This land does not belong to us. It is not ours. We don’t know the stories here. Our ignorant bliss offends and desecrates. We remain an enemy to all life. This is a hard understanding because it asks us to stop and consider how blindly we walk on stolen land that is not ours. We […]
Kulturelle Aneignung und koloniale Gewalt at Missy Magazine, an article by Noa Ha, on which I was consulted for comments on examples in contemporary German society. The article is in German. Art © Moshtari Hilal.
“Über „Cultural Appropriation“ kann nicht debattiert werden, ohne über koloniale Kontinuitäten zu sprechen.”
Allies. Supporters. Friends. When all the aforementioned, by whatever description, bring additional issues too many don’t want to address, let alone admit. So what can be done, especially from an indigenous perspective? It is a critical time of critical need, of native revitalization and resurgence, when internal or external forces must not hold entire movements back. Ultimately, they will not, I believe, but I also feel, like so many others, these problems must be solved right now before they continue or allowed to grow further. Mistakes of the past must not be repeated. Allowances, excuses or generosity rewarded with treachery.
Originally posted on Warrior Publications: Conspiracy At Fort Michilimackinac, by Robert Griffing. by Zig Zag, Warrior Publications, December 22, 2016 Ally: to unite or form a connection or relation between… to form or enter into an alliance (two factions allying with each other). Merriam-Webster Dictionary There’s been some discussion over the last couple of years…
I’m currently finishing Spirits of Blood, Spirits of Breath by Barbara Alice Mann, which was published in 2016 by Oxford University Press. While it has many, many, many truths the majority of the non-native world, academicians, scholars, so-called experts and others have overlooked, ignored or missed, there is some which some natives don’t or only minimally know, also. Not excluding myself from some of that reality either. Much of it I was aware of or had learned on some level, but some, not in depth at all.
Yet for this post in particular, and considering the situation at the camps at Standing Rock who remain determined in the face of what others might see as overwhelming odds, the challenges of interpretation of native motives has always been an issue since Europeans first invaded. Misinterpretation is the more apt word, but the interpretations and labels placed on natives and native behavior, beliefs or traditions, especially by self-termed allies or “friends” has been problematic, arguably even as much as outright mendacity. It can all serve the same purpose in the end.
“The dangers of native enthusiasm and interpretation in translation of native concepts by non-natives (sometimes with natives facilitating this) has led to some of the greatest massacres and aggressive response by the USA military. Wounded Knee was a response to interpretation and sensationalization by those who returned from a Ghost Dance (Wovoka, Paiute). While (textbook) history does say the US feared the Ghost Dance Movement, they only knew more about it as scholars interpreted it as a “Messianic” movement and military deployed to kill.”
Similarly, the dangers of fabrications, lies and sensationalization such as we’ve seen at Standing Rock, the fearmongering, rumors and gossips on both sides of the DAPL issue has been the cause of much unrest, trauma and turmoil, even if one side may consider themselves pro-Standing Rock. It can be seen to serve the same purpose of villification and reduction in the eyes of the “corrupted” law, especially as arrested and arraigned water protectors are now facing trials.
“The myth these scholars started was that Wovoka wished to replace Jesus with himself, which was nothing of the sort. And these things were written by enthusiasts/experts on “Indians”, even making themselves spokesmen, to detrimental, deadly effect even while they were making a name for themselves who, since they got the natives killed, had no or few to gainsay. “Friend” of the people. Why are natives so wary? This is why.”
Barbara Alice Mann goes on to debunk the origin of the Bering Strait theory using their own reasoning, the myth that natives were all fighting each other anyway, that they were sworn enemies, the reality of how missionary Christianity and Catholicism were the main components of native genocide and ethnocide, particularly deadly to sacred ones such as medicine people, women’s societies and two-spirits (using the modern intertribal term). Full review coming soon for NAIS, Native American Indigenous Studies Association.
I classify this an essential read for Native American/Indigenous Students students, natives and non-natives alike, but particularly for anyone who believes any of the myths about the original peoples of Turtle Island. Some of which they likely do not realize as such, and have accepted as fact. This book is classified widely as one pertaining to religion, but that’s again an interpretation of non-natives. Spirituality is inseparable from traditional native life, cultures and traditions. So this is about NATIVES, past and present. Simply that.
To learn much more about “U.S. Colonial Policies Impacting Indigenous Spirituality & Sacred Sites”, because yes, ethnocide & genocide of the original peoples of Turtle Island is still ongoing, please visit Indigenous Action Media.
Last week I was contacted by a representative from AlJazeera English, to give my response to a few questions about mainstream media’s minimal coverage of the largest “protest” in modern American history, and what kind of issue it was: Native only? Environmental? The resulting report was published on Dec. 10, 2016 at the Al Jazeera website and also the video on YouTube.
1. The Dakota pipeline protest has been reported as the longest-running protest in modern American history, and yet from October 26 through November 3 the US mainstream cable networks spent less than an hour covering the demonstrations and violent law enforcement response. Why hasn’t the issue received the coverage many feel it deserves?
2. The Dakota pipeline has been depicted as a Native America issue, “their” issue, rather than an issue that could affect millions of Americans on the Missouri River. What have the last few months told us about how the media cover Native Americans?
3. What about the environment? Do the mainstream media simply not care about major environmental stories?
(though it was edited to some seconds):
“Even as a baseball team with a native mascot, a stereotype, said to honor natives was cheered, mostly white militarized police were attacking real natives over oil, while local media stirred hatred and mainstream ignored it.
Anything most white Americans don’t think affects them personally, they minimize or ignore. In particular, if forced to look at the original peoples of Turtle Island, the conditions many live in because of European invasion and centuries of abuse just like we’re seeing at Standing Rock: it’s the natives own fault. Never theirs, even though everything they have is based on their proficiency as liars, thieves and killers, as Simon Ortiz recently said.
The majority of police, prosecutors, judges, the media heads are all white. In society and in news, they don’t want anything or anyone threatening that status quo or that highlights the vast inequity, injustice and racism of the USA. The indigenous led movement at Standing Rock is doing that.”