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Occupation Hazard

An original poem by Trudi Blue/BlueT

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“To Colonize or Decolonize? That is the Question.”

By Charmaine White Face


Colonization has been the actions that have been used to change Native Americans, or American Indians, into Caucasian or Euro Americans.  This has been a very painful process for Native Americans.  But in order to heal the wounds, the act of Decolonization might begin the healing.  This is a spoof not meant to be disrespectful to all the pain that is here, but to allow humor to begin the healing.   Colonization has hurt all in the process, both Euro-Americans and Native Americans.


1 long conference table
6-8 chairs: 3-4 chairs circled at each end of the table, not in a row
1 large Glass bowl real or fake fruits and vegetables, primarily corn, potatoes, apples 
2 representations of meat:  meat package with clear plastic
1 Fast food bag (McDonald’s, etc.)  could be empty or have food
1 Fast food drink with straw
1 white sheet with a hole in the middle to fit a male adult head (This will be the spirit.)
4-5 large black, or dark men’s suit jackets from thrift stores
4 women’s shawls, or blankets
4 hair clips with flowers, or ribbons; or funny hats
1 blanket for the Native American man
1 cowboy hat
1 plastic child’s sword  (Star wars light saber)
White poster board

[Two (2) large and three (3) smaller signs to be cut out.  The large signs will say:      ‘Colonization’,  ‘De - colonization‘, and the three smaller signs:  ‘Spirit’, ‘1868     Treaty’, and ‘Human Rights’. The string will be tied or stapled onto two corners     of the Spirit sign and worn by the Native American male at the proper time.]
String 20 - 30 inches

2 Medium size cardboard boxes, empty, but will hold props


1 white adult male preferably  (this actor symbolizes the American system) however,     props are available for someone else to play this part
1 Native American adult male preferably
2-3 Native American women (1 older if possible)
1 Native American child (preferably female)


The conference table will face the audience.  The chairs are circled around the ends with a definite space in the middle. The large glass bowl with fruit and vegetables, and the piece of meat will be on the right hand side, looking from the back of the table to the audience.


The Native American women and child are wearing shawls, and the Native American man has a blanket around him.  The women and child are sitting down, the man standing behind them.

The white man (Cowboy) dressed in a suit jacket, cowboy hat, and swinging sword, enters walking in front of the table from the left hand side facing the audience, the empty side of the table.  Empty chairs are also on that side of the table. 

The Cowboy stops in front of the table pointing to the other, empty side of the table.

“You move over there!”

The Native American man comes around in front of the women and child.

Native Man:

The Cowboy hits him with the sword and kills him.  The women and child look at the Native Man and begin crying.  Then they look up with fear at the Cowboy. 

“Now, you move over there, but leave those shawls here!”

The women and child put their shawls in the cardboard box which is on the floor, and move to the other end of the table and sit on the chairs.

“Put these on!”

He hands them a box with the suit jackets.  All three women and the child put them on, and sit down again. 

[During this time, the Native American man, leaves the area and puts on the sheet, his face showing, and with the sign around his neck that says ‘Spirit.  At this time, he could also move the box with the shawls so it is near the women but behind them. The Spirit Man picks up the large sign that says ‘Colonization‘ and stands behind the women at the other end of the table holding the sign high over their heads while the scene continues.]

The Cowboy reaches into the box that held the suit coats, and hands to each one of the women and child, a hair clip, bright colored pink, or lime green, or purple. 

Cowboy :      
“Put these in your hair …right on top!”

The oldest woman, Grandma, stands up.

“But our hair is this way for a reason.”

The Cowboy raises his sword as if to strike her.

Cowboy -hollering in a mean voice:
“Not anymore!”

She sits down and they all put the hair clip on the top of their heads.

The women and child all stand up and start singing a prayer song in Lakota in their natural voices, with the suit jackets on and the hair clip on their head.

“What are you doing?”

One of the women:

Cowboy - in a high, squeaky, mouse voice:
“NO!  And from now on you  must talk this way!”

The women and child are all still standing. The child looks at one of the women.

Child:  -in her natural voice:
“Do I have to?”

The woman nods her head yes.  The women and child sit down.

“And this is what you eat.”

He again reaches into the box and sets the fast food bag and drink  on the empty table in front of the women and child.  They don’t touch it.

Then the  Cowboy sits down at the other end of the table with the fruit and veggie bowl and meat and begins reading two pieces of paper as he holds the papers up in front of himself with the words to the audience.   

[The papers are made from the poster board.  On the side facing the audience, one has printed on it “Treaty” the other has “Human Rights.” in big letters.]

The spirit man puts the “Colonization” sign down and puts his arms over the women, palms down.

Spirit Native Man:
“I will help you.”

The spirit man standing behind the women lifts up the sign that says “Decolonization.”
During this action, the women don’t look at him because he is invisible to them.

While the Cowboy is reading, the old Grandma brings out an ear of corn and sets it on the table.

Grandma: - in a squeaky voice:
“I grew this in my garden,”

The others look at her with big eyes and open mouths.

Grandma: - in a squeaky voice again:
“I grew this in my garden.”

Then one of the other women brings out a package of meat.

Woman in a squeaky voice:
“I got a job and bought this.”

The others look at her with big eyes and open mouths. 

Same woman in a squeaky voice:
“We will all share.”

The women, child and Spirit Man all nod yes.           

The Grandma stands up and takes the hair clip out of her hair, and takes off  the jacket, puts on a shawl and starts singing a prayer song in her natural voice.  The other women and child do the same.  One of them pushes the fast food to the center of the table.  All the while the spirit man is still standing behind them holding the sign that says ‘Decolonizing.’

While they are singing, the Cowboy comes around the front of the table with the signs Treaty and Human Rights held to the audience.

The women stop singing.

“I didn’t know about this.  My government lied to me.  In this Treaty it says you have the right to tell me to stay or leave.”

The Cowboy looks at the women and child and they start nodding their heads, Yes.

He places the signs on the table, takes off his hat, holding it in front of his chest
with two hands, his head down. 

“May I stay?”

Then all the actors line up in front of the table facing the audience, hold hands, and take a bow, never answering the question.

The End.

Written for the Sioux Nation Treaty Council and Decolonization for all people.   This skit may be changed to reflect the situation in the specific areas of all Indigenous nations.

Oct. 2014

Mission Statement

"Defenders of the Black Hills is a group of volunteers without racial or tribal boundaries whose mission is to preserve, protect, and restore the environment of the 1851 and 1868 Treaty Territories, Treaties made between the United States and the Great Sioux Nation."

Speaking about radioactive fallout, the late President John F. Kennedy said,

"Even then, the number of children and grandchildren with cancer in their bones, with leukemia in their blood, or with poison in their lungs might seem statistically small to some, in comparison with natural health hazards. But this is not a natural health hazard and it is not a statistical issue. The loss of even one human life, or the malformation of even one baby who may be born long after we are gone, should be of concern to us all. Our children and grandchildren are not merely statistics toward which we can be indifferent."

July 26, 1963 upon signing the ban on above ground nuclear tests