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False Promises: The Lost Land of the Wenatchi

The movie False Promises recounts richly weaved historical truths about the plight of the Wenatchi people, and the broken hopes and promises that shaped their destiny and led them to their underserved fate. The Wenatchapam Fishery is the historic ground of the Wenatchi tribe, where these native Indians fish, live, and sustain their daily needs for generations. The United States government offered to the tribe the Yakama Treaty, which endows to them a reservation that would be protected and preserved.

This agreement was essentially ignored and forgotten by the government, leaving the Wenatchis lost and landless. Their struggle for land amidst betrayals of promises remains an on-going fight. The situation of the Wenatchis should how the domination of the Western government has monopolized power to the point of refusal to honor sacred contracts signed under the spirit of the constitution. Power relationship shows that those who hold power unjustly abuses the granted authority, which is a clear evidence of how power only benefits the interests of those who have it.

The Wenatchis have constantly fought, yet their muffled voice remains unheard, as they have little if none political clout that can pressure the government to give them what is rightfully theirs. The struggle of the Wenatchi tribe reflects the struggle not only of Native Americans but also of people in general who experiences on a regular basis injustice from the system. The situation as was illustrated by the movie is a microcosm of the societal injustices, of how the very government that people selects and allows to govern them is the very institution that would fail to return the due services and rights deserved by the people.

The Wenatchi tribe has lived in their lands for centuries even before the arrival of the Western civilization, and this is something that deserves recognition and respect from the government. The prospects of government support now may seem slim, but this is not too late to be remedied, if there are collective interests that would fight not only for the injustice done to the Wenatchis, but also to other Native Americans and people in general.

It is indeed accurate to say that the government inaction and ineffectiveness in the case of the Wenatchi tribe is something that is not only a fault to them, but to all citizens. Since the agreement had a legal-rational basis, which is evidenced by a document signed by both parties, then a neglect of this document violates not only the grieved party, but also people who recognize the sovereignty of the law. It violates the very texts and rules that the government itself has avowed to protect and proliferate.

This situation therefore weakens the rule of law in the country, as it is being cast aside and ignored as if it has lost its power to enforce itself. Justice and the law should be something that should not be selective and should apply to all. This instant that the law is not taken into account signifies a weak structure of implementation that essentially questions the entire government and constitutional systems. The predicament of the Wenatchi tribe is indeed deplorable, as they have for decades fought for their land that until now, is in fact being refused to be returned and given to them.

The government has tricked, ignored, and provoked the Wenatchis, who have been patient in fighting for their right to occupy a land that was theirs in the first place. It is not too late for the government to completely honor what was agreed on, and in this continued fight, the Wenatchi tribes and people who support them should be vigilant so as to ensure that the rule of law and the right of Native Americans would be upheld.

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