Reflections from the Ah­nish­i­nah­bæójib­way (We, the People)

March 18, 1992

On March 3rd, the Democratic Precinct Caucuses were held at 7:30 p.m.  The purpose of this caucus was to have people involved in the so-called political process of “democracy.”  I attended this Caucus for Red Lake at the Red Lake Tribal Offices.  The convener, the person appointed by the Democratic Party to hold the caucus, was not there at 7:30.  The only people there were myself and three Citizens from Red Lake.

When it looked like the Caucus was not going to be held, because the Convener was not there, at almost eight o’clock, I left.  This type of “democracy,” which excludes the people of Red Lake from participation in the democratic process, has been going on since 1958, when the Bureau of Indian Affairs used Roger Jourdain to get the Indian Reorganization Act onto Red Lake.  The I.R.A. was allegedly brought onto Red Lake under “democratic vote,” but ever since it was brought in here.

White man’s democracy is supposed to be “government of the people,” although it’s not specified which people they’re talking about.  Ever since the White man fraudulently brought his democratic process in here, the people holding the “democracy” have been the Metis elite few.  The Red Lake United States Indian Reorganization Act Constitution recognizes only the I.R.A. Tribal Chairman, I.R.A. Tribal Secretary, and I.R.A. Tribal Treasurer as having any duties or function under the I.R.A. Government.  In other U.S. Government documents, these three people, all by themselves, are referred to as “the Tribe” and “the Band.”  These three people are the ones who take a part in the democracy.  The I.R.A. Representatives who sit on the council are all House Niggers, whose job depends on their nodding in unison as the resolutions written by Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs lawyers are passed.  This “Gang of Three,” as we shall refer to them, are, along with the Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs, are in human and civil rights violations here at Red Lake.

For thirty years, the Democratic Party at Red Lake has been run by the Gang of Three.  These people, or their appointees, have been the delegates from Red Lake to the Democratic Party—apparently the Gang of Three are the only people who have Democracy.  Chairman Brun has a lot of talk about having more “open Democracy,” but the Democratic Caucus in Red Lake was not officially recognized until Chairman Brun showed up after I left.  Chairman Brun was not the Convener appointed by the D.F.L., and so by Democratic Party rules, there was no Caucus held at Red Lake, again.  Chairman Brun is living out the stereotypes of coming on Indian time, trying to be a Real Indian, and the D.F.L. Convener is living out the White projections of “irresponsible, dumb Indian,” living on Indian time where maybe the meeting that was supposed to start at 7:30 on Tuesday will happen next week, or maybe the D.F.L. Caucus will get Convened in Never-Never Land.

Nineteen out of twenty of the people who would like to work at Red Lake can’t find a job.  All of the issues that need to be addressed by people who live in the community, can’t be, because the people who live in the community have been disenfranchised.  All of the decisions are made by White Bureaucrats in Washington and other people who do not live here.  Talk about Apartheid.  The Aboriginal Indigenous People are being oppressed by these Apartheid laws, written by Crooks in Washington.  Although only about 5% of the people around here have a job, the unemployment rate, using crooked math, is only (!) about 45%.  The way that they figure this, is that some of the people who do have jobs, have five or six jobs.  The reason that the unemployment rate is so high, is to fill out the projection of the White man, and call everybody in the out-group “lazy.”  You can see them for what they are: slimy, slick snake-oil salesmen, promoting their own privilege with apartheid laws and hate legislation.  Three cheers for the White man’s Democracy!


In the late 1800’s, when the Red Lake People were self-sufficient, and didn’t need to depend on the White man for food. We had everything we needed in here: clear water, no pollution, an abundance of wildlife, food to be had here.  But, then the White man saw what a good life we had, he said he was going to come in and Civilize us.  He forced us into boarding schools where we could only speak English.  He took away our beautiful Ojibway language, and gave us a vocabulary of Broken English with only 400 words.  He said, “Be like us!”  Assimilate, and be Christianized.  After all these years of listening to these con artists, in the early 1950’s the Relocation program came about.  The White man wanted to get particularly the Aboriginal Indigenous People off of the land, to get then down in the Cities to work for him.

The same racist apartheid kept these people out of assimilating, and being accepted by the European.  But, get this: the same hunters and gatherers of food, who were told they had a “nomadic lifestyle,” these Aboriginal Indigenous People who gatherers of berries, who grew corn and had their own potato and vegetable gardens, everything that they needed, are now destitute.  They are still hunters and gatherers: they are hunting for jobs, and are being trained for non-existent jobs.  They are hunting for a place to sleep, and they are hunting at the food shelves for food.  They are still hunters.  They were better off, up here, hunting in an abundant ecosystem.

But, now Brun and his crew are clear-cutting the Aboriginal Peoples’ land, and pretending to be a blood brother.  These White Indians are not a part of my people. 


Wub-e-ke-niew and Jesse Blake on Bear Dodem land at Red Lake
Wub-e-ke-niew and son Jesse on Bear Dodem land near Wub-e-ke-niew and Clara's house, Red Lake

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