from the Ahnishinahbæótjibway (We, the People)
Stealing personal Sovereignty and abolishing personal identity of Indigenous people is a necessary part of Indo-European colonization and Indo-European democracy. These genocidal tactics are not included in the United Nations Convention against Genocide. The people who wrote the Genocide Convention were from the privileged class of Indo-Europeans (or the people they had trained). Indigenous people had no input into the Genocide Convention and the Indigenous people are the ones against whom the most heinous crimes of genocide have been committed over the last 500 years. The Genocide Convention, the way it was written and very belatedly ratified by the United States, is partly public relations and partially protection for ethnic peoples who are already part of the Indo-European empires.
How did the Indo-Europeans steal Anishinabe Ojibway peoples’ identity? By the 1850’s, more than 90 percent of us had already been killed by genocidal tactics including germ and chemical warfare. Smallpox and forcing Indian children to drink milk from tubercular cattle were among the germ warfare tactics. After most of the surviving Sovereign Indigenous people had been forced into the prison camps called reservations, the U.S. used warfare-occupation tactics to, as President Roosevelt said, pulverize the Tribal mass.
The US’s establishment of the court of Indian offenses was a part of their long-range tactics of total annihilation of Sovereign Indigenous people. As the commissioner of Indian affairs explained in his 1889 annual report, “It was found that the longer continuance of certain old heathen and barbarous customs [sic] ... were operating as a serious hindrance to the efforts of the government for the civilization [sic] of the Indians. It was believed that in all of the tribes many Indians [sic—he meant halfbreeds] would be found who could be relied upon to aid the government in its efforts to abolish rites and customs. ... There is no special law authorizing the establishment of such a court ... The policy of the government for many years past has been to destroy the tribal relations as fast as possible, and to use every endeavor to bring the Indians under the influence of law [steal Indigenous Sovereignty]. To do this the agents have been accustomed to punish for minor offenses, by imprisonment in the guard-house and by withholding rations; but by the present system the Indians [halfbreeds appointed by the government] ... pass judgment [as directed by the Agency superintendent].”
The US brought in foreign courts and they used a foreign currency, the Indo-European dollar money system, for court-imposed fines. Where were Sovereign Indigenous people going to get US dollars? It was a completely alien system, not part of our Traditional economy, and people had to serve time. This one-sided promotion of the dollar-money system broke up a lot of families—as planned. The whole court system was foreign: the Roman Empire’s law, the money system, forcible confinement, even the language. Most people didn’t even know why they were in jail, except for being a Sovereign Indigenous person—the Indo-Europeans were jealous of our sovereignty and our land and resources, and we were jailed because of Indo-European greed. The Tribal Court in Red Lake is a direct descendent of these Courts of Indian Offenses established by the Secretary of the Interior (order of April 10, 1883).
The Tribal Courts and the people who the US government hired for both these courts and the police are not and never have been Sovereign people of the Red lake Anishinabe Ojibway Nation. The “courts” and the people hired by the US to administer them have no business being on Sovereign Anishinabe Ojibway land.
Almost all of the Indian people employed by the US in the Tribal Court and law enforcement system have been mixed-blood people whose Sovereignty was already held by the US government, people brought in from other places under the Nelson Act, or Indo-European Indians given Indian identity by the government. This group of people is the same group as the government used in the treaty-making process—and it is quite clear that the US considered these people to be their citizens. They were enumerated in the Minnesota Territorial and first state census: “in the summer of 1849, John Morgan, sheriff of St. Croix County, was directed to take a census of the population of the territory, as provided in the Organic Act. ... it was very desirable that a full count should be made, and no pains were spared to enumerate all the white and mixed-blood [half-breed quarter-breed, and French] inhabitants.” Full-blooded, Sovereign Indian people, the people of the Clans, were not counted, because they were not citizens and not under the jurisdiction of the US nor of the State of Minnesota because they were Sovereign. Many sovereign Indian people are still not counted in the census; we are not citizens of the US and this is our land.
Many of the same families who were enumerated in the 1849 census, and who were citizens of the US, also signed the 1863 Old Crossing Treaty, and received payment for selling land that wasn’t theirs. These same people were then drafted—not volunteers—into the US Army during the Civil War, because they were citizens of the US. A citizen of the US cannot sign a treaty for another nation with the US. There were no Sovereign lawyers representing Sovereign Indigenous people at the treaties, just crooked priests and politicians, and halfbreed “interpreters” who were getting their cut of what was being stolen. There were a few honest Europeans who got caught up in the treaty-making process. They said, “These treaties are going to come back to haunt us.”
It is an old colonial strategy to create halfbreeds whose Sovereignty is held by the colonizing power. The halfbreeds were created by the government intentionally, and they have served the government well as Century 19 real estate agents. Some of these same families who were paid for Red Lake land on the few annuity payments actually made for the Old Crossing Treaty, received halfbreed scrip out of both the treaty with the Mississippi band and the Red lake Treaty, and sold that. They were given Mahnomen Township and sold that, along with most of the rest of White Earth, Under the 1889 Nelson Act, some of them signed three or four different times on different reservations to sell much of what remained of Red Lake. Now, some of these same families are back in Red Lake, trying to sell what little we people of the Clans have left. After the Confederacy lost the Civil War, the Union sent hordes of carpetbaggers into the South to destroy the Confederate infrastructure, occupy the South, and sell off the Old Plantations. After they finished in the Old South, the government bought covered wagons out of the crooked Sacred Trust Funds, and sent the carpetbaggers West. They were called “settlers” but they were carpetbagging both Indigenous peoples’ land, and the Spaniards who had colonized them. Many of the government’s “card-carrying Indians” still fill the same role of carpetbagger in occupied Indigenous Nations including Red Lake.
Orchestrating conditions which create an owned and controlled class of “mixed bloods” is an ancient Indo-European colonial practice designed for destroying Indigenous people—that’s why it’s not in the Genocide Convention Act. It needs to be there. The way the Indo-European laws are written, Indo-European men have the tacit right to father illegitimate children with as many Indigenous women as they can. But when an Sovereign Indigenous man marries an Indo-European woman, it’s called miscegenation. When a Sovereign Indigenous man marries any woman, he takes her into his patrilineal Clan and gives her Sovereignty; that’s what the US didn’t want. When Indo-European men had children with a Sovereign woman, their children were not Sovereign, but they were useful to the Indo-European colonial government and it was encouraged. Half-breeds were created for specific purposes: to sell; to infiltrate the community; to act as interpreters, clerks and intermediaries. Even though Indo-European society is also patrilineal, and even though the fathers of some of these mixed-blood children had high hierarchial rank including European titles of nobility, the mixed-blood children did not inherit from their fathers. These mixed-blood people played a vital role in treaty-making (even though they had no business there because the Indo-Europeans had already taken away their birthright) and other Indo-European colonization tactics—but where are the mixed-blood bankers, the mixed-blood Senators, the mixed-bloods in the upper class? The colonizing power is trying to disown responsibility for the mixed-blood children they created: by telling lies, saying that Indian society is matrilineal—but Anishinabe Ojibway Clans are patrilineal. Some of these mixed-bloods have legitimate claims to estate land, castles, noble titles, and other valuable (although stolen) property in Europe through the patrilineal—primogeniture—line. Although they have no claim to Sovereign Indigenous peoples’ land, who knows, some of the people who call themselves Red Lakers might own a vineyard in France ... they could wreck their livers with vintage French champagne.
[Started last time]
The original game plan of the government, as outlined in the Lake Mohonk Conference of “Friends of the Indians” and other places, was to use the Mixed-bloods to destroy Sovereign Indigenous people, and then assimilate them into the melting pot of the Indo-European population—although near the bottom of the hierarchy (because of racism). This strategy continued until Hitler’s genocide against Slavic, Gypsy, Jewish and other people aroused world outrage. The US had almost succeeded in wiping out Sovereign Indigenous people, and they needed Indians, quick, to show the world that they weren’t the role model that Hitler claimed they were. So the plan changed, and the U.S. government had to create Indians. Some of these created Indians on tribal rolls all over the US have nothing but European ancestors, but they have a little laminated card that they carry around showing that they are a federally recognized Indian. (In working on a genealogy of Red Lake, I found that several families of these people didn’t have any Ojibway relatives, but that most of them were closely related on the European side.) These people’s identity is defined and controlled by the US government; they are blackmailed into following orders by being told, “with one stroke of the pen, you will no longer exist.” (Real Anishinabe Ojibwe people don’t need a laminated card to know why they are. We obviously have ancestors who were Native Indigenous people. We don’t need to be federally recognized or federally defined, and “one stroke of the pen” and we will exist, regardless.) The card-carrying Indians are sentenced to being Indian by the U.S. government to cover up the genocide; many of them hate being “Indian” but that’s how the colonial system works. Their identity is controlled by the government; they don’t know why the are. They act out the roles given to them in cowboy-and-Indian movies, they are living caricatures of the Indo-European stereotypes of Indians. These victimized people are the real Indians (Indians is a category invented by a lost European pirate who thought he was in one of the far corners of the Earth—he didn’t now the world was round); we few Sovereign Indigenous people of the Anishinabe Ojibway Nations who survive are not Indians, and have nothing to do with this Indo-European created identity.
The Indo-Europeans tried to destroy everything Indigenous on these two continents, and mutate what was left into something that fit with their way of looking at the world; to take our peaceful, harmonious and balanced society and make it over into a clone of Indo-European violent and brutal slave-states.
One of the places where intense attacks on Sovereign individuals—and thus our culture and values—was carried out was in both the government and [Trust Fund subsidized] church boarding schools. Language is an essential part of any culture; it is a pattern carried inside of each person for understanding the world. The Anishinabe Ojibway language is a powerful language. During the fur trade and colonization it existed along with the mixed-blood’s language, Chippewa, which is a different language mutated into an Indo-European world-view. The Sovereign Indigenous children who spoke Ojibway were beaten every time we spoke a single word of our language; for a period of fifty years, three generations of Indigenous children were isolated from their parents and held prisoner in boarding schools to change their identity, to program and brainwash us. Mixed-blood children, however, often lived at home with their parents and were allowed to speak Chippewa. Ojibway music, dancing, pow-wows, and other parts of our Indigenous culture were only permitted by the US when they were mutated into Chippewa by mixed-bloods. Most of what is presented as “Indian” is a deformed parody, patterned after Indo-European ideas of what “Indian” should be. They are insulting and making fun of Traditional Sovereign Indigenous people. Having men dance in jingle dresses is an example.
Another attack on our peaceful, egalitarian society was also at the boarding schools. Every Ojibway child was scared to go to bed at night because, when they shut the lights out at night, we knew that the prefect would come and turn the lights back on in about ten minutes. Some of us would get beaten by a strap while we laid in our beds. The prefect kept a roster of all of our names, and he put check marks on it during the day. If we did something, he would wait until the night-time, and walk through the dormitory with his list. We never knew as he walked by our bed, whether he would stop and beat us or not. Sometimes, when the lights were turned out after the beatings and some of the children were crying from being beaten, a few minutes passed and the lights would be turned on again. The prefect would go through the dormitory again. This was to give us our new identity, so that we would become violent like them; some of the children used to say, “when I grow up, I will come back and knock the hell out of that son-of-a-bitch.” When that child said that, he had already been changed, and he was already made violent. He was civilized the way the Indo-Europeans define it. Those people who grew up in the boarding schools know what I am writing about. They almost took my own identity; I had to come back to the land and find my roots.
The violent psychological warfare of the boarding schools changed the identity of many egalitarian and non-volent people into a violent one defined by Indo-Europeans as so-called civilization. When the child who had been trapped into accepting violence as a part of his own identity grew up and went back into his community and raised a family, there would be domestic violence, and then the violence became self-perpetuating. The people who had been forced into this violent identity hated themselves, but they were caught in a web; many turned the violence against themselves in one of many self-destructive paths that are a part of Indo-European culture. The psychological warfare had worked and he had lost his egalitarian identity. He had taken violence as a part of his own values, and he lo longer had a non-violent defense against the violence of alcoholism, drug abuse, prisons and violent propaganda on T.V. and in the newspapers. After three generations, the government thought that enough egalitarian Indigenous people had been civilized into violence, and the extreme and obvious violence of the boarding schools was discontinued in the 1940’s; the goals and objectives had been almost accomplished. But, the Circle of Life comes around. Black Elk said that the Tree would almost wither and die, but then it would bloom again.
Part of stealing our Anishinabe Ojibway identity was what was done with our names. Because we were not allowed to speak our own Anishinabe Ojibway language, we could not even say our own name. Giving us Indo-European (“Christian”) names was part of trying to force us into a new identity under Indo-European control. The whole regimented, militaristic institutionalization of the boarding school was preparing us for colonially-defined identities: cannon-fodder in the military, cheap and slave-labor, jail and prison inmates, alcoholics and drug addicts—all of the at-the-bottom-of-the-hierarchy identities that are under strict control, and necessary to maintain the hierarchy. These controlled identities are changed at the pleasure of ranking subordinates of the hierarchy: if an alcoholic or drug addict is picked up and sent to prison, he immediately loses his identity as “ drunk” or “alcoholic” and becomes just a number. He can’t complain, that’s how the system works. Hitler tattooed numbers on his concentration-camp inmates to take way their identities; nobody could complain. Now that people have been sentenced into the identities of “drug addict” and “alcoholic,” the government is promoting Fetal Alcohol Syndrome to rub salt into the wound. The consequences of the chemical warfare—which is how drugs and alcohol are still used on Indian reservations—might play a big part in Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. But, it is also a convenient blame-the-victim strategy for hiding the effects of acid rain, toxic pollution, nuclear waste dumping, malnutrition, and all of the other Indo-European-created environmental hazards that hit people who live close to the land first.
I went to a garage sale the other day and bought a chimookomon from a wabishkiwe-inine for fifty cents. That’s identity.