Sifting through the deluge of information we got today during the talks might take more brain power than I have, but among that flood were several moments and topics that stood above the rest. First among these moments came courtesy of Joe Joaquin, who we’ve come to learn is somewhat of a legend in these parts. Mr. Joaquin spoke of how in the modern day, the O’odham people have a choice of how they want to live. They can live as close to the traditional way as possible while incorporating non-threatening modern aspects, or they can accept what he referred to as the “outside world” and lose their connection to the ancestors, the culture, and the land. Obviously Mr. Joaquin was in favor of the latter point, but his description of this issue as a choice is what drew me in. So much of the time when speaking of external action and influence on Native Americans, Native agency is removed from the scenario by making it seem like Western culture, once it touches something, will inevitably conquer it and there’s nothing the participants in the previous culture can do about it. By telling the story as a choice, Native Americans in Joe’s telling are given agency and independence, a say in their own destiny. A second discussion that stuck out was with the Tohono O’odham PD, and parts of their tenuous relationship with both Border Patrol and their former associates, the Shadow Wolves. In a situation similar to drawing groundwater and losing river services, the Shadow Wolves recruit TOPD officers just after their training is completed, costing the TOPD a lot of money in both lost investment and training new recruits. This phenomenon struck me as both somewhat wasteful and self-defeating, as it draws money and resources from the people they want to protect.