Spirit In Action

Change IS coming. WE can make it GOOD.


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‘Why Do You Indians Always Live in the Past?’ – ICTMN.com

So, I recently took down my Facebook page. About a third of my many friends were Indians from various reservations around me; most of these had never gotten past their GED. The rest were white Mormons and white non-Mormons from Utah. This was an educated group and also a rather vocal one, constantly expressing their opinions on my Facebook wall and debating/arguing with other posters like themselves. The Indians, on the other hand, sent me frequent private messages, jokes and invites to join them for various parties, dinners and events on the rez but rarely posted publicly on my wall, although most of them keenly followed what one of them called the “white discussions.”

One day, one of my Facebook friends ran into me on campus. He asked me, “Why do you always live in the past?” I didn’t pay much attention to his question back then but remembered not arguing with him or his very strong Mormon beliefs about why Indian languages need to die out and the Mormon placement program. The same evening, another friend ran into me when I was riding a horse. She asked me the very same question and she wasn’t Mormon. The same evening, I put up an informal poll on Facebook and, without exception, all whites who responded agreed that I “always lived in the past.” They also seemed rather angry, upset and resentful about it. They said things like, “Get over your past!” I tried to get to the bottom of their resentment by asking questions such as, “But don’t you remember 9/11 every year?” or “Should Jews also forget about their near extermination in concentration camps?”

Their responses, the contradictory feelings they expressed, and the very ambiguity in their responses made me sit up and analyze my posts over the two-year duration of my Facebook. Less than 10 percent of my posts dealt with tribal issues; these were mainly news items neglected by the mainstream media that I didn’t want my Indian friends to miss. Another 5 percent of my posts were announcements of upcoming events like the Circle Dance, a powwow in a town an hour away, an Indian health fair, announcements of language and culture classes, the free medical clinic, personal updates like my adventures in Australia, etc. But the bulk of my posts, over 85%, talked about issues that were of interest to the educated white audience. I talked about game theory, happiness research, genomics, the new MCAT, exchange-traded funds, cancer detection by canines, research by a physicist that showed how racial profiling to limit terror attacks is mathematically flawed, compassion fatigue in physicians, artificial intelligence in medicine, new open courseware by MIT, research on the neurogenics of niceness, and other very contemporary topics. So what really bothered my white friends on Facebook? In my case, in-depth, in-person discussions with my buddies revealed that the 10 percent content that related to news articles from Indian media was what bothered them and led to their distorted perception. Even though over 85 percent of my Facebook content dealt with very contemporary issues, I was perceived as “living in the past.”

Which brings me to the question: Why do we Indians always hear that we live in the past when we don’t? Why are we always told to “get over the past?” The real reason is that Indian discussions serve as an unpleasant reminder to whites that this country is not theirs. Indeed, our very existence serves to reiterate to them that Turtle Island is not their land. Indian news articles from ICTMN and other sources are unpleasant to them because on a subconscious level they realize that they are as much aliens on this land as newly-arrived Arabs or the illegal Mexicans they despise so much. Our stories send home a message to them that their ancestors committed a holocaust against Indians and nearly exterminated us. When we speak about our dying languages, our high rates of diabetes and cancers, alcoholism or the poverty on our reservations, it reiterates to them that this country was built on deceit and lies and their ancestors did something horribly wrong. Our values tell them that their way of life—with the environmental destruction, the divorces, the crime, the wars, deteriorating family values, etc.—is going horribly South. The very fact that you and I are alive and that there are still “full bloods” around undermines the white sense of legitimacy and ownership of America. So my friends, don’t let it bother you when people tell you to “stop living in the past” and to “get over the past.” It is just another of those issues mainstream America needs to get over and resolve in their own minds.

By:
Mike Taylor
April 23, 2012
‘Why Do You Indians Always Live in the Past?’

http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2012/04/23/why-do-you-indians-always-live-past


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And the Fire Keepers Shall Lead Us

I was feeling overwhelmed with worry for all those facing danger in Canada, but this reminded me that crisis and opportunity come together in the I Ching and in life. We may face dangers but we are equal to it;my friends who are standing up to the immensely well armed and not-quite-sane colonial government are MORE powerful than it and it’s minions because they act from their hearts which are rooted in this Earth and in the generations before and those to come. The colonizer is rooted only in the ephemeral and unreal idea of “power over” of control thru violence, of taking, of profit-which only appears powerful.

I was raised with a spirituality of action, a spirituality that was deeply rooted in ties to the land, the ancestors and the coming generations and our responsibilities to act for them as well as ourselves. This article brought back a feeling of awe I always had as a child with the indigenous women activists, my Mom and friends, where I could see and feel the Goddess in them. These Mothers had, knew, and understood their connection to The Mother, to the Earth and the Grandmothers and I could *feel* it when they gathered to act.

Recalling that feeling was the counter, the anti-venom I needed against the fear of a repeat of Oka or worse. When so many like Lucia Rene pointed out that now is the return of the Goddess, of the Divine Feminine, I didn’t immediately make the connection that She is going to manifest THRU US and our actions.

When I read the end of this I actually felt chills run down my spine, and all the lingering fears evaporated.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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And the Fire Keepers Shall Lead Us

This is about an epic moment in world history, begun with one small spark. If we are true, our generations
will thank us.

I understand the frustration many people feel regarding the Harper government’s antagonistic and destructive practices regarding the Indian Act, Environmental Protections and Treaty Relationships. I feel it, too.

But any substantial change won’t come from the government, it will come from those who elect the government.

If you are angry and demanding, or disruptive of the general public’s lives in a negative way, you have already lost.

Instead, reach out. Be patient and calm.

Find common ground.

We are all affected by these sweeping changes and that must be articulated clearly. In this, we are all allies.

Instead of demanding rights, work toward that which is right. The fairness and honouring of Treaties you seek will follow.

Involve your fellow Canadian, American, your fellow World Citizen. They are good. They are helpers. Don’t let the horrible and sometimes racist remarks in online comments sections cloud your vision. Most people are good people. That’s just the truth.

And they want to do good things, they just don’t always know how. They don’t want to tread where they are not welcome.

Help them feel welcome. Make friends. Be giving, forgiving and kind.

Anger hasn’t worked the past 100 years. All victories have been legal victories: talking things out.

Take a stand, join a rally, be heard.

But remember: to be respected, you must respect first.

Now, I know, that’s a tough pill to swallow for people who have faced disrespect in every corner. As if I don’t know. I’ve been detained, arrested, profiled, faced racism and prejudice too.

Don’t let life intimidate you from doing the right thing.

Always do the right thing. Even if you miss the mark, get back up and try.

The difference I see about these recent actions, about Idle No More, and Theresa Spence (who is on Day 6 of her hunger strike at the time I write this), and all the great women leaders who are taking the time to educate all of us is this:

It is the women who are standing up. It’s the women who are leading.

The Fire Keepers are rising.

They are reminding us of who we are, of what civilization and culture mean.

They are directing our energy in positive ways.

They are reminding us of the Great Law of Peace.

Follow their lead.

hai hai.

——-

If you are wondering what happens Dec 21, 2012, it’s the start of a Global Awakening led by Canada’s Indigenous and all willing partners. A New World in the New World. The prophecy of the South meeting the Prophecy of the North.

The Eagle and the Condor.

The beginning of the 8th Fire.

http://www.aaronpaquette.net/?p=1295