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 Post subject: About Freedom and Honor...again
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 2:31 am 

Joined: Wed Nov 24, 2010 7:28 am
Posts: 42
Location: Rome, Italy
I would like to share with you on this forum the following passage from a book a dear friend (Lostspirit) suggested me some time ago...
I absolutely don't like to talk about myself..I'm not on this forum to talk about ME, but to avoid other misunderstandings it's better I explain my (very little indeed) knowledge of Lakotah Culture doesn't come just from books....
First time I went in a rez (PR) I was 19...my brother was 24. We spent there more than two months....: no volunteering to clean my coscience of rich european, no touristic tours, no photos with elders or child, few words, no souvenirs for parents in Italy, no hippies clothes to wear....but a lot of silence and meditation. Well, I don't want to talk about that first experience..very very hard for a young european girl..I came back in Italy with an heavy sense of desperation and sadness...no funny anecdotes to tell friends...just an unspeakble sadness that dominated me for the following months..Anyway, in the following years I came back on the rez many times, alone because my loved brother was dead...I won't tell you how and why all that have changed my life: it's my personal spiritual path and I'm very 'jelous' of it...when my daugther ask me about those periods I answer her to come on a rez and see by her own. that what I suggest to whites here. But please, don't tell me I don't know how much freedom is important for Lakotah or other vague advice like that: I know it quite well.....


"Dan picked up the conversation.
'That's something you should think about, Nerburn'
'Huh?' I blurted.
'Freedom and honor.'
It sounded like a military slogan. 'what do you mean?' I said, only vaguely interested.
'This is important' Dan emphasized. 'I want you to get it down'.
'Okay - he said - Ready?'
'Ready' I really wasn't.
'This is something I've thought about for a long time. It's about white people and why they don't understand us. I think I know why. I think it's because the most important thing for white people is freedom. The most important thing for Indian is Honor. This is why white people have listened to the black people more than us Indians. the black people want freedom too, just like white people. And since the white people took freedom from black people, the whites feel guilty about the blacks. but the Indian has always been free. We are free today. We have always beeb freer than th white man, even when he first came here. When you came to our shore your people wore clothes made out of chains. Our people wore nothing at all. Yet you tried to bring us freedom. The white world puts all the power at the top. When someone gets to the top, they have the power to take your freedom. When your people first came to our land they were
trying to get away from those people at the top. But they still thought the same, and soon there were new people at the top in the new country. It is just the way you were taught to think. In your churches there is someone at the top. In your schools too. In your government. In your business. there is always someone at the top and that person has the right to say whethere you are good or bad. They own you. No wonder Americans always worry about freedom. You have so damn little of it. If you don't protect it, someone will take it away from you. You have to guard it every second, like a dog guards a bone. When you came among us, you couldn't understand our way. You wanted to find the persono at the top. You wanted to find the fences that bound us in - how far our land went, how far our government went. Your world was made of cages and you thought ours was, too. Even though you hated your cages you believed in them. They defined your world and you needed them to define ours. Our old people noticed this from the beginning. they said that the white man lived in a world of cages, and that if we didn't look out, they would make us live in a world of cages, too. So we started noticing. Everything looked like cages. You put fences around your yards so they looked like cages. Everything was a cage. You turned the land into cages. Then you made a government to protect these cages. And that government was all cages. All laws about what you couldn't do. the only freedom you had was inside your own cage. then you wondered why you weren't happy and didn't feel free. We Indians never thought that way. Everyone was free. We didn't make cages of laws and land. We believed in honor. To us the white man looked like a blind man walking. He knew he was on the wrong path when he bumped into the edge of one of the cages. Our guide was inside, not outside. It was honor. It was more important for us to know what was right than to know what was wrong. We looked at the animals and saw what was right.....We saw how every animal had wisdom and we tried to learn that wisdom. We did not look for what was wrong. Instead we always reached for what was right. It was that search that kept us on a good path, not rules and fences. We wanted honor for ourselves and our families. We wanted others to say 'He is a good man. He is as brave as the bear and clean as the fox'. We had freedom so we did not seek it. We sought honor, and honor was duty. The man who sought freedom was just running from duty, so he was weak. The only time freedom is important is when others are trying to put you in chains. We had no chains so we needed no freedom. Does this make any sense to you? The world your people brought saw everything in term of freedom. We have always had our freedom so you had nothing of value to give us. All you could do is take it away and give it back to us in the form of cages. That is what you did when you took our land and tried to give it back to us in allotments. You took all our Indian land and gave it back to us and said 'You now have the freedom to be farmers and ranchers'. We didn't want to be farmers and ranchers. We had been farmers when we had to. But we didn't want to be told to be farmers. When we didn't farm you got angry and couldn't understand. 'We have given you the freedom to have your own land and be farmers and you aren't doing anything'. To us all you had done is given us our own cage. All you were doing was taking away our honor. Yes, that is what you did to us. Either accept this cage or be killed is what you told us. You took our honor and gave us your freedom, even you know that is no freedom at all. It is just the freedom to live inside your own locked cage. Here is what I really think. White people are jelous of us. If it hadn't been for your religion you would have lived just like us from the first minute you got to this land. You knew we were right...You came to this country because you really wanted to be like us. But when you got here you got scared and tried to build the same cages you had run away from. If you had listened to us instead of trying to convert us and kill us, what a country this would be!'


P.S. Talking about freedom: I went two times in US to demonstrate outside the prison Leonard Peltier was reclused...


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 Post subject: Re: About Freedom and Honor...again
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 8:09 am 

Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 7:12 am
Posts: 95
anymore there is no true freedom .... we hold ourselves in bondage by submitting to gov'ts that continuely oppress us .... while many believe my message is to strong.... the L/D/N people will only be free when we unite as a people without outside interference.... when we pledge total allegiance to those of L/D/N blood. We will experience our freedom when we start to immerse ourselves in our culture .... our traditions and our language. We will experience freedom when we do away with ALL the christian churches and practice our own way of faith.

While I understand where your heart is eloisa .... I believe that all non indians should be banned from coming and influencing our people and our culture. I spoke to a relative just a few days ago... she was listening to KILI radio and spoke about a "Elder" that said he wished people would stop wanting to be Lakota.... I will not share the conversation, but she said she now understands why I continue to only help other Lakota learn the language and about our culture. I no longer help those from without my Nation.... this is not because I despise or hate non L/D/N people.... but as many within our Nation are starting to realize....it was the outside influences that created many of our problems. And it is now that we need to take back our lives by not allowing more outside influence in.

We have NEVER lost our spirit or heart as a people.... and now is one of the best times to rise up and ask ourselves as a people where we need to be as a people .... freedom and honor .... we need to again be as the people we were before the invasion of dominant society.... toksa ake


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 Post subject: Re: About Freedom and Honor...again
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 9:57 pm 

Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 2:10 pm
Posts: 81
Hmm interesting... I don't mean to throw any curve balls or cause a tossup, but is there a plan? I know reviving traditions is an important source of survival and regrowth, but I ask again, is there a plan? It concerns me sometimes that I see such dedication and passion, and while I see a few projects, I see the lack of many important projects that could guarantee the complete independence of your people. I don't know, just a thought I had. It has nothing to do with the acceptance of outsiders, rather how to deal with them. But I leave it at that.


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 Post subject: Re: About Freedom and Honor...again
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 7:10 am 

Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 7:12 am
Posts: 95
outside influence has created a seperation amongst the L/D/N people for many many years.... i listen to people here talk about doing this and doing that....yet, our culture....L/D/N .... have lost many things since the invasion of dominant society. Language is not spoken...traditions not followed.... dominant societies culture has now been interjected into ours..... we must take the small step to re instate the true L/D/N ways .... we have the ways to keep basic needs...now we need to , for lack of a better word....capitalize on the traditions of taking care of one another and treating each other as true relatives.

I was a teenager in the '70's.... I can remember urban indians marching along side of blacks in a fight of equality .... yet you very seldom saw any blacks help us during that time.... all the whites came to the reservation to seek "spiritual freedom" during that time also.... now the same people are selling our ceremonies.... selling books telling people how to be indian .... europeans coming to our reservations ....learning our language and then selling it back to us.... but then , most don't want to speak about that.... when those of the L/D/N nation mention things like this, then again the indian becomes prejudice... and we are the ones blamed for "robbing" people that are non indians of a spirituality....

yea Wali .... there is a plan..... to take back our culture, language and traditions first...then when we are united, dealing with these other problems as WE as a people see fit. Please do not read attitude or anger into these words.... there are none.... it is something we as a people should have done many years ago.... but now is the time to stop the foolishness that has plauged us since dominant society created the seperation amongst the people. toksa ake


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 Post subject: Re: About Freedom and Honor...again
PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 1:38 am 

Joined: Wed Nov 24, 2010 7:28 am
Posts: 42
Location: Rome, Italy
I don't read anger in your words, Ndn...I believe your claims and ambitions are absolutely right...but I often ask myself why, after centuries of oppression and systematic attempts to destroy your Culture, now the US Gov should change its policy and attitude...!! and then, 'corruption' is something so widespread nowadays that I dubt we have the possibility to save or recover the 'virginity' of a Culture..
Sorry for my pessimism, but those are two nodal points about which I meditated for very long time during my stays on the Rez...
I haven't a termination answer, I haven't found any solution...


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 Post subject: Re: About Freedom and Honor...again
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 8:40 am 

Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 7:12 am
Posts: 95
eloisa .... there are not any easy answers or solutions to the problems that face ALL indian nations. In reality, if you speak to a rez indian that is familar with thier language and culture....and then speak to a rez indian or a urban indian that only speaks english .... you will see a completely different perspective. I realize that I have infuriated many people on this forum with my harping on language .... but it is a fact that the perspective changes from english to L/D/N. One of the first things dominant society did at boarding schools was to NOT allow indians to speak thier languages. Once they accomplished this task....the rest was history.... as the founder of indian boarding schools said .... "kill the savage, save the man" ....

it is a shame when we as american indians continue the genocide that dominant society has started. We as a nation MUST change our perspective .... we must change our ways .... we must learn to again think and act .... speak and teach our young to be L/D/N .... will the process happen over nite? Not likely.... but we as a Nation can change our perspective.... one child at a time....one adult at a time .... hoka hey


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 Post subject: Re: About Freedom and Honor...again
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 2:02 am 

Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 6:21 am
Posts: 1
Helo everybody This is me, snakeman sharing my point of view. First of all i would like to say that i know that from my recent posts that i have in deed stired things up here on this forum 8-) But then i also have noticed who have been afended of my words beeing spoken. But i also realise that this is not a forum for just having a nice little talk about the local weather etc
This forum is like steping out on a mind field, never knowing when something or someone is going to blow up in your face. These things that we sometimes talk about are very sensetive issues. I dont claime my selfe to be Indian, for i am not. So who am i then? who is this Snakeman? Well lets put it this way, I am a man who belive in the truth, and the truth is that the country known as america is just one big lie. Turtle Island is her name and it is the home to the Indians, home to the children of the earth. That is the truth, and there is notthing anyone can say that will cange it. We all know about american "history" about your killings and murderings. america is a fraud and a monster that not only the first nations have to deal whit, but so goes for the rest of the world. Big brother, ha! i say BIG AS hole!

I stand up for this truth, and i stand up for the Indian people. I want to help out and help them fight this dirty monster called america. Help them take back their way of life. So this is what i can do to help, i have founded an organisation called TREE SNAKE, and it is an organisation founded and registerd in Sweden, Gävle. Thats were i come from, Scandinavia. once upon a time home to the vikings ( befor they fell and was concered by the plague called christianity) as so manny other cultures. I am also a musician, and together whit my friend i have started a band called The return of the red man. And we give out our own music on our own record label called Rattlesnake Records. We have donated all our music to TREE SNAKE, so when people buy our albums, all the money we raise goes to TREE SNAKE and for the moment we are helping Russell Means to build the T.R.E.A.T.Y. Total Immersion School, and we are also helping a healing center called OCETI WAKAN. We in TREE SNAKE support eveything that has the main goal to help the Lakota Indians, geting back their language, culture etc

So please people i am not a fraud (as someone here once acused me to be) And my intentions are only to help, and not to ask of anything back. There is a lot of work to do, but i belive that the future is bright for the children of the earth. As long as the sun rises from the east, and the little birds sing to greet the new day. So shall i continue to fight and sing!

Peace and love!

Snakeman

PS: i will post a link to our band site incase anyone here is curious of our music. http://www.thereturnoftheredman.com


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