Here we see typically insidious white supremacy in a typically benign setting.
These patriarchs did not ‘discover’ Yellowstone. Our Tribal ancestors had been in this region at least 10,000-years before John Colter or any other white man was wandering around here. These patriarchs discovered Yellowstone like Columbus found the Americas.
News flash – they weren’t lost.”
Three generations of Tribal women - Casey Camp-Horinek, Crystle Lightning, and Juliet Langley Hayes - speak what has gone unspoken, and unapologetically expose the influence of founding patriarchs and white supremacy in places most never thought to look, and in doing so demonstrate the ongoing and devastating formula patterned by the Doctrine of Discovery.
“We are surrounded,” says Crystle Lightning in The Doctrine of Recovery.
“Walk around any city anywhere, and you’re stepping between the shadows cast by monuments to founding patriarchs and their heirs . . . straddled on stallions in the act of perpetrating or celebrating violence.
We don’t just see them; we inhale them like air with that subliminal message of patriarchal domination.”
She warns, “You may think that you can escape it in the mountains, but you can’t.”
The women use Canada’s and America’s prized National Parks, Yellowstone and Waterton-Glacier, as microcosms of what became the collective Tribal experience of violent dispossession in the continuing imposition of the Doctrine of Discovery.
The US federal government owns some 640 million acres - about 28% - of the 2.27 billion acres of what was Tribal land.
The rest is in private and corporate control. In the US and Canada, many Tribal people survive in Third World poverty while multinationals and billionaires, fat from the exploitation of our lands, play Major Tom in space while our Mother, the Earth, is on life support.
One of those federal agencies in the US that controls millions of acres of Tribal lands is the National Park Service. With nearly 80 million acres, it holds over 30% more land than the 574 federally recognized Indian Tribes combined.
The United Nations has categorized the concept of some national parks as “fortress conservation.”
In 2018, the UN concluded that “the US government violently expelled Native Americans” to establish some of its national parks, a model, it concluded, “resulted in gross violations of the rights of indigenous peoples” worldwide.
“By being part of that Sacred Circle, we as a species will continue. If we don’t do that, we’ll cease to exist”
Elder Casey Camp-Horinek, from The Doctrine of Recovery
“When the mountains next call you or you take a hike in a National Forest, pause to remember that you have entered what was a laboratory for the advancement of eugenicist theory. They ransacked, pillaged, murdered, and sterilized us for your walk in the park.
This is the very definition of systemic and institutionalized racism.
It is inescapable, but at the same time, largely unnoticed.”
Crystle Lightning from The Doctrine of Recovery