Manataka American Indian Council

 

 

 

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR...

July 2011

 

 

SOUND OFF!

 

 

Manataka receives hundreds of letters each month. Space does not allow us to publish all letters but we make a concerted effort to print letters that are representative of a majority. Let us know if there is a topic you feel needs to be addressed.  

 

Be Prepared

Dear Manataka,

I like the Smoke Signal's "Be Prepared" series on being ready for natural disasters and emergencies. While I can't say I am ever fully ready for "anything" - I am better prepared than I would be. There are little things that I pick up at the store that I remember from something I read in the Smoke Signal here and there, and I try to pick up extra items to have on hand, in my bag, and in the car. Also, my family tends to "swipe" from what I bring home, so I have to pick up extra anyway.  There are still some who are shocked at the strong weather and changes going on - I still wonder why they are surprised.   I say, brace yourselves, folks - this is the "new normal" - and if you haven't gotten your share yet, you will.  We've been "lucky" so far ....


I rarely have a "dying cell phone" or leave home without a charger - but a charger and a cell phone are no guarantee. Sometimes calls get dropped, texts don't go through, and EMFs can interfere with digital devices (I often 'zap' gadgets).  Ultimately you need to have your wits about you and STAY CALM, use common sense, LISTEN (6+ senses), and don't rely only on technology - sometimes it just doesn't work. ~ Kim Summermoon, Philadelphia, PA

 

Live Peace

Concerned People,

We write on behalf and working with TaTanka Oyate in Manitoba. We have recently had a powerful meeting with the Unity Riders Gus High Eagle of course, Calvin Pompana, Albert Taylor and many thoughtful elders. We are currently working with these great men to promote and spread the message of the peoples there. We are networking this to the entire world on Aug 6-7 in an event called LIVE PEACE which opens in Hiroshima, Japan. We will help tell the stories of all indigenous peoples around the world with the help of Music, Dance, Storytelling, Customs, and creativity. We go to meet them again in Minn. St Paul on the 21st of June for their global prayer and peace ceremony. Let us all be of one mind now, and join our spirits together with the Spirit Beyond All Understanding. We remain and always will be brothers.  ~John Nelson CEO/ LPI

Indian Schools Articles

Dear Manataka,

It should be noted that the Native American schools began well before President Grant and the late 1800's. Harvard, Dartmouth, and many other of today's prominent northeastern universities were originally founded as "Indian schools". By the late 1700's and early 1800's some of these had already transitioned from Indian schools to mainstream universities.

 

Also, most Christian sects had mission schools as early as the 1600's whose mission was to forcibly convert Indians to Christianity and assimilate them into the white community. Most notable among these were the Moravians, Jesuits, and Methodists. The colonial powers, and later, the American government opened settlements and schools with the purpose to forcibly convert and assimilate the Indians, but turned the administration of these institutions over to the various religious sects.

Donehogawa, a Seneca, also known as Ely Parker, was the Secretary of Indian Affairs under president Grant. Parker favored the reservation system and forced relocation policy introduced by Lincoln, believing that it served to protect the western Indian cultures and nations from the fate that had befallen the eastern nations. He also believed in the assimilation of the Indian peoples into mainstream white society. I am not writing to defend or condemn him, I am just stating the history.  President Grant did not really create any significant new policies regarding the Indian peoples. He merely continued or modified those policies which already existed and were in practice for nearly 200 years before he took office. Rober Mèsoxwentëme Davis, Tennessee

 

Evidence of Indigenous People

Dear Editor,

I am called Wahya, also David M Wolfe, an Indigenous historian, of sorts, or so I’m told. Thought you may be interested in looking at a work by Dr. Jeffery Goodman, called “American Genesis”. Dr. Goodman and Dr. L Leakey did some work together in a couple sites in the Southwest and South of that, that pushed the evidence of Indigenous back at least 50,000 years BC.  One site in Santa Rosa island off California coast is 70,000 + BC. [by the way "MAN" is not supposed to have migrated out of Africa, until about 40,000 BC]  Another “site” in Silver Bluff South Carolina is at least 60,000 BC. There is more.  You may find the work of interest; it did upset the Dogmatic Experts who have seemingly taken it upon themselves to describe ancestors as “Mysterious Indians that suddenly vanished just before the coming of the whites”.   I recently told one Anthro that said that, "Well I guess that's where the few billion dollars is that MYSTERIOUSLY disappeared with the equally Mysterious Indians then, isn't it?"  I do appreciate your web site and the work the council is doing, it’s much needed and far under appreciated.  Staiyu’ aya Wahya, AniYunwiyahgi. ~David M. Wolfe

 

Fighting Evil

Hi Manataka,
At this time I find myself fighting forces to bring the rights of the down trodden to the forefront of the ignorant,many try to deceive me with their lies while spreading their hatred. I am not afraid of man. He who tried to steal my mind was a fool with must knowledge yet no wisdom, From the attack on my mind it has been very difficult to focus on reading. My mind is healing and my father stays in my heart. I hear your people and know you are their. I am now recovering the spiritual attacks that have left much missing from my spirit. I meditate as much as I can and slowly the knowledge is returning and visions in the sky have returned. The crow often calls and stays by my side at all times. I have so many story's to share with you my Brothers and Sisters. But at this time the battle may have been one but the war is still far from over stay in my dreams my friends as I in yours. I am sorry I cannot spend more time reading the story's on the scared site at this time but my vision is poor from the toxins feed to me. I will be strong once more soon.  Your Friend, Bernie Crazy Horse Owen

 

Mulatto Indians

Dear Manataka,

In the past, people born of Cherokee and white were often put in the mulatto records of the towns where they were born. They were not classified as Native or Cherokee but as half white, half black. The same went for any slaves who married into or had children by the Cherokee people they were classified into the Mulatto rolls or mixed breeds of blacks. I must say this; Let us not forget all of the Virginia Indians were done this way by Walter A Plecker.~Wayanonah Two Worlds, New York

 

I ask Creator to show me the way

Grandmother,

Thank you for the lessons. I am of Cherokee/African American descent from what I am told, and wish to learn and prove this. I want to learn the ways of my people and help all native people in any way that I can. The way is clouded with to many falsehoods and incorrect teachings that are not born of native peoples, and I am skeptical of a lot of the people who call themselves "teachers" of the ways. It broke my heart to read your writings and I want to know what I can do to help, how I can learn the proper ways, and how to pass them on, so that they are not lost. I don't know how to do this yet, but I am trying to learn. I am trying to let myself be guided. I need to know what is "right", I ask Creator to show me the way, and I know that I am still learning how to listen. I will continue to do this, and I will continue to try to find the ways. Peace be with you Grandmother. Love, Honor, Respect to you, ~Donald Williams

 

Christian Doctrine of Discovery

Hello Manataka,

Before giving everyone this link, I would like to make a couple of points. The use of American Indian stereotypes has been used by the military from the very beginning. This issue is related to the names, nicknames, logos and mascots issue as well. You must really go back to the "Christian Doctrine of Discovery" to really understand it all though.

 

The "Christian Doctrine of Discovery" justified the slavery, genocide, ethnic cleansing, and deculturalization of Native peoples. It established the European Christian as superiors, which then justified dispossession. This doctrine is still used by the US today to continue to dispossess Native people of land and resources and to continue a colonial policy of oppression and subjugation. In post-colonial studies this is called the image of the inferior savage other, which is established in all countries established by European colonialism.

 

The "Christian Doctrine of Discovery" is not only the law, but it is the central theme of European-American history and therefore contributes to the high school drop out rate, the high suicide rate and the high violent crime rape, as well as many other problems Native people face today. The reason European-Americans are unable to see that the Cleveland Indians logo is racist, but are able to see the the caricature Sambo is racist is because since the Civil Rights era such images of African-Americans have become publicly unacceptable and the European-American defines him/herself as superiors through a belief in the inferiority of the Indigenous, through the teaching of European-American history. Any challenge to that belief, through protest of such racist images by Native people is therefore met with tough resistance and sometimes violence, because it is seen as a threat to their identity as a superior.

 

In the military, stereotypes have a very long history. Although Native people volunteer for the military at a higher rate than any other racial/ethnic/cultural group, they return home with 4 times the incidence of ptsd than the average soldier. This is because they serve more hazardous duty as a result of the "Indian scout" and "Indian brave" stereotypes. They are publicly demeaned through names such as Chief, etc. The other purpose of the use of names, icons, etc. by the military is that they collected physical trophies during the genocidal war period,. Now they are able to continue this practice by using symbolic trophies of the former inferior savage other they believe they have conquered.

 

When this period of war on terrorism started, many US officials called the Taliban and Al Quaeda savages, which is always the case in the US, so they can associate the inferior savage other enemy of the past with the inferior savage other enemy of the present. Attorney General Ashcroft often referred to the enemy as savages, if you recall. This is exactly what was done with this Geronimo incident. They do not use icons from any other racial/ethnic/cultural group as code names, but do frequently use American Indian icons, etc. as code names and names on equipment, names ao various military groups, etc. They would have never used the name Malcolm X or Martin Luther King, and there would have been a tremendous outrage if they had.

 

Now that brings me to the next critical point. Barack Obama actively campaigned for the Native vote. He decided that certain Western states were in play, if he could get the Native vote. Our people delivered to him some of those states and this contributed to his victory. President Obama has been quite ambivalent about the Native community though. Only England and the US have not signed the "International Declaration of Indigenous Rights". The Obama Administration has promised to sign it recently but have not yet signed it. The extremely racist "Christian Doctrine of Discovery", which is still used by the "Supreme Court" and the government to dispossess Native people of land and resources and to continue a brutal policy of oppression and subjugation continues to be used during Obama's presidency.. Our people have asked this president to repudiate this hateful and racist doctrine. He has remained silent on this. Now, as you will see when you read this link, he has been asked to apologize for the use of the name of Geronimo during this military action, and he has remained silent on that as well. These actions, or lack of action is extremely shameful for this president. I would suggest that Native people sit at home in 2012 and not vote for this man. He did not earn our support.  ~Richard "Thunder Wolf" Wilson   This is the link: http://www.manataka.org/page2466.html

 

Follow The Soul

Hello Manataka,

My recent bout with near death at the hospital has caused me to take a closer look at what the world is like today. Perhaps it is because I am now classified as old, even though I don’t feel the slightest bit old. I find that the system is set up like a trap, it is very difficult to let go of material things, in my heart I know that History lies, but I still want to buy and cling to the latest electronic gadgets. There is consumer greed but very little actual human togetherness any more. All the new fads lead to a dis connect between the head and the heart. There is no room for Grace.

 

Perhaps we could start by taking our Sunday school classes for a walk. Explain that it is best to choose your own way to the Creator, and go out and plant something, and watch it grow.

 

Some of our good leaders live long, and some leave us much too early. The fact remains that the wind, rain, sun, stars will more than likely be here long after we are all gone. We are so busy trying to conquer the world that we do not see the forest for the trees, the energy crisis answer is right in front of our noses, Most people do not know that water currents are much stronger than wind so why not make underwater kites and hook generator motors to them and make more energy than the world can use. One of my heroes is Edna Gordon who is a Seneca Wisdom keep and elder. She once said in a note on the door, “I have gone to look for Myself” I understand now what she means. All the kings horses, all the kings men can not put the world back together again. The animals understand this, yet they are hunted down and slaughtered.

 

Take a good look at what we have become, and are becoming. Nature is NOT our enemy, it is our friend. The Creators law demands common sense. Common sense pays better than human government laws. The voice of the Hawk Elder Edna says follow the soul, it is the one thing that will set you free. Free as birds, as they fly South in the winter and North in the Spring. We have forgotten what the Bible says, “for everything, there is a Season.” For everything there is Grace.

 

I have come to think that the closest I can get to the Creator here on earth is to take a walk in the woods. It is good to let the crow, deer, squirrels, insects and other living things minister to you about God. The teachings of nature are ignored today, and yet that is the only way to survive on this planet. While on this walk, ask yourself, ”what do I want, what do I really need?” Human beings lead extremely complicated lives today and they make their own destruction. I have seen the anger of the waves that smash against the shoreline of the oceans, and then that same wave returns calmly to the ocean and departs from the sacred Sea shore. The water of streams and brooks flow to the sea, around the big rocks and as they flow everything changes, even that big rock. God has given us the ability to see things, to choose, to observe and change things and to adjust. He also gives us roots to stand on. Roots represent the soul of human beings.

 

Smell the Roses and note that the flower and the thorn grown side by side.

 

There have been times in my life that I have set by the window and wished for someone to come, so I can practice hospitality and love. I pray a prayer of perpetual thanksgiving for the unity of the Spirit and this is a magnet that draws people to seek the truth. Some days people don’t come, but animals do. They talk to me. They show me their ways of life…. I am learning, I am greatful.

 

Mother birds feed their babies in the nest, most people are to busy notice, they do not see the wisdom that nature has always had to offer. No guns, no prisons, in the Creator’s law. We are free through the love of His son, Jesus the Christ. Things today are out of balance, it is hard to walk in beauty when you can not see the beauty, or respect every living thing. Greed takes from our next generation and our law makers are not wise. Neither are we for we let them do what ever they want to do, leaving us feeling alone, uneasy, frustrated, and helpless. Like a parent who has always tried to meet the demands of their child, hoping that the future will be better for the children. Yet we know that times goes by faster and faster, and if we do not wake up and see what God has provided for us, we are rushing to nowhere. God Bless the U.S.A. and God help this world to find Peace. May our names be written in the lambs book of life, and may we be caretakers of this Earth. The final words of the Bible, found in Revelations say” may the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with God’s people” Amen.  ~Dan Beatty

 

 

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