Native Horizon – Border Patrol


What is this you call property? It cannot be the earth, for the land is our mother, nourishing all her children, beasts, birds, fish and all men. The woods, the streams, everything on it belongs to everybody and is for the use of all. How can one man say it belongs only to him?Massasoit

The “Shadow Wolves” is the name of a group of U.S. Customs officers, established in 1972, who are helping in the fight against illegal migration and drug trafficking. They are Native American trackers, experts in using footprints, broken branches, and other clues to follow the trails of human beings and other animals across difficult terrain.  In Recent years they have been taking their unique skills to Eastern European and Central Asian states to train border officers there, using methods based on traditional Native American tracking.

“The terrain here is a little bit different than the terrain back home, as far as the trees [are concerned]. Whereas back home, we work in the desert. So here, when I come on these trips, it always reminds me to be a little bit more patient. If you try to track too fast, you’re going to end up losing those things that you’re looking for,” says Gary Ortega of the Tohono O’odham Nation.


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