Reflections from the Ah­nish­i­nah­bæójib­way (We, the People)


March 18, 1994

After reading the 1991 and 1992 management agreements between Chip Wadena and Gaming World International, I was taken back in time to the Indian Treaty-making era.  I said to myself, “this agreement sounds familiar.”  The faces have changed, and times have changed, but the Euro-American paradigm of relationships with Indians is the same as it was a hundred and fifty years ago.  The moral obligation of Manifest Destiny is still there—the White invaders are still acting as though they have a God-given right, and also a duty to steal from Aboriginal Indigenous people, using Indians, which is an European perspective.  The Indian Agents like Barlow, and the Indian Traders, have always gotten a hefty commission, although in the late twentieth century there isn’t more land to steal and give away, so some of the payola was in vouchers.

The management agreements, which have been informally called “compacts,” gives Gaming World International 70% of the Shooting Star Casino’s take.  30% goes to the “Tribe.”  (Under the definitions used by the B.I.A. to describe 1934 I.R.A. Indian Governments, an “Indian Tribe” consists of the three executive officers of the Tribal Council, so Darrell “Chip” Wadena is the “White Earth Tribe,” and Indians remain P.O.W.’s without any legal rights.)  Gaming compacts are just a bad re-run of the broken treaties: the only “Indians” who benefit are the Chiefs that the U.S. Government created, just like at the Treaties.  The scam artists are still at it, and the band plays on, and on.

TRAIL OF STUMPS:

The Sovereign Red Lake 1934 I.R.A. elections are starting to heat up, and Indians are coming out of the brush (which is all that’s left of the woods now) and throwing their hats into the ring.  In the March issue of the Minneapolis Circle, there is an ad promoting laminated plastic photo I.D. cards for all of their Indians.  This is political ploy to get all of the absentee voters registered to vote—this is one of very few services that the I.R.A. Tribal Council offers to people who live off of the Reservation (who the in-group call “outsiders”).  Chairman-for-life Roger Jourdain passed a resolution so that people living off the reservation—“outsiders”—couldn’t run in the I.R.A. Tribal Elections.  They want to use your absentee ballots to put who they want in office, but if you need some kind of assistance from the Red Lake Tribal Council, well, the urban people I’ve talked to have been told to “Go to Hell” by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and their Tribal Councils.  Now, get this: the Photo I.D.’s will be issued at the Minneapolis Indian Center on the afternoon of All Fool’s Day.

TUBERCULOSIS:

The Tuesday, March 15, Minneapolis Star Tribune, had a front-page article with a headline announcing that “Minnesotans find evidence” that Europeans did not bring tuberculosis to these continents.  At the very end of the article, after the jump to an inside page, the “News Services” who wrote this anonymous front-page article admit that “there is a risk that the specimens ... were contaminated by TB bacteria in the laboratory.”  This questionable science is being heavily promoted because the Euro-Americans are trying to ease their guilt about the genocide they have committed here, in a process of historical revision.  If tuberculosis had been a disease of Aboriginal Indigenous people here, we would have some immunity to this imported disease.  The Euro-Americans knew that we did not have any tolerance to their diseases, and openly used their diseases as a means of genocide.  As the good Christian policy-makers discussed at the 1890 Lake Mohonk Conference, 1890 (from a paper, “The Indian Health Question,” by Dr. Martha M. Waldron).  These Friends of the Indians were trying to change the identity of the Aboriginal Indigenous people into Indians, and slandered us by stereotyping us as “full-blood Indians.”

“The full-blood Indians [sic] have less endurance than the half or mixed-bloods; and when attacked by tuberculosis or any form of scrofula, they perish more quickly.  ... The well-attested fact that consumption is the scourge of the Indian [sic] in the climate of Dakota, where pulmonary diseases among whites are almost unknown, points conclusive­ly to the fact that there has been and is that, in the peculiar conditions of Indian [sic] life, which engenders the disease. ... The more thorough­ly the contagious nature of tuberculosis is established, the more terrible the present condition of the Indian appears.  It is stated on good authority that tuberculous cattle are constantly sold to and consumed by the Indians [sic].  Their only hope is in a common knowledge of every-day affairs, which shall protect them from their enemy, the unscrupulous white man ...”

I lost both of my parents to the White man’s disease of tuberculosis and my great-grandfather (and most of the rest of my relatives) in the many smallpox epidemics which were planted by the United States Government at Red Lake.  These diseases were intentionally brought into Aboriginal Indigenous communities as a part of Western European Civilization’s Divine Mandate of genocide.

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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