Twenty-One Ways to 'Scalp' An Indian

by Jerry Gambill
Full Text Version: ("Akwesasne Notes", vol I, No. 7. July 1979)

1. Make him a non-person. Human rights are for people. Convince Indians their ancestors were savages, make them wards of the government, write history books that tell half the story.
2. Convince the Indian that he should be patient and that progress takes time.
3. Make him believe that things are being done for his own good. 
4. Get some Indian people to do the dirty work. There are always those who will act to the disadvantage of their own people. 
5. Consult the Indian, but do not act on the basis of what you hear.


6. Insist that the Indian "GOES THROUGH THE PROPER CHANNELS". Make the channels and the procedures so difficult that he won't bother to do anything.
7. Make the Indian believe that you are working hard and sacrificing for him, then imply he should be appreciative. This is the ultimate skills in stealing human rights: obtaining the thanks of your victim.
8. Allow a few individuals to "MAKE THE GRADE" and then point to them as examples. 
9. Appeal to the Indian's sense of fairness, and tell him that, even though things are pretty bad, it is not right for him to make strong protests. 
10. Encourage the Indian to take his case to court. This is very safe because the laws are stacked against him.


11. Make the Indian believe that things could be worse, and convince him that to attempt to regain a right he has lost is likely to jeopardize the rights that he still has.
12. Set yourself up as the protector of the Indian's human rights, then act on only those violations you choose. 
13. Pretend that the reason for the loss of human rights is for some other reason than that the person is an Indian. 
14. Make the situation more complicated than is necessary. 
15. Insist on unanimity, then play one group's special situation against another group's wishes.

16. Select very limited alternatives, then tell the Indian that he indeed has a choice. 
17. Convince the Indian that the leaders who are the most beneficial and powerful are dangerous and not to be trusted. Or simply lock them up on some charge like driving with no lights. Or refuse to listen to the real leaders and spend much time with the weak ones. Keep the people split from their leaders by sowing rumor. Attempt to get the best leaders into high-paying jobs where they have to keep quiet to keep their paycheck coming in.
18. Tell the Indians they can't consider themselves when there is a whole nation to think of. 
19. Remove rights so gradually that people don't realize what has happened until it is too late. 
20. Rely on reason and logic (your reason and logic) instead of rightness and morality. 
21. Hold a conference on HUMAN RIGHTS, have everyone blow off steam and tension, and go home feeling that things are well in hand
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