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This is our country. What is it is it is occupied No by strangers but foreigners do grow here this is our blood it is us and you could never. You could never fit into a disco you cannot appreciate the beauty of it. It's quite a huge munition in your tissue drawing it. That is Apache Indian medicine man Bernard second telling part of the story of his people today at the Children's Foundation in Washington D.C. This is Jeff Gannon reporting in occupied territory. Lives of Indians and Mexican-Americans in the state of New Mexico. Yeah. Yeah yeah yeah. Yeah. At the National Indian youth Council's headquarters in Albuquerque sounding like fan Gerald Wilkinson are coordinating efforts and organizing Indians into units of political power. I ask them to define what they see as the main barrier between Indians and dignity. White people what do you mean when you say white people are the barrier.
Take a PR agency office theory office here in Albuquerque you know I suppose a general idea ought to be that those people work for you you know you have to have the freedom to roll up to ask people questions you know related every you know anything related to it but you know if it walks in there I think that the whole situation reverses and you know you become scared. You know you see you know you walk at it you know the video to ferry it. Do you feel like idiots ought to be a control of that. You know I mean like the guy you know sit behind a big wooden desk got to be an Indian or somebody you know. But it's not you know you you go talk to so he talked it first off so you go talk to anybody how to play better you anything else and there's always some white guy sitting behind some great big fancy desk you know you're scared to ask questions. Yeah I think one of the big problems when you grow up in a situation where you have almost total outside control of everything you do if you know anything you want you must you must go to them
and so you get a really kind of an inferiority complex in a lot of the Indian schools. If you go into if you go into an Indian school they they force you to choose a religion either Catholic Protestant or Mormon you don't have any choice about that. What is it going to take before the power structure notices that the Indians really want change. Take a couple of uprisings. You know you may define them as being bloody rebellions Well we just define them as being bloody uprisings and believe me you know all that. That's right that's conceivable I could have but you know the bureau could walk back could come to work at one of their offices one of these days and find a damn thing burned down. He is living in New Mexico today find themselves confronted with hostile bureaucracy. It's a white run Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs which employs Indians at substandard wages and working conditions. The police agencies state county and local seem to take uniform delight in beating and humiliating Indians and the state and county
courts which perform in such a fashion that some tribes have begun their own legal aid agencies to protect their members. What is even more destructive to the Indian however is his contact with the plastic world of the white man. But if. That is the sound of a TV set a color TV set in a recreation room for children on the Mescalero Apache reservation the kids come home from school every day and wrap themselves around the tube. The pool tables and a juke box filled with such Indian classics as twist again like we did last summer. Apache medicine man Bernard second is second by the policy of the Bureau of Indian Affairs which forces Indians to leave the reservation to go to school to port things and learn if their parents and grandparents and their relatives because all of them not only the parents but the grandparents and their relatives have a hard have every one of them have a
little part in their upbringing. And they're going into adulthood. They have pardoned it to teach them the right way. That way other people think when the white man takes them from that and from there from their relatives and their parents and great grandparents they have destroyed that they have destroyed that. All that they can get from them because they have you moved into it and when they're in the white man's world away I mean the white man's world is a cold world. And automatically just because of the. The colons of the world they turn no humor they learned the mechanics of that world. But they but they cut in in the middle in the middle of two worlds. Do eventually go back to to where they came from. But it will be a long process and it will bring more problems with them if they go back.
Many Indian children return from the federally run schools with deeply etched feelings of inferiority and rejection. The kids often begin their school experience with bright eyed enthusiasm only to emerge with a dull quiet of beaten people. It is common to hear white teachers say they purposely avoid learning about Indian culture because after all they are there to eradicate Indian ways and substitute white ones at the Public Health Service Hospital in Gallup the Mexico psychiatrist talks about the agony of dignity that Indians go through. They find out that we don't respect them. And they find out in a million ways that white people simply don't respect Indians and even come through I suppose and maybe it hurts most then from the white people who think that they really do respect and like Indians and then they want to see them in war bonnet so they know they want to see them do their charming quaint thanks. The Indian is first human. He like you becomes angry. Want to be the anger is directed not against the white man that's too close to frightening and in some ways it goes against. Navajo cultural
tradition I think so that he's angered at himself and that makes him depressed. What makes him fail. One of the one of the brightest young Navajo patients of mine came to me because he's always failing and he's begun to realize that he fails for no good reason. He makes himself fail because to go on would get him into a position where he'd have to express his anger against white people. The most dramatic demonstration of the Indian's inner directed anger is the massive and self destructive drinking that has become a basic part of life for Indians a New Mexico again. Apache medicine man Bernard second. My people were open minded people and proud people. But no white man came here he lied to them with the lies that they could could give him in return he gave nothing to them. The only thing that he could give them with liquor they give them liquor in the bad ways that they had to give it to the Indians to give it to my people. And now my people are better because of that because they had
no way of controlling that because we lived a life a good life and we didn't have no such badness in our lives. Often the white men came we brought those beds and any where we could and we couldn't control the leverage you know our people are killing each other. At Eddie's bar in Gallup poverty stricken Indians wearing cowboy style clothing and sloshing beer and hard liquor down their mouths jammed the airless dance floor in billiard room. It is to these sounds on the accompanying pressures of life in the brittle cold bite man's world that the original Americans drink their lives away. It's a ritual which before the white man was unknown to these children of the sun and the land on the right. You know he's bar one night I met a 22 year old Navajo Just completed a tour of duty in the Army overseas and he's 50 cents to be a price the young man had little left of his separation. If you listen closely to this great grandson of the proud warrior
you will hear all that needs to be said about Indians and like a. Lot and in a tenor I know we're not and get drunk every night every night. That's what they do and just hang around. Like I get drunk. That's what in a living over here and get a dealer the same way. Maybe I'll be living there when. I won't be nobody. I think about and when I. Finish my. Not. Not. When I. Get on a. I think about by so many Indians live that way. I can understand. Why. In a live day with. A tantrum. I don't understand. Whose fault is it. Well I think just if Odd isn't. It. But what about the wife it is not his fault. I don't think so if they don't know it's you know about. The alcoholism of that Indian is about as much his own fault as is the fate of the baby in this story from a
physician who has devoted himself to serving the needs of the Navajo. The child in the story as a victim of the white politician's lack of concern. I saw a child a little Navajo child come into the Gallup Indian service hospital four days after the mother had started out to bring him into the hospital. Many of the Navajos don't have transportation of any means no car only a horse. This mother. Wanted to bring her child in far mild diarrhea and by the time the child arrived there was severely dehydrated and died two days later at the Mescalero Apache reservation the sun was setting behind the Blue Mountains. Medicine man Bernard second was talking. You come here you ask questions. And I pray for you not because I want to demonstrate anything but to show you the way we think. See the sun has gone down the sun has gone down.
It is going down and may all the badness in life may take it down with it tomorrow. When it comes up from this side I may bring only goodness to us may bring only goodness for us so that we can live in a good way. This is the way we pray. A troubled times is the only thing we can country here and it belongs to us no more. We are here no longer than there will be no one here. Because when our blood cries from this land no white man will live here and happy we will only know what's said sorrowful and in some way the clouds the clouds will come again and the thunder will thunder again
and the rainbows will shine and the eagle fly and come again. Mighty people again. I am not a dreamer I'm a practical man with a practical religion that I have been taught by those from a long way back long before the coming of the ME and I have faith in what I believe in. Because if I did I'd be like you but I am not. I would never give up but I am for the for the Holloways of white men. But now I smoke for the smoke and drink politically and in pursuit of. The scene from. The medicine man then sang two holy songs that could not be recorded. They were songs of the sky and the sun and the land and the one without a name. Soon after he consumed a dozen cans of beer. And a quart of wine.
He too was a victim of the occupation. Why it. Was. Doing to the world. Just. Like the Indian in New Mexico the Mexican American or Chicano is also living in occupied territory. The first explorers to plant a European flag on the peaceful soil of the new world their Spanish ancestors state the first legal claim to the land. Spanish kings gave the land to loyal subjects they in turn passed it on to their children. What is now New Mexico was once a part of Old Mexico. The rights to the land spelled out and grants dating back to the 16th century immediately after the war with Mexico the land was taken in conquest by the United States than the cutthroat American businessman.
Real estate sharks moved in on the anxious owners of the soil to vary in forms of business trickery courtroom and overs on government policy. The land of Mexican-Americans was gradually gobbled up stolen. The process is continuing today and it is conceivable that one day soon there will be no more land in the hands of the people who settled it for. Kano's Mexican-Americans are discriminated against in every area of life today at least brutality is part of the ordinary expectation of Chicanos a New Mexico. Here a husband and wife in their late 50s tell about being arrested along with their son and they got my bush against you know steel walls. They stopped the car and envied my boys they did beat the other boys inside the car on
the way to jail and your presence your presence. What eventually did the court do about this what was your decision to find the sameness and the husband and wife had both been gainfully employed prior to the encounter with law and order. Following it both were so badly shattered emotionally that the family was forced to go onto the welfare rolls. The total impact of the incident on the wife was all but paralyzing. I couldn't even get out I was afraid to go out I was afraid that they might pick me up ill or something for nothing you know. I didn't get afraid to feel afraid you know. And Pete Domenici is the chairman of the Albuquerque City Commission. And in fact the mayor it is Domenici plan to become governor of New Mexico. I asked him about the people and the police. I don't believe that police brutality exists in our city to any substantial
degree. I'm ready to admit that any department of city government just as any corporation or business with. Four hundred fifty employees. I cannot in this day and age assume that every single apple is a good one. Sadly the problem goes far beyond apples or pears. It could develop into a dramatic confrontation Chicanos cannot find work when whites can when they do they are paid less. They are badly treated by the welfare system and even the federally financed war on poverty has been rigged against them. Local agencies are the Office of Economic Opportunity are always run by Chicanos and must report to anglos whites so jealous of their petty power are the Chicano agency directors but they generally contribute to an environment of distrust that exists almost throughout the
Mexican-American community. Can. We. Just. Kind of self-taught not just by ourselves but by our educators and somewhat by our parents. And not to trust they're. Just plain not to try. Ask each other you know because. I don't know why. But that. They just were. It just that it just is that way. The clear cut racial discrimination against Yukon as a New Mexico extends deep into the public school system. This boy is 16 one day there was a fight between my friend and some other boys and there was quite a lot and I came to help them. And he called in just these boys and my friend and myself and yes with the controversy with this is that well I told him that well but these boys are picking on my friend they came to help him. And yes he's boys and there were angry guys. Yes tomorrow. Well this is true and he says no. So
that he sent these boys away. He expelled my friend and me. When welfare worker Maria Duran tried to organize welfare recipients for the protection of their rights under the law she was quickly removed from her job and blacklisted. Today she is on welfare. Some women even turn into a prostitute. They don't want to do it but when you have 10 kids eight kids and your husband can't come back to live with you you you can have your boyfriend at home you can have your husband and that's the stupidest thing I've ever seen. And. She either steals or she gets away. I mean this is very I mean I I can hardly express express it or explain it. You see a woman especially at you gonna you know in the mind minority or any woman. Well I'm going to say about myself
when you know when you have your kid you have your kids mean everything to you. And you do anything for them kids. And if you don't have enough money you're going to go get it. It doesn't merit it. Even if you don't need it as long as a kids have food and clothing and a roof for their head you're going to get it. So when I want to get a job she'll do anything to get that job. Even if she has to go to get over the hole near that place where she has a job and that's another thing is happening in Mexico too. And she doesn't want to be on welfare so she gets a job so she has to be an misters of whoever owns the place. The system is so tough on Chicanos that many of these formerly honorable and honest people turn to crime. As a matter of fact it is only within the walls of the county prison in Albuquerque that the Chicano is in control there he dramatically outnumbers Anglos and his jailers are afraid of him. A young boy who spent time in that jail talks about Chicano prisoners.
They all were good people and I feel sorry for him you know what actually that what it was they were just trying to help herself you know burglarizing for money and all her kids be hungry. Peddling dope mostly and actually professionals I mean they really didn't know what they're doing or else you know they would get caught so much you know they were just. Go ahead a place and get caught you go to jail it's been five years and they get desperate again the same thing over just outside the city limits of Albuquerque there are people who pay their taxes but don't even get clean water. Only true worser we can use it to drink it or take a bath eat real bad. Why is it bad I got something good you know it's contaminated. Yeah they got it. It does stick you'll know and we can use it for to drink just to west ditch it and use it for home. What do you do for water that.
Chavis. We used to bring the water our forces treat how far away is that it. But to my you had to carry the water that you were going to drink or bathe in for two miles. How often did you have to do that. Well every day. Some don't and some don't. Every day where you actually drinking the dirty water before you know it was bad. I said you've been good buddy a week you know and I start to get sick and I went to the doc. Go on me tonight. Print the letter and wished I could bring a friend there and how long has the water been bad since we moved here. Actually no. 20 years. The lady's husband suffered a form of paralysis and a discoloration of the skin. All as a result of drinking the water. The community worker who brought in fresh water for the people got in trouble with his bosses and almost got fired for trying to help the poor.
Like the Indians. But you kind of have discovered that white people Anglos simply don't respect them. Not even their right to the most fundamental human dignity. Here an angry social worker tells of a plot to sterilize the mother of 16 children. Several attempts. Were Made. To. Bring the lady into the hospital so that she would die. So hysterectomy could be performed on her thereby leaving her from I and I guess the process of bringing any more children. I believe this was contrary to her beliefs and it upset her greatly and there were several attempts made and each time that she was picked up she was very reluctant and didn't abide by it and in turn this has caused a great deal of distress on her part and she will have nothing to do with any agency. The younger ones are approached with the method of Planned Parenthood contraceptives and the forms of pill are you know taken orally and all sorts of things other measures to where you sit but she is definitely not alone.
Do the agencies of the Anglo establishment try any halfway measures on this woman. The doctors at a center. And so did a coil known as some sort of a kind of separate device in her without her being aware of what was going on. About two years ago a group of militants or Kano's calling themselves the Brown Berets came to the surface in New Mexico like the Black Panthers these Mexican Americans talked about picking up the gun to do combat with injustices like the Panthers their leadership was quickly attacked by the establishment. Today the Brown Berets are quietly at work organizing in the body House. The little Chicano ghettos of New Mexico. Some of the Brown Berets have enlisted in the armed forces not to serve the United States but to learn how to use the gun. If social conditions don't change dramatically a New Mexico soon. The Brown Berets will surely when tremendous support was. This program is produced by the Children's Foundation in Washington D.C. I was a child.
Four documentaries
Episode Number
In Occupied Territory
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Chicago: “Four documentaries; 3; In Occupied Territory,” 1970-00-00, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed December 5, 2021,
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APA: Four documentaries; 3; In Occupied Territory. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from