Equity, not equality, could improve reservation conditionsRethinking our relationship with the federal government
By James Giago Davies
Native Sun News Today Columnist
nativesunnews.today Given how isolated and small our Lakota world is compared to the macro world of the USA and their geopolitical entanglements, it is time the Lakota people stopped demanding politicians specifically address tribal issues. It should be enough that they are socially progressive and operationally compassionate, at least, compared to their GOP counterparts, who generally do not have the best interests of any part of Indian country at heart. This doesn’t mean supporting Blue Dog local Democrats who openly side against tribal interest, like Daschle and Herseth were wont to do. But it does mean that politicians on a national stage must be viewed through an inferred prism of tolerance and fair minded compassion. All things are not equal, and in the grand scheme of things, our issues are fringe concerns for most Americans and for the politicians that require their support to win elections. Knowing that, we should call out the world equality, and examine why it no longer resonates in this political reality. The Founding Fathers chose that word badly, and in this choosing we see they were just men, and did not have the 20/20 foresight necessary to see that a word like equality is too easy removed from discussion, like Bill O’Reilly did on his awful program some years back, reciting every aspect of what the Founding Fathers jotted down, but revealingly leaving out the word equality. Why? Because Bill doesn’t believe in that word. He believes in White Privilege even as as would assert it does not exist.
Our relationship to the federal government is not an equal one. So we should find a better word to describe the rights every citizen in this country should enjoy, and that word is equity. We should all have an equitable relationship with the government, maximized or downsized to our relative place in the grand scheme of things. In this way, no matter how much we don’t matter, if the policies are always equitable, we will get the resources we need to honor treaty obligations.
James Giago Davies is an enrolled member of the Oglala Lakota Tribe. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright permission Native Sun News Today
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