Believe What You Like But Know What You Must

People are free to be consumed with contemplating their existence, their origins, the origins of the universe, supreme beings, controllers of destiny or anything else. But solving "the Great Mystery" is neither a requirement of being Ohnkwe Ohnwe nor does it provide a path to righteousness. I maintain that spirituality does not require faith or the leaps that faith requires but rather awareness. If it helps to believe that "God has a plan" and we just must have faith that "He" knows what "He" is doing, then walk that path. My interest is in taking the mystery out of life by pointing to the obvious that is ignored everyday in the midst of fanatical ideology and the sometimes not too subtle influences of promoting beliefs over knowledge. I have said it before: “beliefs are what you are told, knowledge is what you experience”. I support a culture that prepares us to receive knowledge and to live a life with purpose. I am certainly not suggesting there is only one way to do that.

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Shockwaves or Ripples?

With no TV crews or armed conflict, no protest rally or demonstration and no court room drama or billion dollar development plan the Kanienkehaka are rattling the Establishment. For those of you that have read my posts, affectionately referred to as "Land Claims; Mohawk Style" and thought it was kinda cool or some what interesting, let me put it in its proper perspective. The powers that be are freaking out. The US Department of Justice sent their ace mediator from their enigmatic Community Relations Service to try to do an assessment of the "conflict". Now most of us don't just suspect, but know the State, feds and even an occasional overly zealous city agency has sent their agents into our communities to keep an eye on us. Hell, we know that all too often "tribal leaders" call them in and even assist them. But rarely do the feds sideline their gun-toting, badge-wearing, warrant-waving tough guys from their undercover("Oh, We're here for some other reason") work, sneaking around asking elusive questions, identifying the bad guys and planning their assaults. Those of us who have been around long enough, have seen it before (we remember their last guy, Fletcher Graves), but we still know it is not their normal procedure. The new guy, Renaldo Rivera, like Graves is a man of color(Graves was black, Rivera is Puerto Rican). His demeanor is even more humble than the last guy and works very hard to endear himself to us. His stature and presence does not command respect but rather he asks very politely for it. So why is he here? He claims that a potential conflict is brewing over the land reclaimed by the Kanienkehaka Kanohnsesne and that the conflict is borne out of the fact that no one wants to touch this, at least not directly.
So in comes this meek and humble buffer.
We know the Mohawk Nation Council has weighed in on the issue as has Joe Heath which means Onondaga has as well. we know they have read the posts here on Native Pride. The Saint Regis Tribal Council is scrambling as evidenced by its pathetic planned civil action mentioned in the previous post. The County, the sheriffs, the clerks, the courts, the lawyers; no one knows quite what to do? This is the last thing Albany or Washington wants to deal with now or anytime. There is too much wrong with this mess and the only ones that are right are the Kanienkehaka.
But aren't those the guys the Warriors? We can't let them be right. They are the Bad Indians. Grand Council said so. The first thing those guys did when they took the land back was fly that flag. What if they mess up land claims? Think of the money that could be lost. What if they take over more? Could this screw up gaming? What about our precious Monticello? Hey! don't forget about me. I'm the white guy who was hoping to sell that land and make several million dollars. Sorry dude! you are the last thing any of us are worried about. Joe, you better figure something out. You haven't been paid all these years by Oren Lyons to have all the propaganda we have put out against these guy squandered by this. Our Handsome Lake Longhouse is barely hanging on to any relevance here in Akwesasne. We can't let that other Longhouse push us further into obscurity. That's it! Let's call the Feds. We will all look the other way while they drag our people around and remove them from this land. We will blame this all on the Warriors and tell everyone, that will listen, what a set back this has been and how much money it has cost us. It has always worked in the past; why not now?
Wait a minute! This isn't what we meant when we said send in the feds. We don't want a guy whose strength is determining where the real leadership lies in a community (unless it is part of a plan to take them out). We don't want a guy to slow this process down and reduce provocations (unless it is only a ploy to lull them into a false sense of security). We want action. Smear them with guns, or drugs or even gaming might work again. But don't let them look good just because they are right. The Kanienkehaka Kanohnsesne has already made the rest of us look bad on border issues and policing issues. Now we all look completely incompetent on land issues especially with the SRMT paying property taxes on the the land purchased in Akwesasne from a native person and the deafening silence that followed. Mr. Rivera, you better have a plan. Those of us across these native communities that have fallen in lock step with everything the state and federal governments have ever asked of us did not turn our backs on our people and everything we believe in so these guys that really believe they are sovereign can look like heroes. Hurry up and do something so we can resume our positions as token Indians and get back to posing for National Geographic and pretending to be successful, wise and "traditional".
Rivera claims to be keeping the peace. He also tell us much of what we want to hear; the land is ours, we are right, he relates to us, we have the system upset and that he respects and would never do anything to dishonor us or our Longhouse. We'll see.

2 comments:

ohnkwe ohnwe said...

If the Saint Regis Tribal Council does end up suing the State for this land, do you think anyone will care? Well, it won't have the effect that the Men are having by physically taking their land back. The State and feds will love to have Indians in their court again.

It isn't just a matter of home court advantage. They must chuckle at the dumb Indians for showing up for battle with no weapons. Isn't it cute? Those darlings actually think they are going to come into our arena, wrestle control of our laws and beat us with them. Maybe they'll even use one of those silly little treaties we got some of their people to sign before they knew any better. Those morons actually call them "Indian treaties"; like any of them had anything to do with writing them. As if any of them could read or write. Isn't it great that we can kick their asses with lawyers and judges instead of actually having to ever face them?

Sorry judge. Not this time. We don't need another white man in a black robe thinking he can screw our children again. Your missionaries did it, your priests in the residential schools did it and you judges have been doing it for years. Let's see what you've got when you have to send your boys into our land and face our Men. You'll need more then a pen this time.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Joe Heath! What are you going to do now that Jan's is deep s**t? You can't leave Darwin out there to try to fix this; He's a moron. Of course, you know that. You and the Onondagas have been playing the Tonawandas for the fools they are for a long time. I guess you will have to push them off a cliff like you have to anyone else that has ever tried to bring an economy to our lands. I'll bet you thought you had a deal with the feds. That they would only go after the ones you fingered. I suppose people will finally realize the Moron that you are too.