Saturday, January 1, 2011

HORRIBLE - Home Sweet Home (stead)

I am horrified.
I have spent the first day of 2011 reading about American History. And I say again:
I am Horrified.

I have been learnin for sometime about the plight of our Indigenous people here in North America and have been pretty distraught over it. Looking at the current ghettoes that have been created where many first nations people try to live in urban centres *coughNORTHENDcough*, the third world like conditions still present in many Reservations and now this... this horrible influx of knowledge. As a counter to this crappy feeling I get, I gotta grab a grandfather stone, hold it close and remember the teaching of COURAGE; because that is what us Native youth will need in order to heal from these wounds that come from generations of abuse.
When I learned about the Homestead Act earlier this year, it made me mad. It was essentially the government in the South-Eastern United States (in the early 1800s) saying:
"look at all this unassigned land, lets give it away to settlers for FREE since NO ONE is using it."
No one is using it? How 'bout that's the land that 'belongs' (since Westerners seem obsessed with the idea of personal ownership for everything) to the Neechie people of that region(. How bout they own it and can leave it uninhabited if they want?!?!

But because it was 'not being used to its full potential', the Americans for a few years called it the Unassigned Lands and then decided that they might as well open it up for people to come and grab all this 'free land'. Now they have f***kin monuments dedicated to these land runs. And celebrate land runs as if they are something good...when really land runs are the epitome of hypocrisy, greed and crookedness.

Land Runnin'

In Oklahoma there is a Land Run Monument going up and its going to be one of the biggest bronze monuments in the world. It is commemorating the historic land runs that took place in the late 1800s that helped to create the America that we see today....

Too bad no one told the architect or any of the people who read THIS ARTICLE about the monument heard any mention of the atrocities that had just occurred in Indian Territory. Or about how the Neechies whose land they were stealing had just endured somethng called the Trail of Tears. Or the ingenuity of the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Muscogee(Creek), Seminole and Cherokee people or the amazingness that was present in our traditional Chiefs and Nations.

Check out this excerpt and listen to how NOT respectful they are of the massacre, blood shed and heart ache that occurred in order for this beautiful land run to take place:
It has been called the greatest rush for land in the history of mankind. More than 2 million acres of unassigned land in the heart of Indian territory were opened to settlement during this first Oklahoma land run. 50,000 hopefuls surrounded the area to stake their claim for less than 12,000 homesteads!

The participants included a cross-section of ethnic and vocational types from around the nation. Families and farmers, merchants and bricklayers, widows, lawyers, cowboys and doctors: all wanted land, either for homestead acres or for a town site lot. Across the territory at high noon on April 22, 1889, blasts rang out from gun shot, cannon fire and bugle charge and the race started. By the time the red dust settled that evening, a new era had begun in Oklahoma.

In celebration of this historic run and in conjunction with the 100th Anniversary of statehood, the Oklahoma Centennial Commission has engaged renowned sculptor Paul Moore to create a dramatic reenactment of the event. Moore's sculpture commemorates the spirit and determination of those men and women who rode in Oklahoma's five land runs. This is truly a monumental project in both its massive size and tremendous undertaking. The work of art will be one of the world's largest bronze sculptures taking at least eight years to complete.
Sounds awesome eh? Except time and time again in my reading, I read how the government under sold the land for ridiculous amounts, the Neechies were all lied to and then murdered?!?! Way to go America, way to go. The case is not so different in Canada here. They were a lot less open with their racism and re-phrased a lot of it as 'help.' Except I am still horrified at how blatantly...evil these policies and monuments are...and how people are not even taking the time to question 'WHO WAS HERE ON THIS LAND BEFORE I GOT HERE?!' Ariel Luckey, where are you and the Free Land Project when we need ya!

And then I look around at the realities that we as a people face today and I get sad and angry. Angry that we were once so proud and we were once so strong. Our connection to this Earth was strong. And I long for the Sitting Bulls and I long for someone great like Tecumseh to come along and unite the peoples of Turtle Island.

We Need It So Much
I am just so horrified by what the governments in Canada and the US did to the indigenous folk here on Turtle Island. This inconsideration and idiocy goes on today. They have horrible mascots that make fun of our features, they have streets and buildings and places named after our great warriors and no one acknowledges the history. And then we have the awesome laws that make all this racism happen. Special shout out to the Indian Appropriations Act of the US. It just shows how crooked things can be and how much we need our people to get involved in things like voting and in changing these systems that oppress us, still today!

I long for it and I can't wait until we as a people can run this ish and hold our heads high when we are at home, here on Turtle Island.

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North End MC

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Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Representin the North End of Winnipeg since 1987. I will share my journey tryna set an example and live a proud Cree life. I'll include my challenges and feelings and progress in terms of AYO! Aboriginal Youth Opportunities. You(th) are the reason.