In this excerpt, Antone Minthorn (Umatilla) talks about having respect for the land and the benefits of everyone having a better understanding of that.
Bio: Antone Minthorn has served for more than twenty years with the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) in various roles, from chief planner to chair of the board of trustees. He is a founding board member of Confluence.
I have a respect for the land. That this is your home, forever, this is what’s going to take care of you. This five hundred and twelve thousand acres is your home, it’s your economy. It’s where are all water and fish and the drinking and the housing and the trees and the roots and berries and fruit — it’s all in there for you to make a living. And that will require a lot of travel to make that happen. And that’s what they do. That’s a nation. That’s a people. But when an invasion comes in that disrupts all that and that somebody else takes over, but there’s still fighting going on in the end. And then we get to where we’re at today. We fought all these wars, Indian wars, wars in Europe and Korea and the tribes are up there fighting the same war for freedom, for respect.
And then come home in the same way with other soldiers that have been out there fighting for this land, for this freedom so that they can have a place to live. And then being able to do that.
But a better understanding of who we are. A better understanding of who the natives are here and what their rights are here and respecting that, learning that, and respecting it. That’s why I said I think the teachers are so important. They’re the education part of it. And it’s these little guys that are growing up that are going to understand that, because that’s their education, that’s where they come from. And then there’s our walking that talk.