I mourn the loss of my specific tribal heritage due to my biological family being assimilated into Christianity, the shame that religion put into them, which caused them to lose their tribal heritage – thus mine.
photo credit: Aaron Huey
I mourn the loss of Matriarchal Societies due to the sexist, male dominated invaders.
…in the often fractious discussions of the extent of Native American contributions to modern Euro – American culture, the glaring omission of women continues almost utterly unaddressed…Worse, from the European perspective, was the level of political clout wielded by woodlands women. The sixteenth – century Spaniards in La Florida (the whole American southwest) were nonplussed by matrilineage and the cacicas (female chiefs) with whom they were forced to deal…Spanish frustration was not a little focused on Guale females, who undermined patriarchal tampering with Guale culture…In 1724, the Jesuit missionary Joseph Francois Lafitau recorded in astonishment that Haudenosaunee women were “the souls of the councils…” Judicial affairs so entirely belonged to women that any woodlands man who wished to become a jurist or a negotiator had first to have been “made a woman” in order to be qualified for the job…
I mourn the incomprehensible loss of lives due to the smallpox infected blankets.
I mourn the incomprehensible loss of lives due to each tribe’s
Trail Of Tears. I grieve the incomprehensible loss of life and culture that made this world a better place: those tribes who tried surviving by moving peacefully during forced removal, and those who tried surviving by fighting.
Address to the Cherokee Nation
“Cherokees! The President of the United States has sent me with a powerful army, to cause you, in obedience to the treaty of 1835 [the Treaty of New Echota], to join that part of your people who have already established in prosperity on the other side of the Mississippi. Unhappily, the two years which were allowed for the purpose, you have suffered to pass away without following, and without making any preparation to follow; and now, or by the time that this solemn address shall reach your distant settlements, the emigration must be commenced in haste, but I hope without disorder.
Unemployment at 80%. Fifteen people per home. Life expectancy rates of 50 years. The third world? Not hardly. Try South Dakota.
I mourn the incomprehensible loss of language and culture from the Indian Boarding Schools.
I mourn the loss of Indian Territory, which became Oklahoma; since, there would have been many more indigenous languages thriving and American Indian children would be educated about their culture and history. Also, I mourn the continuation of
I mourn the loss of the generations that were lost, due to the genocide from the Forced Sterilizations of Indigenous Women.
I mourn the loss of the buffalo, which have been intentionally slaughtered in Montana.
I mourn the suffering that my relatives the Navajo had to endure, being forcefully removed from Big Mountain.
This is the first time the U.S. is being formally investigated by the United Nations for violations of the right to freedom of religion or belief.
I mourn the loss of our youth, who have committed suicide to the point of it having been a state of emergency.
And, I mourn being in a culture that overall is still racist, using the dehumanizing term Redskins.
Rudy Ryser says the total Indian hate group list now has more than 50 organizations on it. They claim to have 500,000 members, but Ryser puts their active membership at 10,850. The number of people who give money or write support letters he puts at 34,150, which is a potential force. They are still trying to eliminate reservations, outlaw tribal governments, and declare an end to the “Indian problem.”
These hate groups will be the next wave of people who will try to terminate all Indian treaties. It has happened before, and it will happen again.
I mourn what would have been, had the predators never came.
…Even before the Pilgrims landed it was common practice for explorers to capture Indians, take them to Europe and sell them as slaves for 220 shillings apiece. The Pilgrims had hardly explored the shores of Cape Cod for four days before they had robbed the graves of my ancestors and stolen their corn and beans.
Mourt’s Relation describes a searching party of sixteen men. Mourt goes on to say that this party took as much of the Indians’ winter provisions as they were able to carry.
Massasoit, the great Sachem of the Wampanoag, knew these facts, yet he and his People welcomed and befriended the settlers of the Plymouth Plantation. Perhaps he did this because his Tribe had been depleted by an epidemic. Or his knowledge of the harsh oncoming winter was the reason for his peaceful acceptance of these acts. This action by Massasoit was perhaps our biggest mistake. We, the Wampanoag, welcomed you, the white man, with open arms, little knowing that it was the beginning of the end; that before 50 years were to pass, the Wampanoag would no longer be a free people.
What happened in those short 50 years? What has happened in the last 300 years? History gives us facts and there were atrocities; there were broken promises – and most of these centered around land ownership. Among ourselves we understood that there were boundaries, but never before had we had to deal with fences and stone walls. But the white man had a need to prove his worth by the amount of land that he owned. Only ten years later, when the Puritans came, they treated the Wampanoag with even less kindness in converting the souls of the so-called “savages.” Although the Puritans were harsh to members of their own society, the Indian was pressed between stone slabs and hanged as quickly as any other “witch…”
We do not mean you and your christian children any bad, but you all came to take all we had we have not seen you but we have heard so much it is time for you to decide what life is worth we already remember but maybe you forgot.
Look at us, look at us, we are of Earth and Water
Look at them, it is the same
Look at us, we are suffering all these years
Look at them, they are connected.
Look at us, we are in pain
Look at them, surprised at our anger
Look at us, we are struggling to survive
Look at them, expecting sorrow be benign
Look at us, we were the ones called pagan
Look at them, on their arrival
Look at us, we are called subversive
Look at them, descending from name callers
Look at us, we wept sadly in the long dark
Look at them, hiding in tech no logic light
Look at us, we buried the generations
Look at them, inventing the body count
Look at us, we are older than America
Look at them, chasing a fountain of youth
Look at us, we are embracing Earth
Look at them, clutching today
Look at us, we are living in the generations
Look at them, existing in jobs and debts
Look at us, we have escaped many times
Look at them, they cannot remember
Look at us, we are healing
Look at them, their medicine is patented
Look at us, we are trying
Look at them, what are they doing
Look at us, we are children of Earth
Look at them, who are they?
As difficult as it may be for non – Indians to realize the corruption of American Institutions, such as universities, or to recognize the hypnotic effect of propaganda and hegemony, it may be far more difficult for them to mitigate the shadow side of their own cultural histories. In this chapter a non – Indian (David Gabbard) scholar stresses how vital it is to do so nonetheless, for until a true realization occurs, the United States of America will likely continue its similar intrusions of colonialism in other parts of the world and on other people. He points out that for this realization to take place, we must recognize First Nations scholarship as a set of practices aimed at helping everyone remember themselves and that efforts to discredit that scholarship and the worldviews that it attempts to recover can keep us in a cycle of genocide that will ultimately consume us.