Reflections from the Ah­nish­i­nah­bæójib­way (We, the People)

September 12, 1997

Dear Shaman,

Why are the Treaties only written in the English language, why aren’t they also written in the Indian languages?  Shouldn’t a Treaty be written in both languages, eh?

                Traditional Indian

Dear Wanna-be,

That’s a very good question.  I’m glad you asked that.  The treaties have been interpreted many in different ways, by many different people: by sportswriters, by the DNR, by the BIA, by the courts, by would-be Indian leaders...  The treaties were not recorded in the indigenous languages because they were never interpreted into them.  Here, for example, the treaties were interpreted into French and into the creole trade language, Chippewa, but not into the indigenous language, Ah­nish­i­nah­bæót­jib­way,  which is a language the treaty interpreters did not speak or understand.

One of the big problems with the so-called Indian Treaties is that they were negotiated between European parties: the Americans and the French Métis.  The indigenous languages are not a part of the treaties, because the indigenous people were excluded from the treaties.  The “Indian Treaties” were based European laws of “discovery,” which are foreign European laws which do not belong here.

The “Indian Treaties” are not really treaties.  The World Court does not recognize them—and they never were a part of international law.  Even when they were being negotiated, the “treaties” were considered to be internal affairs of the United States, on land already claimed as United States territory.  They were never intended to be international law, because neither the United States Government nor any other European nation ever recognized indigenous people’s right to our own land on this continent.  That’s a human rights violation.

The so-called treaties were written to fulfill the bare letter-of-the law requirements of Article V of the U.S. Constitutional amendments, that: “No person ... shall be ... deprived of ... property, without due process of the law.”  Because of their white patriline, the Indians all came under the Constitution, and the “Indian Treaties” were the U.S. Government’s way of claiming that they stole the land legally, in their way of thinking.  The English language is so crooked that it creates a criminal culture.

Dear Shaman,

What about the “hunting and fishing rights” in the Treaties?  Where do the rights of the red-blooded American citizens fit into this?

            True Sportsfisherman (Catch-and-Release)

Dear Bearer of Tall Tales,

The whole thing is a tourist trap.  Any way it’s been interpreted, the Indian still has to buy a license from the White man: from the State, or from the IRA “tribal councils” that the White man established.  Whether sovereign or semi-sovereign, the Indians have always come under the jurisdiction of the White man, because Indians are also Europeans.

The Mille Lacs Treaty has been a big circus, because both the treaties and the white laws behind them are written only in crooked English, from a European point of view.  The White man keeps reviving the dead treaties because the existence of the United States depends on them.  In the early 1970’s, the American Indian Movement was hollering, “honor the treaties,” as were the IRA “Tribal” governments.  The U.S. didn’t honor the treaties, so the Indians quit hollering—their loud and violent protests didn’t produce anything but job security for the media, more violence and social problems.  But, the United States Government’s claim to this land rests on the treaties, so now the White man (Congress and everyone else) is hollering, “honor the treaties.”  It’s hot air out of Washington, D.C.—the Euroamericans are hiding their genocidal guilt behind the Indians that they created.

Hunting and fishing is a red herring: it aggravates and agonizes public feeling about the treaties, builds White backlash, and makes money for the White man.  Even though some of the treaties have clauses about hunting and fishing in them, the United States never intended to honor anything about the treaties except that the U.S. got to claim the land: the French Métis and the Spanish Mestizos (who were the people who signed the “treaties”) were a conquered people who had to take the identity of “Indian” as a part of the conquest, had no rights then, and still don’t have any rights.  “Indian” is a foreign name, and is not indigenous to this land.

Dear Shaman,

How did “sovereignty” get into the treaties and into these reservation tribal governments?

                Indian Law Student

Dear Future Shyster,

“Sovereignty” is a form of segregation, and the “Indian laws” are so bad that the Whites don’t want to apply them to their own people.  They are part of the Jim Crow system of apartheid which was supposedly abolished in the South after the Civil Rights Act in the 1960’s.  The United States has no legal basis for taking indigenous peoples land and resources—they simply stole them by declaring eminent domain under the authority of the Roman Catholic Church.  “Indian Sovereignty” discriminates against both Whites and Indians, and it hides the genocide and the grand land theft here.  The Whites need to get honest about their history, but they can’t, because their language restricts them.

Dear Shaman,

Why are all the Indians called “the First Americans”?

                A Concerned White Guy

Dear White Boy,

The indigenous people of these continents were destroyed in the genocide.  The “Indians” are called the “first Americans” to hide this genocide and to pacify the Euroamericans’ conscience.

The Pope made a statement in 1985 about the genocide here, when the Catholic Church was going to Canonize one of the Spanish Missionaries in California.  But, the Catholic Church was into genocide on this continent.  Since the mid-1500’s their legal documents have justified genocide here with statements like Aristotle’s, “War arises in a certain sense from nature, since a part of it is the art of the hunt, which is properly used not only against animals, but also against those men who, having been born to obey, reject servitude: such a war is just according to nature.”  Aristotle tells you a whole lot about your European criminal culture and values.

Dear Shaman,

I went up to get my last payment check from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and it wasn’t ready.  Everyone was sitting around filing their nails and standing at the water cooler, and just gossiping.  What’s wrong with this system?

                Ration Indian

Dear Dole,

When Custer rode off to his last appointment, he told the Indian Agent at the fort, “Don’t do anything until I get back.”  This order has never been rescinded.

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


< HOME >
< NEXT >