Reflections from the Ah­nish­i­nah­bæójib­way (We, the People)

September 20, 1996

A Memorial to the Aboriginal Indigenous People of this Continent

We of the Bear Dodem of the Ah­nish­i­nah­bæót­jib­way intend to establish a radio station on our Aboriginal land at Red Lake as a memorial to the Aboriginal people who have lived here since time immemorial.  We are among the very few survivors of a five-hundred year holocaust which has annihilated almost all of the Aboriginal people of this continent.  We, the few who are still alive, are paying tribute to our Ah­nish­i­nah­bæót­jib­way ancestors and to the other Indigenous people who were here, and giving voice to our heritage, values and culture.  There have been other memorials to other peoples established all over the world, to wars and generals and other victims of other holocausts.  We as survivors of this genocide need to establish a living memorial to the Aboriginal Indigenous peoples of this continent.

In front of the radio station, we will put a plaque honoring our people who were destroyed in the holocaust of the Aboriginal Indigenous people of this Continent, and commemorating the Dodems of the Ah­nish­i­nah­bæót­jib­way.  The plaque will also contain a brief history of the Aboriginal Indigenous people.  The radio station will be the first ever memorial to the Indigenous people of this Continent; the first to fully acknowledge the human rights violations against the Aboriginal Indigenous people of this continent.

The Need: Although there is historical acknowledgment of the Métis and other immigrant people who were a part of the European colonization of this continent, even the existence of ourselves and the other Aboriginal Indigenous people has been ignored, distorted and obscured by Western history and culture.  We have been intentionally and consistently confused with the people identified as American Indians, who are an immigrant creole people of European heritage and patrilineal descent.  We, the Aboriginal Indigenous people, are a nearly extinct people, and while we are still able to do so, we feel compelled to memorialize the many millions of our people who were killed in the genocide which characterized Western Civilization’s presence on this continent for more than four centuries.  We are the last of our people, and we need to pay tribute to the Aboriginal people who were here, both to our own ancestors, and to those many millions who people were annihilated completely and who are without descendants.

It may need to be stressed that we are not Indians, and we are not establishing an Indian radio station.  We leave it to the Indians, who the United States and Canada count in the millions, to come to terms with their own history and to memorialize that history as they see fit.

Why a Radio Station?  A radio station is a living memorial, presenting to the world the egalitarian, non-violent and profoundly beautiful values lived by the Aboriginal Indigenous peoples of this continent.  It is a memorial to a multitude of languages and cultures which have been destroyed.  We Ah­nish­i­nah­bæót­jib­way of the Bear Dodem are among the very few who have survived, and a radio station will allow the world to hear our last voices, as we go into extinction within the next generation—as the holocaust of our people takes its final toll.

Plan

What will it do?  Our ancient wisdom may be helpful to a troubled world—we understood how to maintain both the ecosystem and our societies in harmony.  Our voice has been silenced here, and a radio station will let the world know that there were Aboriginal Indigenous people who lived here for countless millennia before the Indians or the Europeans.  The Western European people have to come to terms with what they have done on this continent—they cannot continue to hide it.  The only way that a solid foundation for the future can be built, is on an honest understanding of the past.  Among the things which we will broadcast are discussions of the Ah­nish­i­nah­bæót­jib­way Dodems, which in translation are extended families many generations deep, in comparison to Western social structure, which is based on nuclear families.

How will a Radio Station do this?  Most of our people have been mis-educated, and many of both our own people and those of our audience have been mis-educated and are functionally illiterate, although they have other talents.  A radio station will help a wide range of people who do not read newspapers.  It will give voice to people whose traditions are oral rather than written.  It will provide a venue for grassroots music which has not been given commercial air-time, and give voice to those who have been silenced.  The dynamics of a radio station will be a living memorial to the Aboriginal Indigenous people who were here.

Who’s Competent to Establish and Run the Radio Station?  We, the Ah­nish­i­nah­bæót­jib­way of the Bear Dodem are among the last surviving Aboriginal Indigenous people.  We are the only ones who understand our heritage, and it is we who must memorialize the Aboriginal Indigenous people of this continent.

What Do We Need?  We have our own ancestral land which has never been under treaty and which has never been ceded—it does not belong to the United States Government and it does not belong to the Indians; it is our Aboriginal Indigenous land.  We have the airwaves, the dedication and the motivation.  We need: AM/FM radio broadcasting equipment, studio equipment, buildings, a radio tower, a diesel generator, and operating funds.  Most of our people live below the poverty level in areas where unemployment reaches 90%, and it would be helpful to pay those working on the radio station.  We are working on a more detailed budget, detailing the specific equipment and operating funds.  We welcome in-kind donations such as the radio transmitters and towers, studio equipment, etc.  We are seeking donations from individuals who feel that they can make a difference in this world

Please Contact:
Wub-e-ke-niew
Ah­nish­i­nah­bæót­jib­way of the
                                        Bear Dodem

Wub-e-ke-niew
Wub-e-ke-niew

                                                   


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