Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights 2020

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Choctaw Ben Carnes: The border, treaties, prisoner rights and the Ghost Dance

Thoughts of Racism, Politics and Spiritual Sovereignty

Choctaw Ben Carnes discusses border arrests, sovereignty, treaties, prisoner rights and the Ghost Dance

By Ben Carnes
I find it very sad that my relatives from the South are being hunted down and sent back home. Oklahoma had recently passed a law prohibiting aiding any “illegal immigrants” with food, shelter, or work, or even a ride to work. The Indian way is to provide our relatives who visit with food, water and the comfort of shelter. In an indirect way, our way of life is being criminalized in our homelands, like in the 1800’s when they imposed the Code of Religious Offenses ...
In heeding the words of Thomas Banyacya and the Mayan Calendar, it may not be such a bad idea for the Ghost Dance to make its return in the form as it was presented to Wovoka. Not the versions in which people believed that if the dance was done, the whites would disappear and our ancestors would return, along with the buffalo. It has always been difficult for me to believe the Creator would show us a ceremony to eradicate our relatives. From what I have understood about Wovoka’s vision is that the dance was to bring peace and understanding to all people.
My idea of sovereignty based upon a spiritual way of life. Through this way of life, I have found a stronger connection to the Creator and Mother Earth...
Read entire commentary, first published in the zine, Caban Unzeen

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