I'm not going to start listing the long list of promises and assurances that you made during your campaign and at the beginning of your presidency. I am also not going to go through the litany of treaties that most Native people feel compelled to quote from as if they define our existence. I will not rehash the most recent travesty that you and the Congress are trying to inflict on our people either.
I will tell you; we get it. Not all of us, but enough of us to matter. The Crow might be falling all over themselves to adopt you and give you an "Indian" name and there are plenty of "tribal" officials that would love to get a photo op with you or get invited to some White House function. But those of us that have been in the trenches fighting for our sovereignty and autonomy, we have always understood. We have a name for you too. Rahnatakaias: it means "Town Destroyer". It is not so much a name for Barack Obama as it is for the office you hold. Your actions are what make it personal. We understood from the start that the men who would hold your office would be praised by many and always be promoted as men of fine character even as they acted out the most cowardice and inhumane policies against our people. George Washington ordered what you and your contemporaries would call an act of terrorism his instructions to General John Sullivan regarding the Seneca people:
I would recommend,...parties should be detached to lay waste all the settlements around, with instructions to do it in the most effectual manner, that the country may not be merely overrun, but destroyed.
Washington was the first to earn the title, but you all do your part to earn the description. Jackson's "Trail of Tears", Lincoln's Homestead Act and execution of 38 Lakota prisoners (the largest mass execution in US history) as well as Kennedy's flooding of Seneca land with the Kinzua dam are just a few examples that rarely get much attention from folks like you. But we remember. So we get it.
You certainly are not the first to make overtures to Native leaders only to continue on with your belief that you and your Congress have legitimate authority to legislate over us. In 200 years you have broken many Native people and destroyed many Native communities. You have bought and paid for tribal leaders to sellout their people from coast to coast. But know this; the People of the Haudenosaunee are not beaten or bought.
Legislating against us does little to change those of us that understand our sovereignty. Criminalizing us does not make us go away. Feel free to turn off the rhetoric any time. It just makes you look foolish in the long run. Just keep doing what the 43 before you have always done. There is no reason to lie to our faces or on your taped addresses. You do not work for us. Congress does not represent us. Just because the Senate declared us citizens in 1924, doesn't make it so. As I said, we get it.