We Are The Land
For thousands of years, the Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island have been living in a very specific way, and these ways are literally an entire different worldview than Western culture has been able to truly understand. Our stories of how we conduct ourselves comes directly from our teachings of creation from the time we are children, until we return to the ground when we pass. The learning and understanding is never ending with Indigenous Peoples, as we strive to work with nature it dictates how we carry on our responsibilities of care taking for Mother Earth.
The responsibilities are vast, as we uphold ancient traditions in ancient languages that were able to survive hundreds of years of genocide. Giving thanks still to all of creation, as without all of the elements we would not be here to witness anything. Thanksgiving, ceremonies, language, these are the components of the resistance that is not shown in the media and nor do we desire to have them shown. Some things are meant to be sacred, and as Oren Lyons says "without that which is sacred, we have nothing".
The land to indigenous peoples is sacred because it is who we are and what we are made of. When introducing myself I say 'Waki'taroten' which has the root word for clay or soil, literally meaning the land I am made from. This is a direct relationship with Mother Earth when communicating, and using my real name Sha'tekayenton so the Creator knows who is speaking. The significance of Haudenosaunee names is there is always only one of us with that specific name, as it belongs to the clan family of that person.
The connections and understandings of not only past traditional ceremonial life important but political as well, because both in Haudenosaunee culture are intertwined as one in the same with a foundation of guiding principles found within the Kaianere'kowa (Great Law of Peace). These are reasons why when we refer to our ways we call them cultural and not religious, as we pride ourselves on the use of a good mind and all four elements of the medicine wheel when making any decisions.
The Iroquois Speak Out for Mother Earth - a film by Danny Beaton. Excerpt from the original film featuring John Mohawk. For more information go to: http://www.dannybeaton.ca/Films.html
All of our ways were taken into account after arrival of European invaders and settlers, as they pinpointed all of them in their systemic racism and cultural genocide of a people whom they created legal agreements with. The vast majority of settlement is on stolen, sovereign, or unceded land, including Canada's own Parliament Hill.
In all truth the "Indian Wars" have never ended on Turtle Island and the ongoing colonial genocide is pushed to the wayside as Trudeau kneels for Black Lives and claims Reconciliation with the Indigenous population is at the top of the list. His invading army is killing people in the streets and pulling them from their land.
Africa experienced the same horrific colonization at the hands of European settlers as many Native tribes of North and South America. The United States after all was created upon land stolen from Native Americans and the backs of a people stolen from their lands. Statistically, the two groups most likely to be killed at the hands of police in the United States are African Americans and Native Americans.
Now, as we move forward in the direct action of resistance needed for voices to be heard, we see many things unfolding worldwide as not only Indigenous Peoples are fed up with being silenced, Moving colonial statues could help teach the atrocities that colonialism has committed, these museums could be called The Halls of the Dark Era. A place where people are forced to come to terms with the other side of history that is kept quiet and hidden.
The alternative is taking them down and destroying them and doing with them what we please because for all too long that is what these statues represent, the abuse and mistreatment of BIPOC worldwide for the sake of monetary gain and literal dominance over human beings. This wouldn't be a problem, because nobody needs statues to teach history. They are simply nothing more than a symbol and reminder of dominance which is no longer being accepted.
In the above video you can hear the chant, "Black Lives Matter, Red Lives Matter" from all the way in Brussels. The power of people taking back their self identity is showing and being recognised all over the world, the time for change is now and the people are beginning to speak up.
No matter what we do, it is important to look to the laws that we were given to govern ourselves peacefully, powerfully, and to live free with respect to creation. Creation includes people around us, so it's important we continue learning and educating each other to stay on the good path.
Sha'tekayenton Andrew Brant