from the Ahnishinahbæótjibway (We, the People)
To the Editor:
The Thursday, December 21 edition of the Bemidji Pioneer ran only a part of an Associated Press story about Ester Nahgahnub (see page 2 [of the January 3, 1990 Ojibwe News] for the full AP version of that story), who was rudely harassed by Federal Official Dave Duncan. The Bemidji Pioneer’s editors did not want to print the last part of the story, beginning with: “As a Chippewa [sic], Nahgahnub said, she believes she has the right to gather and sell items in northeastern Minnesota, an area covered by the 1854 treaty.” She not only “believes,” she does have this right—maybe that’s why the Pioneer didn’t print it.
Northeastern Minnesota, as well as the rest of the American Indian continents, is Indian land, even though the United States and other European-generated governments occupy our land by force and by Treaties written with the intent to steal. Treaty or no treaty, it is still our land—a Treaty (as forced on Indian Nations) is one of many European tactics designed to steal. European-Americans have written many volumes of racist legislation which names themselves as the “keepers of the wildlife” (when these people are still terrified of the woods and get lost even with a map and a compass). However, looking at the way the European-American immigrants have kept our resources since the beginning of their forcible occupation of Northern Minnesota, it doesn’t seem like it will be very long until our land looks like the barren rocks of Europe that these European immigrants came from. The Europeans left stone huts that they shared with their cattle (to keep warm, they had cut down all the trees) in their homeland; already we can see big rock-piles in the farmers’ fields. They must be getting ready for Robin HUD’s new housing projects.
Under this imported European system, all of our land and resources have been taken away from Indian people and used as capital and collateral to underwrite the European-styled greed-culture $$ money system of the U.S.A.; $$ Dollars, Euro-dollars and other European currencies are all part of the same interlocking system. This crooked system is owned and controlled by the so-called “elite” upper-class Europeans and hyphenated Europeans. Under this scrip scheme, the United States Government has had the audacity to print $$ money based on stolen Indian land and resources (and stolen Indian gold)—and then try to “buy” Indian land, forests and hunting and fishing rights for a tiny fraction of their value, when it is our land and resources which back up their crooked $$ money system to start with. So, what it comes down to, is that European immigrants haven’t had to pay for anything, just the printing presses that they brought with them from Europe.
According to the European—American $$ money scheme, a person is “no good” when they don’t have any $$ money. European—Americans value themselves according to their paper-$$ money “net worth.” The upper class controls the $$ money system, Indian people had no part in its design and, as intended, have no access to it. Every continent, everywhere the European has gone, he has designed the same kind of $$ money system, to entrench his class system and to steal from the people that the land and resources belong to. Indian people are criticized for “living in poverty,” for not having any $$ money, but why would the Europeans want to discredit an entire race of people? Maybe they are using a blame-the-victim strategy to hide the fact that they are using stolen resources on stolen land; this is what their printed $$ money is based on.
Upper-class Europeans have always been too lazy to do their own work; they brought slaves and indentured servants with them when they came from Europe. They use the class system to make other people do their “dirty work.” They try to discredit Indian people by saying we’re “too lazy to work,” but what they’re really doing is trying to get slave-labor under the minimum wage (or less, on most reservations for doing work that the upper-class Europeans are too lazy to do for themselves.
The European-Americans have set up their racist $$ money system, with their encroachment legislation and human rights violations, so that Indians cannot have any $$ money. According to common sense, there should be nothing wrong with using road-kill feathers to support a family. If Red-tailed Hawks are endangered, it is not because of Indians, it is because heir homes have been destroyed and their food poisoned by European-American greed. What Esther Nahgahnub has come up against is that Indian people are not supposed to use the Dollar $$ money system which is based on Indian land and resources. This is part of the European colonial strategy. Another part of the U.S. colonial system is to force Indian people onto welfare and A.F.D.C. after everything has been stolen from us, to silence and discredit us; so that European-Americans can complain about how much they are “giving” us. Every few months, certain racist writers of the Bemidji Pioneer get self-righteous and write about welfare. But, these smug writers live on and benefit from stolen Indian property.
Bullying people around and using terrorist tactics are a part of the European-American heritage. The Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock gratefully received Indian gifts—and we didn’t attach any stigma of “welfare.” It wasn’t until hordes of immigrants were imported to serve in the U.S. Army and outnumbered Indian people 5,000 to 1, that the European-Americans got “brave” enough to be bullies. Bullying, ripping off, and stealing are still U.S. international policy from Panama and Nicaragua to Libya and Palestine. Bullying is just one part of the terrorist tactics that the U.S.A. has used against Indians and other peoples since its colonial beginnings.
Another part of the devious European-American $$ money system is the Indo-European idea of kidnapping people and holding them for ransom. Ever since the Treaties were signed (and sometimes before), the United States Government has been kidnapping Indian children, holding our young people hostage in Government schools, in foster care, and for adoption. Indian children are taken away from their parents because, as planned, their parents do not have any $$ money. The ransom that our children are held for (and that many of our children have been killed for) is our Indian land and resources that back up the U.S. $$ Dollar. Indo-European people are held for $$ money-ransom. Our children are held for land and resources ransom, and then brainwashed so they don’t know who they are, so they become non-people who are neither Indian nor White.
This genocide is much worse than Hitler’s, worse than 500 million Indian people destroyed over 500 years to steal two continents. A lot of European-Americans will say, “I had nothing to do with it,” but there is such a word as “complacency,” and they continue to benefit from our stolen Indian property—and these people are not lobbying their European-American Congress to repeal the racist and genocide legislation that is still on their law-books, that continues to give them European-style title to Indian land and resources that they get personal benefit form. Christian people talk about “honesty,” but the Christian churches unilaterally gave God’s stamp of approval to both the Nazi German and the U.S. Government.
“Sacred Trusteeship” is supported by European-Americans and “Indian” bureaucrats who have lost their values. Former B.I.A. Commissioner John Collier called these people “friendly Indians with a white-plus psychology,” and this is the kind of “Indian leader” that European-Americans choose for us and put on their $$ Dollar-payroll. According to European law, what Trusteeship means is taking property and $$ money away from people because they are incompetent.” What kind of Fascist-thinking is this, to call an entire race of people “incompetent,” when under Indian people’s care and management, both of these Indian continents were a beautiful and abundant paradise. The European-American word “incompetent” seems like forked-tongue speaking; under European-American management, everything has been wrecked, destroyed, polluted and turns into trillions of $$ Dollars of printed paper $$ money, used to entrench the imported European class system.
European-American “experts” who have no harmony with the land, have updated an old scam. After most of our Indian continent’s resources have been plundered, stripped and raped, then converted into $$ money, we are told that $$ money can fix the problem. It was European $$ money-greed that devastated our land in the first place. Putting back a tiny fraction of what was taken out—in $$ money and according to the European way of looking at the world, isn’t going to fix anything except maybe public relations. The $4 money-fix is just another crooked shell game. How can people who came with nothing, from a land that had already been ravaged to the bedrock, say that they know anything about managing wildlife and resources? Their “land-grant” Universities are build on stolen Indian land, and their professors’ research is subsidized by corporations whose purpose is to steal Indian resources.
One more example of appointed leadership: the European-American logging industry has always been a thieving enterprise. Certain lumber companies paid their Congressmen to take the property that was stolen from Indians on Red Lake. Indian people never had—and never needed—police and jails under our Traditional values and government. So, the European-Americans used our Trust $$ money to build a jail, and to pay a policeman backed up by the U.S. Army. This “law enforcement” was to protect the thieves, the lumber companies who were stealing the homes of our wildlife, plundering our timber. When a Red Lake Indian complained, they drummed up charges against him and threw him in jail, and let the thieves go right on stealing. This is the kind of backwards system that the European-Americans brought with them from Feudal Europe. This is the kind of system that Ester Nahgahnub us up against, a crooked system that has no place for truth or honest. If European-Americans were truthful and honest, they would not be on stolen land. But, their very culture is based on lies and treachery.
The time has come for Indian people to join together and once again accept our responsibility as caretakers of this land. We also need to teach the European invaders how to be civilized human beings.
Francis Blake, Jr.