Today when I got up, I went out to do my usuall, eat breakfeast, read the paper. And as I was reading the paper I noticed the Headline "Wildfire wracks Apache Community" and I read the article, because the reservation that the wildfires started on is in fact the reservation, and the Apache people that I come from. As I read through, I was horrified to read that residents that were evactuating from Show Low and Pinetop-Lakeside they held signs out of their windows when they passed through the reservation that read, "Thank you Apaches for burning our houses." Once I read this I was truly pissed off. How come it is that someone can blame the whole tribe for something one person did. Honestly if this hadn't happened on the reservation would have the reaction by these people be the same. I am sure for some it would, but for the majority of the people who held out those signs it wouldn't. Apparently people are upset because the tribe didn't put gates and fences up to mark off the area which is the reservation on, but if those people who actually said that went there, they would see that there are in fact gates and fences are set up to mark off where the reservation is. Unless of course it changed since the last time I had been there, which was last April. After the fire is put out, and if the area of Show Low and Lakeside-Pinetop, the area that will have suffered the most damage is the tribe. What about the timber comanpy? What will happen to them now that the trees they logged are practically burned down? How will attract hunters to come and hunt our elk? Where can the people work who were layed off from their logging duties? Every place they referred to in the article I knew. The restaurent, the small hotel, the gas station and other small businesses, I know them all. There has always been racial tension, and there always will be, I can't deny that. Onetime when I was staying on the rez, me and my friend were walking from the highschool to Bashas, and some people from off the rez, decided it would be funny if they threw their Mc Donalds garbage at us, and tell us that we were and would always be "just some dumb Indian Squaws." This fire will spur there hatred for us even more.
Right now we know that one of the fires were set off by a injured hiker, who was not native, and yet we are getting blamed for what she did. But it was NOBODYS fault, it was an accident, how did she know that it would spurr into a big fire. The other fire we don't know who set if off, and that it was most likely arsen, and whoever was at fault should pay the consequences for what he or she did, but don't blame the tribe for there ignorance! I am sure the tribe could have done a little more to prevent this, and I am sure in the future the tribe will take more precautions. But you can't control peoples stupidity! So don't expect the tribe to!
In closing I will say I am truly sorry for all the houses that have been burnt down by this devestating and tragic fire. But it wasn't the people of the White Mountain Apache fault, except for maybe a few cases. And that I am proud to be part of the tribe, though we will going into some tough times, now that unemployment will jump probably to over 65%, I will stand by them, and I am proud to be White Mountain Apache, I am proud that I am from the Bear Clan, and I will always love the reservation that I am native to.
"Oh.. whats happening? Why is my heart beating so fast all of a sudden. And my facial capillary vessels are open all the way!"-Zero Ryoko