Three days ago, several North American university students on an archeological seminar in Peru were kidnapped by political terrorists. Some of the students had grown up on the Cold River Indian Reservation, and tribal leaders have appealed to the United States government for intervention, with no response. today, Chief Bluefeathers is in front of TV cameras to make an announcement.
He looked down the table and prayed for the wisdom to say what needed to be said. He waited a full minute and then looked up at the senators and staffers, noting that some of them were already squirming, their attention wandering, beginning to talk with each other. He knew they were wondering if the old Indian knew how to talk. He waited a while longer before he spoke.
- In his years of dealing with the Šiyápu he found that they had the patience of a hungry child. And then he began, speaking in a strong voice, knowing as he spoke that his words would start events that might kill many people.
- “On almost every Indian reservation today and for a long time, Veterans Day is a solemn and respected day. We have a special Veterans Day Pow Wow to celebrate this day. Indians have long been members of the armed forces, and we are proud of it. We are proud of our warrior heritage. It was our country first, and we fight for it, regardless of the temporary occupants of power. We have sought peace for many years, and we live in peace with all of our neighbors.
- “And now, a neighbor to the United States in South America, the nation of Peru, has taken some of our children and has not returned them safely.
“We have asked the President of the United States, the Great White Father, to help us, and he is too busy. And now I learn from my relatives, the Yakama Nation, that one of the students made it safely out of the mountains to the Great White Father’s embassy in Lima, Peru, and that the Great White Father turned him over to the Peruvian Secret Police and he is most certainly dead.” [Carl had escaped and returned to Lima for help. He didn't have his passport, so the embassy refused him admittance.]
The senators and staff began talking all at once, some staff members getting up and leaving the room. The people in the audience were talking and shifting in their seats. “Even if our conquerors will not help us, we will find our children, wherever they may be.”
Bluefeathers paused, watching the senators, waiting for them to be quiet. They had the temperament of children at the beginning of summer - they didn’t listen well. He waited until the room was quiet.
“We will fight Peru, the country, it’s citizens, it’s armies, to find our children, and you will not, not with your armies and your billions - and you should be ashamed of yourselves. “Today, we, the Confederated Tribes of the Cold River Indian Reservation of Oregon, declare war on the nation of Peru.” There was a titter of laughter from the back, and then someone began yelling. The chairman of the committee banged his gavel and tried to bring order to the room. Bluefeathers stood, and waited, wondering how they ever got anything done here. Again, the room fell silent.
“We are a sovereign nation, the status given to us by the treaty of 1855, a treaty that recognized our sovereign status as an independent nation, a nation within a state, within a nation. A treaty that was ratified by this very legislative body.” Bluefeathers stopped again and waited. This time, no one spoke. “We believe in this treaty, and we have not broken it. . . .
Together with our allies, the other Indian nations in this country, those who will help us, we will demand of Peru that our children be released, or we will fight to the death.” . . .
You may see some of us as a weak people, some of us as drunks. But you must know that we were here before you, before your numbers and your diseases and your promises overwhelmed us. This is our country, and now also yours, and again you have failed us. . . .
“We ask the Great White Father no more for help in these things, for help with getting our children back. . . .
Bluefeathers looked at the panel in front of him. “We know you will try to stop us. “You can’t. “To our American friends of all races and countries who have come to this our native land - don’t fight us.
“Watch us. . . .
“The great Nez Perce Chief Joseph said, ‘From this day forward, I will fight no more forever.’ I say to you, we will fight forever for our children."
I don't one know how they're going to do it, but I'm rooting for them.
[dont know where the Bullets came from, but they seem to want to stay there. They mean nothing]