Reflections from the Ah­nish­i­nah­bæójib­way (We, the People)

March 5, 1993

Under the Divine Mandate policy of “Manifest Destiny,” the United States Government created the Boarding Schools.  From their inception into the 1940’s, the specific target of these schools was the assimilation of the “Indian,” along with the annihilation of the Aboriginal Indigenous people.  When compulsory education for “Indians” was established in the late 1800’s, it was explained that the schools were an integral part of the U.S. policy to “abolish the party of the second part” to the Treaties, along with germ warfare: epidemics of smallpox and tuberculosis, and chemical warfare, including alcoholism.  This explicit genocide policy was still in effect in the 1930’s and early 1940’s.  The teachers bluntly told us, “You are the Vanishing Americans, and you will go.”

The U.S. open policy of genocide changed in the 1940’s because of Adolf Hitler.  The Englishmen were subtle and refined about their genocide.  Rather than “ethnic cleansing” (to steal land, property and resources) with finesse, however, Hitler’s plebeian values led him to an unmasked and systematic program of killing.  Hitler studied Anglo “Indian policy,” and modelled his genocidal tactics after those of the United States Government and England.  He said of the Russians he proposed to conquer, “we will treat them like Indians.”

When I was growing up, there were a lot of French people who were living on the Red Lake Reservation.  They had been packed onto the “Indian Rolls” by the United States Government, but they identified themselves as “French Canadians.”  They spoke French, and I remember the lively French Creole music the old fiddlers played at their dances.  I enjoyed watching people dance the jig and reel.  In the 1930’s and 1940’s, there was also a movie theater in Red Lake.  Most of the movies they showed were Grade B Westerns, with Cowboys and Indians.  The French Métis, including the very same people who are so fiercely “Indian” elders today—at that time they were cheering the massacre of the “Indians” by the cowboys and the Cavalry.  Now that all the “Indians” were killed in the movies, the grandchildren of these formerly French people want to be Indian warriors and “medicine men,” and wear buckskin, turquoise and feathers, like “real Indians,” but with an identity problem.

CROOKED MATH: There are several reasons why the Reservation schools don’t teach advanced math (or English).  One of them is so that people won’t be able to figure out that the odds are always against them in all of the gambling operations.  Another reason is because of the blood quantum.  Reservation genealogy records are also kept “confidential.”  The way that the blood quantum is set up, it leads to inbreeding.  Both maintaining a healthy community and maintaining blood quantum over the generations is mathematically impossible.  The Aboriginal Indigenous people use their knowledge of their Dodemians and Clans to avoid inbreeding.  The “Indians” are not Aboriginal, and so in order to stay “Indian” they are caught up in using the White man’s scheme of blood quantum.  For quite some time, they have been in serious trouble with this crooked blood quantum.  White writers do Indian bashing about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, which may be part of the problem.  However, the diagnosis of “Fetal Alcohol Syndrome” is being used to mask the consequences of “Indians” marrying their own close relatives to keep up their blood quantum.

Another reason that higher mathematics isn’t taught in Reservation schools is because of the Treaties.  In the 1864 Treaty, the Washington real estate thieves said they were paying “four cents an acre” to the Red Lake Treaty Indians.  The amount on the books as being paid (most of which wasn’t actually paid) really came out to about a tenth of a cent per acre.  Then, the White Government turned around and sold the stolen land for $1.25 and up.  So, the Mille Lacs Indians who are talking about the “new Treaty” had better start doing some more research, because you’re being ripped of again by the descendants of the same old immigrant European crooks.

VIOLENCE:  My mother died when I was three years old, of tuberculosis.  When I was seven years old, my grandfather died, and I also lost my father.  In my formative years with my grandfather, I remember a lot of love.  My grandfather was a traditional Anishinabe Ojibway man, and he never used violence.  Instead of physical punishment, even spanking, he used non-violent teaching.  The lessons he taught were indelible, whereas the beatings that the White man uses became just a way of life, and the lessons were forgotten.  In the Mission School, instead of teaching kindness, the “discipline” was just the opposite. The Civilized Christians used violence.  After a whipping, we were told, “don’t cry, be a man.”   There was nobody there to come and hug you, nobody to say “I love you.”  I had to re-learn this from my children, who, after all the years of violence, taught me how to say, “I love you,” and to hug them.  My children are in their late thirties, and when they give me a hug and tell me that they love me.  Non-violence starts in the family.

Lately in the media there has been a lot of news about children carrying guns and knives to school, and about gang violence.  The children are living out the violence of the society, but they are also reflecting the values they have learned at home.  How many of these gun-carrying children have parents who give them a hug, and say “I love you?”  There is supposed to be a diversity of cultures in the United States, but the laws are all European laws written to benefit only the European people.  After people get a Rodney King Beating, how can you expect them to respect the White Law, when this European Law has no respect for the non-White people under its jurisdiction?  There has to be an alternative.  We have to work for a non-violent world, to make this a better place to live.  We can start in our families, by cherishing our children and our parents, by hugging them and saying “I love you.”  Or, are you too “macho” for that, living out a White stereotype projection of a “man.”  Nonviolence works.  I know it.  The Anishinabe Ojibway had a non-violent society for millennia.  I have lived in both worlds.

WACO, TEXAS:  Jesus Christ was celibate the first time he came around.  Now that he’s been reincarnated, he has at least fourteen wives—maybe he’s making up for lost time.  There was a deadly raid on Jesus’ New Galilee compound, and Jesus opened fire on the other Christians.  According to the papers, they were going to arrest Jesus, alias Vernon Howell, alias David Koresh, for having an assortment of “high-powered weapons.”  The Bible is full of violence.  No wonder this reincarnated Jesus took up assault rifles.  There has been nothing but violence on this Continent for five hundred years, since the immigrant Europeans got here.  The Prophets in Christianity have always said, “if Jesus returned, they’d kill him again.”  The moral of this story is, don’t be reincarnated as Jesus Christ, because the Good Christians will crucify you again.  The news media haven’t spelled out who is the “cult” and who is the “sect.”  Both are violent.

My telephone number is (218) 679-2382 and my mailing address is P.O. Box 484, Bemidji, MN 56601.


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