Reflections from the Ah­nish­i­nah­bæójib­way (We, the People)


October 1, 1993

On March 7, 1902, the B.I.A. held meetings at Redlake, using their Indians to steal from the Aboriginal Indigenous People again.  The land on the agenda was 256,152 acres of Red Lake Anishinabe Ojibway alleged “surplus land,” also known as the eleven Western Townships.  According to the transcripts of the negotiations, Indian Agent McLaughlin did not mention Sovereign Anishinabe Ojibway title to our own land, but in order try to steal the land, he talked about the mythology of Indians and Indian title, “The title to Indian lands, Indian reservations, not only this Red Lake reservation, but all other Indian reservations in the United States, the title of the Indian is simply the right of occupancy, that is to use it ... “  Earlier, McLaughlin had claimed, “Indian reservation lands held in common by Indians cannot be sold or disposed of except to the United States; ... the fee or vested right to the lands is in the United States ... Indians are therefore simply tenants for life ... “  So-called Indian title is a White man’s abstraction which does not exist.  Charles Morrison, of Scottish patrilineal ancestry, was the translator at these negotiations.

The 1902 transcripts also refer to the 1889 Agreement: “Mr. Rice, in negotiating the treaty [sic] of 1889 promised the Indians that there would be only two steam-boats on the lake and river.”  Commissioner Rice was lying to the Indians at the 1889 Council.  As McLaughlin explained in 1902, “The agreement ... made in 1889 clearly provides that all waterways within the reservation therein described are to be free for commercial purposes to all citizens of the United States, nothing is said about number of boats, whether there is to be 1 Boat, 2 Boats, 50 Boats or 100 Boats.  The waters are free to navigation.  Free transportation on the Boats that are navigating these streams should have been provided in the agreement to entitle you to it, but there is no such provision.  If the commission negotiating with you promised you free transportation they exceeded their authority.”  This is an euphemism.  What Agent McLaughlin said was “exceeded ... authority,” was an outright lie.  Commissioner Rice, Indian Agent McLaughlin, Reverend Whipple, and the rest of the land thieves who represented the United States Government were liars.

The 1889 Minnesota Chippewa Commission Agreement was presented, both in the English-language transcripts, and in the documents published by the U.S. Congress, as a freely negotiated agreement, although the Act of January 14, 1889, reads otherwise—and during the “negotiations,” some of the people there rather politely called the U.S. Government liars.  In 1902, McLaughlin was talking to people who had been present in 1889, and he admitted that the “treaty [sic] which Governor Rice presented here ... is that this was enacted by Congress and sent here for your ratification without your having any say in its preparation ...” and did not require Red Lake consent.  The alleged “Treaty” was written in Washington, D.C., the legislation unilaterally enacted by the U.S. Congress reads “as to the Red Lake Reservation the cession and relinquishment shall be deemed sufficient if made and assented to ... by two-thirds of the male adults of all the Chippewa Indians in Minnesota.”  This phrase is where the “Minnesota Chippewa Tribe” came from, and this is also why some of the Leading Indians supported by the United States Government at Red Lake are descendants of White Chippewa Indians packed on the Red Lake Indian Rolls under the Minnesota Chippewa Commission.  If you want to know more, read the Committee Hearing Reports and the other U.S. Government Documents about how the Indians and the Whites stole the land from the Anishinabe Ojibway.

The European immigrants were, and still are, trying to destroy our Aboriginal Indigenous ecological base.  The Mille Lacs band is presently negotiating for the illusion of hunting and fishing rights.  What good are hunting and fishing rights if there is no fish or game?  Annihilating the wildlife has been White man’s plan all along—in 1902 Indian Agent McLaughlin said, “in a few more years there will be no more game in the country.  Therefore this tract of land that I ask you to cede is of little value ... the game will soon disappear ...”

The White European Indians who spoke French or broken English greedily signed the 1902 Agreement.  My grandfather, Bah-wah-we-nind, could not and did not sign, because he could not sell the land, his religion, nor his identity.  He could not sell Grandmother Earth.  The crooked Indian Agent put down an “X” mark for my great-grandfather, Bah-se-noss who was already dead, and who would not have signed nor agreed if he had been still living.  The Anishinabe Ojibway have never agreed to sell any of our land; we can’t.

The United States Government has been trying to invent European land titles since they got here, using every illusion they can think of to steal this land and hide the genocide.  These Europeans recognize Aboriginal Indigenous land title, by propping up puppet Indian governments and shuffling paper Sovereignties.  The Indians have whatever crumbs of White sovereignty the White man gives them, but Indians are not Aboriginal Indigenous people, and the Indians do not have Aboriginal Indigenous Sovereignty, they do not have Natural Rights, and they have no legitimate claim to Anishinabe Ojibway land.  They are carpet-baggers and squatters, put on this land by the invading U.S. Government, and they are helping their White relatives steal.

European land title rests on the mythology of their Judo-Christian religion, which holds their Sovereignty.  As explained by one real estate attorney, “I acknowledge your letter inquiring as to the title of the ... property prior to the year 1803.  Please be advised that in the year 1803 the United States of America acquired the Territory of Louisiana from the Spanish Crown by conquest.  The Spanish Crown had originally acquired title by virtue of the discoveries of one Christopher Columbus, sailor, who had been duly authorized to embark upon the voyage of discovery by Isabella, Queen of Spain.  Isabella, before granting such authority, had obtained the sanction of His Holiness, the Pope; the Pope is the Vicar on Earth of Jesus Christ; Jesus Christ is the Son and Heir apparent of God.  God made Louisiana [territory] ...”  Judeo-Christianity is a foreign religion with a Western European perspective, and it has no jurisdiction on Anishinabe Ojibway land.  Judeo-Christianity is fine in Europe  (what the Europeans do in Europe is their own business), but it does not belong here.  Anishinabe Ojibway Sovereignty is held by Grandfather Midewiwin and Grandmother Earth, and we have inalienable Sovereign title to our land.  We are on our authochthonous land.  We the Anishinabe Ojibway have a right to exist.

THE BOSTON TEA PARTY SYNDROME: Everybody has read about the U.S. Revolution, and about the Boston Tea Party, where White men dressed up as Indians.  The Indian is not an Aboriginal Indigenous person, but the White man is trying to create an illusion, a mythological race of people who will fill the role of the Aboriginal Indigenous People, but who do what the White man wants them to do, for example sell land and resources.  Now, there are Urban Indians who run around dressed up in cowboy boots and dark glasses; they are White people telling other Whites that they are Aboriginal Indigenous People.  They go around in the Cities with single issues, one of which is “mascots.”  They say, “stop the racism of mascots and sports teams logos.”  But, Clyde and Vernon—don’t you know that the very word “Indian” is a derogatory name?  Why don’t you lobby to have the Politically Correct people abolish the word “Indian,” which is a dirty word?  Or, are you living out the lazy Indian Stereotype, too lazy to go to work?  And, who are the low-class White man sponsors who keep you funded to perpetuate the stereotype of mythological Indians, sponging off the Aboriginal Indigenous People and pretending to be somebody that you’re not?  The Professional Indians are caricatures acting like fools, who apparently have no pride.  This country would be in better shape if people would quit telling lies.  Every time I hear somebody claim to be an “Indian,” I say, “there goes a liar”—there are no Indians here.  People who say they are Indian are in complicity with the White man in genocide.  It’s time we make this a better world to live in.  The celluloid era of Cowboys-and-Indians is gone, if it ever existed.

 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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