SAN FRANCISCO — The sixth annual Goal West Convention began Monday morning with a prayer and drum song. Lakotas Invoice Means and Madonna Thunder Hawk have been amongst the primary to arrive on the gathering, which includes shows at present and tomorrow, the annual un-thanksgiving dinner on Wednesday and a live performance on Friday.

Purpose history at Purpose West Convention

Invoice Means started with a Lakota greeting, “My coronary heart is robust and i lengthen my hand in friendship.” Means stated he turned part of Purpose in Vietnam in a bunker, when he saw his brother, Russell Means, in a copy of the military magazine “Stars and Stripes.” Russell Means, who has now handed to the Spirit World, was protesting on the East Coast in 1968. The article mentioned: “Plymouth Rock should have landed on the Pilgrims — fairly than the Pilgrims landing on Plymouth Rock.”

Invoice Means mentioned he couldn’t wait to get out of the military and be part of this movement.

Invoice Means spoke of the three recognized enemies of Indian people, and how Purpose sought options, together with demanding that the Treaties be honored, and charity efforts focused on Native folks be refocused into jobs and developing the communities.

Aim was formed in the 1960s and it was a time like non different. It was a time of Black Panthers in San Francisco; Martin Luther King in Alabama; girls’s rights; and the anti-battle motion. Means mentioned he was a member of Vietnam Veterans in opposition to the Warfare.

Means met the American Indian Movement through the Occupation of Alcatraz and could not wait to take it home to Pine Ridge. “We at all times had an answer we were about to handle.” Means mentioned there was a 20-point place paper within the Trail of Damaged Treaties.

Intention recognized three enemies of American Indian people: First, the United States authorities in the type of the BIA, which was in the War Dept., second the churches, and the third was the training system.

The answer was to begin with the Treaties, made between Nations. “Our elders at all times told us, ‘Use those Treaties.'”

Means said Aim was well organized they usually did their homework.

Moreover the US authorities, Means said the other great enemy of Indian persons are the churches and colleges. Their motto was: “Save the little one, kill the Indian.” It was assimilation and acculturation. In the meantime, Aim challenged the churches to work with the communities quite than to deal with the poverty and taking youngsters out of Indian houses.

Nonetheless, by means of all of this, America saw Indians as romantic photographs.

“But we are still right here and we have now a proper to be who we’re,” Means stated. Within Aim, American Indians started to control their very own curriculum in schools.

“This was very revolutionary on the time.”

Purpose recognized the enemies and carried out ways to deal with those. Means said mascots are protested because the difficulty is certainly one of respect. This fundamental respect is important before shifting on to other issues equivalent to Treaties.

Means mentioned the movie, “A Man Called Horse,” was protested because it portrayed a white man saving Indians. The marches in opposition to the movie, however, created a backlash and the film truly became more famous as a result of everybody needed to see what Indian folks were so upset about. “We learned some lessons.”

Means questioned why the US is just not upholding their very own laws which incorporates Indian Treaty rights. As long as Article 6 is there, the Treaty rights remain, he mentioned.

Recalling the ’60s, Means stated, it was a time of social change and of marching. America was in a really totally different place than it’s now.

Madonna Thunder Hawk, Lakota, and Jean

Jean Whitehorse, Dine’

Whitehorse, Dine’, spoke on Monday morning. Thunder Hawk stressed the significance of extended families and communities, and the battle against the state of South Dakota which is profiteering from taking Indian kids from their properties. Whitehorse described how she was abused in boarding faculty for speaking Dine’. She also shared the Magnificence Manner.

Thunder Hawk mentioned she lived in San Francisco when she was younger. Thunder Hawk additionally remembered when Invoice Mean’s father went out to Alcatraz in 1964 to occupy it, earlier than the longer occupation of Alcatraz years later.

“We have been family oriented,” mentioned Thunder Hawk. She spoke of prolonged families within the Lakota means. She mentioned after WW II she lived right here in the San Francisco area, and her family members grew up with Bill Means members of the family.

Thunder Hawk stated the movement has survived because of group organizers. She mentioned the US couldn’t wipe them all out as a result of they were community primarily based and household based mostly.

“The bottom line for us is land safety,” she stated.

Thunder Hawk mentioned at this time there are so many threats, including the Keystone XL pipeline. The oil could be shipped to China.

Thunder Hawk described how right now the technique of the US and vitality firms includes the privatization of Indian land. She stated energy firms pick off particular person land house owners and purchase the land and mineral rights from these who are determined for cash.

Along with this, there are man camps in the oil and gas fields.

At present a lot of the wrestle focuses on the Indian Little one Welfare Act which is profiteering from child welfare and seizing Indian children from their houses.

“The state of South Dakota found out they could make thousands and thousands by taking over youngster welfare for the whole state,” Thunder Hawk stated.

She mentioned the youths are offering hope. “The younger people are actually active and waking up.”

There are many struggles within the Dakotas. Now white supremacists are coming in and shopping for up land in small towns. This simply occurred in Leith, North Dakota, close to the Standing Rock Indian Nation.

“These little towns are dying.”

In Leith, there were solely 26 residents when the neo-Nazi bought up housing and much. The residents put out a call for help.

“We’re underneath siege greater than ever,” Thunder Hawk mentioned, describing the assaults on the folks, communities and Indian Nations within the Dakotas.

Churches now have a new technique for in search of recruits of Indian individuals. At present, she stated churches use sage and the priests wear beadwork.

“They’re busy attempting to convert the Indian people. They say, ‘We’ll pay your gentle invoice for you.'”

Further, Indian people are dealing with the over remedy and drugging of youths by Indian Well being Service. IHS has given youths excessive temper-altering medication which dulls them.

The difficulty is survival. Thunder Hawk mentioned she likes to come to the Intention West gathering each year as a result of there are progressive Indian people right here. Meanwhile, in South Dakota there is a frontier mentality. There’s a lack of assets and lack of attorneys. Additional, individuals do not wish to go up towards the state, the idea of taking on the state is taken into account too radical for them.

“Moccasins on the bottom, that is who I am,” Thunder Hawk mentioned.

She said Goal West is a clearing house, for worldwide work. Further, the Internet has allowed young individuals to see the big image.

“We do not stand alone. I”m actually glad to be right here.”

Jean Whitehorse, Dine’, remembered the Occupation of Alcatraz and the battle for land, liberty, justice and freedom. She additionally exposed racism in children’s literature and the necessity for a brand new type of training.

Whitehorse mentioned people often ask “Why Alcatraz, what’s there, why do you Indians want that?”

Then, she responds, “Alcatraz resembles an Indian reservation, there’s nothing on them.”

Whitehorse talked of how this society labels American Indians before they are even born. She showed a family planning pamphlet, which was distributed to Navajo ladies earlier. The pamphlet illustrated in drawings that if a Navajo lady had one baby, she would have plenty of horses, but when she had many children, she would not have many horses.

There were also instances of nurses and medical doctors who stole Navajo infants. Now, a few of these “lost birds” are coming back and looking for his or her families. “It isn’t just Navajos, it’s throughout.”

Mormons took Navajo children off Navajo land.

Whitehorse confirmed kids’s books of how Indians are portrayed. She mentioned, “We are portrayed as fools, silly or uneducated.”

She additionally confirmed a recipe, from a ebook claiming to be Indian food, that was supposed to be Indian fry bread. “It appears to be like extra like cookies.”

In one youngsters’s e book, the author confused Navajos, Hopis and Pueblos as one tribe, mixing it all collectively in one confusing story.

Whitehorse identified that there are books that inform the actual tales. She stated Navajo poet Luci Tapahonso’s books are an example of genuine Native authors.

“Residing in harmony and stability is our prayer,” she mentioned. Whitehorse mentioned after residing in the San Francisco Bay area on relocation, her grandmother taught her to stay in harmony and balance within the Beauty Method.

Tony Gonzales Intention West

In the course of the afternoon on the Intention West Conference, the movie Autodescubrimiento 1492 — 1992 (Self Discovery) was shown on Petroleum Refining Process Equipment Indigenous rights. The movie contains early footage from Massive Mountain of lots of the Dine’ elders who’ve handed on to the Spirit World, and songs by Ute/Navajo Willie Lonewolf, who has also made his journey to the Spirit World, and many others.

The sixty two-minute movie was produced by Rodrigo Betancur. It is a documentary of the 500 years of struggle of Indigenous Peoples, including Dine’ of Huge Mountain and the official and counter celebrations in San Francisco.