Reflections from the Ah­nish­i­nah­bæójib­way (We, the People)

September 23, 1994

The September 18 Bemidji Pioneer published a letter to the editor with the headline, “Red Lake sovereign nation, yet county taxes pay costs.”  The author, Dick Larson, writes, “admittedly, I’m naive about county spending but this is unbelievable.”  Mr. Larson, it’s not your fault that the history that you were taught in school was from a blindered European perspective; a one-sided litany of mis-information and outright lies which have nothing to do with the reality of what has happened on this Continent.  They did not tell you about the rape and plunder of our land and our people; they did not tell you about the social and genetic engineering and why the ecosystem is being systematically destroyed and the water polluted and poisoned.  Your teachers did not tell you about your Euro-American hierarchy—and that property taxes are feudal “protection” on land you can never really “own.”  You were also not given the facts about “Indians,” which is a White term (look it up in your dictionary)—and “Indian” has nothing to do with the Aboriginal people who belong here: we are the Ah­nish­i­nah­bæót­jib­way in this part of our country.

Property taxes are alien to Aboriginal society—we lived in harmony with the land, which is what gives us life.  The idea of some foreigner owning our land is disgusting, and metaphysically impossible in our world-view.  You complain about “property taxes,” as if you are the only one paying for your corrupt foreign system.  We pay exorbitant taxes: an example is the utility taxes on the Red Lake Reservation, which include extremely high property taxes levied on utility-company property in Redby, passed on to us in our bills.  Another example is the telephone rate structure: long-distance charges on every call off the Reservation.  The Bemidji merchants charge me seven cents on the dollar; and even higher taxes on gasoline, fuel oil and tobacco products (although I don’t smoke).  Every purchase made on the reservation includes payment “in lieu of taxes,” which go to pay for the occupation forces.  We pay more, and we get nothing worth while back; taxes are like paying for a dead horse in the White man’s economic system: “White-Male” instead of blackmail.  Although people live quite some distance from the post office, there is no rural mail delivery on the reservation; there is no rural newspaper delivery.  Our taxes support your community, just like yours do.  Mr. Larson, if you want to do any finger-pointing about taxes, go point at your lying, crooked Congressmen and Senators, and then go look in the mirror.  You are the problem—we did not ask you to bring your White laws or your funny money system onto our land.

The White United States Constitution contains the clause, “Indians not taxed” three times, meaning that the Indians who were created by the Europeans were never intended to own any land, and would not have representation in Congress, either in the Senate or in the House of Representatives—or in State or County Government.  So, the money that you are complaining about, your property taxes, is money taken under policies set by the Congressmen and Senators whom you elected.  The Indians, who were created to be politically powerless wards of the U.S. Government under trusteeship, have nothing to do with designing the property-tax structure in Beltrami County, nor with the Federally-mandated social assistance programs.  Indians are, by definition, disenfranchised second-class citizens who, with one stroke of the pen, will no longer exist—they have no power to lobby for higher property taxes (or, for that matter, for Indian gaming, which is the unmentioned, underlying complaint in Mr. Larson’s letter, and which is controlled by White interests.)  Indians do not make “policy,” not even “Indian policy.”  The Aboriginal people are invisible in the Euro-American system, and in the White man’s hierarchical, racist and misogynistic language.

The Indian “Sovereignty” that you mention without understanding, is an illusion and a con game, created by your White immigrant democratically elected representatives, and has absolutely nothing to do with the Aboriginal people.  (If you don’t believe me, read the so-called “Tribal Constitutions,” written by the U.S. Government under the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act, which is pre-Nuremberg genocide legislation endorsed by greedy mixed-blood Indians—French Moors who are also known as “burnt stumps”—like chairman-for-life Roger Jourdain and his French feudal cousins “Butch” Brun and Bobby Whitefeather.)  The Indians, who are programmed to bemoan and cry repeatedly, “broken Indian Treaties!” [Charmin-type documents in which their ancestors sold land which did not belong to them], are a part of Euro-American folklore, with about the same reality-quotient as Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the fictional characters of Disneyland and celluloid Hollywood—which has consistently promoted the White self-serving racist mythology of “Ugh, Me Indian.”

The taxes that you complain about are a part of your White economic structure, imported from Europe, and along with your money system, are alien; but the land and the resources here belong to the Aboriginal people—and have never belonged to either the Whites or the Indians.  The illegitimate, mythological and illusory Indians are the fraudulent means by which the Whites are claiming the land (“Treaties,” agreements, etc.).   A careful examination of the economic structure of this area makes it clear that if anybody’s on “welfare,” it’s the White immigrants and their Indians, who are pigging out on the Ah­nish­i­nah­bæót­jib­way land and resources.  If you remove the land, the resources, and the income which is derived from that property from the White economic structure, what would happen to the Beltrami County economy—you freeloaders would not have to worry about taxes on anything.  Complaining about “taxes” on stolen property reveals that you have no self-respect, and no identity, either—and you are trying to obliterate your roots and deny where you came from.  The equitable solution would be to return the land to the Ah­nish­i­nah­bæót­jib­way, pay compensation for the damages done to both the people and the land, and go back to where you came from—and take your Indians with you.  Mr. Larson, would you find this a viable alternative to paying property taxes (most of which you pay for fire protection, police protection, county paperwork, schools and high-salary County pork—your property taxes may well have paid for the handle of a County “Defense Hammer”).

That the “social welfare programs” earmarked for Indians benefit the Ah­nish­i­nah­bæót­jib­way is a diabolical illusion.  First of all, the vast majority of the money involved in the Social Services goes from White hands directly into White hands.  This system is a racist one, designed to serve Whites, and the high-paying jobs are almost exclusively held by Whites.  Welfare, and the corollary prison system, are a demeaning structure which entrenches the Euro-American White economic and class system.  On the reservation, this “welfare” system was structured with the intention of destroying Ah­nish­i­nah­bæót­jib­way families and community; using Indians as brokers in the White man’s genocidal social engineering system of which “welfare” is a part.  Before the Western Europeans got here, the Aboriginal people lived in a paradise, with an abundance of everything and water that a person could drink anywhere.  In the fall of the year, the Lake here was black with vast expanses of flocks of geese and ducks; throughout the woods there were fruit trees heavy with fruit, and the smaller lakes were thick with ripe Mahnomen.  You could see the bottom of the lakes through thirty or forty feet of crystal-clear water, and there were vast schools of fish which we used to watch through the pristine water.  I remember how my people, the Ah­nish­i­nah­bæót­jib­way, maintained our land, with everything in abundance—and now there is nothing, because of what the Whites and Indians have done in their blind greed.  We did not need “welfare” and we did not need taxes.  Because of our non-violent connectedness to Grandmother Earth and our inherent social harmony, we did not need “prisons,” nor did we need or want any of the other abusive hierarchical schemes imported by the Whites, including their money system, which is nothing more than a violent shell game.

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


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