Monday, December 05, 2005

Statement of Purpose

Greetings All:

Welcome to As The Teaching Drum Turns blogspot. The contributors to this blog are people who have been involved in one form or another with Tamarack Song and/or the Teaching Drum Outdoor School, which is a wilderness skills, 501c non-profit corporation that seeks to educate students about Native Lifeways.

This blogspot was set up to challenge the school's lack of basic education around indigenous issues, as well as its self-absorbed, overblown, new-agey style of teaching and writing, which just has to be read to be believed. From the Teaching Drum's curriculum and classes you can learn Ojibwe earth skills such as canoe, shelter, and bow making as well as a white man's sweat lodge ceremony, but you will not find hide nor hair of educational materials on the school's website, or in its current materials, about the genocide past or present that American Indians living in Occupied Wisconsin have faced. What you will find is a whole bunch of writings by Tamarack Song about his favorite subject - yep, you guessed it: Tamarack Song!

The school proposes to get you in touch with the Native you. We here at As the Teaching Drum Turns absolutely reject the school's use of the word Native for non-Indians. More about that in an upcoming post.

But dare to bring up any of these subjects on the Teaching Drum's Yahoo Groups mail list and you will likely be called a white-bashing, self-hating, angry, extremist, holier-than-thou activist who has a personal vendetta against Tamarack Song, the school's owner, headmaster, and vanity press publisher. All this just for requesting that the school provide a more complete education concerning indigenous genocide and indigenous people's current struggles to resist/remember that genocide.

To paraphrase the infamous words of one of the school's lap-poodle spokesmen, they don't do "political activism". They are 501c afterall. And because of that stupid excuse for a reason, you will not hear about Wisconsin-area concentration camps (reservations), scalp bounties, boarding schools, forced removals, treaty rights, or American Indian-led resistance in the Teaching Drum's area. The school's educational materials mention none (or very little) of the above, or the fact that ALL United States citizens are responsible for the actions of their government, and are required to confront genocide, as stated in no uncertain terms in international treaties like the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, or the Nuremberg Principles developed after the defeat of Nazi Germany.

It is our intention at this blog to challenge the school's lack of an honest education for its students and to expose the white supremacist reasoning behind its refusal to do so. While the issues raised here are very serious, we hope also to achieve a tone of supreme ridicule and yes, humour, as those also are effective ways to confront the narcissism and exceptionalism so prevalent in white, non-Indian, alternative communities in the United States.

Please understand, we are none of us here experts in indigenous issues, just people of conscience who care about living closer to the earth, challenging white supremacy, and stepping up to our responsibilities to prevent genocide. Through this website and our confrontation of the Teaching Drum Outdoor School, we hope to educate ourselves further about the realities facing indigenous people, not only in the Wisconsin area, but on Turtle Island and beyond. That's a very big task.

We hope you will join us and share what you know as we grow together in understanding.


Anonymous Patti said...

The link to this site was sent to my e-mail address, unsolicited spam. Since it referenced Teaching Drums I followed the link. I am deeply saddened to think that such a good man, with such good intentions should be treated thusly. The "crimes" you seem to wish to hang him for, are not his crimes. Reality in this world is what we make it. I do not know you. I do not know your history with Tamarack Song, the Teaching Drum School, or the wonderful people I have met there over the years. I cannot, knowing him, believe for a nanosecond that he has ever intentionally caused you harm. In the many years I have known him, he has done no harm to anyone, anything, any place... intentionally. All of us will during our time on this planet do some harm, unintentionally. The question then is not so much "What is Tamarack doing to change the Native American realities for the better?" The only questions lurking above the hatred on this site are simply these: Why are you wasting so much of your energy and your time in this useless endeavor? Why are you not directing your own energies more fully to the resolution of the problems as you have outlined them? If you have identified that Tamarack's small center in the big woods is not striving towards the resolutions you have given priority than why, why, why are you wasting your precious time and energy on Tamarack Song? Why are you not directing your energies as fervently toward resolution of those problems you condemn him for allegedly ignoring? There is no exclusivity to ancestral ways. No ownership of them. You have done absolutely nothing to deserve the biological right to claim Native American ancestry; it is a gift, as all ancestry is. Depending on how you view it... a gift, a curse, both. Your condemnation of a man for respecting your heritage, for embracing the ways of your elders, for sharing it with others is… sad, so sad, so very, very sad. I truly wonder what the whole story is. I think you are hurting, and in your pain you desire to cause pain to another... and Tamarack is, in your mind, a justifiable target. Clearly, you are suffering. Perhaps, somehow, Tamarack has hurt your feelings, your pride? Has he perhaps touched upon some deep and sacred places where you long for peace but cannot find it? The question begs to be asked if you find his love of your ancestral ways threatening because he does, in fact, love and embrace them in their true essence in a way that you can only wish to know. Are you jealous? I will pray for you that you will someday know the peace that comes from the deepest places of the soul, and the highest elevations of the spirit... This 52-year-old Irish woman wishes you only Peace, Love and Light. All the blessings that are mine to give, I give to you.

4/28/2006 10:38 PM  
Blogger Dragonessa said...

Lord, woman.

Where to begin?

The amount of time you have taken to read this site and write that long-winded, trembling reply tells us you really need to practice what you preach.

Reality is what we make it? Jeeesh!

So when a man is robbed or a woman is raped then they asked for it?

Just karma, huh?

So all harm is just unintentional, especially when settler whites do it, right? We are not responsible for our actions. It's, like, all one great big karmic oops, dude, so chill and take your groovy-baby pill.

Flakey New Agers! You never cease to amaze us.

That you have asked us to spend our time doing something more "constructive" tells us we are doing exactly what we should be doing to expose Tamrack Song for his racist and fraudulent practices.

Thanks for your response. It has greatly encouraged us to continue on with our endeavor.

And do please keep praying sanctimoniously for us, pilgrim, and we will use the lava lamp light you are sending our way to illumine the dark and dreary corners where racist exploiters like Tamarack Song hide.

Oh yeah, and we think the McLady doth protest too much.

4/29/2006 3:55 AM  
Anonymous kill whitey coalition said...

Ya'll think ole Patti girl got one of those "we are intended to be mated" letters from the Twinkie king?

Who wants to bet she did?

5/05/2006 10:09 PM  
Blogger Robin Sneed said...


I just returned from an almost two month stint as an 'editor.' What a fraud Tamarack Song is. I am finding a lawyer to sue him for damage.



11/18/2010 2:47 PM  
Blogger Nemeses said...

Thanks Robin for sharing with us your experience and your righteous outrage at Tamarack.

We will move your comment and a link to your blog to our front page shortly.

Yes, Ma'am. Payback does indeed heal.

11/19/2010 1:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Patti has no clue...I suspect she will find out though since, I agree, she probably did get one of those letters and she is all atwitter...for now.

Dan's (I can't insult the trees by calling the nutbag Tamarack) past is littered with many past "Pattis" who were physically and emotionally abused until they couldn't take it anymore and ran like hell--usually in the dead of the night or when Dan isn't around. I know three personally and heard stories of several more. "Good intentions?" We all know what road those paved. It does not excuse reality. Abuse is abuse. THIS is one fact about this idiot that the world needs to know. He is a pig...and a bigot...but that goes without saying, eh?

12/04/2010 11:05 PM  

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