Us Natives, We’re Really Something Else.

Howie Echo-Hawk
2 min readNov 5, 2020

Or, Why we should start thinking a hell of a lot more about how treaties legitimize the settler-state.


I was gonna write a whole ass article pulling on all my academic analysis and wit, but then I wrote the headline and that seems good enough. If you get it, you get it.

“Well, I’ll have to chew on that one.” — George Washington, A Monster.

But, I guess if you want some small kind of bullshit comedic, intellectual analysis, the treaties were never entered into in good faith, the settler-state doesn’t care about us, and our insistence on getting them to honor the treaties is like asking George Washington to please stop using slave teeth in his dentures — sure, maybe he’ll listen to you over a glass of whiskey, but at a certain point its gonna come down to wooden splinters in his mouth or TAKING TEETH FROM THE PEOPLE HE OWNED, and you know that son of a bitch isn’t gonna choose splinters.

“DO YOU GET IT YET?” — Me, shouting from the rooftops of a post-apocalypse Seattle. (Circa now, Right the fuck now.)

Or it’s like asking Andrew “Indian Killer” Jackson to change his nickname to Andrew “Federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native Killer” Jackson, before HE KILLED YOU FOR BEING INDIAN.

Or like, say a group of people who have been actively colonizing you and your people for several hundred years forgot to include you in their racial voter categorization (in an election between two different colonizers), and you were like “hey what the fuck is this erasure, please include us by racial classification in the statistics,” and meanwhile they were like, “I’m sorry, what was that? WE CANT HEAR YOU OVER THE SOUND OF ALL THIS STOLEN LAND.”

Let me take that joke again: meanwhile they were like, “I’m sorry, what was that? WE CANT HEAR YOU OVER THE SOUND OF ALL THESE FEDERALLY RECOGNIZED AMERICAN INDIAN AND ALASKA NATIVE GHOSTS.”
Cuz of the genocide.

Tribes are pre-American, pre-federal recognition, pre-racial categorization, and guess what, we are even pre-treaty.
Imagine that.
We must stop asking for land back from the people who stole it, and start figuring out how we are just gonna get our land back, period.

And if you think that’s not possible, let me say this: after 500+ years of colonization and genocide––we still have some land.

And that’s really something else.