This is a journey of education, awareness and solidarity with all peoples along the way.|
Sunday evening I met with Dottie Chamblin, Makah grandmother, who spoke to me for about 20 minutes about why she feels it necessary for her and two other Indigenous Elders to set out upon this arduous journey.
This is a spontaneous undertaking and they are depending upon the good will and support of those they meet along the way. From Portland they will travel to the Coleville Reservation, to Spokane Washington, to Boise Idaho and then on to Phoenix Arizona.
Eventually they hope to journey on to Florida as well.
As with so many of my meetings with Indigenous Elders, I was struck with both her humility and good sense. She asks for only what was promised to her people, in treaties which ceded a large portion of their ancestral lands to the United States.
She asks only for our government to honor their treaties, seemingly a simple request. Yet, at this moment, American Indians are embroiled in a $137 billion lawsuit with the US Government over land royalties. These royalties go back for many years, the Indigenous peoples having been promised compensation for petroleum, mineral, grazing, timber and other resource extractions on land belonging to them.
Democracy Now! Interview with Eloise Cobell, the main plaintiff in a class action suit.
In this 20 minute audio file, Dottie speaks for the other two grandmothers who accompany her on this journey.