Obama’s visit to Alaska and wooing of Alaska Natives, while friendly and nice and even commendable on a personal level, is really a part of a greater trend to legitimize the US Government’s brutal occupation of North America and it’s attempted extermination of indigenous peoples. Why does the President of the US suddenly care after so many Presidents have been commended for leading military campaigns against us? Probably because there’s a general leftward trend in the legitimizing ideology of ruling class: gay rights, women’s rights, racial justice, etc. In the past Manifest Destiny legitimized the US conquering and ruling of Indian Country. Now social justice, protection of Human Rights, and making sure a Republican doesn’t end up in the White House is what is used to legitimize their rule. All of this is extremely convenient now that their control of Indian Country and North America is consolidated and absolute.
Until this leftward trend began, some of the most fiercest internal opposition to the United State’s domestic power came from revolutionary movements from minority groups, including such organizations as AIM. Now it’s “carrot and stick” approach is to reward some members of this population while unleashing it’s police state on those who won’t or can’t prove their loyalty; typically the urban poor and reservation poor. In the meantime, some of us Natives have been and will continue to be accepted into the middle class in return for our loyalty and votes.
As of today I am old enough to be President of the United States of America. Let this be my official announcement that I’m running for President. My platform:
- Drugs – end Federal prohibition and allow municipalities, neighborhoods and counties to make the decision to prohibit or allow drugs on their own.
- Public Safety – urban neighborhoods and small towns know best how to handle matters of public safety and crime in their communities. Let them handle such issues at the local level and hire their own public safety constables and mental health crisis responders. Release and pardon all non-violent “criminals” and perpetrators of victimless crimes. Pardon all felons and remove the “scarlet letter” that they bear. Allow for and encourage the establishment of penal colonies for sex offenders and other pathological criminals; transfer all federal inmates to these colonies and allow them to manage their own affairs and live their own lives.
- Gay Marriage – this is a local concern to be handled at a local level.
- Military – end all “Defense” spending and put it toward veterans benefits and back into the hands of local communities; perhaps in the form of a basic income. Encourage the establishment of local militias.
- Welfare – dismantle most social services and instead institute a negative income tax or basic income for all citizens of the US
- Education – leave this matter to local municipalities, counties and neighborhoods
- Taxes – Disband the IRS. Immediately. Maintain taxes on corporations on US soil and trade with other countries.
- War on Terrorism – Disband the Department of Homeland Security, immediately. Disband the NSA, immediately. Disband the CIA, immediately.
- Gun Control – this is a local matter to be handled at a local level.
- Police state – disband the FBI, ATF and DEA. Tupac Shakur had it right when he said these are just gangs.
- Economy – End the Federal Reserve and adopt Milton Friedman’s Monetarism, where the money supply is expanded by a fixed amount every year. Perhaps this would be a first step toward transitioning to a gold standard or the establishment of local currencies.
- Pardon and release Chelsea Manning. Pardon and welcome home Edward Snowden. End all investigations of Julian Assange and offer him asylum in the US.
- Implement a basic, universal income for all citizens. This idea was endorsed by a wide diversity of thinkers from Martin Luther King Jr. to Milton Friedman.
So obviously I have less than a snowball’s chance in hell of getting elected. But my intention is to develop a national platform that:
- cannot be co-opted by establishment politicians and parties
- has broad, populist appeal that cuts through left/right divides
- is actually a threat to the ruling class, banksters, illuminati, or whatever you would like to call them
The purpose of a platform such as this one is not to win, but to grow a third political tribe that is neither the Blue Tribe or the Red Tribe. The purpose would be to grow a Gray Tribe that rejects the current political system and power structure out of hand in the same way that the Red Tribe rejects gay marriage and the Blue Tribe accepts it. Grow the Gray Tribe.
This kind of platform is not without precedent. The inspiration for this platform was Norman Mailer’s candidacy in the 1969 New York City Democratic Mayoral Primary election.
Denali – Mt. McKinley
Highest point in North America – National Parks Service
President Obama recently “renamed” Mt. McKinley to Denali. Denali is, of course, the Athabaskan name for the mountain. Denali is the name by which I knew and called the mountain my entire life growing up in Lingít Aaní (southeast Alaska.) There is no Tlingit name for the mountain that I am aware of, otherwise I would refer to it by it’s Tlingit name. As far as I know, most Alaskans refer to the mountain as “Denali,” or at least recognize this name for the mountain. So does it matter that the federal government recognizes “Denali” as the mountain’s official name?
For me it doesn’t matter one way or the other. “Mt. McKinley” is surely a colonial name for the mountain. Did President McKinley, for whom it was named, even lay eyes on the mountain? The overwriting of indigenous place names across the continent is a claim to the land by the United States of America. It is the crossing of T’s and dotting of I’s after conquest of indigenous tribes. Supporters of a name change may have you believe that an “official” renaming of the mountain is to pay respect to the original inhabitants of the land. But I would throw it in with the same category as changing the name of the Washington Redskins football team – it’s a 21st century attempt to legitimize the United State’s claim to North America by purportedly representing native tribes and peoples. But these are the very people whose extermination was a part of US policy at one point. I believe that this is about making us upwardly mobile Natives feel better about voting Democrat and supporting the United States, even as it continues it’s original Indian Policy in the Middle East. Even as it refuses us real sovereignty (which would be a threat to it’s legitimacy) in return for dependence and third world living conditions.
I will support an “official” name change once we have genuinely reclaimed our land from our conquerors. Until then I don’t particularly care what the federal government calls any mountain, river, or monument. For me and the people I know and love, it has always been Denali and will always be Denali.
All are invited to Alaska Native Brotherhood Columbia River Camp 49‘s annual picnic in Portland, Oregon at NAYA!
United Transboundary Mining Work Group is a coalition of tribal governments working to protect ancestral lands and waters in Southeast Alaska/British Columbia. They have published the following map showing the location of the proposed KSM Mine and significant places to which a number of Tlingit clans trace their earliest migrations into Tlingit Aaní. Many of my friends and relatives trace their lineage back to this region and the clans named, including my own. Gunalchéesh to those who are doing this important work. Follow United Tribal Transboundary Mining Workgroup on Facebook for more information.
As Tlingit and Haida peoples, land and culture are inseparable components of who we are. Acknowledging historic connections between clans and geographic origins is essential to our cultural heritage and identity. This map is an illustrative snapshot (which is far from comprehensive) of our connection to the area that will be impacted by the proposed KSM Mine. Each proposed development site has similar stories that tell of our connection to these lands.
KSM owner SeaBridge Gold began drilling today.
One of the more exciting developments in the Pacific Northwest and Cascadia has been the resurgence of tribal canoe families and tribal canoe journeys. In the Tlingit tribe the landing of the canoes in Juneau, AK for our biennial Celebration has become my favorite part of our week long festivities, and it isn’t even an official part of the event. Dance groups are fun, but the physical, mental and spiritual conditioning demanded by a canoe journey are more in line with our traditional forms of tribalism.
Frank Hopper, a contributor for AI/AN ATS and Lingit Latseen really captures what this means with his piece covering the Seattle area protests against Arctic drilling.
Lummi Youth Learn the Bigger Picture: Canoes Join Kayactivists Protesting Arctic Drilling
by Frank Hopper
Mary Catherine Brewer/Facebook
Kayaks and canoes surrounded the Royal Dutch Shell oil rig on May 16 to protest arctic drilling.
Before there were roads, interstate highways, light rail systems and airports, there were… canoes. For thousands of years, Native people living on the Salish Sea, the area along the southwest coast of British Columbia and the northwest coast of the United States, used canoes not just for travel, but also as a profound form of cultural expression. Their creation and use were spiritual, teaching respect, camaraderie and selflessness. They used no fossil fuels and created no pollution. And they were powered by the most mysterious of engines, the human heart. So what could be more fitting to use when confronting a 307-foot tall giant capable of poisoning vast areas of ocean and shoreline?
In March I visited the Portland Art Museum along with some clan relatives and Aandeyein to view and handle Naanyaa.aayí at.óowu, Teikhweidi at.óowu and Raven (probaly Kiks.ádi) at.óowu dating back to the 1800’s. NAGPRA claims are in process or planned for many of these objects to return them to their ancerstral homes in Lingít Aaní. These items are our title to the land and proof of our legitimacy as sovereign Tlingit clans.
The process of assimilation was strong and deliberate during the 1800’s and 1900’s. Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian people were forced to give up clan allegiances and our tribal way of life in order to receive the protection of the United States government. Our at.óowu was seperated from the people and placed in museums, symbolically burying our culture alive. Returning these objects to their respective clans is a reversal of this process and a revolutionary act.
Raven Staff. Probably Kiks.ádi, the clan from which my clan, the Teeyhíttaan, originates. — at Portland Art Museum.
Naanyaa.aayí club. — at Portland Art Museum.
Mother in Law Mask. Naanyaa.aayí. Notice the lip plate piercing. — at Portland Art Museum.
Naanyaa.aayi Chilkat Robe. Mimics the house screen in Chief Shakes Tribal House. See here: http://1.usa.gov/1LQT1Uo — at Portland Art Museum.
Teikhweidi from Yakutat. Chilkat Tunic. — at Portland Art Museum.
Mud Shark Hat. Naanyaa.aayí at.óowu. — at Portland Art Museum.