Wise words from, and for our nation, from an anonymous Elder regarding:
Yuwitaya Lakota Dakota Nakota Nation
“Coyote is alive and “well”. Yet, it is a false prophet who tells Indian people it is a “false hope” to hope for others to act in an honorable way. When we lose our hope, life is intolerable and we commit suicide. Long live the Oyate. Long live the Black Hills.”
Sequoiyah taught, as part of his leadership training, that if you have a roomful of ten men and you know one of them is a liar, treat all ten of them as though they were honest men. That way, you have not offended the nine who are honest men, “and the one who is a liar, well, you may win him over.” Winning them over, is what establishing a Nation is all about.
For something as important as the reestablishment of a Nation, dignity and honor and respect must prevail. Professional, formal, diplomatic behavior is called for. Accuracy and thoroughness are essential ingredients for the establishment and maintaining of a Nation, capable of interacting, in a good way with other nations. Every response needs to be examined thoroughly and weighed carefully remembering that in the Indian way of perceiving there are seven sides to every issue. Presenting a different way of seeing an issue is not an argument. It is merely talking things over in a rational way, an essential step in diplomacy. Rational behavior is an appropriate style for conducting the business of a nation. Only after everyone has been heard and understood can there be unity. Forced unity is not unity. It is fascism.
OPPRESSED, NOT DYING
Indian nations are oppressed, not dying. Focusing on dying does several things. It redirects the guilt away from the Congress of the United States. It blames the victim, and it establishes a self-fulfilling prophecy for the death of all Indian nations. Naming the “dying” gives it power and draws it to you, better name the “health” so we can make ore of it. Balance and Harmony are expressions of health. So is creativity. We can design our communities to maximize the creativity of our people and we will be creating health as well. The stimulation of creativity among our people has become an issue, since many Indians believe that all people are born creative, while whites believe only the elite are creative.
The United States is projecting it’s own dying democracy onto the Indian Nations. Power corrupts and the power of the CIA has corrupted totally, making President Bush our first totalitarian President. The fundamental belief in any democracy is the belief in the power of the grass roots people to make the right decision. To the degree that there is racism and sexism, that belief is shaken. If Indian people do not get their Treaty lands back it could be because of the racism and sexism of the Indian leadership. Many non-Indians, including many women, are ready to risk their lives for the Lakota, but the Lakota sneer and snarl at them. This must stop. If we are going to get the Black Hills back we must seek the help of these sincere men and women of character who wish to see their government act honorably towards Indians.
Elders have known for a long tie that renegotiation of the 1868 Treaty means selling the Black Hills. Any renegotiation of any Treaty means making a new Treaty. Making a new Treaty means losing the Black Hills forever. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying to you. Congress acted in a genocidal way when it ceased to regard the Lakota as a Nation. Genocide was forbidden by the Law of Nations which was incorporated into the Constitution of the United States, by reference. Therefore all increments of Institutionalized Genocide, including the one which ceased to recognize the Lakota as a Nation, could be unconstitutional. This avenue of redress of grievance deserves as much attention as the international avenue. Appealing to the masses of U.S. citizens on this issue may be more fruitful than appealing through the courts.
Once U.S. citizens recognize this issue, they could rise up, as they did during the movement to stop the war in Viet Na, and say to their government, “No!” I will no longer allow you to commit Institutionalized genocide, in my name, against these people.” Many non-Indians I have spoken to believe this strategy could be successful. Non-Indians in other parts of the U.S.A. are not like the non-Indian racists in South Dakota. This is a truth which needs to be taken into consideration by elders in their decision making process.
There is a history of non-violence political action in this country. From the Shakers and Friends, to “Walden’s Pond” which Ghandi read while in prison in India, to Martin Luther King who studied Ghandi’s life, to the non-violent peaceful war protests over the war in Viet Nam, non-violent resistance has been recognized in this country as a just and superior response to violent oppression. Non-violence could be a very useful tool in getting the Black Hills back. Many non-Indians are ready to put their bodies on the line, in a non-violent confrontation to get the Black Hills back. I am seeing 150,000 non-Indians, peacefully placing their bodies between the Indians and the tanks and the National Guard, while Indians reclaim the Black Hills. This is how the Philippine revolution was waged. Face the truth. No amount of violent resistance can ever overthrow the violent militaristic unbalance which exists in the United States. To even presume that such a thing is possible tests the bounds of reason. Yet, 150,000 non-violent resistors could change the course of history by demanding with their presence, the honoring of Treaty rights and the restoration of honor to the United States by the returning of the Black Hills. This is the way I have seen it. This is the way it could be done.
This needs to be a prayer vigil, not a demonstration. If you call it a demonstration you authorize all kinds of violence to be used against you. The police are authorized to call in SWAT teams against you and even to kill you. If they don’t kill you, they are authorized to put you into forensic prisons which will brain-wash you into a vegetable. These prisons are being built now. Many of them are completed. Militant demonstrations will put our people at the mercy of forensic psychiatry which has only one purpose, political conformity at any price. On the other hand, if we stand up for our spiritual right to be treated in a just and equal manner by using non-violence as a tool, indeed, as a “weapon”, then the government cannot legally do anything to us. “Friends” could be the very ones paid by the government to prevent Lakota from ever regaining their Treaty Rights.
We can invite U.N. observers to “watch-dog” the United States government and the state of South Dakota to prevent another massacre. It is possible to do these things, indeed, I believe it is our responsibility to do these things in this way in order for our people to survive. Remember, it is not when Lakota have lost a military victory that Lakota have been massacred, it was after Lakota won a military victory that Lakota were massacred. We could expect the same thing to happen again if we go the way of terrorism and violence. The U.S. will always be the winner in a competition of terrorism and violence. Better not to play their game but to play one of our own, non-violent resistance to oppression and dehumanization. By this, Lakota can gain the respect and alliances of nations around the world. Do not think that this is a weak way to resist. This is the way of our warriors who preferred to “count coupe” to killing. They were the bravest.
Under the Hemispheric Initiative article, the statement is made that “…through liberation struggles we secured the right to self-determination and sovereignty by treaty agreement.” This sovereignty which was theirs by Aboriginal Rights guaranteed by the Law of Nations (a book) which was incorporated into the U.S.A. Constitution, by reference. As mentioned before there was no Conquest Law in the U.S.A. Constitution. This was supposed to be an improvement over European constitutions. So it would have been difficult, if not impossible, for Indian people to secure their self-determination by a liberation struggle.
Unfortunately, declaring independence doesn’t make it so. The desire to be independent is commendable, but it would be more commendable if Indians could start living off the land. If you can’t feed your people a healthy diet you are not independent. The truth is that no one is going to take you seriously unless you know how to grow food, hunt, fish and build your own shelter, and the use of the Sweat Lodge to keep your family healthy. The “warrior” who abandons an encampment because he has run out of canned goods and doesn’t like to haul his water had better stay in the city and keep out of the way. He is not good to Indians on the land. It is often said that in case of a national or natural disaster, the urban people will parish because they don’t know how to live off the land, while rural Indians will be the ones who will survive.
The ability to live off the land and Sovereignty are closely related. Independence is more than an empty word and it hasn’t happened yet. Survival camps which could teach people basic survival skills are desperately needed. When more people know how to survive on the land [in harmony with the land – not destroying it in the process as the dominant culture is prone to do – webmasters’ note] then one can make a theatrical gesture such as a Declaration of Independence. Until then, it only makes the people who made the announcement look foolish. The Independence we need is physical independence, not rhetorical independence.
Citizenship in the U.S. is our license to resist unjust laws in the U.S.. Giving up our U.S. citizenship cancels our right to stand up for what we believe in the U.S.A.
The urban style is the style of Europe. The rural style is the style of North American Indians. Geography and climate have a lot to do with that. Striving for “jobs” will destroy the quality of air and water if heavy industry is brought in. This is a known fact and not just my idea. If I had my way I would put a moratorium on all mining in the Black Hills until the water shortage is over. I would also like to see a stop put to the exporting of South Dakota assets from mining. Foreign mining companies should not be allowed to export these assets when the controversy is between white and red people in the South Dakota region. Light industry, while more acceptable for the environment, is still not the answer for everyone when population is spread out so much and when the climate is so severe that the gas line in one’s car freezes up during the cold winter months. Cottage industry, by family or extended family, is a far more logical way to secure an income if a money economy seems desirable to one. A Cottage industry could use a grandmother’s skills in the area of food and clothing, beadwork, etc. Dealing with foreign countries for trade exports will also enhance the Sovereignty status, since “…an ability to enter into relations with other states (nations)…” is a requirement for the recognition of Sovereignty.
One would not think that a little word like “the” could change the meaning entirely of a misquotation, yet such is the case on page 5 in the Hemispheric Initiative article. Please let me remind you that the word “state” in diplomatic or international language mean Nation. The misquote is “However the indigenous peoples of the Western Hemisphere meet the United Nations’ own definition of sovereignty as a permanent population, a defined territory, government, language, cultures’ capacity to enter into relations with the other states…” This leads one to believe that entering into relations with the state of South Dakota would prove that the Lakota Nation is Sovereign. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Sovereign means that the Lakota Nation is equal to other Nations and needs to enter into relations with those nations. When a delegation went to Iraq this was an example of entering into relations with another nation. Meeting with South Dakota on any issue has no meaning in this context since South Dakota is not a nation, nor was it a nation or a state when the original 1868 Treaty was signed, so according to the U.S.A. Constitution and the Bill of Rights it is morally wrong for South Dakota to have been given jurisdiction over Indian monies by a welfare bill in 1985. A change in stewardship is illegal without concurrence by both of the original contracting parties, the Executive Branch of the U.S. Government and the Lakota nation. The so called “correction” of that injustice is another increment in Institutionalized Genocide which gives the State of South Dakota jurisdiction over Indian assets. This is a blatant conflict of interest situation.
No legislator, judge or public official of a state which has confiscated Indian assets should be allowed to make decisions concerning Indian assets. It is immoral of them to do so. Every crime of Conflict of Interest is a white collar crime which is only invisible to those who are blinded by their own racist perception. Whenever I have explained this to a non-Indian from outside of the state of South Dakota, they have easily recognized that this is true. This issue is an important part of the non-Indian ethics and value system and it is important to use it to our advantage. Presuming that the non-Indian has no values is a wrong idea. Appealing to the non-Indian on the basis of his values could be more successful than appealing to him/her on the basis of our traditional values. [webmasters’ note: however it is our hope that through this web site we may educate non-Indians as to the value and practicality of traditional Lakota values, and if successful, this could work to bring even greater understanding and harmony both to ourselves and non-Indians, as well as benefit all our relations.]
In the article on Hemispheric Initiative I question the definition of Traditional because it is stated in negative terms: “those who feel the effects of neo-colonialism and the suffering that inevitable follows.” Colonialism has injured our people in every possible way including spiritual colonialism which is primarily responsible for dividing the people. The missionaries lied because the white value system told them “all’s fair in love and war” and they have been at war with our value system and with the traditionals who practice it for 500 years.
They lied about our beliefs and called them witch-craft or devil worship and they are still lying. Christian Indians are in the same state of denial of this fact that alcoholics are in when they are unwilling to admit they are alcoholics. Until Christian Indians deal with this fact they will continue to abuse the traditional people under the guise of “progress”. We cannot have unity while Christian Indians hate everything about us that is traditional and fear a natural Indian. [or, even worse, attempt to dilute and thus successfully negate the power of traditional beliefs by blending and mixing them with Christian beliefs and practices. To do so tends to cancel out their power and effect in honoring all our kinship relationships. Also by attempting to blend and mix traditional ceremony and ways of life Christianity tends to put our traditional beliefs and practices more into a class as “interesting” cultural “customs” (not unlike the “belief” in Santa Clause), rather than recognizing our traditional life-ways and truly healing ceremonies as effective peace, balance, and abundance generating ways of life that were successfully and harmoniously practiced among our people for centuries in good relationship with ourselves, diplomatically with other nations, and with all our relations in the natural world].
They have learned prejudice against those of us who are traditional minded. They have learned it from the contamination of our values of the White Male Supremacy System. This system devalued our Grandmothers who always taught our culture to the young. Missionaries branded the sayings of the Grandmothers which preserved the order in the community as superstitions.
White men still do not understand that it is the sayings of the Grandmothers which preserve the order. It is the belief in the “inferiority” of women by the white man who came here, missionaries, traders, teachers, all of them, who destroyed the order by devaluing the wisdom of our women. This is the greatest disaster of spiritual colonialism.
Thus, Grandmothers were thereafter taught to be “good girls” who never voiced an opinion over men and were to be seen ad not heard. This attempt to make the Grandmothers disempowered has hurt the whole Nation more than any other single colonial shaft. When the grandmothers held back teachings the old sayings to the young, many of the young failed to learn the difference between right and wrong [truth and lies].
RELIGION AND THE BLACK HILLS
When California Indians lost their case against the “Go Road”, it was because the judge said that California Indians had failed to prove that the sacred land they were attempting to defend was “central and indispensable” to their religion.
In order for Lakota to regain control of the Black Hills we can expect that Lakota will be asked to prove that the Black Hills are “central and indispensable” to the Lakota religion. Clearly, this does not apply to Christianity.
So, when the Indian leadership says that Christianity and Lakota religion are the same thing that leadership is lying to the people. Worse than lying, when Indian leadership says Christianity and Lakota religion is the same thing that leadership is perpetrating a crime; at the very least the crime of “collusion”, at the most the crime of “conspiracy”. This crime is designed to deny the Indian his constitutional right to the Black Hills. Fraud is also a crime. It is a historical fraud based on a racist perception to declare that Lakota religion is Christianity. This perception denies the reality and the value of the history and culture of the Lakota people [yet another way they assimilate and destroy us as a nation]. It also depends on the presumption of the myth of “progress” as reality and the myth of “manifest destiny”, both colonial and racist presumptions.
In my opinion this is an example of an increment in Institutionalized Genocide, perpetrated by Christians to deny the traditional Indian his/her constitutional right to the Black Hills. The institution referred to is the body of unjust racist laws and regulations which govern Indians under the dominant culture. Advocating the giving up of the dual citizenship status of the Indian it further weakens the case for Sovereignty. Majority rule does not apply here. Unfortunately majority rule in the United States has always been associated with oppression of the minority. When urban Indians, mostly Christians, maintain their right to majority rule in decision making about traditional Indian rural and religious values, they are allowing themselves to be used as tools of colonial oppression.
My experience leads me to believe that this colonial oppression has it’s genesis in the Pentagon. In 1952 I was working for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Joint Communications-Electronics Committee, in the Pentagon, in Washington, D.C. Here I learned that sitting on the ADHOC POLICY COMMITTEE was the head of the Catholic Church and the head of the Jewish Synagogues in this country. There were no other religions represented, no minorities, and no women.
I was told that the reason they called it the “ADHOC” POLICY COMMITTEE was that they could immediately disband it should Congress find out about it’s existence. The very existence of this unconstitutional committee denies the principle of the separation of Church and State. It is also significant that there were no other religions represented on this committee, no minorities and no women. So they were also denying the principle of equal representation to all other religious bodies in the U.S.. They were also denying the right of the President to set policy. I was also told by one of the highest ranking officers that many of the security measures practiced by the military were designed to keep secrets from Congress rather than from foreign enemies. These military men considered Congress a greater threat to them than the Russians were. I was led to believe when I left the employ of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, that I could be imprisoned or killed if I ever revealed what I learned while working there.
Urban Indians don’t cherish the Black Hills in the same way that traditionals and traditional-minded people cherish the Black Hills. This is because most urban Indians are Christians and so the return of the Black Hills is not central indispensable to their religion in the way that it is central and indispensable to a traditional Sun Dancer’s spiritual way (religion). I have been told by at least one Indian Christian Grandmother that people of all colors in her church are her people now, not the Indians on the Reservation. [the loss of kinship relationship understanding and respect is key to traditional spiritual Lakota ways, and though we do not discriminate against anyone due to race, color, gender, nationality, we hold a special fondness and spiritual devotedness to our close kinship relationships].
Such a person is only Indian by race while a traditional-minded Lakota in Indian with their whole heart. If the above attitude is prevalent among Christian Indians then they must not be allowed to lead the “fight” to regain the Black Hills because they have a conflict of interest if they do so. Conflict of Interest is immoral. It is also a crime, so is Conversion of Assets.
[webmasters’ note: This conflict of interest shows up quickly in that Christian Indians are quick to show disrespect, use force of arms, use foul language, lie, and practice other dishonorable and abominable practices condoned and/or overlooked by Christian thinking, but condemned, un heard of and embarrassing to traditional spiritual Lakota. A true example of this now in the history books was demonstrated by the violent takeover of Wounded Knee by urban Indians, whereby the life and property of peaceful traditional Indians and others was taken by force, and to date no compensation for those losses has ever been made to the people or village of Wounded Knee by those urban Indians or those associated with them, many of whom who went on to make a big name for themselves , all in the “name” of “Lakota” ].
If the Sovereignty Committee is deliberately designing their strategy to redistribute Lakota assets to the state of South Dakota because the leadership is urban and Christian, then we could be witnessing as many as four crimes, not just the two mentioned above. We could be witnessing the crimes of:
1. Conflict of Interest
2. Conversion of Assets
4. Collusion (and/or conspiracy)
Fraud is what Coyote is famous for. To “coyote” someone is the opposite of traditional spiritual Indian ethics and values and it is therefore morally wrong. It also puts the victim in the ole of slave to the coyote since the victim does not have truthful information upon which to base an informed decision. The White mans’ belief that coyote was used by Indians as a model for behavior, instead of as a joke, is a belief rooted in racial prejudice.
“Natural” to a person schooled in Christianity means “in a state of original sin” and therefore bad, or inferior. Using the term “natural Law” may be detrimental to Indian people. Both United States Law and International Law must be dealt with if Indians are going to have their contracts (Treaties) honored.
It is no longer acceptable in today’s world to deny a whole race of people the fulfillment of their contracts solely on the basis of race. All of those laws and regulations which attempt to do so are each increments in Institutionalized Genocide.
A wheel has a center has a center called a “crux” which everything turns around. The crux of any economic system is the contract. Denying the fulfillment of their contracts (Treaties), to a whole race of people, solely on the basis of race, undermines the whole economic system, and abuses the integrity of the whole system.
Any Christian Indian who clouds the issue of Institutionalized Genocide by redirecting the attention to “Natural Law” could be condescending, talking down or “Lording” it over other Indians. Even though he is genetically “Indian” he has caught the white man’s disease of racism and could be acting in a racist way, believing the superstitions of the white people against his own Indian people.
It is a false prophet who tells Indian people it is a false hope to hope for others to act in an honorable way.
When we lose our hope, life is intolerable and we commit suicide. Do not take our hope that humans will act in an honorable way, away from us.
Without it, we will parish as a people. Without the Black Hills we will perish as a people. Long live the Oyate. Long live the Black Hills.
CRITIQUE, “Yuwitaya Lakota” a Newspaper, Vol. 1, Issue 1, October 20, 1991 – November 20, 1991 (Author Unknown – this article re-discovered December 5, 2012 in the papers of Chief Richard Grass
Oglala-Lakota-Sihasapa, Grand Chief of the General Council of the Great Lakota, Dakota, Nakota Nation (L.D.N.). It is certainly worthy of a reprint and wide circulation. If our copying this article to this web site infringes upon any known copyrights, and/or if you know of the author of these wise words so that we may give this person credit for these well expressed thoughts, please notify us.)
So – Just How do we, as a unified, sovereign nation
RECLAIM THE BLACK HILLS NOW? It is fairly simple…
Read 2013 wise words from Chief Charging Bear Grass on this subject – Click Here
Then please read, print and distribute open Letter to Authentic Traditional Spiritual ELDERS CHIEFS WHO REMAIN of OCETI SACOWIN
If none of the above occurs, we are challenged at the very least to continue to endure and heal ourselves from within as we strive to embrace those of us who still honor the natural ways of indigenous healing for ourselves and our nations. The creation of IndigenousHealing.io app is an attempt to honor many of the “old ways” our ancestors practices for healthful living and healing to be taught in a “new” way designed to reconnect people of Mother Earth. It is our hope to perhaps use this tool to gather and re-awaken all people of all nations to the practice of peace and healing, and thus “walk in a sacred manner” in the ways of good relationship for ALL our relations.
Mitakuye Oyasin (Lakota – we are all related)
Bunny Sings Wolf
Web Site Designer of the original website created at Chief Richard Grass’ direction and oversight
Overseer of the new design and maintenance of this website
creator of the IndigenousHealing.io app
with intent to further educate, gather, and coach natural ways of healing humanity and
gather people of all nations to explore and IMPACT ways
to heal a heart, a nation, a world.