There is an amusing game to play when watching Tom Cruise’s period piece movie flop, “Far and Away”. Every time you hear anyone one say the word “land” you take a shot of Jack Daniel’s. Few get too far into the movie before they are passed out cold the word is said so often.

But, it does make a point about how important owning property is in the scheme of things. A man who owns his land is a king, as they say. But, it is generally considered a white man’s quest to own that land and the white man’s desire to dig it up, build upon it, and otherwise “rape” it.

American Indians, on the other hand, are stereotyped as those who care about the natural land. It is said they hold that no man can own it, that it is there for all.

Of course, this is mostly a ridiculous myth, because American Indians had been killing each other over territory for hundreds of years before white men came ashore to set up the first real estate office. Some tribes made it a habit to use up and despoil the environment until life became so inhospitable they had to move to a new site to start it all over again.

While some tribes did have religious beliefs about “Mother Earth”, it didn’t always stop them from imagining that “the people” — a phrase that usually only meant their tribe and no one else — still belonged to the land and vice versa, but other people didn’t have that right.

Now we have an amusing stereotype reversal in Arizona. Indians are desecrators of the land and whites are worrying about nature and posing as the land’s saviors.

In “Grand Canyon Skywalk opens deep divide” we are introduced to the Hualapai Tribe that “hopes to draw more visitors with a controversial structure that will jut over” a section of the Grand Canyon. They hope it will bring tourists and tourist’s money.

But there are many white environmental activists saying that this structure would “desecrate” the Canyon’s natural appearance.

The Indian tribe counters that the US government already has over 4.5 million visitors a year so the natural landmark is already treated as a sort of “Disneyland”.

In any case, I like that the Indians are making a dash for the cash and find it hilarious that there are whites acting as if they care about the Canyon more than do the Indians.

So, next time you are in Arizona, drop by the new faux Indian village sponsored by the Hualapai Tribe and drop some good American cash! And, when they get their interesting “sky walk” attraction built, go walk on the air with an Indian.

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