They Took the “Indian” Away from the Strip Mall and Got This!

We have reality TV, rednecks and shit-kickers, overweight housewives, blue-fin tuna machos, endless drones of these white things with pencil-neck logic declaring war on art, people, freedoms, and self-engagement. That’s what those guys and gals have given us —  18-wheelers delivering our wants, the entire race of men and women trading chemicals for dollars, the belly of the beast rotten from the end-trail out.

You have to read to the very end, and get some of that People’s wisdom, quotations from great tribal elders and others declaring their humanity in the face of hustlers and blanket-seeders, those great powerful cancers that moved through this continent like a hell-storm. 

That tornado of dichotomies that is the America of the flagging white race – burly ladies and skinny-butt dudes all outfitted in thousand-dollar Harley leathers while riding along the great white way toward Sturgis – can waylay even the best of us. Heaving and hoisting, these Baby Boomers throttle their $40,000 hogs while throwing down a few shekels for the wait-staff, the cooks, the dudes and dudettes cleaning up after them … or before them … pulling shots of espresso and hoppy brew.

The west, as we all have come to know, smells of urban-suburban-exurban sprawl. Smells of road-kill death and murdering history.

The west – the Rockies, Plains, Ship Rock, mesas, canyons, pinion pine, wet inland and blustery Pacific – it’s a place of climate change, rotten second and third home owners, eviscerated humanity.

It’s as if John Deere, Archer Daniels Midland, Budweiser, Weyerhaeuser, Burlington and Tesoro and all the other murdering corporations made the west, and splayed the native history, the reclamation of the other narratives, those people’s history and the voices of the people we get from Galeano:

“The land has an owner? How’s that? How is it to be sold? How is it to be bought? If it does not belong to us, well, what? We are of it. We are its children. So it is always, always. The land is alive. As it nurtures the worms, so it nurtures us. It has bones and blood. It has milk, and gives us suck. It has hair, grass, straw, trees. It knows how to give birth to potatoes. It brings to birth houses. It brings to birth people. It looks after us and we look after it. It drinks chicha, accepts our invitation. We are its children. How is it to be sold? How bought?”

~from >Memory of Fire Volume 1: Genesis, by Eduardo Galeano

Eduardo Hughes Galeano is a Uruguayan journalist, writer and novelist. His best known works are Memoria del fuego (Memory of Fire Trilogy, 1986) and Las venas abiertas de América Latina (Open Veins of Latin America, 1971) which have been translated into twenty languages and transcend orthodox genres: combining fiction, journalism, political analysis, and history.

The author himself has proclaimed his obsession as a writer saying, “I’m a writer obsessed with remembering, with remembering the past of America above all and above all that of Latin America, intimate land condemned to amnesia”

He has received the International Human Rights Award by Global Exchange (2006) and the Stig Dagerman Prize (2010).

I was in Kalispell, short honeymoon, and we were just looking for the last white speck of glacier in a magnificent place that once was the sacred and sanctified place of aboriginal tribes, civilizations, The People, Flathead Lake, those aquamarine vats of glacier-fed deposits of melt-off and melt-over thousands of years old and held in harmonious luminosity by the People.

It’s a story repeated in Arizona, in New Mexico, all over the bloody continent. Genocide, the Memories of Fires. Disease, destruction, and denuding. White portly men, ravaging armies, bulldozing developers, farms and ranches, the plotters, stealing land, hijacking mountains, draining rivers and filling gullies with half-life toxins.

That Montana sprawling town, Kalispell, with the heavy weight of fire-stench blazes, super flames caused by years of mismanagement, fire suppression. These endless and infinite towns with Applebees and Dairy Queens, the broke-back facades, the snakes of cars and 18-wheelers like eddies of steel whipping our minds into the cold dull of going nowhere, somewhere, purposeless. Gaudy, junky, and the America of the floundering commercial kind. Every bloody town looks the same, save for the backdrop – if you can cut through billboard archeology, the ground ozone, the flashing lights, the belching diesel bellies. In the case of Kalispell, we are talking about Salish, Kootenai, Arapaho, Arikara, Assiniboine, Atsina, Bannock, Cheyenne, Chippewa, Cree, Crow, Dakota, Hidatsa, Kalispel, Kiowa, Kutenai, Mandan, Nez Perce, Piegan, Salish (Flathead), Tunahe and the Spokan.

None of that great cultural and human history is packed into the food outlets and latte stands. None of those people who were here for thousands of years, none of it, none of their words, their myths, their values, laws and stories, not of them and their very existences are clogging the delights of zip-lines, go-cart tracks, water splash downs, and the kitschy joints selling grizzly pillows and huckleberry massage butter.

Amazing how this country, east and west, north and south, has swept away the reality of a country based on disease, guns, steel, lies, dirty dealing, broken treaties, murder, the memory of flames, putrid patriotism, media madness, money changers, the WASPs and Zionists elites counting millions in nanosecond precision while The People get ripped off daily.

Casinos, cheaper cigarettes, endless high fructose delights and broiling beef. Billboards shadowing down on crosses where walkers and drivers from the Rez and not from the Rez ended up catapulted into the slicing of steel.

Public service billboards announcing smoking rushes diabetes; PSAs in the middle of pine settings talking about safe sex, about every fetus is a citizen, about safe relationships, AIDS, “booze and meth kills,” what it means to have PTSD, or to punch a baby or wife.

That is the great destroyer – booze, feed, fenced-in boys and men, women with little comfort beyond TV and bags of chips.

The world isn’t that, in the hearts of the reclaimers, those tribal members re-teaching, re-centering the generations, re-forming the language of tribes and The People.

A little recap of simple history, for those uninitiated:

Montana History Timeline
History Timeline of the Native Indians of Montana

___ 10,000 B.C. Paleo-Indian Era (Stone Age culture) the earliest human inhabitants of America who lived in caves and were Nomadic hunters of large game including the Great Mammoth and giant bison.
___ 7000 BC Archaic Period in which people built basic shelters and made stone weapons and stone tools

___ 1000 AD Woodland Period including the Hopewell cultures established along rivers in the Northeastern and Midwestern United States which included trade exchange systems and burial systems

___ 1000 Mississippian Culture established. This was the last of the mound-building cultures of North America in Midwestern, Eastern, and Southeastern United States
___ 1775 1775 – 1783 – The American Revolution.
___ 1776 July 4, 1776 – United States Declaration of Independence
___ 1803 The United States bought the Louisiana Territory from France for 15 million dollars for the land
___ 1805 Choctaw and northern Cherokee) Indian cessions open up land to white settlement during 1805 – 1806
___ 1805 Lewis and Clark explore Montana 1805-1806:
___ 1812 1812 – 1815: The War of 1812 between U.S. and Great Britain, ended in a stalemate but confirmed America’s Independence
___ 1830 Indian Removal Act
___ 1832 Department of Indian Affairs established
___ 1835 Creek Alabama Uprising (1835–1837) in Alabama and Georgia along the Chattahoochee River which resulted in a defeat for the Creek forces and the removal of the Creek people from their native lands to the Indian Territory in present-day Oklahoma see the Trail of Tears

___ 1861 1861 – 1865: The American Civil War
___ 1862 U.S. Congress passes Homestead Act opening the Great Plains to settlers
___ 1865 The surrender of Robert E. Lee on April 9 1865 signalled the end of the Confederacy
___ 1867 Hayfield Fight (1867) 31 US soldiers and civilians fought against more than 700 Sioux and Cheyenne warriors

___ 1876 Great Sioux War (1876–1877). Battle of the Rosebud in Montana. Lakota Sioux and Cheyenne under Crazy Horse turned back soldiers commanded by General George Crook cutting off reinforcements intended to aid Custer at the Battle of Little Bighorn

___ 1876 1876 – Battle of Little Bighorn, Montana. Sioux and Cheyenne defeated General Custer and the Seventh Cavalry
___ 1877 Nez Perce War in Oregon, Montana and Idaho. After fighting against the Americans Chief Joseph led his tribe 1700 miles to Canada but were forced to surrender near the border
___ 1887 Dawes General Allotment Act passed by Congress leads to the break up of the large Indian Reservations and the sale of Indian lands to white settlers
___ 1889 Montana was admitted to the Union
___ 1969 All Indians declared citizens of U.S.
___ 1979 American Indian Religious Freedom Act was pass


Uninitiated folk don’t see the evil in those Harleys, those old men and young women, those bars, those campgrounds, the malt liquor and shooting ranges, the fun and carousing, the unending infantilized fantasies of white Americans, loving each and every lick of the Popsicle of their Dreams.

It was hard being in Montana this week. Hard seeing the trailer parks where the workers live – those who wait on the whims of the rich and upper-middle class families. The witnesses to those disposable incomes, those families on jamborees, waiting on those special Americans with retirements and historical and inherited wealth seeking some benediction in those un-imagined mountains of Glacier National Monument, a monument to scree, stratification, geology and the quickening that is the product of Consumopithecus Anthropocene.

We are an endless delivery country: Fed-Ex, Walton, Georgia Pacific, Coca Cola, URM, Exxon, Carnation, widgets and pipes, fructose and O2, baby wipes and the endless toilet paper roll to Mars.

We are fine with billboards and upchucked nastiness of commercial strips and mini-malls and donut holes and twenty-two Quick Trips to the square mile.

We are the Bagged Cheetos and the Suffering Slurpee. How many times have I hit the head in some Conoco or Zip Trip and seen and heard the syphilis-inspired Fox News crew flailing in high decibles their skit-like paranoia on the story of the hour.

An unbroken chain of white man’s stupidity, consumed and packaged by nothing-close-to-journalists of both genders.

Where oh where is that history, those people, that reservation, that brigade of lying, cheating, side-mouthing, murderous American politicians and generals foisted high to remind us of our genocidal past, our future, the very essence of why resource extractors and those oil-shale-bitumen energy guys from both sides of the US-Canada border are the hit of the day, the coin of the realm?

Motorcycles from Hell

Sturgis is not a Hooter’s Advertisement!

Check out Protect Sacred Sites.

Our organization Protect Sacred Sites, has been actively involved for over 6 years in the Protect Bear Butte efforts.

Bear Butte is a sacred mountain located in the Black Hills, eight miles east of Sturgis, South Dakota.

Our focus is to create awareness regarding the continual encroachment and violations towards the sacredness of the mountain. Bear Butte is a sacred site, a historical landmark and an icon for one of the most sacred places in this country and deserves protection from modern society encroachments and developments.

There is no greater atrocity than the continual violation of our religious freedom and inherent right to partake in sacred ceremonies without being spiritually violated, or suffering from the destruction and blatant disregard of our sacred lands.

These Sacred lands are the bloodline and life way of our people and our traditions.
Additional information about our organization can be found on our main website at

11 Most Endangered Historic Places: Bear Butte

Year Listed: 2011
Location: Meade County, South Dakota
Current Status: Endangered
Threat: Energy Development

Significance: Bear Butte, the 4,426-foot mountain called Mato Paha by the Lakota in the Black Hills of South Dakota, is sacred ground for as many as 17 Native American tribes. Believed to be the spot where the creator communicates with his people through vision and prayer, the mountain earned its nickname because of its resemblance to a bear sleeping on its side. For thousands of years, Native American tribes, including the Lakota, Dakota, Nakota, Cheyenne and Arapahoe, have traveled to Bear Butte to perform annual prayer ceremonies. Tribal people and visitors from around the world make annual pilgrimages for spiritual renewal and sustenance to this sacred site, which is part of Bear Butte State Park. It was here, from the expansive summit of Bear Butte, that the Sioux held their Oyate Kiwsiyaya, the Great Reunion of the People, where Crazy Horse pledged to resist further “white” encroachment into the Black Hills in 1857.

Despite its cultural and religious significance, this National Historic Landmark is threatened by proposed wind and oil energy development. A wind installation, to be placed roughly five miles away from the mountain, is currently under consideration. In addition, last November, the South Dakota Board of Minerals and Environment approved a plan to establish a 960-acre oil field. Based on tribal opposition and recommendations made by the National Trust and the South Dakota State Historic Preservation Office, the board agreed that no wells would be located within the NHL boundary, and adopted other restrictions to reduce the project’s impact.

Because the placement of any oil wells or other energy development near Bear Butte would negatively impact the sacred site and further degrade the cultural landscape, any future development should be based on meaningful tribal input and full consideration of impacts to cultural resources. The most effective way to achieve this result would be through strengthened state and local protections.

Ahh, hell, let the good times roll. I’ll leave this non-descript diatribe here with worthy quotes from worthy people — here and here.

Wisdom in the Face of Blasphemy — Manifest Murder

“This war did not spring up on our land, this war was brought upon us by the children of the Great Father who came to take our land without a price, and who, in our land, do a great many evil things… This war has come from robbery – from the stealing of our land.” – Spotted Tail

“Being Indian is an attitude, a state of mind, a way of being in harmony with all things and all beings. It is allowing the heart to be the distributor of energy on this planet; to allow feelings and sensitivities to determine where energy goes; bringing aliveness up from the Earth and from the Sky, putting it in and giving it out from the heart.” – Brooke Medicine Eagle

“The American Indian is of the soil, whether it be the region of forests, plains, pueblos, or mesas. He fits into the landscape, for the hand that fashioned the continent also fashioned the man for his surroundings. He once grew as naturally as the wild sunflowers, he belongs just as the buffalo belonged….” – Luther Standing Bear, Oglala Sioux Chief

“There is no death. Only a change of worlds.” – Chief Seattle [Seatlh], Suquamish Chief

“It was supposed that lost spirits were roving about everywhere in the invisible air, waiting for children to find them if they searched long and patiently enough…[The spirit] sang its spiritual song for the child to memorize and use when calling upon the spirit guardian as an adult.” – Mourning Dove [Christine Quintasket], Salish

“The idea of full dress for preparation for a battle comes not from a belief that it will add to the fighting ability. The preparation is for death, in case that should be the result of conflict. Every Indian wants to look his best when he goes to meet the great Spirit, so the dressing up is done whether in imminent danger is an oncoming battle or a sickness or injury at times of peace.” -Wooden Leg (late 19th century) Cheyenne

“We, the great mass of the people think only of the love we have for our land, we do love the land where we were brought up. We will never let our hold to this land go, to let it go it will be like throwing away (our) mother that gave (us) birth.”. – Letter from Aitooweyah to John Ross, Principal Chief of the Cherokee.

“When a white army battles Indians and wins, it is called a great victory, but if they lose it is called a massacre.” – Chiksika, Shawnee

“If you talk to the animals they will talk with you and you will know each other. If you do not talk to them you will not know them and what you do not know, you will fear. What one fears, one destroys.” – Chief Dan George, Tsleil-Waututh Nation, British Columbia, Canada

“We are now about to take our leave and kind farewell to our native land, the country the Great Spirit gave our Fathers, we are on the eve of leaving that country that gave us birth, it is with sorrow we are forced by the white man to quit the scenes of our childhood…we bid farewell to it and all we hold dear.” – Charles Hicks, Tsalagi (Cherokee) Vice Chief speaking of the Trail of Tears, November 4, 1838

“When it comes time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home.” – Chief Aupumut in 1725, Mohican.

“The land is sacred. These words are at the core of your being. The land is our mother, the rivers our blood. Take our land away and we die. That is, the Indian in us dies.” – Mary Brave Bird, Lakota

“We learned to be patient observers like the owl. We learned cleverness from the crow, and courage from the jay, who will attack an owl ten times its size to drive it off its territory. But above all of them ranked the chickadee because of its indomitable spirit.” – Tom Brown, Jr., The Tracker

“I have seen that in any great undertaking it is not enough for a man to depend simply upon himself.” – Lone Man (Isna-la-wica), Teton Sioux

“Once I was in Victoria, and I saw a very large house. They told me it was a bank and that the white men place their money there to be taken care of, and that by and by they got it back with interest. We are Indians and we have no such bank; but when we have plenty of money or blankets, we give them away to other chiefs and people, and by and by they return them with interest, and our hearts feel good. Our way of giving is our bank.” – Chief Maquinna, Nootka

“I think over again my small adventures
My fears, those small ones that seemed so big
For all the vital things I had to get and reach
And yet there is only one great thing
The only thing
To live to see the great day that dawns
And the light that fills the world.”
– Unknown Inuit

“We must protect the forests for our children, grandchildren and children yet to be born. We must protect the forests for those who can’t speak for themselves such as the birds, animals, fish and trees.” – Qwatsinas (Hereditary Chief Edward Moody), Nuxalk Nation

“Brother, you say there is but one way to worship and serve the Great Spirit. If there is but one religion, why do you white people differ so much about it? Why not all agreed, as you can all read the Book?” – Sogoyewapha, “Red Jacket,” Seneca

“Our land is everything to us… I will tell you one of the things we remember on our land. We remember that our grandfathers paid for it – with their lives.” – John Wooden Leg, Cheyenne

“Everything on the earth has a purpose, every disease an herb to cure it, and every person a mission. This is the Indian theory of existence.” – Mourning Dove [Christine Quintasket] (1888-1936) Salish

“Upon suffering beyond suffering: the Red Nation shall rise again and it shall be a blessing for a sick world. A world filled with broken promises, selfishness and separations. A world longing for light again. I see a time of Seven Generations when all the colors of mankind will gather under the Sacred Tree of Life and the whole Earth will become one circle again. In that day, there will be those among the Lakota who will carry knowledge and understanding of unity among all living things and the young white ones will come to those of my people and ask for this wisdom. I salute the light within your eyes where the whole Universe dwells. For when you are at that center within you and I am that place within me, we shall be one.” – Crazy Horse, Oglala Sioux Chief (This statement was taken from Crazy Horse as he sat smoking the Sacred Pipe with Sitting Bull for the last time, four days before he was assassinated.)

“A very great vision is needed and the man who has it must follow it as the eagle seeks the deepest blue of the sky.” – Crazy Horse, Sioux Chief

“We are going by you without fighting if you will let us, but we are going by you anyhow!” – Chief Joseph’s warning to the defenders of Fort Fizzle in Montana.
“Whenever the white man treats the Indian as they treat each other, then we will have no more wars. We shall all be alike–brothers of one father and one another, with one sky above us and one country around us, and one government for all.” – Chief Joseph, Nez Perce

“I am a red man. If the Great Spirit had desired me to be a white man he would have made me so in the first place. He put in your heart certain wishes and plans, in my heart he put other and different desires. Each man is good in his sight. It is not necessary for Eagles to be Crows. We are poor… but we are free. No white man controls our footsteps. If we must die…we die defending our rights.” – Sitting Bull, Hunkpapa Sioux

Paul Haeder's been a teacher, social worker, newspaperman, environmental activist, and marginalized muckraker, union organizer. Paul's book, Reimagining Sanity: Voices Beyond the Echo Chamber (2016), looks at 10 years (now going on 17 years) of his writing at Dissident Voice. Read his musings at LA Progressive. Read (purchase) his short story collection, Wide Open Eyes: Surfacing from Vietnam now out, published by Cirque Journal. Here's his Amazon page with more published work Amazon. Read other articles by Paul, or visit Paul's website.

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  1. They Took the “Indian” Away from the Strip Mall and Got This! | Citizen Journalists Exchange said on August 3rd, 2013 at 4:14am #

    […] I was in Kalispell, short honeymoon, and we were just looking for the last white speck of glacier in a magnificent place that once was the sacred and sanctified place of aboriginal tribes . . . civilizations . . . The People . . . Flathead Lake, those aquamarine vats of glacier-fed deposits of melt-off and melt-over thousands of years old and held in harmonious luminosity by the People. More… […]

  2. Paul Haeder said on August 3rd, 2013 at 2:04pm #

    Since this is an open forum, of sorts, and the digital world allows for instantaneous communication, and as a former beat newspaper reporter who had editors and owners look over EVERY complaint, honorific and lament via public comments (letters to the editor, mostly), I believe in some of the “power” the blogsphere and internet still contains.

    So, here’s an even more interesting honeymoon story, piggybacking off my piece, which is ALWAYS a very good thing indeed for writers and blogs like Dissident Voice. My discussion and rants are not done, however, on this short jaunt to Montana via Spokane. The honeymoon was a brief one since my spouse and I are planning on doing “honeymoonteering,” that is, volunteering somewhere as part of a longer trip to engage the marriage, the senses and the planet.

    Thanks, Chuck — as always:

    **–** **–** **–**


    Inexplicable, but while on honeymoon, you must have either done some good peyote or were under the spiritual influence of a “tribal elder’s wisdom.” Yes — as requested, I did read your article to the end, and i believe it’s a very necessary antidote to cancers such as prominent “hustlers & blanket-poisoners” who are presently ginning-up control, tightening the noose, and waiting for the spark (“iskra”) which allows them to gallantly re-enter the crime scene they created, forcefully SAVE & free awestruck people, but of course not in the context of how Sitting Bull would define freedom.

    Maybe I am using a incorrect gauge, but at the end of your article, Dissident Voice provides a “SHARE THIS” section, “ADD to DISCUSSION,” and I am very encouraged that on August 3, 10:25 A.M., there are 38 “share this” hits on your “They took the Indian away from the Strip Mall.” Flattery gets one everywhere, but such an essay title stands alone as astonishing & provocative.

    Given all eyes on your article’s essence, I for one was impressed with your honeymoon-comment, “It was hard being in Montana seeing the trailer parks where workers live — those who wait on the whims of the rich & upper-middle class. I must “one-up” you, Paul, on honeymoon opportunities. On September 23, 1989, wife Carol and I got hitched, and 2-weeks before our Byzantine Catholic wedding, we hit $1,500.00 on the Pennsylvania Daily Number. Following my usual appetite for “better,” our plans to honeymoon in Pocono Mountains were scrapped, and we chose to honeymoon in Acapulco. Shortsightedly, I figured, O well…, If Sylvester Stallone could have a house atop Acapulco cliffs, why couldn’t Carol and I go there for a week?

    Carol and I honeymooned in Acapulco. Prior to our arrival at the damaged Acapulco airport, Hurricane Hugo was still exacting very unpleasant tourist weather conditions upon on the amazing old Pacific port City. In other words, it rained everyday except for one. The one day suitable for “beach” life ended in a disappointment which became a real TEACHING moment for Carol and I. Here’s what transpired. Carol and I selected a spot on the Acapulco beach, she oiled-up, lay upon beach, I liked to walk, placed toes in surf. Some twenty feet away were Canadian tourists, and along the 3-sided perimeter of the beach was a Federales-police line. The Federales were armed, and their jobs were to keep Mexican peasants from intruding into honeymooners’ space. On the other side of the police-line, the Mexican people were exhibiting, to tourists, homemade blankets & crafts. Of course, my having maybe 50% of a tribal heart at the time, I felt very uncomfortable “relaxing” while so many people tried to get my attention, and incline me to buy something, in order to support their most basic sustenance.

    Like a distracting T.V. commercial break, the weird beach-scene was interrupted. The Federales allowed a child approximately 8-years old, dressed only in bathing trunks, to enter among the tourists, and perform a dance while singing, “La Bamba.” The tourists were charmed, and many offered the child a tip, including Carol who reached into her purse, gave the boy a ‘fin,” and a portable iron for his mother who stood on the other side of the Line.

    Moments later, a group of Mexican youth on the other side of the police-line started to exchange words with the vacationing Canadians, who were delighted that their Toronto Blue Jays were making a play-off “run” at MLB American League pennant. Insult-shouts intensified, and a stone was thrown from somewhere and landed on the beach. In response, three (3) big & muscular Canadian dudes moved to attack the “evildoers,” and Federales of course moved to stop stop them, get everyone back to vacationing. Simultaneously, the Mexican youth high-tailed from the scene, heavily weaponized Federales in pursuit.

    Presently, having read your essay’s honeymoon scenario, the desperate trailer-park community, I got reflective. Today I wonder if the young Mexican beach “perps” are returned to work, maybe on the police-line’s restricted SIDE, and with tinges f gray-hair, are peddling their wares to a new set of affluent Pa Lottery Winners like Carol and I once were. Thanks for listening, I am, as typical, long-winded, and as an idealist, long for a day when there’s an actual America the Beautiful, NO “beach police lines,” and no “No trespassing signs” in Montana.

    Charles Orloski
    Taylor Borough, Commonweath of Pennsylvania