The Challenge Faced by the Battle Mountain Colony and Their Interpretation of the Treaty of Ruby Ridge.

The challenges faced by the Battle Mountain Colony

The challenges faced by the Battle Mountain Colony and their demand for compensation for the theft of their land is very formidable and wrought with obstacles. Lies and deception seem to be the norm when the U.S. Government decides to be “fair” and draft treaties with the Indians. Most treati...es with the Indians were written with the intention of transferring land and resources to the government and white settlers. The Indian way of life interfered with the desire of whites to exploit the land as they wished. The ethnocentric mindset of the settlers and the government also caused them to see Indians as ignorant savages who don’t understand or deserve the untapped wealth that their land possessed. The Treaty of Ruby Ridge is one example of this attitude towards Indians.

Treaty of Ruby Ridge

Indians recognize the condescension of the government and the settlers in the drafting of these and similar treaties. Although the Treaty of Ruby Ridge doesn’t state that land is given up, it implies that it will be taken if it’s deemed necessary for the progress of western society. Shoshonis today are still struggling with the government and its agencies on the interpretation of this treaty. Indians view the BIA and BLA as encroachers raping their land and imposing the rules and laws of a foreign nation onto themselves. The government states that the land didn’t belong to anyone, but as a gesture of goodwill they will offer pennies on the acre. The mindset of the government that the Indians dealt with in past is alive and well here today. The government will continue to stonewall and refuse to compensate the Shoshoni for their wrong doing. Why? Because it will set a precedent in the court system that will be used by all groups exploited by the United States. Other Indian tribes will sue, as well as the descendants of black slaves, Japanese interned in camps during World War II and many other groups wronged by our government. Judging by our history, it would be costly to make amends.

© 2008 Augustine A. Zavala

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