OLD AND NEW REALITIES
Posted by rezinate on November 13, 2013
As a people we live in a time of new and old realities-the old being that often enough we will hear words spoken by ancestors cited as a quote-an example would be that no one owns the land, that it cannot be sold.
A new reality is that the nations have a history of selling or leasing land, mostly due to poverty, and usually getting the short end of the stick.
It can only follow that if the land cannot be owned or sold neither can it be leased-it may sound good to quote such sentiments but the reality is something different.
If all the land sold or leased by the individual or a nation as an entity in the last hundred or so years remained under our control I believe we would be in a much better position than we currently are-I think we would be empowered by it.
Another reality, an old one, is that each nation stretching back in time has always had a sense of proprietary ownership when it came to the land- we occupied certain areas, sought to expand it at the expense of others, and would fight to keep it.
Ironic that now as a people we seek to buy back what was the birthright of every indigenous person throughout this entire hemisphere, we would have a piece of a paper, title to land as a proof that it is ours in what amounts to a ransom being paid.
It is only a small step from commodifying the land, something we say no one can own, to marketing what is distinctly and inarguably ours-our traditions and ceremonies.
Following the end of the Civil War and the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, many in government were of a mind to punish the South, a mentality that gave rise to repressive policies and the “carpetbaggers”, whose sole concern was turning a profit, caring little about the effects on the people.
Today, as incomprehensible as it may seem the nations face their own version of carpetbaggers from within with the identical mindset-everything is viewed through a prism framed by dollar signs, and greed is the singular motivation with no concern for the damage being done.
What we believe, the manner in which we have lived our lives and the accoutrements distinctly attached to it are for sale.
Our ceremonies are marketed as shamelessly as the Catholic church markets it own-we offer no Mass or special dispensations, but if the price is right you can attend ceremonies offered by people like Leonard Crow Dog, Dennis Banks, Clyde Bellecourt, and a host of others-not only that but you can rest assured an effort will made to insure they are more user friendly and accommodating by incorporating a generous dash of new age and Bahai into the mix.
Sort of a catholic approach as the word is defined to mean universal.
The history of the nations warriors has been to protect and defend, not just the tribe, women and children, or the land-but the things we believe in, our ceremonies and traditions.
I can think of no better instrument to expose a fraud calling themselves a warrior or a medicine person than their participation in such things regardless of how they attempt to explain it, the guise they employ.
Yes, it is the twenty first century, and we are obliged to adapt in many ways, to find a way to wed the past and present in the least harmful way-ownership, whether good or bad is a part of that equation-from the vehicle we drive to the possessions we claim as ours.
Such possessions come with an implied responsibility – it is a foolish person who doesn’t take care of what they own, or of themselves, families, and their communities – it’s no less foolish failing to attend the land or our beliefs.
Let a thief steal anything from us personally and we are angered and looking to recover it. Whether it’s a tool, a cell phone, or anything else we may have acquired-yet we tolerate the theft of things a value cannot be affixed to and wonder why our communities falter, why families are racked with the destructive elements of alcohol and substance abuse, why our children are lost to gangs, or women and children physically and sexually abused.
As nations we need to take back the legacy of our heritage, to take ownership of who and what we are and have been -we need to live and honor those things we say we believe in…. we need to pay it forward for the generations who will follow.