San Carlos Apache with an interpreter in 1898. Photo: Super Retro
Opinion

Michael Paul Hill: It is up to Native communities to chart our own futures again





Michael Paul Hill, a citizen of the San Carlos Apache Tribe, is seeing the influence of his people everywhere as he travels around the world:
Greed seduced Americans and Mexicans to invade and encroach upon our homelands with war and conquest, which they then justified with the 1852 Gadsen purchase. The San Carlos and White Mountain Apache nations are categorized as “executive order” and “non-treaty” because of this seizure. The United States and Mexico stole our lands through illegal action even though our Nnee was already an international body politic to be reckoned with.

It is up to Nnee again, in these times, to chart our future. Decades ago, our land was contaminated by Agent Orange contamination, and the threat to us today is both real and hidden. We need to listen to what the land is saying to us. We also need to start caring about each other and about everyone else around us. What we don’t need is denial and fear. It is sad to see every week someone dying prematurely because of cancer and or some terminal illness; it’s worse to think that Indian Health Services, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the San Carlos Apache Tribal government and many others have known for years that we have been contaminated with the worst man-made chemical known, dioxin.

We have a future if you believe in it. We must do work in the Earth-Is-Woman to help repair and continue the good work of our ancestors which the Creator, Bik’ehgo’ihi’nan, gave us in the beginning. So, whomever you are in our Nnee communities, whether it’s in Mexico, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, or wherever you are found, it is time to get ready and start praying it up with the heart and not with money or whatever else that comes between yourself and Bik’ehgo’ihi’nan alone. Bik’ehgo’ihi’nan is the only way things will get better but we must pray without judgment upon anyone.

Read More on the Story:
Michael Paul Hill: Igniting the Fire of Truth on Behalf of Earth-Is-Woman, the Creator and the Nnee (Indian Country Media Network 8/5)