First Peoples 5: Civilized enough to get some water

George2023, Sibley's Rivers5 Comments

first peoples - Pima

We’re seeing not just being at the table, but actually having an influence on the agenda. We’re looking at the next step – because you can have a seat at the table, but not be taken seriously. And tribes, especially now in regards to water, we have to be taken seriously.  – Stephen Roe Lewis, Governor   Gila Indian River Community   In the last post, I took a closer look at one of the Colorado River Basin’s 30 First People tribes in the Colorado River’s natural basin, the Southern Utes, and the way in which the Ute bands adapted to the civilization that had overrun them. A warrior culture at the time they were overrun and eventually confined to a reservation, they did not take up farming like the Bureau of Indian Affairs trustees wanted them to, although some did engage in cattle and sheep ranching – herding being the least traumatic (agri)cultural transformation from the hunter-forager way of … Read More

Romancing the River: The First Peoples, Part 1

George2023, Sibley's Rivers8 Comments

Native reservations map

We’re seeing not just being at the table, but actually having an influence on the agenda. We’re looking at the next step – because you can have a seat at the table, but not be taken seriously. And tribes, especially now in regards to water, we have to be taken seriously. – Stephen Roe Lewis, Governor Gila Indian River Community If you are following the ever-unfolding sagas of the Colorado River in the 21st century, the Early Anthropocene, you are probably aware that there are water-related issues with the 30 remaining First Peoples living within the Colorado River Basin. I’ll say, to start, that I don’t like to call the 574 recognized First Peoples in the United States and Alaska ‘Indians’ (colonizing and homogenizing term, inaccurate too), ‘American Indians’ (two Eurocentric colonizing words), or ‘Native Americans’ (anyone born here is a ‘native’). I prefer to think of them as ‘First People’ for a couple reasons. First, because many of the … Read More