Reflections from the Ah­nish­i­nah­bæójib­way (We, the People)


September 10, 1993

Dr. Michael Trujillo was nominated by Clinton to head the Indian Health Service, “a troubled agency,” according to an Associated Press report.  In this report, the I.H.S. is “often criticized by Indians for being inattentive to their health needs.”  What do you expect from external forces running socialized medicine for another group of people?  The Indian Health Service serves at least two functions, one of them mandated by the International Rules of War for Occupied Territories.

Emily Seegar, Washington-based spokeswoman for the Mille Lacs Band of Chip-away Indians, is quoted by the A.P. as being “happy with the president’s choice.”  Dr. Trujillo is described as a “full blooded Indian.”  I don’t know whether or not Dr. Trujillo is an Aboriginal Indigenous Person, but I know that he is not a full-blooded Indian.  There is no such person as a full-blooded Indian on these two Continents, and if such a mythological invention of the Europeans shows up, he should be in Ripley’s Believe It Or Not.

There are many horror stories that can be told about the I.H.S.  When a person goes into an Indian Hospital with a ruptured appendix, the doctor says, “take two aspirin and call me in the morning [if you’re still alive].”  I wouldn’t send my pet dog to the local Indian Hospital, and if I had any say about what’s being done on my own land, I’d kick the I.H.S. out of here, and send their Indians with them.

The United States needs to be seriously concerned about what the Indian Health Service has done in the past.  For one example, ask all the women who have been sterilized without their consent by the I.H.S.—this needs to be publicly documented.  Then ask about the medical experimentation done by the I.H.S.   No matter what kind of person is nominated to the I.H.S., or as Commissioner of Indian Affairs, they cannot change the structure of the racist institutions for which they become time-buyers and scapegoats.  No matter who gets the job, the entrenched bureaucracy and their bosses the special interests, do not change.  It’s in the nature of bureaucracy to become crooked and corrupt.  The whole bureaucracy of the I.H.S., and the Bureau of Indian Affairs could be filled up with “fullblooded Indians,” and it still wouldn’t change the nature of these racist institutions.  Former B.I.A. Commissioner John Collier described the kind of Indians who will work for these institutions as having a “white-plus psychology,” by which he meant that such “fullblooded Indians” have a White patriline and super-White values.

TREATIES, RETROACTIVE:  Under the Treaties, and the U.S. Trust Responsibility, any relationship between “Indians” and the U.S. is deemed “purely political,” and the Judicial Branch of the U.S. Government did not tread on the Executive Department’s Indian Country.  Retroactive Willie has now assigned the Judicial Branch of the U.S. Government to help with the Mille Lacs Chip-Away Treaties.  The present Mille Lacs “Tribal Government” is based on United States Government legislation unilaterally enacted in 1934, part of the purpose of which was to abrogate the Treaties.  The Minnesota Chippewa Tribe was created by U.S. legislation unilaterally enacted in 1889, and the purpose of the Act of January 14, 1889 was to abrogate the Treaties and steal the land.  The “Indian Treaties” and the “Indian Tribes” which made these Treaties, exist only at the pleasure of the U.S. Government, and have nothing to do with internationally valid land title.  The Honorable State Senator Charlie Berg got off the hook, because the United States’ negotiating with itself and the State of Minnesota over the 1837 Treaty will drag on for decades, obscuring the real issues.

One reason for dragging the Treaty process out, is that there are no more forests.  The ecosystem has been destroyed, and the fish and the wildlife have nearly vanished.  As the last of the fish and game disappear, the Indians are setting themselves up for some good ol’ redneck and Fundamentalist Indian-bashing, being blamed for the consequences of the White man’s shameful and disgusting policies toward the environment.  If you Indians are so interested in hunting and fishing, I suggest you go on a real “fishing expedition,” up to the State Legislature and to Washington.  There are some real sharks there, though, and catch-and-release might not be such a good idea.  (You might have to use another White man’s fishing technique, spear-and-release.)   Don’t let your lawmakers tell you any whoppers—ask them some serious and hard questions about their policies of destruction toward the ecosystem.  What’s the point of having “hunting and fishing rights” if there’s nothing left to hunt or fish?  While you’re at the Capitol, ask the U.S. Department of the Interior why they are intentionally destroying the ecosystem, polluting the water, and blowing up ducks’ nests.

I notice that nobody’s saying anything about the Black Hills Treaty.  Another reason for dragging the Treaty Process out for another couple of decades, is that in 1977 the U.S. Senate American Indian Policy Review Commission predicted that the Final Solution (genocide; in modern politically correct terminology, “ethnic cleansing”) would be finalized by the year 2027: that there will be no more Aboriginal Indigenous People on this Continent in thirty-four more years.  This Final Solution has been the U.S. Government’s agenda since the days of the Continental Congress.

As Mr. Austin Abbott praised Senator Dawes (of the Dawes Allotment Act) during the 1890 Lake Mohonk Conference of Friend of the Indians, “These treaties are made with tribes.  You have already signed the death warrant of the tribal relation in disestablishing the reservation system: and, when the reservation has gone, the tribe has gone.  The party of the second part no longer exists.”  The United States Government has not changed its genocide policy toward Aboriginal Indigenous People, and now they tell their Indians, “with one stroke of the pen, you will no longer exist.”  According to my crystal ball, the U.S. Government will abrogate the Indian Treaties, and terminate the “Indians.”  Their agenda has not changed.

PURLOINED SCROLLS:  In the Opinion section of Sunday’s Star Tribune, Robert Treuer wrote an article fostering the lie that the Anishinabe Ojibway are not from here.  Much of his information comes from U.S. Government Bureau of Ethnology writings done around 1889, when the United States had a vested interest in promoting their Chippewa Indians, who did migrate from the East and who were warring with their European brothers.  The researchers were locked into their own culture, and even when they talked to Aboriginal Indigenous People, saw only European mythology and stereotypes.  The introduction to one of the documents on which Treuer based his article reads, “the purposes of the [‘Mide’] society are to give a certain class of ambitious men and women sufficient influence through ... exorcism and necromancy to lead a comfortable life at the expense of the credulous.”  As Midewiwin of the Bear Dodem, I will tell you that in our culture there are birchbark longhouses, but there have never been “Grand Medicine Lodges” where we were falsely alleged to worship the Devil.  The Anishinabe Ojibway never had a Devil until he immigrated with the White man from Europe, and we never “worshipped the Devil.”  We have no Hell, and we have no Hierarchy.  What the U.S. Government researchers wrote were projections of their own racist minds: slanderous misinterpretations of our language, our values, our culture, our writing, our history, and our spirituality.

As Treuer implies, language plays a formative part in culture.  The major informants cited by Hoffman and Treuer’s other sources were not Anishinabe Ojibway (which means “We, the People”); they were Chippewa Indians with White patrilines who were not part of the Midewiwin, and who did not speak the Anishinabe Ojibway language.  We have read their names in these old books, and have done their genealogies.  Why talk to Chip-away Indians?  There are living Anishinabe Ojibway elders of the Midewiwin who will tell you the truth of our very ancient Traditions: we come from Grandfather the Midewiwin, and Grandmother Earth—and we have always been right here, we are the Autochthonous People of this very place.  We tell the Europeans who we are, and they still don’t understand.  They are so imprisoned by the limitations of their European languages that they can’t see what’s right in front of them.

Treuer’s “migration story” interpretations of our Midewiwin scrolls are about as accurate as Nazi “interpretations” of the Torah would be, for many of the same reasons (maybe Treuer doesn’t know what he’s doing, promoting this propaganda).  I don’t lay all the blame on the Nazis—I haven’t met any publicly acclaimed Judeo-Christians who have gotten their Ten Commandments right yet, either.  Why don’t White writers get their Traditions straight, before they try to scramble up my culture?  The way that these European immigrants have destroyed the environment says more than enough about their own Traditions, culture, and language.

 My telephone number is (218) 679-2382 and my mailing address is P.O. Box 484, Bemidji, MN 56601.

Wub-e-ke-niew


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