Opinion

Sarah Sunshine Manning: Genocide tactics stay in our communities






Jingle dress dancers. Photo: Ideanorth

Overcoming genocide and assimilation is difficult but it's only way tribal communities can heal and grow, Sarah Sunshine Manning (Shoshone-Paiute and Chippewa-Cree) argues:
A loved one shared a story with me before, on lateral violence in tribal communities. At the time, I was saddened that there was so much negativity. So much hate. The story of lateral violence is that this type of thinking was manufactured, purposefully, by Indian agents when we were first moved on to the reservation.

Prior to rez life, when we were free, we functioned more cohesively as a tribe. We depended on each other. We shared. We worked together. We cared for one another so deeply. We were virtually unbreakable in our bands.

The only way for the government and namely the Indian agent to break our collective power, was for him to create dissension, competition, and jealousy amongst us. So then was birthed a master plan. Give only some Indians shovels and blankets. Ensure there isn’t enough for everyone. Those at the end of the line leave empty handed.

Read More on the Story:
Sarah Sunshine Manning: The Realities of Lateral Violence Within Indian Country (Indian Country Media Network 3/30)