It is easy to point the finger and be skeptical of radical approaches to real problems; yet, where would we be if nobody ever had the guts to put themselves out on a limb to fight the wrongs of society? Regardless of what anyone thinks of Russell Means, he is at least willing to keep the real issues alive and on the table, and furthermore, to practice what he preaches.
American Indians have only to take a long, hard look at contemporary American society to see the grim reality of their future if they continue to deny their own Native heritage, spirituality and lifeways in favor of commercial security. Maybe if things in the United States were going along just fine, it would be more difficult to seriously propose an alternative. But let's have a reality check. If we look closely, we can see huge cracks beginning to form at the very foundation of American society in every aspect - moral, political, economic and in terms of foreign relations. Even if the collapse might not yet seem imminent, isn't it time Native communities wake up to the fact that they can be the future not only of this country but of mankind itself? Sustainability isn't going to be just a nice idea in the aftermath of possible nuclear war, but a necessity. Whoever survives such a catastrophe will be the new indigenous.
The true test of belief is action. Integrity means living according to what one believes, even if it calls for great sacrifice. I commend Mr. Means and anyone else who sees that only if we live, truly live, day to day and not take shortcuts, according to indigenous values and spiritual practice, do we gain power. American Indians do not want to become like so much of modern American society - sold out, morally bankrupt and ruled by selfishness and greed. Or do you?
- Katherine Dobay