Zitkala-Sa is one of the most misunderstood Oceti Sakowin activists. She believed in Native independence and national American Indian unity; she opposed the capitalist plunder of Native lands; and she wanted to abolish the BIA. She also was for US citizenship and against peyote.
Too often is Zitkala-Sa cast as just literary figure. She pushed the Society of American Indians to seek international recognition at the League of Nations and saw American Indians in the company of other colonized people around the world. Her vision exceeded the US.
Zitkala-Sa mistakenly believed American Indian service in WWI as non-citizens would give them leverage to force the US to uphold treaty rights. American Indians weren't citizens, so they had little legal recourse to push the treaty issue in US courts.
Zitkala-Sa was also critical of US militarism, connecting it to the genocide of American Indians. She clearly saw the hypocrisy of US interventions abroad to save "democracy" when it didn't practice it at home, especially with American Indians.
To Zitkala-Ša, America is the root of war.
Despite living a heroic life, Zitkala-Sa's death certificate reads: “Gertrude Bonnin from South Dakota—Housewife."
Addendum: She also did more to raise awareness around the Osage oil murders that specifically targeted young Native women than the bunk FBI glorification narrative that is currently on offer. Yet, she is written out of that history and won't be in the next Hollywood film.

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More from @nickwestes

15 Jan
“I call you 'comrades' rather than 'brothers and sisters' because if we are brothers and sisters it's not from choice, it's no commitment, but if you are my comrades I am your comrade too and that's a commitment and a responsibility.”
“We would like to salute all anti-colonialist people in this country, regardless of their tendencies or origins. In politics one has to be realistic... and we think it is essential that people wishing to act in solidarity with a movement such as ours should be united.”
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Read 9 tweets
8 Jan
I’m trusting my friends on this website who actually fight fascists. Some observations: 1/6 was well coordinated and effective. Criminalization has historically been weaponized against the left and racialized people. Fascists know liberals are paper tigers.
Biden indicated he’s going to beef up federal policing and not undo harsh charges for protestors last summer. Fascism doesn’t need Trump nor the GOP—1/6 proved it. Media won’t call fascists fascists to everyone’s detriment. There were 1/6 actions at many state capitols.
The fascist right has serious organizers who coordinated a mass national action. 1/6 made no serious blows to ruling class CEOs or politician’s wealth and power. But it had a huge psychological impact: relative impunity. 85% of cops voted Trump. No surprises with Capitol cops.
Read 8 tweets
17 Dec 20
The selection of Deb Haaland for DOI is the result of Indigenous movements. It also comes with the recognition that Haaland is from a state that ranks fifth in the nation for oil and gas production, largely from fracking on Indigenous lands claimed by federal and state gov’ts.
NM has some of the highest rates of MMIWG. The movement has only begun. And her appointment puts NM at the center of the land back movement — that is, returning public lands back to Indigenous people as the first step for any kind of sound environmental policy.
This comes with the acknowledgement that Haaland has said she’s against fracking on public lands and has pushed MMIWG legislation. We have yet to see, however, how this will all play out when she becomes secretary of DOI. Regardless, movements are pushing in this direction.
Read 4 tweets
23 Nov 20
This is a peculiar time of year for Native people. Colonial holidays & massacres go hand-in-hand with consumerism. Two old white imperialists colonized the first two weeks of #NativeAmericanHeritageMonth. Here are Indigenous political projects you should check & support (thread):
@The_Red_Nation Podcast is nearly finished with our first run of #NativeReads, centering Oceti Sakowin (D/N/Lakota) authors. Check out the study guides, buy the books, & support Oak Lake Writers Society: oaklakewriterssociety.com/nativereads-po…
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Read 13 tweets
16 Nov 20
The CIA has more Indigenous blood on its hands than Custer... Honduras, Guatemala, Bolivia...
Panama, Nicaragua, Chile, as well...
The first Secretary of State to overthrow a foreign gov’t was John Watson Foster (who overthrew the Kingdom of Hawaii). He told his grandson of his exploits: Allen Dulles, the first civilian director of the CIA, the man who orchestrated the bloody Guatemalan coup in 1954.
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18 Oct 20
I’ve seen sooo many US Indigenous “get out the vote” campaigns — “Indigenize the vote” “voting is sacred” — but zero solidarity from those same campaigns and politicians with Indigenous Bolivians voting today. Is a vote only “sacred” when it’s for empire?
The US backed the right wing military coup to depose of Evo Morales, the Indigenous president, and MAS, a movement with many Indigenous people. None of the elected US Indigenous politicians opposed the coup. Not a single one.
Bolivian Indigenous movements brought us some of the more revolutionary environmental politics such as the rights of nature movement, first codified in the Bolivian plurinational constitution, and the 2010 People’s Agreement that center the Andean cosmovision of Vivir Bien.
Read 6 tweets

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