Saturday, April 8, 2017

One Foot in and One Foot Out: Pan Indianism & The O'Odham

    During the late 1960s there was an awakening on Indian reservations across the United States. Tribal members all over were realizing that fighting the federal government was difficult for any one tribe to do. Furthermore, tribal members began to realize that for all the differences that existed between tribes they had been forced into a common history that united them. Out of this realization, the American Indian Movement emerged. The American Indian Movement was a pan-Indian organization looking to secure the rights and culture of Native Americans across the United States. They did this through advocacy, protests, legal challenges, and in rare cases arms. The point of the movement was to unite American Indian tribes and while that spirit is still alive in many places, I didn't feel it very strongly amongst the O'Odham.
     It is true that some tribal members had gone to Standing Rock to join in the protests, but the rhetoric that the tribe used was very different than that I had heard elsewhere. The O'Odham seemed to be open to the idea of cooperation with other tribes but perhaps because of their experiences with the federal government they seemed very focused on their issues. Joe Joaquin spoke of his land and his tribal nationality as exclusive to all other identities, and I know that he does not speak for the entire tribe but I found his point of view to be common with the people I spoke to. I hope the rhetoric shifts slightly to be more inclusive, at least of other tribes, because if not the tribe may face some challenges from the federal government that they won't be able to handle if they choose to fight on their own.

1 comment:

  1. I think you may be on to something here particularly with the observation that the Tohono O'odham may not be as drawn to pan Indian sentiment as much as say the Lakota. I wonder what kind evidence one could find on that. AIM membership by tribe? Not sure how easy that would be to get.