Reflections from the Ah­nish­i­nah­bæójib­way (We, the People)

August 9, 1996

In the June elections at White Earth, held when Wadena’s four-year term was already out, Bugger McArthur won the contest for I.R.A. tribal chairman.  According to the constitution of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Inc., the legal term of office is four years, not four years and a day, or four years and a week—so, after the election, Wadena was out, he had no business hanging around the tribal offices.  If they wanted a transition period, they should have held the elections a month earlier.

Since taking office, Bugger has been a center of controversy, and many wanna-be candidates and sore losers are crying “foul ball,” and want a new election.  It appears that some of them want to get their sticky fingers into the coffers.  Chairman of the Sour Grapes Committee Chip Wadena has been complaining vigorously—he and his pals need to go to Camp Justice and spend the next four years having protests, signing petitions and sucking eggs.  Skip Finn said that the Indians are like “crabs in the bottom of a bucket,” when one almost gets to the top, everyone else drags him back into the bottom.  The White man owns the I.R.A. Indian tribal councils, created the Indian identity in his image of Machiavelli, and made back-biting and back-stabbing a part of the Indian culture.  To the newly elected Tribal Chairman—watch out for crooked arrows in your back.  If Jesus Christ came back and won as White Earth Tribal Chairman, there would be people at Camp Justice still hollering that it was a crooked election... they’d probably nail Him to the cross again.  Hmmm

HONEST BOB: According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the GOP Candidate “Reveals Economic Plan.”  One of the rules of thumb in politics is that when you’re behind in the polls, you always promise the electorate a tax break.  This sounds like one of the planks in Malcolm Forbe’s platform.  But then, come to think of it, Reagan and just about every other politician has used the old trick of buying people’s votes with their own money, including Clinton.  On one hand, they give you a tax break, but watch the other hand—the Federal Reserve takes twice as much away with inflation.  Inflation steals from everybody, and putting the money you save on “welfare reform” into more cops on the street is an oxymoron.  If they want to really solve social problems and address crime, why aren’t they arresting the guys on the Federal Reserve Board, who have their hands in everybody’s pocket.  Inflation has been stealing from you for years, and nobody says a damn’ thing.  I wonder if this is because the American public is into S&M?  Wait until Ears gets a hold of this newest rehash of a tired old economic plan.  Would you buy a car from “Honest Bob.”

BOUNDARY WATERS MOTORIZED AREA: Part of the “American Dream” is progress—destroying the old to make room for the new.  Other parts of this dream are a “high standard of living” (lots of material goods and recreation), and always remaining youthful (never growing up).  The Chosen People have been able to purchase ATV’s, motorboats, snowmobiles, airplanes... and now they want to really “have it all,” and come into the very last bit of relatively undamaged nature with their high-powered, noisy and ecologically destructive toys.  Because of the American emphasis on remaining “forever young,” they may not see themselves as they react in a very juvenile way, throwing tantrums as they drive through a fragile ecosystem with their new toys, wrecking it.  They’re just like bullies in a schoolyard.  After these spoiled brats’ toys damage the “pristine” nature of the B.W.C.A., skidders are not too far behind them, ready to engage in “multiple use,” flatten everything in 40 acres as they turn around, and load up the clearcut so the good ol’ boys can make money.  Why not make the people who are making the decisions accountable for the consequences, instead of letting them hide behind the faceless bureaucracies, acronyms and organizations.  For posterity, why not publish the names, addresses and telephone numbers of all the people who want to destroy the Boundary Waters, as well as of those who want to save it.

In Northern Minnesota, Paul Bunyan was the first eco-terrorist—and he’s become an icon and a culture-hero.  Many people get their picture taken at the Bemidji monument to Paul Bunyan.  In the nearly lost oral history of the local lumberjacks and wood-butchers, there is a previously unpublished story about Paul Bunyan when he was in his logging camp.  It seems, he needed to hire some cheap labor to help him clearcut.  So, he hired a boatload of immigrants from Egypt and North Africa who had just crossed the Atlantic.  (These guys all looked like “Indians,” so they fit right in.)  When Paul was interviewing these job applicants, he asked them where they were from, and if they knew how to cut trees.  They told him that they came from the Sahara Forest.  Paul scratched his head, and then asked, “you mean the Sahara Desert?”  They replied, “that’s what they call it now.”  So Paul Bunyan hired the whole boatload on the spot.  Now, the aboriginal ecosystems, with natural forests and plentiful fish, are gone.  The tree farms that are “replacing” them are not in balance or harmony—since they cut the forests down, there are only a few fish left in the lakes.

My mailing address is P.O. Box 484, Bemidji, MN 56619, and my telephone number is (218) 679-3984.


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