Reflections from the Ah­nish­i­nah­bæójib­way (We, the People)


September 19, 1997

Dear Shaman,

Why did the Pilgrims and other European immigrants call this “The Promised Land,” when there were people living here?

                signed, D.A.R. Blueblood Daughter

Dear Holier-Than-Thou,

The “promise” in “the promised land” comes from claims that the Christians made about what their God said to them.  Although the Ten Commandments say, “Thou Shalt Not Steal,” the Christian God apparently told His followers that it was fine to steal from the indigenous people here.  The Christian religion changed when good Christian men saw the vast wealth belonging to the indigenous people—greed became their illuminating light, and this enlightenment created such shady doctrines as Manifest Destiny.

There were a number of allegedly Divine mind-games that the Christians used to justify their rapacious theft to themselves, which are still in operation today.  Their thieving rationales included saying that the indigenous people were not really human beings (in the 1500’s the Catholic Church revealed the “truth” that indigenous people were half-human homunculi).  This is the same kind of thinking as modern racism.  They also said that their God created this land and therefore it “naturally” belonged to Christian immigrants and not to the people they labelled pagans, heathens and savages.  This is the still the modern legal foundation for the United States’ “eminent domain,” which is why the media is devoting so much attention to the Landless Indian Treaties and to the IRA White Government Tribal Councils.

The immigrants’ Godly thieving strategies depend on crooked hierarchical languages, like Crooked English.  They called some of their earliest settlers, “Pilgrims,” but pilgrims are supposed to go back to where they came from, and pilgrimages don’t usually last three centuries, either.

Interpreted from crooked English, what “The Promised Land” really means, is “The Land of Broken Promises.”  The American Dream is a broken promise, a decent living wage is a broken promise, and the Mille Lacs Treaty is only one treaty out of more than four hundred treaties.  Are they going to honor the rest of those crooked treaties?  I think not.


Dear Shaman,

It was in the year 1972 that Roger Jourdain told all of the Red Lake Indians, “I am building, for you Indians and you white people, a good road from Bemidji to Red Lake.  Look at what I have done for you, and you still don’t appreciate me.”  People gossip about him and make fun of him, instead of honoring our first constitutionally elected leader, the Father of the Red Lake Chippewa Nation.

                signed, Rez Shi-nob

Dear Landless Indian,

What Ira Jourdain did not tell you: to watch out for the big logging trucks that might run over you, which have been going day and night ever since they straightened out that road.  He also did not tell you that the White IRA government that he put onto this land, was not to serve you Indians, but to serve the White institutions and the White corporations.  Take a good look around you, and see that the forests have been clearcut, you can’t drink the water, and everything is going into extinction.  The Indian Reorganization Act was encroachment legislation which concentrated political power into the hands of a few White Indians, and that 1934 IRA is a human rights violation.


Dear Shaman,

What is the meaning of “Indian and Free”?

                signed, Indian and Proud

Dear Mr. Crow,

The Red Lake Schools have been trying to teach you English, and you haven’t been listening.  You’ll have to go to the back of the segregated bus, Jim.  The meaning of “Indian and Free” is a con job, and whoever started it is ripping you off.  If you’re “free,” why are you living on the reservation under the U.S. Government’s White IRA Tribal Government, without any civil or human rights?  Why is the white man paying you to be Indian, when he could get all those New Agers to be his Indians for free?  The hypothetical $27 million is just another  the devoting so much attention to the Landless Indian Treaties and to the IRA White Government Tribal Councils.

The immigrants’ Godly thieving strategies depend on crooked hierarchical languages, like Crooked English.  They called some of their earliest settlers, “Pilgrims,” but pilgrims are supposed to go back to where they came from, and pilgrimages don’t usually last three centuries, either.

Interpreted from crooked English, what “The Promised Land” really means, is “The Land of Broken Promises.”  The American Dream is a broken promise, a decent living wage is a broken promise, and the Mille Lacs Treaty is only one treaty out of more than four hundred treaties.  Are they going to honor the rest of those crooked treaties?  I think not.


Editor’s  note:  Space limitations in the September 19, 1997 paper precluded publication of the remainder of this column:

Dear Shaman,

I’ve heard that the Red Lake Schools are going to institute a tax on the Red Lake people to encourage reading the English language.

                signed, Concerned Future Taxpayer

Dear Bearer of Bad News,

Well, you already live on the reservation, which is segregated and at the bottom of the White man’s social class hierarchy.  Why should anybody teach you the White man’s tricks, like the English language, when you might rise up and do the same thing to the White man as he has done to you: put him on a reservation and mis-educate him so that he doesn’t know who he is or where he came from.

If Superintendent Schmidt is really going to teach your kids to read and write—do you think that five hours a year is too much to give your kids?


Dear Shaman,

Maybe you could clarify the statistics about the millions of Indians who live in the United States.  Do people who are 15/16 White, count as one “Indian” in these statistics?

                signed, Full Blood Quantum Indian

Dear Apple Indian,

According to the White man’s way of thinking, one drop of “tainted” blood makes a person not-White.  A lot of people remain “Indians” because they don’t want to be discriminated against as low class almost-White people.  Years ago, I used to hear the tired old worn-out broken slogan, “Assimilate.”  Now, the White and Indian leaders are using a divide-and-conquer strategy of splitting their subjected people into little ethnic groups with artificial wanna-be identities.  The educated ones who are related to the leaders, get better-paying bureaucratic token jobs than they could get in the White corporate world, and the dregs get commodities, rations, and free rides in the trunk of a police car.

In answer to your question, the White man created Indians, so he can do anything he wants with his Indian statistics.  His blame-the-victim White culture needs somebody like Indians to be his political hockey-pucks and scapegoats.


Dear Shaman,

I think you are a fraud and a fake, and you’re actually nothing but a horse-trader and a horse thief.

                signed, Unbeliever

Dear Pagan,

Infidel dog!  May the fleas of a thousand camels infest your armpits, and may you leave no footprints on the sands of time.


My mailing address is P.O. Box 484, Bemidji, MN 56619, and my telephone number is (218) 679-3984.

Wub-e-ke-niew



eagle landing
Eagle landing near the southwestern shore of lower Red Lake


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