from the Ahnishinahbæótjibway (We, the People)
To the Editor:
In a letter that appeared in the editorial pages of the Minneapolis Star Tribune of May 21st, P.C. Frederick writes that, “if the Indians insist on this treaty, they should be required to fish with methods used when the treaty was agreed on.”
As Indians, we never did “insist” on the Treaty, it was a crooked European tactic, and the United States Government used treachery to force us to be at the forgeries of our signatures—at gunpoint. It would be fine with us if the European immigrants, who are the “party of the second part” to the Treaty, restored everything to the way it was before the Treaty, annulled the Treaty and left. You can get off our stolen land, you can put back the virgin forests and our permaculture, replace all the fish Whites have taken out, and put back the buffalo, passenger pigeons, eagles and everything else that has been plundered and destroyed by European immigrants. Put the ore, all the gold and copper and petroleum and everything else, back in the ground the way it was kept by Indian people. Dig up your dead, take your pollution and your diseases, and go back to Europe where you came from—and take your crooked government, paper money system, and religion with you. Don’t forget all of the criminals emptied from Europe’s prisons and brought here as indentured White slaves because the upper class was too lazy to do their own work. Go back to living in a stone hut with cows in the basement to keep your hovel warm-—and remember not to eat potatoes, corn, and all of the other good foods that Indians had here. See if Europe wants all of her impoverished peasants back!
European immigrants have fattened themselves on Indian resources in Minnesota and Wisconsin for 150 years; we’ve been hospitable, and what we’ve gotten in return is greed, racism, and boorish bad manners. After seeing what you foreigners have done to us, I don’t know an Indian who wouldn’t be delighted to have things back the way they were 150 years ago. Personally, there aren’t many things I’d like to do better than spear by torchlight using a copper spear—in the clear pristine waters that we could drink from anywhere.
We didn’t ask European refugees and immigrants to come to this Indian continent, you forced yourselves on us, and have been acting arrogant and pushy ever since. Indian people have been polite long enough, and the White man has taken our good manners for weakness. No longer will we sit back and listen to you distort the truth and malign us. Your crooked culture, government, religion, and value system will be challenged.
Francis Blake, Jr.