Reflections from the Ah­nish­i­nah­bæójib­way (We, the People)

June 27, 1997

RED LAKE WINS $27 MILLION?  According to the front page of the June 19 Bemidji Pioneer, the Red Lake Band recently “won” 27 million dollars “compensation” for destruction of red and white pine after 1889.  But, there is more to a forest than the pine trees.  What about the destruction of the indigenous people’s homeland?  That pine forest provided food, clothing and shelter for us.  What about the deer, moose, buffalo, partridges, rabbits and fish?  What about the permaculture: berries, nuts, grapes, chokecherries, pincherries, and medicinal plants?  The White man’s attorneys and their rubber-stamp Indians make no mention of what else was destroyed, along with the pine trees.  The proposed settlement ignores indigenous people’s burial grounds, rice lakes, the loss of our homes, and pollution of our water.  It also ignores the violence that the White man brought in here.

What these Indians are settling for, is rapacious hypocrisy.  They ignore the devastation and pollution caused by these “first environmentalists” and so-called conservationists.  Since Roger Jourdain and his cronies brought the 1934 I.R.A. onto Red Lake, the Bureau’s Indians have been plundering the forests, clear-cutting.  For nearly forty years, truckload after truckload of stolen timber has been hauled off of this land at discount prices.  And, what about the lake?  The greedy Indians have destroyed one of the richest fisheries in the country, and it will be fifty years before Red Lake recovers, if ever—and now they want “Indian management” of Mille Lacs Lake.  The forests and the lakes go together: there are no fish flies to feed the young fingerlings, the food for the fish has disappeared with the forest, and the Lake has been polluted by runoff from commercially grown domesticated rice and other sewage.  You can’t drink the water here, it’s all polluted.  We might as well live in the desert, you can’t drink the water there, either.  The barren environment that is now at Red Lake is the result of greedy self-interest on the part of the Anglo-Chippewas and Franco-Ojibwas—wanna-be’s of Western European imperialism acting for the benefit of the colonizers, selling land and resources that have never belonged to the Indians or to the Whites.

The United States Government is trying to buy time, with yet another “settlement.”  Using their crooked English language, they created institutions to steal, and now they are negotiating with themselves, through their in-house “instrumentality” the IRA Tribal Council.  The purpose of the 1889 Nelson Act was to steal nearly three million acres of land, but the Tribal Council isn’t even questioning the land theft.  In the White man’s backroom deals with himself, the Tribal Council signed legal papers that include the stipulation,  “By Exception 41, the Red Lake Band does not contend that the Nelson Act is void,” and agree to “ab initio” provisions “that a statute or treaties, in and of itself,” does not need to be “fair and honorable.”

The $27 million dollars mentioned in the Bemidji Pioneer headline is a misleading figure.  According to the next-to-last paragraph in the Pioneer article, “before the settlement can be finalized, the band must submit a plan describing how the money will be used.”  This is the first time I’ve ever heard of a lawsuit where the plaintiff had to justify their use of settlement money.  Could this be a smokescreen?  After the lawyers take their 33.3% share off the top of the settlement, about nine million dollars, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs takes its third for “administrative costs,” and then Franklin Roosevelt’s “New Deal,” the DFL party, takes it’s third in “campaign contributions,” what have you got left?  Only a red herring, and it smells.

ECONOMIC SUMMIT: The Sunday Pioneer published several articles about an “economic summit” held at Red Lake last Friday.  About two hundred people, mostly outsiders, discussed strategies to increase employment at Red Lake.  The Pioneer could have entitled their articles, “Deja-vu all over again,” “Treaty Reruns,” and “White history repeats itself.”  The majority of people who claim to be Red Lakers, both those living on the reservation and those who have already been relocated, did not attend, according to Bobby Whitefeather as quoted in the Pioneer—although there were a few hang-around-the-fort Indians in attendance.

Although Friday’s session was billed as a “summit,” it sounds like yet another crooked deal was being cut in the backrooms.  This time around, instead of selling stolen timber, they’re caught up in enabling further encroachment on land that doesn’t belong to them, using 99-year leases.  By the way, the colonizer’s lease on Hong Kong’s is up this year.  Western European Imperialism is all over the world, where it doesn’t belong, hidden under the slippery euphemism of “globalization.”

The themes of the 1997 “Red Lake summit” are more than a hundred and thirty years old.  Only the language changes: refurbished versions of slippery and crooked English make it look more appealing.  The kinds of economic plans that are being offered generate low-class jobs like working in a car wash at less than the minimum wage—and you’re addressing poverty and unemployment?  It sounds like the White Buffer Indians and wanna-be’s are just doing their jobs, brokering the dirty work for their Western European colonizing relatives.  They are using social engineering to entrench the class system promoted by the Whites.  The in-group will keep their high-paying jobs working for their masters in the Federal government, and once the welfare payments are cut off, the out-group will be forced off of the reservation, in another historical re-run relocation project.  This isn’t surprising, since forced migration is a part of the here today and gone tomorrow, fly-by-night European culture.

VIOLENCE AT RED LAKE: President Clinton has been in the news lately, trying to address racism.  Could it be that racism hides the real issue, which is classism?  The class system at Red Lake was created by the White colonizers, using social engineering and eugenics blood-quantum policies.  The White man’s Buffer Indians are so good at math, that the Whiter they get, the higher their “Indian” blood quantum is and the more Hollywood Indian movies they watch.  When I was in school in the 1930’s, I was told by the Catholic nuns, “You Indians are the Vanishing Americans, and you will go.”  I am not an American and I am not an “Indian,” and even as a kid in boarding school, I was wondering who they were talking about.  The White man has painted himself into a corner with his guilt about the genocide they committed here: killing off the indigenous people, and then replacing them with Anglo-Chippewa and Franco-Ojibwa Indians who are in fact Indo-Europeans.

The violence which is escalating at Red Lake has nothing to do with the indigenous people.  In school, the forcibly administered theme, repeated so many times I’m still sick of it, was “assimilate,” and “you will become civilized.”  Apparently the Buffer Indians got the message, and assimilated into the White man’s violent civilization.  If the indigenous people of this continent would have been “civilized,” Christopher Columbus would have never landed—we’d have killed him.  Only Western European “civilized” people go to war, and kill one another.  Christian and other Western values have made their people immune and desensitized to their stupid and senseless violence.  People need to take responsibility, take charge of their lives, and take back their real identities, instead of acting like juveniles, gangs and schoolyard bullies.

Perhaps the violence at Red Lake is a message about the genocide that was committed here.  Maybe the land is saying something to you—and being not connected to the land, you don’t listen.  The English language is out of balance—before the coming of the European, the language on this land was always a balanced male and female language.  This is why we had all of the tall, beautiful red pine and white pine here, that you Indo-Indians are brokering to the White man.  The English language is a male hierarchical language, and it’s out of balance with Grandmother Earth and the female ecosystem.  English has no manners or respect for anybody—even for themselves, that’s why there’s all this senseless violence.  We need female language, to balance everything out.  With a female language, we can become human beings, treat each other with respect and manners, and nurture Grandmother Earth—she gives us all life.  On the other hand, the White man’s male, violent hierarchical English language takes away life.  This is called “civilization.”

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


Wub-e-ke-niew at fourth of July parade in Debs, Minnesota
Wub-e-ke-niew at the Fourth of July Parade in Debs, Minnesota

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