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Land of the free — home of the brave

Land of the free — home of the brave

It is hard to sit back and passively take in the limited information we, the public, are being provided about the events unfolding at Standing Rock Sioux Territory. So many things seem almost unbelievable; a girl has her arm blown off, another shot in the eye may be permanently blinded, police shooting water at humans

It is hard to sit back and passively take in the limited information we, the public, are being provided about the events unfolding at Standing Rock Sioux Territory.

So many things seem almost unbelievable; a girl has her arm blown off, another shot in the eye may be permanently blinded, police shooting water at humans in freezing cold temperatures, women being arrested and charged with attempted murder without evidence of a weapon — the list is long and nauseating.

How can this be happening in North America in 2016?

Now, the water protectors and allies standing in solidarity with the Sioux are facing forced removal from Sioux treaty lands.

It is unthinkable in this day and age. It is infuriating. Even this far from the frontlines of the battle the frustration is palpable. People are talking about it around the world; elders sitting in Tim Hortons, high school students in Brant County, community clinic workers in Ireland, Sami traditional communities in Norway are all declaring this is not right.

It is unfair. It is unjust. And it leaves all of us unsettled.

But it seems like that is the untold story of America — an unjust regime built on stolen land, broken friendships, false promises and genocide.

With police fighting to protect an oil company’s illegal drilling activity, the state and feds blocking journalists, emergency services and human rights organizations from attending the scene just as an estimated 2000 U.S. Vets are about to enter the scene and blow the loudest whistle the country has ever heard.

America’s roots are showing.

Place this in light of Donald Trump, affectionately known as “the orange one” among opponents, electoral college win versus a two million plus lead by Clinton in actual votes from American citizens.

Welcome to the new land of the free and home of the brave. Or is it new at all? Is all of this revelation on America just a behind-the-scenes view of what always was? Ask any indigenous person and they will likely give you an emphatic yes. Ask a U.S. army veteran back from fighting a war they later discovered was an overseas oil conquest and they might agree. Ask a journalist who was charged with a felony and threatened with 45 years of prison just for taking pictures of what’s really happening at Standing Rock and they will doubly confirm.

This is the new, old America. Land of the free — home of the brave.

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Nahnda Garlow

Nahnda Garlow

Nahnda Garlow is Onondaga under the wing of the Beaver Clan of Six Nations. Nahnda has been a journalist with the Two Row Times since it's founding in 2013. She is a self-proclaimed "rez girl" who brings to the Two Row Times years of experience as a Haudenosaunee cultural interpreter, traditional dancer and beadwork aficionado. Nahnda is a member of the Canadian Association of Journalists and the Native American Journalists Association.

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