Bobbie Conner - Divide and Conquer

Bobbie Conner explains the consequences of divide and conquer tactics used against people who are closely connected along the river.

The following text is a transcription of this video.
"American federal policies have been enormously successful with divide and conquer tactics. And the idea that we're on different reservations and closely related and fighting over things and saying this is ours and that's yours is one of the most destructive things in our whole social fabric in the Columbia River Plateau because we all know we're all related. We were intermarried long before Lewis and Clark came, because we don't marry close relatives, it's taboo to marry a first, second, third cousin. And so because of those taboos we were heavily intermarried and most people who lived on the river spoke more than one language. They were multi-lingual. As well as sign language and Chinook Jargon later on. And so the consequence of what has happened to the river and the river people is that we've become chopped up and segregated and separated with both physical and artificial constructs that have nothing to do with our historic lives. And our ancient culture. And thousands of years of being related has been disrupted in the last two hundred years by these divide and conquer tactics and they are some of the most harmful, hurtful things to I think to the Indian spirit."