in Washington D.C. and the Governor of Montana. Our traditional tribal chiefs always went to Washington D.C. to testify before Congress on the land frauds and peculations of the BIA and Interior Department. They understood the tribal powers contained in the treaty and agreement to mean that our land and person was sovereign from the whites and State of Montana. We have to get that attitude back before the county takes us over in every way. One of the benefits of tribal sovereignty was to free the Blackfeet Indians from white rule of the border-whites of Montana [Cut Bank}. Do we want to be ruled by whites in Cut Bank and white ranchers and farmers out north and Seville where the land grafters roam on stolen Blackfeet allotments? When our tribal council does not even understand tribal sovereignty or is too lazy to collect our own taxes or run tribal law enforcement properly, we cannot be seen as sovereign. We need to zone the reservation and annex the reservation lands in every way. I mean tribal towns, tribal roads, tribal schools, tribal police, and tribal everything on the reservation. But not the IHS. The state/county was only called in to run roads and schools until the Indians could get assimilated enough to run their own government and social services. It should be tribal-federal partnership in everything we do, for the federal government is our treaty partner, not the state or county government’s, who only must abide by the treaty.
We need our property returned with compensation. That is the bottom line. If not we will continue to suffer tribal poverty. There is a lot of suffering going on the reservation, and if you don’t believe it live there in low rent. It also comes down to courage of the tribal leaders to confront the border-whites and State of Montana in Congress. Congress is our advocate and will support our treaty right to tribal sovereignty and separation of the races. Agent Wright said so long ago, that each race would then be able to go on with their business free of conflict with the other, and allow progress and destiny of each race in their own lands. It sounds almost Biblical doesn’t it? It is wisdom itself, to separate warring races, so the world may have peace.


Congress is ultimately responsible for the treaty goal of advancement of the Blackfeet Indians into cattle ranching using their treaty lands for pasturage and feed production to create a self-sufficient tribal cattle industry upon the reserved tribal grazing tracts. In other words, the Blackfeet tribal cattle ranchers are singled out and given tribal treaty rights to develop the tribal cattle industry on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation to bring the Blackfeet Indians to self-sufficiency in the new economy. Mission accomplished! The Blackfeet cattle ranchers were written up in 1896 as possessing 25,000, cattle and shipping steers to Chicago, raising livestock, and selling beef to the government. Think of how valuable those government beef contracts would be worth today. Think of how successful tribal ranch families were in 1896. I know the Blackfeet have many ranch families left, but not everybody can raise cattle. The tribal cattle herds would provide product for a tribal processing facility and sales to government and international markets of Blackfeet beef products. There would be jobs for tribal members in the packing plant and distribution and sales and marketing of those products. The most important thing for the Blackfeet ranchers is to be made whole from the land frauds and cattle rustling and conspiracy to ruin the Blackfeet cattle industry by the white stockmen and Interior Department. These tribal ranch families still exist and need justice for the crimes committed against their forefathers that deprived them of their inheritance. But we have been taught over the past one hundred years that the Indians can expect no consistency in federal policy that follows the treaty, and that the interests of the state and border whites and corporations will take precedence over the interests of the Blackfeet Indians, and that the Indians can do little to affect those crimes committed against him, and he might even be told that it was for his own good. It is these negative thoughts and actions that must be exorcised from the tribal and federal body politic as the only avenues of communication. The tribal declaration of stop the thief will do wonders to get the attention of the Congress. It is a cry of war, in the sense that you cannot genocide me anymore and I want my land back! Such is the experience of the Congress, who has learned to negotiate those problems that would threaten the treaty or the Union. The psychological direction of the Indians is to assume their positions in society as if you had not been so rudely separated from your position and property in your own land. It is kind of embarrassing to have to tell someone to go home when they won’t leave, but it must be done to the whites sitting on stolen Blackfeet lands. Congress will do this very nicely with compensation to the whites. That much is good, for some of them purchased their property absent the knowledge of the thefts, but is charged with knowledge thereof. The rest is up to us to go to Congress and request the changes as we see fit. We are close to victory. But, what is the fly in the honey? We need to be unified in our claims. Our chairman Old Person called us a bureau problem and taught the tribal council to stay out of the fight to get our lands back. That is wrong on so many fronts. We are still a tribe and still all under the treaty, and all recognized as members of the Blackfeet Tribe. Why separate the Blackfeet crime victims from the protection of their own tribal government and tribal leadership? I believe that is the visible tail of the conspiracy, a last gasp of the conspirators to bury the Blackfeet crime victims in a mass unmarked grave like massacre victims of genocide. It is a trick to separate the tribe into factions instead of communal lands owned by the Blackfeet Indians set aside by treaty with the United States. It reaches the highest levels of Government in its inception by manipulating the plenary powers of Congress for their constituents benefit and to further the conspiracy. We are demanding return of Blackfeet Title, and Just Compensation for the families, and for tribal cattle industry restoration. We have offers of help from the tribal council.

No comments:

Post a Comment