Reflections from the Ah­nish­i­nah­bæójib­way (We, the People)


February 11, 1994

On May 27, 1993, the Red Lake Chippewa Tribal Council passed a resolution to hire Claire Henderson as a Research Consultant under the Cross Cultural program, to “authenticate” the Red Lake Chippewa history.  I don’t know why the Tribal Council needs to spend an undisclosed amount of money to find out who they are (they could have asked me for their genealogies, and I could have given them their French family trees, for free.)

Since the Boston Tea Party, White people have been dressing up as Indians.  The Indian Claims Commission cites “North-West [Fur] Company employees, disguised as Indians,” who were threatening to attack Lord Selkirk in 1817.  Since the Europeans got here, they have been pretending to be Aboriginal Indigenous people, stealing our identity in order to fight each other and steal our land.

IDENTITY CRISIS:

In December of 1992, James Kirkpatrick wrote a column for the San Diego Union, entitled “The fight over certifiably ‘Indian’.”  The issue on the surface was Public Law 101-644, which was about who was a real Indian, and had a right to sell certified Indian art.  Kirkpatrick wrote, “Ironically, many artists without a drop of Indian blood may be certifiably ‘Indian’ under the law.  These are the descendants of Caucasians who managed by chicanery to get on the famous—or infamous—Dawes Rolls.”

Federally Recognized Indians are issued plastic laminated CDIB (Certification of Degree of Indian Blood) cards.  The United States Government evades responsibility for the making and un-making of Indians by saying that Blood Quantum is “Tribally Determined” from the Base Rolls established under the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act of the United States Congress.  These Base Rolls had to be approved by the Secretary of the Interior—the Red Lake Base Rolls were approved by the White man running the U.S. Department of the Interior on November 10, 1958.  According to the I.R.A. Constitutions, enrollment resolutions of the I.R.A. Councils, enrolling anybody, also need to be approved by the White man, or “his duly authorized representative.”  A Federally Recognized Indian becomes a ward of the U.S. Government, under U.S. Trusteeship.  This means that Indians are automatically defined as legally incompetent people who cannot own any land.  If “Indian” was a real culture, they wouldn’t have to teach Indian culture in school.

Kirkpatrick also writes, “the child of a full-blood Indian father and a Euro-American mother may not be called Indian at all and may have no tribal rights.  Bizarre.”  Kirkpatrick does not understand that “full-blooded Indian” is not the same as having only Aboriginal Indigenous ancestry.  Ahnishinahbæótjibway are patrilineal, and we are not “Indians.”  The United States Government is legislating Indian inheritance through the mother, which is a standard colonial tactic.  In Ahnishinahbæótjibway tradition, a woman marries into the Dodem of her husband, and her children are born into their father’s Dodem.  Euro-American culture is also patrilineal—that’s why there are so many new last names on the Red Lake Rolls.  These are White men’s names, and these people have been made into Indians under the White man’s colonial rules.

HEALTH CARE:

Clinton is promoting a plan of “universal health care coverage,” under which everybody in the United States will have access to health care.  The President’s Surgeon General started talking about preventative medicine, and everybody jumped all over her for threatening the C.I.A.’s golden goose, the lucrative illegal drug trade.  Neither Mr. nor Mrs. Clinton has said much publicly about “prevention.”

What about the homeless and the unemployed?  If a person is homeless and is sleeping under the bridge, and gets pneumonia from exposure, or hypothermia, will he be eligible for health care?  If he’s admitted to the hospital under Universal Health Care, he’ll get pumped full of antibiotics, and have a warm place to sleep for a few nights.  Then, when he’s cured, will he be sent back to live under the bridge, and get pneumonia again?

What if a guy comes to the hospital with gunshot wounds, and he dies of lead poisoning.  It seems like the main kind of “preventative medicine” that the White House is talking about, is blaming abstracts and inanimate objects.  I suppose that the kind of solution that the Clintons would propose to stop this kind of lead poisoning, would be to blame the lead bullets, and propose closing down the lead mines.  Then, so the lead miners would not be put out of work, they’d solve the problem by creating a bigger law enforcement bureaucracy, hiring more police and raising the tax on cigarettes to pay for it.

NUCLEAR WASTE:

The Chairman of the Mescalero Tribe, a good friend of Roger Jourdain’s, is accepting nuclear waste, agreeing to a radioactive nuclear dumpsite on the Apache Reservation.  What thousands of White Cavalry couldn’t do, it only takes one Indian Reorganization Act Tribal Chairman to accomplish: killing both the Aboriginal Indigenous people and the Mexican mestizos with radioactive poisons.  Roger Jourdain is running for Tribal Chairman at Red Lake; the Indians and the Wanna-Be’s will have Band elections in May.

OLD INDIAN PLATITUDES:

People used to quote what they called an Old Indian Saying: “Don’t judge a person until you’ve walked a mile in their moccasins.”  I don’t hear this much, any more.  Now, the new Indian Leaders, like Clyde and Vernon Bellecourt, and Russell Means; and the 1934 I.R.A. Indian Leaders, like Earl Barlow, Darrell Wadena, Butch Brun, Roger Jourdain, ad nauseam, are wearing Florsheim shoes, and wouldn’t let you ride a mile in their Cadillac.

 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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