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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Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Declaration for the 4th of July

A Declaration of Sovereignty
When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one People to define the political and historical relationship which has connected them with another, and to re-assume among the powers of the Earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and Creation entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to make such a clarification.- We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all mankind are created equal, that they are endowed by Creation with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.-- That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among People, deriving their just powers only from the Consent of the Governed,-- That whenever any form of Government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the Right and Obligation of the affected People to alter, abolish or separate from it, and to re-establish themselves, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments and Relationships long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all human experience has shown, that mankind is more disposed to suffer, while injustices are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing that which they have grown accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations pursuing invariably the same Course, evinces a design to reduce Human Beings to a mere resemblance of a proud People under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty to throw off such Governments, and to provide new measures for their security.- Such has been the patient sufferance of entire Generations of the People of the Six Nations; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter what has become of their Relationship to the New York State and United States Governments. The history of the Executives, Legislators and Judges of these Governments is a history of repeated injuries, usurpations and deceit, all having in direct object the unlawful occupation of Native lands and the Eradication of First Nations as Distinct, Autonomous Societies. To prove this, let the Facts be submitted to a candid World.- The Governments of New York State and the United States have combined together and with others to subject our People to a jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution(s) and unacknowledged by our Laws; giving assent to their acts of pretended legislation:--For developing national policies, including Extermination, Removal, Assimilation and Termination, with regard to Native People:-- For directly or indirectly allowing for the unlawful occupation of Native lands and the theft of Natural resources:-- For abrogating their own "Supreme Laws of the Land", altering on every occasion promises made by the United States regarding Territorial Boundaries, Land Use and Sovereignty:-- For attempting to Denationalize us by forcing U.S. Citizenship upon us:-- For abusing our children with a policy of "Kill the Indian, Save the man" through the use residential schools, forever altering generations:-- For cutting off trade with all parts of the World, including in and amongst our own Territories:-- For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:-- For forcing our People into their courts and there by depriving us of a trial by a jury of our peers:-- For imprisoning our People for conduct in our own Territories and claiming such conduct to be crimes against the United States:-- For ignoring our own power to legislate, and declaring themselves invested with the power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever:-- For historically coercing, corrupting and deceiving our Representatives and in many cases appointing our Representatives for us:-- For keeping among us an unwarrantable police presence without the consent and against the will of our People:-- For designing specific military plans for the invasion of our Territories (ala Gallant Piper), including the requisition of body bags and ambulatory services:-- For developing the concept of “Federal Indian Law”, which applies case law from one Native Territory to another completely disregarding the distinct status of our Nations and the Relationships to, not only the United States, but the International Community in general:-- For reducing the obligations made in Treaties to welfare and arbitrary act of charity:-- For adopting policies that encourage Socialism in our Communities and discourage the private sector development of our economies:-- For developing self serving concepts including; Quasi-Sovereign, Domestic Dependent Nations, and Ward- Custodian Relationship, and then treating them as accepted and established law:-- For claiming that the U.S. Constitution vests Congress with plenary powers over the affairs of our Sovereign Nations and that our own Sovereign Powers are subject to the plenary powers of Congress:-- For destroying the natural beauty and integrity of our homelands, contaminating the air, water and soil; destroying the game and vegetation that existed in harmony since time immemorial. Representatives from New York State and the United States have mis-stated history, law and fact for the sole purpose of causing dissention and hostility among their People against our People. The formation of citizens groups calling for the abolishment of all U.S.- Indian Treaties, all Native Land Claims and recognition of our Sovereign Territories has begun. Tension between Native and non-native People in some communities is at a modern day high. By and large the Good People of New York State and the United States have remained our friends. Together with People from around the World they support our efforts and continue to recognize our Sovereignty. Our presence alone, however, is not a strong enough reminder of our history. We must, therefore, promulgate our position, our standing, our autonomy and, in the oldest of ways, offer to clean the eyes of those who cannot see injustice, clean the ears of those who cannot hear the appeals of others and clear the throats of those who cannot speak the truth.
We, therefore, the People of the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Tuscarora and Seneca Nations, appealing to the People of the Earth, Declare, that we are of right and, indeed, have always been a Sovereign People. We reject any assumption of subjugation, including any misconception regarding our Citizenship. We are and always have been the People that constitute our respective Nations and claim no other. We define our Sovereignty as the Right or Power to have Independent Authority not affiliated with other controlling entities. We affirm our Relationship to the United States and to the rest of the World as defined in the “Two Row Wampum” and disclaim and/or dissolve any political connection to anyone that supports behavior contrary to Mutual Respect, Non-interference and not conducive to a Peaceful and Prosperous journey on the River of Life.

July 4, 2010
This appears as the centerfold for the July issue of Making A Visible Impact Magazine

1 comment:

NuLiForm said...

John, this is the Best write i have read in a very long time, and i am in 101% agreement with every word.
Ayea, it is precisly as i thought it was, this Sovereignty.....and a far cry from what it is being recognised as, by most people everywhere...indeed they have become too accustomed to living, ie surviving, under their captors delusional illusions. The Responsibility to reject any existing governemnt if it fails the people, is written right into their declaration, but is unknown, or ignored, by the majority of americans..Thus, the americans are as captive as we, though this blithly ignorant majority do not see it. i call it the guilded cage syndrome. Several years ago i was asked to help organise a great protest, the largest ever in this country, that would surround the white house..the idea was to form into an actual rebellion without warning, over run the gates and dispose of the incompetent incumbants, physically if necessary, very much like what was done in Venezuela..ther military and police assured us they would not act against us but would stand down..and all was set to go, until the film crews got there..then a woman who loved the spotlight, a cindy shehan, once in front of the cameras, chose to change the game plan, and it all fell apart...as a whole, they are conditioned to accept and deeply fear Making the change they ask for....as have become many of our own peoples...but, once again we see there is a growing awareness..and a newfound growing determination amongst our peoples, to break away from the unreal world and become who we really are...it is mi belief the recent horrific events in Canada have helped to catalise even a noticable percent of the fence sitters.......the united states government, and, every one of it's trickle down governments, are all guilty of every crime conceivable perpetrated upon our peoples, to this very day, and by their own words, extending into the foreseeable future...Bottom line is: native peoples are not granted the same civil rights supposedly inherent to the european population, and yet, unwanted citizenship of this hostile usa nation is forced upon us...denegating our Sovereinty to nothing more than an empty symbolic gesture on paper..a paper formality which they file away and forget, never intending to honour a word of any of them....it is mi belief that we are running out of time to rectify the situation ...i hear their bulldozers rumbeling on the horizon
..in description of ourselves..i too prefer the words The People to nation, as nation indicates Country in this current lexicon..true, the gap between meaning of words is chasm wide between the languages..when using their (usa) sense we are conceeding a part of ourselves by allowing their inadequate words to define us..*imho*