Reflections from the Ah­nish­i­nah­bæójib­way (We, the People)

April 16, 1993

A travelling “American History” exhibit, the Seeds of Change, opens at the Minneapolis Public Library in June, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.  The exhibit should more accurately be entitled “Self-Justified European Colonialism.”  The very word “American” is an European word—and so is “Indian.”  It is probably unrealistic to expect the immigrant Colonial Europeans (who call themselves “Americans”) to understand this history of this Continent from an Aboriginal Indigenous perspective.  They have transplanted themselves, their language and culture, and social problems virtually intact from Europe.  They are still Europeans, no matter what they call themselves, and have almost as little understanding of the reality of this Continent as they did five hundred years ago.  Their language and their values are still Colonial European.  The Aboriginal Indigenous people here have a different point of view—that’s why the ecosystem was kept intact.  Everybody is part of the ecosystem, and you cannot “conquer” it without destroying yourself.  (The immigrant Europeans and their Indians seem to be suicidal, or they are caught in the momentum of blind greed.)

Revisionist History, under the guise of “ethnic sensitivity” (after ethnic cleansing), is alive and well.  Last year in South Dakota, the sloganeers and propagandists were promoting the “Year of Reconciliation.”  There can’t be a “Reconciliation” without first having “conciliation,” and the reality of 1993 A.D. is business as usual: destroying the ecosystem, polluting the waters, and having the Europeans’ pet Indians—who have European values, and not Aboriginal Indigenous values—tell their blood brother European invaders soothing lies to ease their guilt (pretending they are speaking for the Aboriginal Indigenous People).  “Reconciliation” and the “Seeds of Change” are nothing more than covering up the theft of the land and the genocide of the Aboriginal Indigenous People.  For “reconciliation,” do I have to apologize to the Europeans for having been born a Sovereign Aboriginal Indigenous Person, for owning this land and for my relatives being killed in the genocide—and for the “Indians” that you invented as brokers to steal Aboriginal Indigenous Peoples resources.  After five hundred years of genocide, do we have to say, “I’m sorry?”  I am sorry that the invading Europeans have destroyed the ecosystem, contaminated the water, killed the wildlife, clearcut the forests, wiped out countless languages and killed more than a billion of my Aboriginal Indigenous relatives.  The problems which the Europeans have created on this Continent are not “ancient history,” they are ongoing today.  Your White “Indians,” who embody Europeans’ own racist stereotypes, are still, under European direction, actively destroying the Anishinabe Ojibway permaculture, alienating our land and resources, and still contributing genocide.  The European U.S. Government is presently working on legislating racist “Indian religion” for their smokescreen of frauds and fakes.  For these, I am sorry.  I’m sorry.  I’m sorry.

According to Randy Furst, staff writer of the Star Tribune, the exhibit “Seeds of Change” emphasizes the material “exchanges,” corn, horses, sugar, and syphilis.  (Apparently, the Aboriginal Indigenous Peoples’ land and resources are not addressed—the brutal theft and plunder of this Continent is buried so deeply in their abstract thinking that they don’t even see it.)  The Europeans have tried to claim that corn was theirs—a few months ago, the Star Tribune ran an article promoting their alleged ancient Greek “Goddess of Corn.”  Appaloosa horses are a pure breed indigenous to this Continent.  According to an anthropologist we talked to, the evidence for the “absence of horses” is that there weren’t any dead horses in the archeological remains of ancient villages here.  Maybe the “Indians” and the Europeans left dead horses laying around town, but we didn’t.  Syphilis is an European disease discussed in the Bible under several euphemisms (for example, I Kings, Chapter 5, Verse 6-9, where it is called “emerods”).  A leading epidemiologist we talked to admitted to us that the Europeans brought over more than 90 diseases, including syphilis.  But, how many categories of mental illness have the Europeans created, through their language, and their abstract and linear thinking?  When you don’t know what reality is, when you don’t know what the truth is, the consequences are a pathological society like the Europeans have here.  All you have to do is look at their prisons, mental institutions, and all of the pain and misery that they have created.  The Europeans had better have a “year of reconciliation” (or better yet, a Century Of Reconciliation) with their own people, first.

I spent nine years a political prisoner in a Catholic Boarding School.  The reason that I, and the other Aboriginal Indigenous children of my generation, were forced into this school, was to brainwash us.  But, they took away my Anishinabe Ojibway language by beating it out of us, and they gave me a “basic English” of about three or four hundred words.  They got too greedy.  They couldn’t brainwash us, because they neglected to give us enough language to brainwash us in.  I studied the language, war culture and violent history of the European oppressors for years.  There are an increasing number of Aboriginal Indigenous people who read and speak English fluently.  You cannot use forked-tongue language on us any more and get away with it.

DESTINATION—MISSING:  If any of you see the “Little Green Bus,” and if by any chance you do find it and it is stuck, and the wheels are spinning, be sure and look and see who’s in the driver’s seat.  If Wellstone is there, don’t worry, because everything is “under control,” but call the publisher of this newspaper and let him know the latitude and longitude, because he’s worried and concerned.  If the wheels are spinning, tell those white “Indian Medicine Men” to get out of the bus and push, and please tell them that what they call “The Red Road” is a blind-alley detour invented by the illegal alien Europeans.

FOUND IN THE MAILBOX—someone asked me to put this in the column:  “Now for a word in defense of Clyde Bellecourt.  Now a lot of bad things have been said about my brother Clyde Bellecourt.  It has been said that he was a drug pusher.  A seller of illicit drugs.  Now I know that he sold bags of Marijuana and hits of LSD.  But let me tell you something about that.  He did in fact sell drugs.  But when he sold bags of weed those bags weren’t skimpy bags nor was that weed he sold bunk weed, nosiree it was the good stuff.  And that acid was good too none of that crappy blotter, nope, not brother Clyde.  So the next time some one says something bad about that incident remember these words.”

Drugs and alcohol are a vicious old European tactic of colonization and genocide.  As an Anishinabe Ojibway elder, I’m giving you advice because I’ve been down that dead-end road—drugs and alcohol are bad medicine of the immigrant European.  I’ve never been old before, and it feels good.  I just wish I knew what I know now, when I was young.  I’m doing my best to pass on what I’ve learned to the next generations, so they don’t have to go through the hurting that I did.

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


boiling sap at night at Wub-e-ke-niew and Clara's sugar camp, Bear Dodem sugarbush, Red Lake

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