Tribes want free Discover Passes

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Go Fish, Aug 22, 2011.

  1. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

    Since several posts have touched on this issue I'd like to point out that there was no war. And the treaties were not offered at gunpoint. WA territorial Governor Isaac Stevens was urged by the federal government to prosecute treaties with as many tribes as possible so that the government would have clear title to land for white settlers to homestead. The federal government actually intended for citizens to be able to settle on land without stealing it from the Indians. The federal government considered the Indians the lawful owners of most of the land in the territory.

    In the world of negotiations among equals, you must have something to give in order to get. Although the treaties were written in English that none of the tribal representatives understood, translators used the Chinook trade jargon to explain the purpose and contents of the treaties. The most difficult concept to convey was the one of land ownership. Most Indians didn't think it was any more possible to own the land than to own the water and air.

    To the best of everyone's knowledge, most (but not all) tribes were OK with giving up title to large blocks of land that they didn't think they owned in the first place, and were satisfied to have land sufficient to live on, and that they could travel across all open and unclaimed land and hunt and gather roots and berries and other materials. They were more explicit with fishing and retained the right to fish all usual and accustomed places, regardless of who thought they owned it. Stevens thoughtfully added the "in common with all other citizens" part, which is why we non-treaty folks get to fish at all. This was pretty meaningless in 1854-55 because whites didn't fish. Whites bought or traded for fish from Indians. Obviously sport fishing hadn't made it quite yet to the territory. Stevens also offered education for Indian children, a doctor, and an agricultural agent to teach Indians to farm. Hence we had special Indian schools, the Indian Health Service, and the failed experiment with Indian farming - it just didn't take in the vast majority of cases.

    The upshot here is that there was no war between Indians and the government (with the exception of a few skirmishes and the brief Nez Pierce conflict). Although much reduced in population due to small pox and syphillis introduced by whites, the Indians still outnumbered whites by about 10 to 1 at treaty times. Again, it made sense for the government to try and obtain land by treaty rather than by conflict that the government wasn't ready to prosecute. Recall that much of the nation was prepping for another war, the Civil War, and didn't have a lot of resources available to send west, a condition that changed after the Civil War, when the US engaged in a number of Indian wars.

    Did the Indians get a bad deal? Not from the federal government IMO. The feds appeared to deal with the Indians the best way they knew how, given all the contexts of those times. States and territories were different. Grass root endeavors at state and territorial levels pretty consistently tried to screw Indians out of whatever resources and land that they retained. State and territorial governments, by their behaviors at least, if not by their true nature, treated Indians as rodent pests and savages that ought to be gotten rid of and not dealt with as equal sovereigns with rights slightly similar to their own. But that's a somewhat different subject.

    Consequently things are the way they are today because of what occurred between the governments and the Indians in the past and the ways in which those things occurred. The major court cases that comprise Indian law in the US makes for some interesting reading.

  2. Upton O

    Upton O Blind hog fisherman

    Alex, it would seem that we are a benevolent conquerer in comparison to many countries. That said, we wiped out many cultures using alcohol, syphilis, small pox, and other illnesses. We put their children in institutional schools and forbid them to speak their native language or practice their native ways. Such is the way of man I would say, if you lose the war. In return we did obtain tobacco from the Native Americans which is killing off the conquerers at a rate of approximately 400,000 per year. Pay back is a bitch.
  3. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

    Sg, thank you for a nice historical perspective.
  4. Klickrolf

    Klickrolf Active Member

    That was good Salmo_g...and it was correct wrt everything that I think I know.

    Wonder what would have happened if the Russians...who were here, would have taken control of the PNW...or maybe the chinese at a later date. Think our Native American brothers were very fortunate.

    If not for a preponderance of christian european settlers, most of our Native American brothers would likely not exist today.
  5. Lugan

    Lugan Joe Streamer

    That's a good point. This thread discusses just one of many thousands of instances across millenia of human history in which one society conquers another. I can't think of another conquest that has ever ended as amicably as this one for the conquered. Anyone?
  6. wet line

    wet line New Member

    Historically the Spanish were here before Capt. Robert Grey showed up and layed claim to the lands as far north and including Vancover Island. The Russians were present to what is now SE Alaska. The French Canadians had trading forts at the mouth of the Columbia and on Vancover Island and mainland BC.

    I would not consider european christians as being benevolent. The Spanish did a number on indigenous people in all their conquests. The Indian wars in the west showed little benevolance by the anglo european christian decendants.

    It was the foresight of chief Seattle that averted a major indian war on ther northwest coast. Not all the tribes were friendly and some resented the encroachment of the white man and attacked them at places like Coos Bay, Willapa Bay and Vancover Island.

  7. jeff bandy

    jeff bandy Make my day

    Don't know where this we crap came from. I did none of these things. I believe that in order to have respect for one's self. You need to stand on your own feet. Not your ancestors bones.

    That being said , I think this thread needs to be shut down.
  8. Upton O

    Upton O Blind hog fisherman

    Jeff, I'm not sure I understand the personal attack but here is what I said:

    We, as in primarily white Europeans, (I make the assumption that the forum consists of mostly white, Asians, and/or people of African descent that were former slaves or freemen of whom their ancestors did come into this land from the 1500's onward) came into a continent and overwhelmed the indigenous people. That is fact. We introduced a number of diseases into a biologically naive population, that is true. We institutionalized the children of many of the tribes, forbidding them from using their native language or their cultural beliefs, that is true. We took over the land, set up a new society, that is true. The natives were offered treaties which were in some part ignored by the new society, that is true. That is the way of many if not all populations of humans I know.

    There are approximately 400,000 people dying every year in this country from the direct and indirect impacts of tobacco, that is true.

    Is free access to State parks included under existing treaties? If not, then the NA people need to pay.

    I enjoy the discussions/debate on these threads until they turn personal. I think that is unnecessary and a sure way to get the thread shut down. I don't play that way.
  9. Alex MacDonald

    Alex MacDonald Dr. of Doomology

    Lugan, absolutely correct: can't think on any myself, and I taught it for almost 35 years! The one consistent thread of human history is conflict!

    Karl, yes, our ancestors did these things, with the exception of completely wiping out the cultures; decimation-you bet. No question there! However, I'd submit that the native American cultures in danger of disappearing, especially with regard to their language, are doing so simply because they're being subsumed by the more dominant group.

    Dflett68; it's history-a fact not open to interpretation. This is what happened: these are the outcomes, and it has nothing to do with constitutional principles. Not all areas were forced to send in troops to quell uprisings-like Washington state. However, in most cases, they fought. Eventually, those who fought, lost. That the winners didn't eliminate them entirely is also a fact. In many cases, they were granted sovereign nation status. So now, if they want to participate in the benefits the rest of us worked for, there should be a simple choice; abandon sovereign status, or accept it fully-unless, of course, you're really happy with the "separate but equal" idea here. As far as your rather childish closing comment, well...bless your heart!
  10. dflett68

    dflett68 Active Member

    great posts by salmo_g and others.

    there is no such thing as a benevolent conquerer. a foreign people came and saw something they wanted and took it from someone weaker by violence and the looming certainty of further violence if the natives did not submit. indian leaders saw the certain destruction of all their peoples and cultures if they didn't compromise, so they did. some of them fought first, in futility, and then surrendered.

    i have a question for the folks who have said things like: "i didn't do that, my ancestors did", or "we won the war cause we were bigger/stronger/smarter, so tough shit", or "we are so nice and sweet compared to the russians or lord sauron, at least we let them live" - can you contextualize any of those rationalizations into your own value system in the current day? if i bump into you on the river and take a fancy to your rod/reel, and also notice you are smaller and weaker than me and there's no one around to stop me, can i just rough you up and take your rig? you'd find that morally acceptable in the value system you live by today? what if i first inform you that i wish you no harm but i insist on having your rod and reel, and that you could avoid getting the shit kicked out of you there and then by simply signing it over to me? would you consider me a "benevolent thief" because i didn't want to hurt anyone unless i really had to in order to get their stuff?
  11. Alex MacDonald

    Alex MacDonald Dr. of Doomology

    OK, now, well thought out and probing question(s) here, Dflett68. From an historical perspective, I think it's a concept civilized peoples have maybe begun to outgrow-I hope! However, you're talking about two concepts, not one. It's not a rationalization to say "my ancestors owned slaves-I don't". In my particular case, They did. but I don't own slaves, never have, and so I don't accept any shadow of guilt for that act. That's the "original sin" argument, contextualized today into the debate to give blacks reparations for evil dealt to their ancestors. Personally, I reject that argument, but others are free to accept it. The second issue, I feel, is different in scope of execution. Take the Japanese prior to the outbreak of WWII, where they used force to obtain vital resources to keep their economy going. Understandably, they needed these resources, but would have there been a better way than invading China? I think yes, but why did they not attempt to negotiate their needs? With your second example-and if attempted on me, personally, the offender would either be surprised to notice 6 inches of steel sticking out from below his sternum, or perhaps not notice the missing portion of his brain, removed by a 140gr hollowpoint from my P-226N. Referring to the Japanese situation, if the person on the river comes over and says "you know, I'd really like to be able to fish like that", I'd see what I could do to help him get started. Goes back to the first thought about acting in a civilized manner.

    The term "civilized" also goes toward how the winners of wars act after the shooting stops. The first glimmer of hope that the world was beginning to leave warfare's usual aftermath behind occurred at the end of WWII, where the allies rebuilt both Germany and Japan. Unfortunately, immediately after the first World War, and at the strident urging of Marshall Foch, Germany was left completely destitute, opening the door for Herr Shekelgrubber: really BAD consequences!!
  12. Dustin Bise

    Dustin Bise Active Member

    i agree with dflett, its stolen land made public they are now charged for. its bullshit. it is what it is.
  13. dflett68

    dflett68 Active Member

    alex, i'm not suggesting each of us can take personal responsibility for the acts of other individual persons, or even of individual families, or that the guilt for the actions of our ancestors is transmitted forward to us as in the theological doctrine you have alluded to twice, anymore that i buy the ridiculous proposal that the holocaust was somehow a consequence of the crucifixion. but what we're talking about is not your responsibility or my responsibility, but the corporate responsibility of the united states of america, of which we are citizens. the benefits to the united states of having procured this land and it's resources from another set of cultures and societies, by whatever means, continues. how is it that we think that the responsibility for HOW that was done, and WHAT was done, does not continue?

    in the second example you really ignored the question i posed in order to tell us more about yourself. i don't mind hearing about your guns and knives, and if you can't imagine yourself as the weaker party, that's admirable in many respects. instead, imagine your wife, your daughter, or someone else you care about who would be vulnerable in that situation, and then answer the question asked: would it fit within your value system or not?
  14. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

    Dustin there are a lot of people who "steal" things from the goverment. History still portrays this as a negotiated deal. Society, laws and conflict are different now as compared to 1855. Sometimes the actions or negotiations of one's ancestors play a significiant role for the descendants. Today our government has many other programs that seem to have some similarities. How are those working out for you?
  15. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

    Maybe you should keep the discussion about wives and children in private. Use your PM function please. You are sensationalizing the point. In 1855 there still was a confilct, conquer and take principle that is not currently accepted in our society. Welcome to the modern world, where such conflict generally has a different result and our social standards have driven the creation of law to protect the rights and property of our citizens.
  16. Dustin Bise

    Dustin Bise Active Member

    I am not sure what your asking ed, if you could be more specific I could give you a better answer. History should potray it as genocide via chemical warefare (disease) that dates back to the 1491 in north america and 1519 in central america, eventually reaching peru in 1525. It was all downhill form there.

    Im not blaming anyone, I just think when they ask for a free prking pass to public lands it isnt unreasonable and we should give it to them.
  17. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

    Genocide, cheese and rice man, enjoy your free shit compliment of the government. Genocide. Serioiusly?
  18. Alex MacDonald

    Alex MacDonald Dr. of Doomology

    Gents, isn't this a perfect campfire discussion, accompanied by a good whisky and a fine cigar!

    Dustin; my opinion is that their request is unreasonable on three counts: first, are you now part of the country, or not?; second, at what point, once we start down that road, do we stop dispensing "reparations", and third, at what point do we begin considering reparations? I'm curious though, what was going on in north America regarding biological warfare in 1491, considering the first English colony wasn't founded here until the Roanoke Colony in 1586?

    Dflett68, well, I think we agree that an act of thuggery isn't a civilized act. Does thuggery exist today? Saddam Hussein's little "saunter" into Kuwait comes to mind. Where it exists, it should be stamped out. Same with gangs, wherever they exist. Perhaps I'm missing the thrust of your question?
  19. Dustin Bise

    Dustin Bise Active Member

    Your allowed to have your historical perspective and I will have mine. If you wanna think native americans just agreed to everything, handed over there land, and are now just chillin happy be my guest. And I think imma buy some steak with my food stamps today, in your honor.

    It isnt like the native americans were only fuked when they signed the treaty.

    Maybe genocide is a harsh word, maybe not even completely accurate, but about half the inka empire was wiped out by smallpox, and then was able to be invaded.. in new england in 1617 almost all of the popultion was wiped out by disease.

    You remember what happend at Plymoth too? At the time, it was common belief of many settelers that the disease acting upon the indians was an act of god, with the intent of opening new land.

    What about the 1864 event where the government marched 8000 navajo to a desert prison camp where disease, malnutrion, and hunger where rampant for there 4 year stay.

    Now of course, we are talking about washington state so those examples arent perfectly relevent, but about 30 percent of the northwest indians died aroun 7170. In the next 80 years to 1850 it is estimated that 28000 native americans died to disease in WESTERN WASHINGTON, leaving the population around 9'000.

    This is mirrored in many different tribes all over. Again, maybe genocide isnt the right word. But it sure did make it easier to occupy.

    And ill be sure to purchase a steak with my food stamps tonight ed. It isnt easy being young and trying to get on started in todays economy, and i have few luxuries in my life. Tonight the steak is gonna be one of them, thanks.
  20. Dustin Bise

    Dustin Bise Active Member

    The english were not the first visitors to the Americas.

    Im not sure where that line gets drawn. I do know that The spokane tribe recieved about 4000 dollars as compensation for grand coulee damn though, so i think we still owe them some money. So for a government who is in debt to the tribe to charge them to park at land that was once sacred to them, just seems to me... wrong.