Reflections from the Ah­nish­i­nah­bæójib­way (We, the People)


November 5, 1993

The White Earth Land Settlement Act was an underhanded backroom deal from the first draft. WELSA continues the U.S. policies which created the Indian Treaties, the Halfbreed Scrip, the General Allotment Act, the Minnesota Chippewa Commission, the I.R.A., and Indian Gaming blood quantum vouchers.  WELSA was not intended to the few surviving Aboriginal Indigenous people of White Earth; WELSA was designed to scapegoat the Indians that the U.S. created, benefitting only the Whites and the Indian in-group, who are also White, at least on their patrilines.

The purpose of allotment was to destroy Aboriginal Indigenous communities, and to steal the land and resources.  The Catch-22 is that the Indians who have been used to steal from the Aboriginal Indigenous People have never owned the land they were selling, so every generation or so, the U.S. has to use more Indians to steal the same land over again.  When there weren’t enough poor French people who had already been turned into Indians, the U.S. Government used the carrot on a stick of “land” and “payment” to give people who had been labelled “poor White trash” the racist insult label of “Indians.”  (According to their genealogies, more than eighty percent of the allottees at White Earth were Indo-Europeans who had been turned into Indians.)  The Euro-Americans are still promoting Indians: to try to prop up their invalid land titles, to promote their mythological version of history, and to hide the genocide of the Aboriginal Indigenous people.

The United States Department of the Interior explained allotment in internal memorandum 81642/82069: “Land allotment, under the general and special allotment acts, has been mandatory.  To each Indian—man, woman, and child—living and enrolled at a specified date, a separate parcel of land has been attached.  The residual lands, fictitiously called “surplus,” have been mandatorily bought from the tribes by the government and thereafter have been disposed of to whites.

“... Allotment, commenced at different dates and applied under varying conditions, has divested the Indians of their property at unequal speeds.  For about 100,000 Indians the divestment has been absolute.  They are totally landless as a result of allotment.  On some of the reservations the divestment is as yet only partial and in part is only provisional.  Many of the heirship lands, awaiting sale to whites under existing law, have not yet been sold, and the Indian title is not yet extinguished.  Under the allotment system it will inevitably be extinguished.

“... Through the allotment system, more than 80% of the land value belonging to all the Indians [sic] in 1887 has been taken away from them; more than 85% of the land value of all the allotted Indians has been taken away.

And the allotment system, working down through the partitionment or sale of the land of deceased allottees, mathematically insures and practically requires that the remaining Indian allotted lands shall pass to whites.  The allotment act contemplates total landlessness for the Indians of the third generation of each allotted tribe.”

The White Earth Land Settlement Act is just one more in a string of dirty deals, using Indians to steal from the Aboriginal Indigenous people, and give the most valuable plunder to the Whites.  In a flurry of publicity, the few surviving original allottees (people who are now over the age of 93) got big bucks.  After public opinion was molded and the main opposition was distracted, WELSA changed its tune, and the people who aren’t part of the “in” crowd are getting screwed.  Why isn’t WELSA dividing the present value, or the 1925 value plus compound interest, among the surviving heirs of allottees, instead of inventing marriages, changing blood quantums, making up rules about wills, and all kinds of other shenanigans, to make sure that most of the money stays with the Whites, or goes to Chip Wadena?  If a dying woman wills her property to her young son, where else but on an Indian reservation is the will disregarded so that Chip, U.S.A. & Co. take the first two-thirds share?  For that matter, if the land of the allotment is in what the U.S. claims as “public domain,” why can’t the heirs get together and get their land back, and maybe put together a new reservation without I.R.A. tribal crooks like Chip Wadena, Butch Brun and Roger Jourdain, and have those “Indian Givers” in Congress give you your Indian Sovereignty again.  The White man tells Indians, “with one stroke of the pen, you no longer exist,” so that’s probably why it doesn’t bother them to keep trying to steal the same land over and over again.  Each generation, the descendants of the White immigrants come up with a variation of the same old boilerplate scheme.

The WELSA act that was passed by Congress was written to be full of loopholes, and intended to get people fighting against each other.  That some people are scheming against their own relations for a bigger share of the WELSA pot is an example of why there is no solidarity among Indians.  If you Indians could get together, you could lobby for a rider to the WELSA act: that when the present White landholder dies, the land goes back to the heirs of the allotment; the Whites are paid for “their” land in 1910 prices, divided among all of the relatives of the deceased landholder since 1900, and the most corrupt county officials get to keep the money for any deceased heirs they can find or invent—then Whites can fight among themselves.

The White man over-ran the Aboriginal Indigenous people with poor white trash that he turned into “Indians.”  Now, Indians don’t have any land, and the White man is still trying to buy time, scheming to put the insoluble problems, dilemmas, and quandaries that he has created through his greed onto the next generation.  The policy-makers are trying to keep enough Indians to hide the genocide for another few years, and hoping that nobody will notice that the White immigrants do not have valid land title, nor eminent domain, on this Continent.

How many times has the U.S. Congress issued Sovereignty to their Indians?  At the Treaties, Indians, who did not have Aboriginal Indigenous Sovereignty, gave up French Sovereignty or whatever it was.  Conveniently, these Indians got their Sovereignty back, under Trust, just in time to give it up when they signed the Indian gaming agreements.  Somehow, the in-group Indians just got another dose of Sovereignty from the Indian-givers in Congress, so now they’re discriminating, sexually harassing, and breaking labor laws in the Indian Casinos.  Indian Sovereignty is a legendary invention of the U.S. Government, and members of Congress doesn’t have to follow the laws they write themselves (for example, Senator Packwood and B.I.A. Regional Indian Leader Barlow).  The so-called Indian Sovereignty created by the U.S. Congress does not have jurisdiction over either Aboriginal Indigenous People, nor Whites.   Another word for Indian Sovereignty, is apartheid.

The American English language, and its embedded Euro-American culture, are designed to insulate the people who are stealing the most, from responsibility for their actions.  Why should the mostly White casino employees, who are complaining about unfair labor practices, be surprised?  How can you expect gambling, which is designed to steal a certain percentage of the patron’s money, to be honest?  If people are looking for a scapegoat for “Indian gaming,” they should look at the Department of the Interior, which created this crooked mess using my stolen resources, and your tax dollars; they should look at the U.S. Congress, which legislated the corrupt I.R.A. infrastructure; and they should also take a look at the White stockholders of the White-managed Casino corporations.

 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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