Reflections from the Ah­nish­i­nah­bæójib­way (We, the People)


April 8, 1994

According to Sunday’s Minneapolis Star Tribune, “the Clinton administration has discovered India,” and “the [real] Indians are miffed,” because they don’t know whether Clinton is bringing the White man’s Manifest Destiny, or whether he’s touting Western European Democracy.  Either way, the Indians lose.  The Clinton administration recently appointed an Indian ambassador, so presumably they’re getting ready from some Indian Treaties.  We all know what that means.

The Indian fakirs’ political opinions on these Indian fakirs’ affairs have not been heard in the outside world, unlike the opinions of the Indian fakers in Washington, D.C.  The voices of these latter, mythological, Indians, are amplified and repeated, so that it seems to the world that the Indians are alive and well in the U.S.A., and nobody notices what’s happening to the Aboriginal Indigenous people.

The Minneapolis Tribune also commented, in their “World and National News” summary, on the old, worn-out issue of Indian land cessions giving Indians the “right to an education.”  The focus this time is Head Start: that every Indian should have the inalienable right to be taken away from their family as a very young child, again, and placed in an institutional setting like Head Start, where the State can teach them how to be a real B.I.A. certified Indian, regardless of family income, religious preference, or national origin.  The anonymous writer parroted the tired, trite phrase, “tribes traded land for education,” without bothering to think about who traded whose land to whom, and exactly what is meant by “education.”  If Western European civilization is that great, why does the educational system have take near-infants away from their families and brainwash them into being Indians?

SWEETER NEWS:

The sap is rising in the maple trees.  In harmony with the rest of Grandmother Earth, everything is starting to wake up from the Winter’s big sleep.  The crows are back and making a racket; and there are big clouds of steam coming out of the sugarbush.  Making maple sugar is a lot of hard work, but it’s worth it.  The sugarbush is connected and in harmony with Grandmother Earth, and maple sugar is a Traditional Ahnishinahbæótjibway food which is healthy, and in balance.

EASTER DINNER:

The White man’s rites of Spring include Easter dinner.  I was going to have Easter Bunny and dumplings, but there were no rabbits.  The White Indian loggers cut down the woods, and then the crazy White man sprayed the ditches and powerline right-of-ways with Agent Orange and D.D.T., and the only Easter Bunny I’ve seen this year has been in the Sunday Comics.  I try to be tolerant of other peoples’ traditions, so we had an Easter dinner anyway.  We got a ham, and then to honor Passover, we got some Matzo bread, and had ham sandwiches on Matzo, with deviled Easter eggs on the side.  I figured I might as well try to be culturally tolerant, rather than discriminating among competing White-man traditions.  I went and looked for an Easter-bunny tree, but they’d already been logged out.

PRAIRIE ISLAND:

The debate over expanded high-level nuclear waste storage at Prairie Island is approaching meltdown.  Lobbyists on both sides are diverting the debate away from the critical issues.  The White man’s mis-understanding of relationship to the land is that a few greedy leaders can ruin an ecosystem for what amounts to eternity, make money, and then walk away to another new frontier.  Their language is disconnected from nature, they do not know what is real and what is not real, and they apparently have not gotten it through their thick heads that there is no place else on this Earth to go.  If the Mississippi Valley is contaminated with high level radiation, it can not be fixed.  There are no more new frontiers.  The Circle has come around, and even the White man will not be able to run away from the consequences of his abuse of this land.

Nuclear power—“Atoms for Peace”—is about the White Man’s guilty Burden of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (and Bikini and Eniwetok and a lot of other places), and it is about the ultimate in greedy centralized control and mindless worship of the abstract God of Technology.  There are alternative energy sources, and even if there weren’t, what possible use of electricity, what conceivable job, is worth a twenty-thousand year legacy of cancer, birth defects, AIDS-like radiation sickness, mutant new diseases, and devastation of the ecosystem?  The White man tells those he tries to exploit, “be civilized like us.”  You cannot keep raping Grandmother Earth.

INDIAN HOUSING:

One political wag asked me about the Housing Authority at the Red Lake Tribal Council.  They wanted to know about what happened to the birch veneer, and some missing French Doors.  Rumor is they were part of a sweetheart contract with kickbacks.  The person who told me the story was hard-of-hearing, and thought they had lost some French Moors.  I don’t know why anybody thought I would know where French Doors (or French Moors) go to when they’re missing—I stay as far away from Frenchmen pretending to be Indians as I can.  Anyway, they came and asked me to solve their problems for them.  I told them to go to the White man in charge of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, because he’s the one who created Indians.  They didn’t like that idea, so I suggested they ask Chairman-for-life Roger Jourdain, or his sidekick Butch Brun; they know all about those French immigrant things that got lost.

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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