from the Ahnishinahbæótjibway (We, the People)
December 13, 1992
attention: Jim Dawson, Staff Writer
Dear Jim Dawson,
I enjoyed seeing my article in the Commentary section of the Minneapolis Star Tribune today. I was particularly amused by the things that you chose to edit out of the article.
I understand your linear and compartmentalized thinking, and some of the phrases that whoever edited the article deleted are the ones which I figured would be the most threatening to people imprisoned within the Indo-European languages and world-view. To someone outside of your culture, your fears and your unwillingness or inability to face reality are crystal-clear.
The Indians who write, are writing out of the same world-view as the other Europeans. They have the same values, the same ways of thinking—and much of what they write is simply fleshing out the “Indian” stereotypes which are given to them. What I write comes from the Anishinabe Ojibway tradition, from my Dodem and my Clan and my identity as Anishinabe Ojibway. Much of what I write is not mine alone, but is explaining to you in your language what my people have been saying to you (in the Anishinabe Ojibway language) for as long as you have been here. You couldn’t or wouldn’t listen, so my people have to tell you in English. What I write comes from my love for this land, from my roots which according to our history are more than one hundred thousand years deep in this land. It’s a feeling that you Europeans do not have access to on this continent. I don’t need to wrap myself in any flag (particularly an European one) to prove how “patriotic” I am. It seems blasphemous to have to pay foreign European taxes for Grandmother Earth, where I come from and where I shall return.
When the Euro-American immigrants finally get the courage to face reality, and understand themselves clearly—only then will you be able to do what you need to do in making this a better place for all people. Everybody is put here for a purpose, and everybody has something valuable to contribute to this planet.
For your information, I am enclosing a copy of my next column for the Native American Press. The reason that this particular article is written very aggressively, is because the Chippewa Indians are trying to steal Anishinabe Ojibway land at Red Lake, again. These “Chippewa Indians” are not Anishinabe Ojibway—they are White, French Métis or African people and we can prove it. We have been researching your documents relating to their genealogies for eight years, and correlating this with Anishinabe Ojibway oral tradition. It was a good scheme while it lasted, but now that there are a number of Anishinabe Ojibway who are fluent in English, this scheme is coming to an end.