You are here
Home > Posts tagged "Tohono O’odham"

Ward Churchill speaks on which settler invasion wrote the book on Apartheid

Ward Churchill spoke in Tucson on Friday and Brenda Norrell has posted the footage. Watching the ex-CU professor speak, I can't help but think about the university students' loss. They're missing the lamentably rarefied perspectives he offers of course, but more important, the inspiration gained from such an engaging luminary. Throughout his lectures, Churchill likes to put questions back at his audience. He understands, if I can presume to project his rationale, that a mentor's role is to bounce ideas around, and be sure his students have minds open enough to let them resonate. It's also a sign of someone fully confident with what they are teaching. Churchill gives you the impression he's interested in the best argument you've got, and I believe him, but in reality he's going to have few peers up to the task. When it's time for Q and A, Prof. Churchill calls it mud-wrestling, and welcomes all shots, "even spit wads." He draws the line at brick bats, because he says, one might bounce off his head and hit somebody else. He warns, as if he's had practice, "because someone might get hurt. I can assure you it won't be me." I wished at that moment that Tucson was not so far from Churchill's curiously vile detractors, who attended his trial in Denver, and who hold bitch fests online about every Churchinalia for reasons unspecified. I predict they're remunerated; the love-to-hate pretext is wearing thin, these yahoos are pro-Israeli tea-baggers. So there's no Drunkablog or Pirate Ballerina there tonight to take the "perfessor's" challenge. Although wouldn't such an exchange have been simply tedious? I recall this dismal attempt mounted against "Wart" by a couple CU college Republicans, it was just embarrassing. Have Churchill's online critics ever confronted him in person I wonder? They can spout off in the safety of anonymity, and that's about it. Churchill's speech to the predominantly Anglo and O'odham border activists was about the bigger issues behind the border wall. The theme of the gathering was Apartheid in America, and Churchill demonstrated how South African Apartheid came of the successful colonial methods practiced in the United States. These were the strategies employed by the Germans in taking and settling the Eastern Front during WWII, and of course the goals of Israel in Palestine. Churchill described how settler invasions vary from colonial administration. In the latter case, the colonizers can go home, in the former, they stay. Another distinction is critical, the settlers aren't moving to a land and becoming part of the social system, they remain citizens of the occupying force. They bring their identity and the foreign system with them, to apply against the people indigenous to the land. The process involves two steps: displace enough of the natives to make room for yourselves, but leave just enough to serve as a labor pool, for all the building that is required of empire building. You've need of only a portion of the original population, to do the manual labor required

Subcomandante Marcos on LA OTRA

Reading more about the Tohono O'odham, I came across this speech by the EZLN's masked leader Subcomandante Marcos, delivered at a 2006 tribal gathering of SW Native American insurgents. It's about the other Mexico, in solidarity with the other Americas: "La Otra."   Compared his words to President Obama today telling the tribal summit in DC: "You will not be forgotten." Sounds like a eulogy. Doesn't it? Or simply another white man's empty promise. It appears to me that Obama is playing the forked tongue white man to Americans of every color, giving them assurances that they are now in good hands, yet turning his back on them all when the speeches are through. It's Obama the great equalizer, making sure that all Americans, Red, White, Brown and Black, get treated like they're black. EZLN: A Meeting with the O’odham By Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos La Otra - The Other Mexico October 26, 2006 Bueno, Compañeras and Compañeros: First we just want to thank the Monroy family, who is receiving the Sixth Commission and the Karavana’s compañeros, who are giving us lodging here, in… Rancho el Peñasco is it called? Thank you Compañeros and Compañeras. And thank you to all of you who have endured the six hours that we have been here, and I hope you have a little patience for what I am going to say. We especially want to thank the traditional O’odham authorities. Don José, Doña Ofelia – I don’t see her anymore – Is Doña Ofelia still here? No? Brenda, Doña Brenda? They’re not here either, what a pity. Doña Alicia? Well, that’s what happened to us. The traditional authorities went away and we came to listen to them. No? But Don José is here, as I want to bring a message from the indigenous Zapatista communities to the Tohono O’odham people, and also for the Navajo and Cherokee people. What the compañero, the Purépecha chief Salvador said, from the National Indigenous Congress, also represents our thinking. The traditional O’odham chief, Doña Ofelia, pointed out something that we already see in the papers. That thing that a few people are promoting here, the National Indigenous Convention, is a lie. It is really directed by someone who was an official under President Vicente Fox, and later was unemployed and is now involved with the National Indigenous Convention, which is really a movement to support López Obrador. The Indian peoples don’t interest them. The documents, which they are presenting, which those people are distributing, make no mention of the San Andrés Accords, which have cost blood and death not just to Zapatistas, but to more than 40 Indian peoples, tribes and nations of Mexico, who are in agreement with that struggle. We are in agreement with what was expressed by Doña Ofelia, the O’odham traditional authority. “We are Zapatistas. We live in the last corner of this country. We are of Mayan roots. We are people of Tzeltal, Tzotzil, Tojolabal, Chol, Zoque

Ward Churchill to speak for O’odham

According to Censored News, Activist and scholar Ward Churchill will speak at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson, 4831 W. 22nd St., on November 13, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. to benefit O'odham VOICE Against the Wall, which since 2003 has organized and advocated for the traditional O’odham leaders and elders of the Tohono O’odham communities in the southern territory of the United States and northern territory of Mexico. Professor Churchill’s talk is part of the “Apartheid in America: Surviving Occupation in O’odham Lands” O'odham activist Ofelia Rivas will also participate. The event is sponsored by the Dry River Radical Resource Center, the Earth First! Journal, and Voices against the Wall. Here's some background on the O'odham struggle: By J. D. Hendricks, 2004 TIAMAT PUBLICATIONS #5 The People Who Emerged From the Earth Over two thousand years ago the descendents of the O’odham moved into the southwestern region of the area now claimed by the U.S. as the state of Arizona. 1 The O’odham have had one of the longest histories of contact with the forces of European colonization compared with the rest of the native North American peoples. The O’odham’s first contact with Spanish invaders took place in the mid 16th century; nearly one hundred years before the colonization of the North Atlantic coast and Great Lakes regions were begun by the French and English colonists. As such, the history of the O’odham provides a good context for an investigation of the colonization of Native North America, and more specifically, an investigation of the interplay between, and results of, the varied responses to colonization – that of collaboration, accommodation, and resistance. Many histories of the O’odham refer to these desert people as the Papago. The term Papago was a name given to the O’odham by the Spanish colonizers, and is likely the result of a Spanish corruption of the O’odham word “papabi” which was the O’odham name for one of their principal bean varieties. Thus, the Spanish colonizers term for the O’odham (Papago) came to mean “the bean eaters.” 2 For the purposes of this study I will refrain from the use of the term Papago and will refer to “the people” 3 by their traditional pre-colonial name. 4 As is often the case, with the name Papago being a good example, European constructs are often imposed upon indigenous peoples by the historians that seek to portray their past. This result can occur when historians seek to glorify European norms and traditions at the expense of indigenous ones, and can also be the result of the subconscious indoctrination of the historian by the dominant culture – in this case that of western style industrial civilization. In other cases it can be the result of a simple uncritical usage of language. One of the most dominant and reoccurring “civilized” constructs imposed upon indigenous peoples history is the commonly understood notion that the O’odham, or any other indigenous North American culture for that

Top