Friday, April 27, 2007

Same Ole Song, A White Supremacist Song

According to our site stats, this is by far our most popular post. The point of Tamarack's philosophy - like that of all kult leaders - is to keep the standards either so vague, shifting, or purist that the leader and his followers are rendered unaccountable to anyone but themselves. It's a circularity of reasoning that always keeps the narcissist at the center of his own world.

The invader's "contributions," however invented they may be, inevitably "entitle" them to superior status; there may have been a problem once, but it's in the past so forget it; we're all in this together now, so let's move forward (with me in the lead); I'm okay, you're okay (so long as you stay in your place and don't upset me with questions or challenges to my privilege) and so on. We can now name the ideology which motivates the Sam Gills of America. It is called "New Age," but as Russell Means once remarked in an another connection, it represents only "the same old song of Europe." And, in the contemporary United States, its codification has rapidly become an academic growth industry. - Ward Churchill, Fantasies of the Master Race, "A Little Matter of Genocide"
After first trying to dodge our questions about why his "Native Lifeway" outdoor school teaches nothing about the Euro-American holocaust of Native Americans (he claimed one of us had a "vendetta" against him), Tamarack Song finally got down to work and produced the hideous missive below.

Please feel free to post your thoughts into our comments section. Excoriating sarcasm, extreme contempt, satire, and vicious ridicule are especially encouraged!

To: teaching_drum@yahoogroups.com
From: "Tamarack Song"
Date: Mon, 05 Dec 2005 19:02:55 -0600
Subject: [Teaching_Drum] the Teaching Drum exposed

Greetings Folks,

There is usually some confusion around the Teaching Drum's focus, its relationship with Native Americans, and its political involvement. This is understandable - we are different. To help with the confusion, I'll answer some of the most commonly-asked questions relating to the least understood and most controversial aspects of the School. In doing so I'm going to cut to the quick regarding racial stereotypes, cultural assumptions, and civilized interpretations of history. Virtually all of us hold them, regardless as to educational level, political-religious persuasion, or claims to the contrary. I am approaching each issue in an unapologetic, unsentimental, unromanticized way, and from the perspective of a native.
In other words, Tamarack Song is not going to use that hideously new-agey, touchy-feely, all-is-peachy-peaceful-in-my-world-of-comfort style of writing he usually uses. Thank god. You can keep the healing, ole boy. Some of us still have the oppressor's hands around our throats. We guess the lower case "n" in native is supposed to indicate something. We shudder to think what, but we know it's coming.
These aren't the whole answers - my intent is not to write a book, and mine is only one of many views of the Mountain. This is just a glimpse of where our circle here at the Teaching Drum is going in healing the wounds of our mad experiment to tame the planet. For the journey itself, we have many wizened voices to guide us - our dreams and ancestral memories, our relations of the Plant, Animal, Earth, and Sky realms, and the examples and voices of many of our own kind.
Don't know about no Mountain there, dude. What we are seeing from our vantage point is a bloody godforsaken train wreck. And funny how we keep seeing the same people being run over again and again.

And what's this "'our' mad experiment to tame the planet", paleface? Last we looked the overwhelming majority of American Indians in this hemisphere had no such intentions. Ever. If you can see the mad experiment for what it is, Same Ole Song, that's because America's indigenous peoples clued you in on the fact. Guess we will see if you give credit where credit is due. Or if you will use some gross distortion of history to justify your comfort zone.

In Balance,

Tamarack

PS There are three categories of questions here: the school, what we teach, and our political involvement, in that order, so you can scroll down to what interests you.

QUESTIONS and ANSWERS: THE SCHOOL

"Are you really a primitive skills school? You don't seem to be much like the others.

"That's because we are not a primitive skills school per se. In fact, we are more a way of life. Focusing on primitive skills as a doorway to the Old Way is little more than candy-coating consumerism and giving a new spin to techno-living. We are only loosely connected to the primitive skills movement, and on the radical fringe at that. Many who identify themselves with that movement consider us to be too spiritual, too humanistic, too political, and so on. An appropriate label for us might be native lifeway school. We are here to be a catalyst, a doorway, for rebecoming our intrinsic, native selves, and for returning to balance with all the relations. We are a school of awakening, where people re-sensitize to both themselves and their world.
While you are practicing your "way of life" have you remembered to ask if some people on this hemisphere even have the ability TO live, let alone choose a way of life? We are all for living simply, but have you considered the level of race, gender, and class privilege that affords you the ability to choose between lifestyles while others are often not even permitted enough access to land and resources that would allow them to simply live?

Maybe the more you use words like "native" in reference to yourself, the harder it gets to see the suffering, deprivation, and resistance of real Native Americans.

"What kind of skills do you teach?"
That depends on what the meaning of Is is. Really. We are not kidding.

We teach awareness; the skills largely teach themselves. We come from a technological culture, and unfortunately for us, natives are not technologists. They spend only about two hours a day providing for their needs, and they do it with as little technology as possible, and as simply and tool-free as possible. They have no evolved art or music as we know it, so there is a dearth of creative technology as well.

So let us get this straight. Dancing, singing, drumming and well, the ART of humping are all out for natives? Your version of native sounds more like one of those freaky christian churches that doesn't allow musical instruments in the building. Why do we get the feeling you are setting up a standard of native purity that only YOU and your elitist hangers-on will be able to reach?

Oh, here's a great joke: Why do baptists forbid dancing?

Answer: They're afraid it might lead to sex standing up.

And look, we appreciate a good critique of the ravages of technology, like the kind Derrick Jensen provides, but indigenous peoples in this hemisphere developed some pretty cool things like, for one example, all of the plant-based pharmacology that, now stolen from indigenous people, gives our white, over-pampered asses a 78 year life span while reservation based Indians live only to age 45. Any way you cut it, boy, that is Genocide. It is the murderer who defines and chooses his target, and you have nicely managed to come up with a definition of native so narrow that he is not likely to confuse YOU with American Indians when he comes to kill.

Now. How about about surgery and advanced astronomy? Yeah, we know you are going to have a problem with the word "advanced". But listen, lil dude, if there is a comet headed this way and some advanced Mayan mathematics will help a traditional astronomer tell us when it is going to hit the earth, we want to know about it. Cuz we are gonna run straight out and get ourselves right good and laid before we die. Standing up!

And further, how about all the shelters and architecture developed over millenia by American Indians? And then there is the food. Yeah, yeah we know potatoes, tomatoes, corns, beans, and squash are domesticated plants. So what. We are more concerned at this point that you understand that these foods are NOT European, before you go getting all uptight about how they were developed. Mesoamerican civilizations were not the despotic regimes we tribes of West Asia created as we colonized ourselves into Europeans. If you have sources that say otherwise, that have not been thoroughly discredited by American Indian scholars as racist apologies for genocide, then CITE THEM.

(See Jack Weatherford's informative book for more info on the wonders of indigenous cultures and their prodigious gifts to the world.)

When you yourself, Same Ole Song, are willing to give up your privileged access to the food and medicine that indigenous peoples developed, we might be a little more willing to hear you about the dangers of domestication.

"You folks use the word native; what is a native to you?"

Quick! Run! Oh god, run!!

A native is someone who lives natively; that is, one who lives and practices indigenous clan-gathering-hunting ways. It has little or nothing to do with ancestral heritage, race, place of residence, politics (ideological affiliation, treaty arrangements), or self-definition. By this definition of native, most Native Americans are no longer natives, and numbers of non-Native Americans are, or are becoming, native. The terms civilized native and agricultural native are oxymorons, as once a people establish hierarchies, specialized endeavors, and quit moving to the natural rhythms of the land, they are no longer native to the land.

And do you expect that these clangatheringhuntingindigenous ways are just gonna pretty much teach themselves? Or are you going to refer to a technological tool such as all the Ojibwe books in your Old Way Wares section of your website? Could you not find any non-self identifying, non-agricultural, non-racial, non-political, non-Wisconsin based, non-treatied, non-tool users to assist you in your quest for primitive purity? Is it just possible that you are selling a very specific culture's lifeways developed over the ages in relationship to the bioregion of the Northwoods? Do you not call those structures on your very specific and deeded "property" wigwams? Is this a non-specific, non-racial, non-treatied, non-placed, non-self identifying, non-tooled, non-agricultural people's word? If they cultivated wild rice, then you need to get your hypocritical, purist butt out of their wigwams.

OK. So you are indigenous to earth. We are aliens from outer space who would like to know why, when we look down on your planet, we see that the vast majority of resources and land are in the hands of a few light-skinned people. And why are half of all the people, on at least one of those land masses, subjected to a rape once every six minutes while the other half is not? Why do some of the ones with darker skins and very small populations get to live only 45 years, while most of the lighter-skinned ones get to live to be 80 years or so? What, pray tell us, explains the difference? And we know that there is always some difference the oppressor exploits in order to rule! What is that difference here on Turtle Island?

Alright, let's go on a little further and see if Mr. Hunter-gatherer purist holds himself to the extreme definitions that he holds others. Remember he just indulged in defining himself, all the while saying that identity is not self-defined, especially when Indians do it.

Here is an elaboration of the definition, in the words of natives themselves:

"Whenever . . . we go out into the bush, I look after her; and we come to Sydney she always looks after me, she's my mother. Doesn't care that she is white, but it's like my mother, they both the same. Then I got another mother down at Melbourne too and I got sister there at Melbourne. . . . We got the same blood, me and my sister. . . her mother is white but our blood is same and so I love all my family like brothers and sisters." - Mawalan Marika, Australian Aborigine, 1900s
But they cannot be natives, sir. They self-identify as Australian Aborigines. Australia is a very specific place and we believe the indigenous people of Australia have musical instruments, an elaborate cosmology, etc. And somebody just self-identified as white, too! These Aborigines are of course from the 1900s where they are safely in the past and less likely to be uppity and confrontational about treaties and access to land and resources in ORDER TO FRICKING LIVE!

"I have a red skin, but my grandfather was a white man. What does it matter?" - White Shield, Arikara (Southern Cheyenne), 1800s

Self-identifying as white, Arikara (Southern - a location - Cheyenne - a specific people speaking a specific language). But doing so safely (for Same Old Song) in the 1800s where they cannot question or threaten Song's privilege or control of their resources. Or the six thousand dollar price tag to attend his yearlong Wilderness Guide program, where you will learn next to nothing about the genocide that happened on the land on which the school is based.

What you will hear is that we are all on reservations, genocide happened to all of us. That we will not dispute. But the overwhelming majority of non-Indians are not suffering the extreme poverty and degradation that American Indians on Turtle Island suffer at THIS very moment. You want proof? Go look at every economic and health indicator that the government keeps and you will find America's aboriginal populations at the very bottom of every single one of them. In addition, Same Ole Song's wilderness camp is set on pristine land that is not subjected to the irradiated dumping of uranium mining and milling byproducts like American Indian reservations are. Pimping that pristine-ness is how he makes his money. We wonder how well his school would do if it was located next to towering uranium pillings.

Now. What inquiring minds really want to know is how a reservational system like that is able to continue largely unmolested. What do ya'll want to bet it is maintained through divide and conquer tactics that grant privileges to whites while leaving people of color, especially American Indians, in abject dispossession?

Boy, we sure are getting antsy to hear what Same Ole Song's solution is that will stop this totalitarian, reservational system he claims has been in place for ten thousand years. Good thing he finally came along with a workable theory of justice. We might have been looking at another ten millenia. But Song Boy is here to save the day. With his school. With his books - all except one of which has been vanity-press published.

"The color of the skin makes no difference. What is good and just for one, is good and just for the other, and the Great Spirit made all men brothers." - Geswanouth Slahoot (Chief Dan George), Coastal Salish, b.1899, d.1981
And again. More self-identifying!
And here is a real-life example: The Mbuti (Congolese Pygmies) consider themselves Mbuti because they live the Mbuti way. If one of them decides to move into a village settlement, he no longer calls himself Mbuti, nor do his People. This is because they define themselves by their values and their lifeway, rather than by descent or external label. For them, village life is so alien to their indigenous way that a person living in a village is obviously not living the Mbuti way, so would not be called Mbuti

CONGO. MBUTI. PYGMIES. All in a specific place. All self-identifying. Now we are in the present, but these indigenous peoples are safely away, far away in Africa where they cannot threaten the white privilege of Same Ole Song!

"Do you folks claim to be native?"

Depends again, on what the meaning of Is is!

Whether or not we fit the above-definition of nativeness, or any other definition for that matter, is your call. We here at the School run the spectrum in terms of how much or little we are living natively, and all of the four "races," including Native American, are represented here. However, neither of those facts are terribly important to us, as we believe that all humans are native. I, for example, am 100% native blood, a proud descendent of gatherer-hunters from northern Eurasia, the Mediterranean, and (?).

So you run the spectrum on how much you live natively yet would deny to others the right to call themselves native because they do not fit your definition of what it means to be native. Remember a Lakota cannot be a Lakota because he self-identifies as such and might cultivate some plants, so he ain't native. You just self-identified as being from northern Eurasia (a specific place), and the Mediterranean (another place). How do you know this if somebody along the way did not self-identify as a specific people from one of those places? You said people at the Teaching Drum live to varying degrees of Nativeness, yet you yourself are 100% native.

Honey, we've seen you snarf ice cream like a pig at a trough. We have also seen you go to the hospital numerous times doubled over with intestinal troubles. We are pretty sure you went there to avail yourself of some very un-nativelike, modern surgery and medicine, the basis of which was developed and handed down through the ages by indigenous people.

Look. You laid out the rule like this: "A native is someone who lives natively; that is, one who lives and practices indigenous clan-gathering-hunting ways. It has little or nothing to do with ancestral heritage..." By YOUR definition, none of you can be native because you live in varying degrees of nativeness. You cannot therefore be 100% native. Nativeness is not in the blood; it is in the way a native lives - which you just defined as hunter-gatherer-clan-indigenous. Which you obviously do not live if you are using a pen or computer to right this crap!

Look, boy. Words have meaning. Apply the godforsaken definition to yourself or blow off!

How could that be? A Wolf is intrinsically a Wolf whether she lives in the wilderness or a cage, whether she chases Deer for a living or has been trained to perform circus tricks. The same is true of you and me. Just like that Wolf's, all of our ancestors lived the Old Way, no matter where we came from or the color of our skin, our people were all clanspeople with animal guides, we wore animal skins, we honored Sun and Earth, and the drum was our heartbeat. These are our ancestral memories, this is our genetic makeup, and this is what screams inside each and every one of us to burst forth through the shell of numbness and attachment and again know the light of day.

Since when did drums become allowed again!! You just said, "...they (natives) have no evolved art or music." Can we not assume from your definition that the songs one might play on these very un-nativelike drums are out as well, because they are sung in the ancient languages that have been handed down by each of the 500 nations as a component of their ancestral heritage since time out of mind?

As for wolves, like all living things, they need territory and resources to live, and they have to work out with other wolves and all the other relations the limits of that territory. In other words, they make a wolf version of peace treaties, which basically works out to: take what you need to live and leave the rest alone.

(Jesus. What the hell is he smoking?!)

"Aren't you white wannabes trying to "play Indian" and teach Native American ways?"

You better believe it buckaroos!

This is not about becoming an Indian, it is about rebecoming human. We teach not what is Native American, but what is native human. Those who imitate Native Americans usually ascribed to the romanticized notion that if it is Native American, it must be good. They tend to overlook the fact that there were Native Americans who held slaves, engaged in human sacrifice, maintained cruel kingdoms, and unleashed vast armies on their weak neighbors. They also adopt culture-specific practices that are alien to their locale, which is why you'll find the Lakota Sweat Lodge in New Jersey and the Plains Sacred Pipe in Australia. We are going beyond geography, beyond culture, beyond our civilized constructs as to who is who, who did what, and who owes who. We are starting from the bottom up - from what it is to be human.

Show us the sources where you get the cannabalism charge, you racist liar, right now! Wanna bet it came from Conquistadors dehumanizing their enemies in order to justify their genocide? You betcha! Show us the source for your apologist-for-genocide accusation that there were vast, standing armies anywhere on this continent that can even begin to compare to the bloodthirsty savagery of the European conquerors! And remind us again how American Indians all got in their canoes and paddled up the Thames to conquer England!

We will put this up against your sources anytime:

"A salient theme in this respect, first advanced by Cortes himself in 1522, and established as tangible evidence by which to support it, is the myth that the Mexicas - described in every standard text as having been a 'warlike' and 'bloodthirsty' people - were given to ritually sacrificing as many as 20,000 human beings each year. The fact is, as Peter Hassler has explained:

'Bernal Diaz de Catillo is the classic source of information about mass sacrifice by the Aztecs. A literate soldier in Cortes company, Diaz claimed to have witnessed such a ritual... The observers, however, were watching from their camp... three or four miles away. From that point, Diaz could neither have seen nor heard anything...The only conrete evidence comes to us not from the Aztecs but from Mayan civilization of the Yucatan. These depictions are found in the records of trials conducted during the Inquisition, between 1561 and 1565. These supposed testimonies about human sacrifice, however, were coerced from the Indians under torture and have been judged worthless as ethnographic evidence...After careful and systematic study of the sources, I find no evidence of institutionalized mass human sacrifice among the Aztecs.'

"Although one might well be reminded of certain Germanic fables about 'Jewish ritural murder,' offered as justification of the nazis' treatment of Semitic Untermenschen during the 1930's and 40's, such tales of 'Aztec sacrifice' are seldom treated with skepticism by the scholarly community, much less classified as being among the rationalizations of mass murderers." - Ward Churchill, A LITTLE MATTER OF GENOCIDE, "Genocide in the Americas"

You find the Lakota sweat lodge in New Jersey, you holocaust-trivializing racist ignoramus because the Lakota have been forcibly removed from their homelands by the onslaught of whites committing genocide! And you tend to find those Sacred Pipes in the hands of non-Indians committing cultural imperialism while the Lakota remain bereft of their sovereignty, leaving you free to define "natives" in a racist way that works to your benefit.

If you do not teach what is Native American, why are Ojibwe books on your Old Way Wares site? Ojibwe people are self-identifying as Ojibwe and therefore cannot be native, by your definition. So why the books on Ojibwe crafts?

Listen! You are the one with the romantic fixation on hunter-gatherers, who we are sure, if there were any in Three Lakes Wisconsin, would kick your lying, lily white, self-identifying as "native" butt into the dirt!

The typical civilized approach is to start from the top down - to fix things by righting wrongs, reeducating, and applying new systems. This is the realm of religion, politics and social services - what I call the Band-Aid approach.

Re-educating? You mean like re-educating people to "get in touch" with their native selves at your school? Or do you expect that gatherer-hunter skills are just gonna teach themselves? And if they do teach themselves, why would anyone need to go to your six thousand dollar a year school?

Bottom line: a friend of the School says, "Forget wannabe, it's gottado!"

Gotta-a-bunch-a-do-do, more like.

"Why aren't there any Native Americans, and so few women, at the School?"

Rape, theft, pillage, plunder, stolen land, cultural imperialism, 400 broken treaties, and Tamarack's propensity for sexual harassment.

In actuality, we sometimes have more women than men. For example, in this year's Wilderness Guide program there are nine women and seven men. Women say they are more comfortable here than at most other outdoor schools because of our spiritual approach, our focus on healing, our emphasis on qualitative skills (reawakening, social and awareness) over survival skills, and our honoring of female energy (Women here observe Moontime and have a Moon Lodge, and gender comes second - we consciously recognize the female and male in each of us).

Yeah, you feel a woman's pain, Song Boy. You are so in touch with your feminine side that you have a one in four chance of being raped at some point in your lifetime, right?

The primary reason there are mostly males involved in returning to the Old Way - including here oftentimes - is probably that we are the products of a pioneering culture: the males go out first to tame the wilderness, and the women and children follow once it is safe and there are adequate facilities. We need to remember that this is not our biology; it is only our legacy.

No. It's called white male privilege that results in a greater disposable income. Also, men are not as likely to receive one of those "intended to be mated" letters from you.

There are a number of Native Americans involved with the School, primarily as elders, educators, and creative sources. I work with Native Americans on a regular basis. Our staff reflects the ethnic composition of this country's inhabitants - we are primarily of European descent, with a number of us having mixed ancestry and foreign origins. For example, my mate Lety is of Chinese, Black and Native American descent, and is from Mexico.

Same Ole Song, you are just covering your ass, now, because you know we asked you some very uncomfortable questions about your white male privilege and what really goes on at your school. Remember, a true native would never use any of the ethnocentric words you just did, because you just told us they would not. If you have Native Americans involved in your school, let's hear from THEM for a change. Just because you are married to a person of color, does not mean you are not racist; remember the mountain men who married Indian women? You just admitted that Europeans are primarily your staffers and therefore largely in charge of the school. How about promoting people of color (to whom you are not married) to positions of power, huh? And please NAME the elders, educators, and creative sources that you allege work with you; we're betting you are only talking about the books you have read, not real people.

The class structure of our society does not allow its minorities to fully participate in its institutions. This is reflected here at the School, where minority student participation is low. Two of my Native American friends explained the reason for this as it relates to their people: there is nothing some of them would like to do more than what we are doing -- if it were not for their being totally consumed by alcoholism, diabetes, broken families and broken spirits.

Right, you racist dog! Blame the victim. All Indians are broken-spirited drunks and some vague entity called "the class structure" did it! Oh, no it could not possibly be the systemic racism and white male privilege which this holier-than-thou, primitivist purist so obviously enjoys at the expense of his American Indian neighbors that is to blame, now could it? Move on. Nothing to see here.

"Isn't the school set up on land that was stolen from the local natives?"

Yes.

Yes, the land was stolen, and we've gifted it back. Nishnajida is now in permanent wilderness, just as it originally was, and it is again a haven for all of The Mother's native children, the two-leggeds, four-leggeds, wingeds, scaled, and rooted.

Look, we think it is wonderful that all the animals are free to frolic and bounder at will around that land, but what you did was give the land back to the Nicolet National Forest, which is controlled by the, get this, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE. Agriculture! The same agriculture that makes most Native Americans not native according to Same Ole Song. White Man, that land needs to be under the control of traditional, Ojibwe elders and their kin, not the very same U.S. imperial entity that stole it in the first place! Like, duh.

Of course, we will see how safe and protected Tamarack has made that land when those wanting to expand the road around the Teaching Drum come to remove the trees.

To stay off of stolen land, we'd all have to start walking on air, because every square inch of Earth that every one of us is standing upon, was stolen from natives. It will be native land again only when true natives are walking up it - not just native humans, but all of the relations in their natural balance. And not only the land - virtually everything a civilized person touches and consumes, is stolen. Of course, we use less caustic terms, such as utilizing resources, developing, harnessing, purchasing, managing, farming, domesticating, investing, hiring, and so on.

Do you really think American Indians are all asking Euro-settlers to get back on their boats and go home? This would be ludicrous, although perfectly within the rights of Indians to do. What is being asked of us is that we de-colonize our minds and begin to yield to indigenous jurisdiction, just as we would if we went to say, France, and asked to become citizens there. When we whites get our police, army, and parasitic corporations off of Indian land, then maybe Traditionals will begin to have some control over how the resources are distributed, in accordance with their ancient ways, and THEY can begin deciding what naturalization process non-Indians need to go through to be accepted into their nations.

But you have already condemned them as cannabalistic, despotic rulers precisely so you will not have to yield to their jurisdiction and sovereignty. You have used the classic, colonial "white man's burden" argument that the natives don't know how to manage themselves, so they sure as hell ain't gonna hold you accountable to their traditional ways. Yet we notice you have no trouble following colonial laws like the incorporation rules of a 501c non-profit, a very un-huntergatherer entity if ever there was one. Is that perhaps because the apartheid system in this country benefits you as a white male above all others? WE certainly think so.

"Your school receives some criticism; that raises a red flag for me."

Good. If we did not receive criticism we would not be doing our job. We would have no reason for being. We are here to cause people to think and to question, and perhaps to squirm a little. If we weren't doing that we would be preserving the status quo.

No, we are the ones causing you to squirm like a worm on a hook, Same Ole Song. It is patently obvious by the exceedingly defensive and twisted answers you have given to these questions that WE first raised on your email list that we have hit a nerve. You banned us from that list for asking such uppity questions too, remember?

Years ago one of my elders, and Ojibwe medicine woman named Keewaydinoquay, was torn apart in a major national newspaper for being a relic from another era. It devastated her because she was such a kind soul and she couldn't imagine anyone wanting to do that to her or anyone else. I sent her a letter of congratulations for a job well done - she reached millions of people, many of whom called the paper to task for conducting a witch hunt, and many others who got their first exposure to the Old Way and got to know Keewaydinoquay for the person she is. Were it not for that criticism, thousands of people may never have been introduced to who they really are.
Funny, when we put that name into the search engine at Wikipedia, it returned nothing. However, when we put in the name of another indigenous person who recently got witchhunted by a trumped up national "scandal", Wikipeida returned hundreds of pages. If your elder reached millions, we ought to be able to find loads of info on the controversy as well as her contributions. We found next to nothing. And anyway, what sort of huntergatherereclanindigenous, native way to engage with oppression is this business of people calling a newspaper to stand up against an attack on an indigenous person? Despite your hokey, unconfirmable story, sounds like you are saying that contacting the newspaper was an effective TACTIC. Not very primitive, though. How could thousands of people have been introduced to who they really are - indigenoushuntergathererclan primitives - if they read about it in a newspaper?

Personally, I thrive on criticism -- it makes me strong and it clarifies my reason for being. I recognize that there is a kernel of truth in all criticism, so I listen respectfully. Criticism is also a gift because it tells me quite a bit about those who levy the judgment. They usually don't realize that they are actually talking about themselves (Judgment of others is essentially externalized self judgment, which results from lack of self acceptance.)

So a woman who fights back against a rapist she has just judged as sexually violent is actually projecting her own internal rapist onto the man? Gimme a break, freak. If you like criticism at all it is because you are a sick narcissist with a desperate need for attention. However, you tendency to BAN people who question you from your email lists speaks to a man very frightened of authentic criticism, such as we provide. If you saying whites like us need to question our own privilege as we have questioned yours, then on that point, we most emphatically concur. Why do you think we are bringing all this out to see the light of day? We think, however, that you mean your point in the whiney way a kindergartner on the playground says, "I know you are but what am I?"

I feel secure and comfortable around criticism, and I invite it. The warrior knows that someone who is talking to his face is safe and predictable; it is the silent ones he is concerned about - they are the bright and clever ones, the dangerous ones.

And if we are both?

"Don't you worry about criticism hurting the School?"

If we do everything with honor and respect, if we are truthspeaking, if we are walking the path of balance, criticism can't hurt us. In fact criticism has only made us stronger, clearer and more effective.

It is called Mutual Respect, and in regards to American Indians, we do not yet see that you have returned any.

QUESTIONS and ANSWERS: ON WHAT WE TEACH

"What right do you privileged white folks have teaching Indian skills?"

The Old Way is not about being Indian, it is about being human. A native goes first to Eagle, Otter, and Coyote to learn, and considers her skills to be those of the relations she has learned them from. The Inland Inuit, for example, go to Wolf to learn the skills of the Hunt, and this is our way as well. Each of us also has ancestral memories of skills, and we have those memories instruct us. Along with that, we learn from the example of the local natives - they are relations as well. These skills can be called "Indian skills;" however, from native perspective, that is a misnomer.

Great. Let's go ask the wolves instead of going to your overpriced, yearlong adult summer camp for trust-funders who want to play Indian. Oh, wait - we cannot go ask the wolves. Non-indian punks like your (and our) ancestors slaughtered them to the brink of extinction. Guess we could ask the cockroaches, though. Funny how cockroaches and other not-so-warm-fuzzy or noble looking creatures do not make it onto your list of Discovery Channel professors. Well, except mosquitos. We think you like them, though, because they are the only creatures on the planet that will willingly make you the center of their attention.

"Privileged white folks" is merely a circumstance, it does not define who someone is or have anything to do with his organic relationship to the Old Way.

It is not a "circumstance" Song Boy. It is an apartheid, divide and conquer system that you do not seem to be in any too big of a hurry to dismantle. We are not saying that each and every white person in this country is personally guilty of genocide. What we are saying is that we whites, as a group, benefit from what our ancestors did, and we each have a moral and legal obligation to do everything within our power to use those unearned privileges, first and foremost, to recognize the history of AmeriKKKa for what it is, and then to STOP the ongoing genocide of indigenous peoples.

"Aren't you teaching Ojibwe Culture and Language?"

We are teaching human culture. There does not exist, and there probably never has existed, a pure, isolated culture. Chinese pottery has been found in Mexico, elements of Polynesian culture exist in South America, ancient Spanish traders took Lake Superior copper to the Mediterranean, Phoenicians visited New England, and so on. The drum belongs to all people; it is found in every culture on the planet. The rock-heated sweatlodge came to this continent from the ancient Germanic peoples of northern Europe. The bow and arrow originated in Eurasia and was brought to the Americas only a few thousand years ago. Fire by friction, the cradleboard way of raising children, fluteplaying, hidetanning, clan living, the talking circle, native names, the vision quest, storytelling -- these are the skills, practices and traditions of native people everywhere, on every continent. Like all people, the local Ojibwe have adapted these practices to this particular environment. And like all people, we are doing the same, in part by learning from the Ojibwe.

Look. You laid out the rule like this: "A native is someone who lives natively; that is, one who lives and practices indigenous clan-gathering-hunting ways. It has little or nothing to do with ancestral heritage..." and "the terms civilized native and agricultural native are oxymorons, as once a people establish hierarchies, specialized endeavors, and quit moving to the natural rhythms of the land, they are no longer native to the land."

The Ojibwe cultivated wild rice and played musical instruments like the drum and cedar flute. All of the skills you list above are specialized endeavors. You also said these skills just teach themselves. Hardly. Flintknapping is one of the most difficult Old Way craft skills imaginable. It does not just teach itself. In light of all of this, your Ojibwe teachers cannot be valid guides, by YOUR definition. No Ojibwe in the past or present fits your definition of native.

There are arrow heads found in archaeological sites dating back well before ten thousand years ago on Turtle Island. As far as hunting tools go, the atlatl is one of the most effective ever developed and the name comes from the Aztec meaning "spearthrower". Your deliberate choice to ignore this weapon in favor of the bow and arrow is designed to minimize indigenous achievements, and insidiously implies Native Americans got most of what they know from Europeans. Again, give us your Eurosupremacist source for this demeaning, reductionist remark or shut up talking about yourself.

Imagine that for some reason you ended up in the Amazon: would you try to keep living as you did in Wisconsin or Georgia, or would you go to the local natives and ask for guidance? Would you not learn the local language and the ways of living in balance with that environment?

No local natives anywhere on 98% of the planet fit your self-serving definition of native.

To natives, the language they speak is the language of the land - it is the voice of the wind, the murmur of water, the chatter of animals. For example, in this area Deer is called Wawashkeshi, because that is the sound she makes when moving through the brush. Natives do not claim to own these sounds. Virtually all the natives I have known, have been honored that I have attempted to speak with them in their language and follow their traditions, rather than expecting them to adopt mine.

What we would not give to hear a few fully-armed, well-read, sovereignty-rights supporting Urban Indians say "Fuck you, Tamarack Song" in any language right about now!

Kamgabwikwe, one of our Ojibwe elders, is delighted that we are learning the language. She says that very few of her people are interested in speaking or learning it anymore. There are over 100 endangered languages in the world - 11 in Canada and 13 in the U.S. Around 250 have gone extinct in recent history, including 72 in the U.S. For many of you, the "Ojibwe language" is the repository of some of your ancestral language. It contains many old Norse words, as well as some Celtic. (The same is true of the culture; for example, the five main dodems of the Norse are the same as the Ojibwe's.)

The Celts and Norse were both herding and culitvating peoples. Both used the high-technology of the day - iron weapons - against their neighbors. They cannot be native, by your definition, so there is no need for us to look to them for ancient instructions on how to live sustainably with Earth. The word "Dodem" does not exist in any Celtic or Norse languages. The concept of an animal guide does, however. How about you do some real research and find out just exactly what those words are. There are European scholars who know. You cannot know where you are going until you know the traditions from which you come.

As to your elder's remark about her people, maybe if indigenous people interned on reservations were not dying of malnutrition, exposure, readily curable diseases, and one-third truncated life spans there would be more indigenous folks interested in learning the languages of their ancestors. And many more elders around to teach those languages.

The Old Way embodies this awareness of sharing rather than possessing, of relationship rather than boundaries. Some natives call it the Gifting Way. This is reflected in the term the native Ojibwe use in reference to themselves -- Anishinabi, which simply means the Human People. It distinguishes them not from other people, but from the Deer people, the Raspberry people, and the Bee people.

"Native Ojibwe" is an oxymoron. There are no Ojibwe past or present who fit your self-serving defintion of native. If they self-identify as Anishinabi, respect dictates that you use that term instead of Ojibwe. Oh, wait. You said true natives are not self-identifying. Guess that word is out too, then, huh?

The bottom line: it doesn't matter if Native Americans, Chinese farmers or pink Martians happen to be our neighbors, we would still be doing exactly what we are doing.

Like charging students six thousand dollars a year to be props in your huntergathererclanindigenous fantasy museum, as well as voiceless objects that serve only as mirrors reflecting back the central focus of your books - YOU.

"I hear you are guilty of cultural and spiritual appropriation."

Appropriation is political; it involves ownership and governance. No one owns culture or spirituality, they are deeply personal matters and have nothing to do with borders drawn on maps or legislative and courtroom dramas.

Genocide has everything to do with borders drawn on maps. Remember Lewis and Clark? How do you think whites managed to find their way to Lakota lands to commit massacres like Wounded Knee, destroy the buffalo to starve the people into submission, divide up their ancestral lands amongst white settlers and churches, kidnap their children and kill half of them in boarding schools where, if they lived at all, they were utterly deculturated of their languages and spiritual practices.

Oh, that's right. Your definition of natives says they do not have ancestral land holdings, so there has been no crime committed, right? So going to court to fight for sovereignty rights under legally binding agreements with the United States would just be a "courtroom drama" for you, we guess. Again, because it is not happening to you and your family the way it is happening to the Lakota people, we assume it gets a whole lot easier to trivialize the extraordinary remembrance and resistance with which American Indians struggle against obliteration.

And by the way, we recall someone telling us that you waged one of the ugliest custody battles in the history of Three Lakes Wisconsin - so ugly in fact that the town folk were shocked to their core that a guy who talks such a good game about "non-violence" and "balance" could ever do such a thing. Again, not very clanhunterindigenousgatherer of you to avail yourself of the oppressor's courts that way! We are expecting that you will not be going to any town hall meetings or court rooms, either then, to fight for the trees along Military Road, right?

"It's more than appropriation - people like you are downright stealing the only thing they have left - their culture and spirituality."

Can you imagine someone converting to your religion, and you turning around and accusing her of stealing it? Or a family moving into your town and getting involved in its cultural activities, only to be blasted for stealing them? Of course not; you would undoubtedly feel honored and flattered that someone shared your convictions and thought highly of your traditions. The same is true of my elders, and of virtually all natives.

Can you imagine a formerly-Catholic Polish peasant, in the countryside downwind from Auschwitz in the 1940's, speaking Hebrew, studying the Kabbala, celebrating Hannukah, and having Bar/Bat Mitzvahs for young people, but refusing to discuss what is happening in the concentration camps, or refusing to support or join the Partisans in the woods to resist the nazis? Traditional elders have repeated stated that they do not feel "flattered" by your cultural theft of their spirituality, but violated. Show us the so-called conversion process set up by Traditional elders that you have undergone, and we will be less inclined to call you a lying thief.

Of course, there is no such process that Dan Konen has undergone, except in his own mind.

Returning to native culture and spirituality is no longer a matter of preference for any of us - it is a matter of survival. Socio-political-religious solutions have not worked, and the time is running out to experiment with any more human constructs. The Honor Way works - humanity has followed it for 95% of its existence, and all of non-human life abides by it. Theft involves the taking of something that another rightfully possesses. Nobody has a corner on the Honor Way; it is nothing that can be possessed - it is a way of being. Even if it were a commodity, you can't steal something that is already yours - the Honor Way is still alive each of our hearts, and it is our ancestral way. You can't steal something that is freely given, and culture and spirituality are openly shared and participated in by traditional natives and all of natural life.

A mother grizzly bear will eat your ass alive for getting anywhere near what is vital to her sanity or her survival. When whites start showing Mutual Respect vis a vis Earth and her indigenous peoples, then we can talk more about universal human heritage. So far, most whites are not taking up their share of responsibilities, and all around Same Ole Song's pretty words, hovers the foul stench of entitlement.

A case could be made regarding those who trivialize and commercialize native practices; however, to be fair, the case would need to include virtually all aspects of life, as there is hardly a thing left in civilized society that has not been packaged, promoted, and price tagged.

$6000.00 a year for the Wilderness Guide program! We remember the exorbitant price Tamarack used to charge for his traditional hide-tanning classes. He gets those hides for free from roadkill deer murdered by the very same car culture that brings him almost all of the food, heat, and internet access he and his groupies consume at the school.

Rather than robbing, we are helping to restore and preserve native culture and spirituality in many ways. What does not grow, dies, and I am simply not going to let that happen with the Old Way. Recently an Onieda woman came to learn hide tanning. I showed an Ojibwe spiritual leader how to make a love flute (which was taught to me by a local Menominee man). The people of a Canadian reserve want to re-learn their old legends, and I am teaching them. In line with our worldwide focus, we are working to establish places similar to Nishnajida (the Teaching Drum's native living-learning camp) in other parts of the country and the world, and work with individuals, such as a Taiwanese native and an Australian Aboriginal elder, to help reconnect them with their indigenous cultural ways.

I, the white man, whose ancestors robbed these lifeways from indigenous peoples in the first place, through a genocidal process of deculturation, will now sell them back their heritage as I make myself, messiah-like, the center of their attention. Notice how these Indians have been given a pass on self-identifying. That's because they are the kind of "good" Indians Same Ole Song likes because they are willing to give him center stage. And did he just use the word "help"? Yeah, and you better believe we ain't gonna let that go!

The Teaching Drum defines native culture the same way a native would, by considering all of the relations to be a part of it. Humans are only a small share of the native population, just one of many participants in, and contributors to, the culture. We are helping restore the full scope of our local native culture on the 80 acres of wilderness we purchased for Nishnajida, our native encampment. The land would have been logged and/or developed had we not purchased it; instead, we are preserving the Ancient Forest for all of the inhabitants who are members of our local native culture (including the many Native Americans who have come over the years).

So it is permitted now to buy land from the very imperialists who stole it in the first place? We thought you said a true native does not own land, cannot buy and sell what is not possessable. If that is your practice in relation to your theory of nativeness, then we are going to hold you to that standard. And we are going to grant it to others (of varying degrees of nativeness) as we go forward. OK?

Yes, Native Americans are a small "share" of the population. Thanks to the largest genocide in the history of the world (both in shear numbers and percentages), they have seen a 98% reduction in their populations as well as a 98% reduction in their land holdings. And that is not an accident. The two are concomitant. Your so-called preservation is a pin-dot size of land that is not being logged, while all around you, thousands of acres of land are being stripped of timber. Logging trucks go up and down the roads around the school almost incessantly, so you can stop patting yourself on the back.

It is obvious Same Ole Song. You want to be the new chosen messiah delivering the native good message back to the very people whose culture it was/is in the first place. What you are doing is a lot like the way Mormons came to this land and declared themselves the "New Israelites", stealing not only Hebrew culture but indigenous land as well.

OK. Everybody clear now? It's all about Tamarack.

QUESTIONS and ANSWERS: ON THE SCHOOL AND POLITICAL CHANGE

"Why aren't you folks more politically active?"

Because political activism is largely ineffective and corrupting. Whoever buys into the oppressor's rules and tactics, inevitably becomes the oppressor. The political-judicial process changes little or nothing - success is defeat, progress is an illusion. From greater perspective, the system becomes stronger when we engage it, because a system gains strength merely by its use.

So you will not be availing yourself of a lawyer when you get arrested for driving while Native? Oh, wait. That's right. You are white. You are not going to get arrested (or shot dead) for driving while Native as you ply the backroads of Three Lakes Wisconsin looking for roadkill deer for your hide-tanning class.

You won't be engaging the system and thereby making it stronger to defend the trees along Military Road, either, right? So we will not see you attending town hall meetings, writing letters to the editors, or organizing protests? Good, because we would sure hate to have to call you a HYPOCRITE should you be caught doing these things.

Causes and movements are largely diversions from the real work that has to be done. They sap energy, remove participants even further from the essence of the issue, and create more illusions atop those already existing. And yet they are not a complete waste, because the powers-that-be, love them - malcontents are kept visibly and predictably engaged.

Do you think you are going to be able to hide from the oppressor any tactic or strategy that threatens his rule? He has eyes in the back of his totalitarian head and they are open 24/7. If what you are doing at the Teaching Drum even remotely threatened white power, you would be shut down faster than an uppity, anti-racist on the Teaching Drum's mail list!

Our activism here at the Teaching Drum is not conservative or liberal, it is barely visible to most, and it is profound in magnitude and earthshaking in effect. It is too radical, too off-the-board, to find resonance with any existing group or movement. A full understanding of what we are engaged in would make most activists look like sideline conservatives. We see our way to be more transformative and far-reaching, and thereby more effective, than standard activism could ever be.

The effectiveness of your so-called activism is belied by the piles and piles of rotting corpses of brown-skinned people all over the world.

We feel that social-political activism is spinning wheels - a diversion from the work that really needs to be done. It is akin to focusing on surface lesion, and meanwhile the causative disease grows stronger. Activism is loved by the powers-that-be, because they feel safe, knowing exactly who you are and what you are doing. "Better overt than covert" is one of their mottos. They so much prefer having a highly visible, predictable resistance, that they often surreptitiously support opposition movements. When none exist, they will sometimes create one. An enemy helps coalesce their support and strengthen their power base, and gives them sanction to tighten control. And activists, by the very fact that they are activists, are playing the game by the rules of the powers-that-be, which means they are in control. In essence, activists usually end up empowering the hand they are trying to cripple.

No, you blame-the-victim numbskull . What agents of repression do is infiltrate valid, effective opposition movements to subvert them and destroy them. And if that does not work, they will send U.S. backed Death Squads all over the earth to hunt the opposition down, like they did at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in the 1970's when Lakota Traditionals were demanding an end to the dictatorial Wilson regime and the restoration of their traditional sovereignty and freedom. Nobody does anything like that to you, Same Ole Song, because your anti-Indian, racist attitudes gel so perfectly with the apartheid system of white power illegally occupying Indian Country at this very moment.

We've now had 10,000 years of activist politics, and the living situation on our Mother-planet the has yet continued to progressively worsen. That's enough for us -- we say a 10,000 year trial period is more than fair. It's time to get back to what works; we simply cannot afford to keep the social-political-religious experiment going any longer, and we have no interest in wasting any more of our time and energy on it, either as supporters our detractors. We have dedicated our lives to what has proven to work for millions of years; why ever would we want to toss that aside in favor of a 10,000 year flop?

$6000 dollars a year for the Wilderness Guide program and all the vanity press published books you can buy at $10 a pop for a copy. Wow! Ten millenia and nobody ever thought of this?! Amazing.

If politics is the problem, more politics isn't going to solve it. If materialism is part of the problem, redistributing the wealth isn't going to fundamentally change anything. Whether they see it or not, virtually all activists embrace the core values of the system they are purportedly resisting. The fact that they are trying to change it, alone affirms their belief in it.The most revolutionary act is to walk the Old Way. The most radical way to do that is to walk with honor and respect. People can have opinions, political ideologies or religious beliefs, and it changes nothing. The Old Way always was and always will be, and will return in its complete splendor and glory to heal the scars of diversion, and that is what the Teaching Drum is here to honor and serve. Nothing more and nothing less, because there is nothing more, and anything less would be to deny a piece of our humanness.

"The fact that they are trying to change it, alone affirms their belief in it."

So last night when we put some jujitsu moves on a rapist in on a dark alley, we affirmed our belief in his right to sexual assault by resisting him? And now that we resisted, he knows who we are, so we are visible and he can more easily oppress us? So what we should do is quit our jobs at the Rape Crisis Hotline, stop taking self-defense classes, stop challenging white male patriarchy's self-appointed entitlement to our bodies, stop looking to indigenous role models (who NEVER treated women as property, unlike Europeans), and just sorta-like be groovy baby and Heal? How the hell do you expect us to Heal while we are still being raped? Oh, and we can only assume from your embrace of some presently non-existent, idealized "non-violence" that women who resist rape violently will only become as violent as the oppressor, automatically grow penises, and start raping the hell out of everything in sight, right?

"Is the School involved in local native rights issues?"

Virtually all aboriginal people on this continent are acculturated. They want to live middle class lives and have no interest in returning to the Old Way. Their struggle now is economic and political. They have been conditioned to be civilization-dependent -- to have their needs and wants met by the very civilization that took from them their ability to meet their own needs and wants. Focusing on native rights issues is like worrying about a scratch in the hull when the whole boat is sinking. We are involved - intensely involved -- in restoring the rights of all native life.

Thank you, you racist, stupid honkey for speaking for every single American Indian on this continent. First you define who they are, then you speak for what YOU think they want in a manner so trivializing, degrading, and downright genocidal that you really ought to be sitting in the dock at a war crimes tribunal. Remember, jackass, you do not fit the definition of native either, and just because you have some mentally idealized version of nativeness in your head, does not mean that you are in practice clanindigenousgatherhunter. Oh no, you 501c non-profit freak, you are far from it. Far from it.

"Why aren't the students involved with local native issues?"

Because it is a lot more fun just to play Indian behind the lines than to engage thoughtfully, respectfully, and effectively with real indigenous people.

Aside from all that's already been said, they are here to spend a year in the wilderness. They are not involved in anything outside their immediate circle of life, much less civilized socio-political issues.

What "wilderness"? We thought you said natives don't recognize any such concept as Wilderness. And some of us here have been students in the Yearlong program, and if any of our dear readers think that political issues like racism, and especially sexism, are not going to come up during the year at the Teaching Drum, then we have a Bering Straight land bridge to sell you! Politics is about relationships of power. Who has that power and who it is used against is the issue.

Don't you feel guilt and shame, and therefore some responsibility, for the genocide your ancestors executed?"

Chromosomes do not transmit shame or guilt. I was not them, I was not there; I am me, and I am here. So rather than responsibility, I feel it a tremendous privilege to be able to help in the healing.

That has allowed me to step aside from any prejudice or bias brought about by what is termed as "white guilt"or "solidarity with the oppressed." These are elitist, distancing constructs that appeal to some dominant-culture people, along with certain Native Americans, and members of other minorities, who are willing to play into the guilt-solidarity roles. These minority members are usually liberal, educated, urbanites who have been quite thoroughly acculturated.

It is not guilt-solidarity. It is life-saving alliance making. And just looking at this defensive, reactionary, racist polemic you have written in response to our questions about your school and its lack of educational materials concerning the American Holocaust, we know how effective challenging YOUR white male supremacy has been. It is no surprise to us, of course, that you have dismissed ALL opposition to oppression except your books and your school as "dominant culture-constructs".

Like our blog subtitle says, "Poke a bigot long enough, and he will show you his white hood."

"But shouldn't we be involved because we have blood-stained hands? We are the white conquerors - we have annihilated people of color wherever we've gone."

I doubt that the hungry peasant boy who was to become my Grandpa Nicholas, had any idea as to where he was going, much less that by escaping one genocide he was contributing to another, when he was shuffled aboard that immigrant ship.

To me, the concept of the white conqueror, with the victims being people of color, is liberal racism. It has its roots in the same cultural assumptions as conservative racism. All of the "races" are, and have been, conquerors. The Mongolians (who are of the "yellow race") conquered most of the civilized world, including roughly half of the "white race". Right now, the "yellow" Japanese - notorious colonizers - are "absorbing" the Ainu, the last remnant of the indigenous natives on their territory. The Chinese are still in the process of nationalizing the 100+ ethnic and racial minorities on their territory (the Tibetans being the most known). The black Zulus took over much of Africa, annihilating the light-skinned people they met on the way. Black people established kingdoms and kept black slaves long before any white people came to purchase them. Native Americans had kingdoms as well, and conquered and exploited vast regions. Our envisionment of this being a vast, unspoiled land, sparsely populated with free-roaming people living the idyllic clan life, is a romantic illusion.

But 10,000 years ago your native clanhunterindigenousgatherer ancestors did live such an idyllic clan life though, right? So your people achieved this lifeway but Native Americans never did? Again, cite your sources for the racist charge that American Indians "exploited vast regions". Are you aware this lie flies right in the face of the overwhelming testimonies recorded in journals by European immigrant/invaders first encountering aboriginal peoples almost everywhere in the Americas. Jesus Christ! Columbus said nicer things about Indians than you do!

Whatever the sins of Nations in the past, they are hardly much of a fig leaf for systemic white male supremacy extant RIGHT NOW. That is what we are challenging, an entire system in place right now, that dispossesses and oppresses people of color right now. It is not about the guilt or innocence of any one individual needing absolution (like Christianity preaches), but about a systemic power dynamic that overwhelmingly benefits white people at the expense of people of color, especially indigenous people.

Not that you will give credence to what indigenous people say about themselves vis-a-vis immigrants, but since some of our readers with a basic sense of human decency might, here is an excellent compiliation.

That established, let us look at the concept of race itself. Yes, like so many of the other assumptions upon which we base our beliefs and actions, the concept of race is a myth - another civilized construct. Those who have traveled the world know that there is a gradual and continual gradation of physiological characteristics (skin color, height, shape of skull, etc.) within our species. The criteria we use to distinguish races, and thereby the lines we have drawn between them, are purely arbitrary, as there is no natural boundary where one set of traits ends and another begins. In fact, the number of races of humans is a debated topic, with some believing there are only two, and others distinguishing as many as seven and thirteen. Did you know that there are ethnic white Europeans who are genetically more closely related to black Africans than they are to their white neighbors? The bottom line: we are all people of color, we are all of one race.

Then why are we not all suffering the same level of oppression and dispossession? We do not disagree with the understanding that race is a construct. What we are attempting to challenge is the use of those constructed racial differences as a divide and conquer strategy of privileges and exemption from exploitation and state violence for most whites that insures white male rule.

Prior to the so-called European invasion, there were so-called Native Americans with blue eyes, blonde hair and beards. The "Native Americans" in my locale, for example, are actually World Natives - their ancestors are east Asians, Vikings, Celts, and possibly Phoenicians.

These groups all cultivate, herd, and self-identify. They are not native, by your definition.

There are some who use the term "white conqueror" as though it were a race of people with a genetic propensity for domination. Some of us see this concept as reverse racism -- guilt-fueled stereotyping and self-demeanment.

We never said there was a genetic propensity for whites to dominate and you know it. A dominant culture white male will always try to position himself as THE VICTIM when challenged on his racist attitudes and unearned privileges.

The white conqueror is also the white conquered. My white ancestors were overrun militarily, our women were raped, our children were fed to Dogs, the survivors were forced on reservations, and a foreign tongue and an alien religion were forced down our throats. The main difference between the European natives and the American natives is the number of generations since they have been conquered.

So West Asian tribes have been colonized far longer than American Indians? We agree. So then we who are descended from the tribes of West Asia are certainly in no position to go pointing fingers at the state of Native America's colonization, now are we? Did your ancestors call themselves "white"? Did your ancestors call themselves "European"? What linguistic group does the "white" language belong to?

Just like the average "white," the average descendent of the American natives is now proud to be a God-fearing citizen of this country. At most powwows there will be a 49 Dance in honor of the military veterans, during which, they will parade around the dance circle in uniform, with the American flag (This is not merely a demonstration of simple patriotism, as elements of the warrior way still persist). Perhaps it is time to let go of our romantic notions, quit beating ourselves on the chest, and get a grip on reality, so that we can get on with the work that needs to be done to save life as we know it.

Again, you speak for all Native Americans? And do you suppose, pastyface, that there are not American Indians in this land who can see their own colonization and exploitation by the white colonizers for what it is? Hell, do you think there are white folks who do not recognize it? Take a look at the books we recommend on our sidebar. These are just an inth of the depth and breadth of the scholarship and wisdom from both people of color and whites who are thinking very deeply about the necessity of decolonization by all of us.

All we asked you as headmaster of your school to do was to provide complete and contextualized educational materials to your students so that they could see their opportunities to learn primitive lifeways in the context of an ongoing Holocaust of indigenous peoples. Mere self-preservation ought to compel them to WANT to know what happened, how it is remembered and resisted by Native Americans, and how the students can ally their deep caring for Earth to the struggles of indigenous peoples in mutual respect and edification.

But encouraging them to do that would mean giving up your guru control of everything that happens at the Teaching Drum, aye Same Ole Song?

"What about Native American treaty rights; do you support them?"

The concept of the Native American (or American Indian) is a construct, an invention of the conquerors. The same is true of treaties, reservations, blood quotas, tribal registrations - all designed to isolate and exterminate native populations. Those who accept and play by these rules, foster the illusion of helping the natives, where in actuality they are quickening the native's annihilation. Isolated minorities eventually disappear through intermarriage and the dissolution of their economic base, which gets absorbed into the dominant culture's.

And how do they get isolated in the first place? Because dominant culture non-Indians will not step up to their responsibilities to seek out (and stand shoulder to shoulder in resistance with) radical indigenous leadership that is well aware of the need for a balance between long-term strategies and short-term tactics.

The treaties themselves are largely farces, because treaties are impossible with native people, for these reasons:

1. Treaties need to be negotiated by legitimate legal entities.

Native nations are legitimate, legal entities in both U.S. domestic law and international human rights laws. Native nations made peace treaties with each other long before the white man got here. Have you ever availed yourself of a copy of the Great Binding Law of the Haudenosaunee? Did you know it was a model for the The Constitution? Or are you going to tell us that because the Haudenosaunee grew domesticated plants, that their culture is an alienated construct and not valid? How about we let the Haudenosaunee tell us what THEY think we ought to know about them:

"We exist as distinct peoples in the 20th century. The Haudenosaunee are unique in that we maintain one of the very few traditional governments in North America, free from the oppression of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and free from the lunacy of tribal elections. Our leaders are selected according to the oldest constitutional democratic systems.

We live a contemporary lifestyle and are not frozen in the past. While we still maintain practices that are rooted in the past, we apply those practices to define our place in the modern world. Our traditional culture is forward thinking, to assure our long-term survival. Our culture allows us to deal with the realities of the modern world, not by embracing any new fad, but continuing to absorb new traditions on our own terms.

We, like other peoples, continue to maintain our culture. Culture is not just the relics of the past, but patterns of thought and cycles of behavior that form the basic building blocks of our lives.

We, like other peoples, have our own world view. To say we are Haudenosaunee means that we have deep seated beliefs in our traditions and are committed to their survival. We are connected to a living earth and a spiritual universe. We have sacred duties to fulfill.

We continue to live on portions of our original territories. Our lands were never conquered by outsiders. We never consented to American or Canadian authority over our territories. Our lands were never placed in trust with the United States, as are most other Indian reservations. Our current territories were defined by four federal treaties.

We maintain our distinct laws and customs. Within our territories, where the Council of Chiefs are the sole governing authority, our own laws are in place, not the laws of the United States or Canada. We operate the Grand Council of Chiefs of the Six Nations under the Great Law of Peace which promotes peace, power and righteousness.

We have made many contributions to world culture. The Haudenosaunee have been instrumental in colonial history. After two hundred years of contact, the emerging American settlers adopted many Iroquoian ideas and practices in order to survive in our land.

We have a unique relationship to the United States and other nations. The federal treaties we have are very distinctive and provide the Haudenosaunee with a special status in Indian law. We maintain a government to government relations. We are not wards of the United States. We are independent nations, sovereign and free in our own territories.

The portrayal of Indians in the media perpetuates stereotypes that effect our relationships to non-Indians. Most people are seriously uniformed about the Haudenosaunee because of distorted textbooks, misguided movies and biased history books. Seldom have people been able to hear directly from the recognized traditional people of the Haudenosaunee to counteract the negative racial and cultural stereotypes perpetuated by American popular culture.

We are committed to maintaining our survival as distinct peoples. We believe that the lessons from Creation; the guidance of the Original Instructions; the unity of the Great Law of Peace, and the moral imperatives of the Gaiwiio provide the roadmap to our future."

Yep. They seem pretty damn clear about who they are, and what do you want to bet not a one of them has ever heard of Tamrack Song?

Natives are not tribal people: they live together in clans - extended family units of 15 to 25 people under the guardianship of an animal guide. Related clans, known as a culture group, live widely scattered over a region. Relationship is by clan rather than blood; for example, a Bear clan member of the Algonquian culture group would feel more closely related to Bear clan members of the Huron culture group than to at Crane clan member of the Algonquins. Natives of the same or neighboring culture groups, banded together as political entities (which we call tribes) only when crowded together on reservations or forced together by warfare.

A chief is a temporary leader, chosen for a specific task (such as a war chief or hunting chief), and who relinquishes his or her role when the task is completed.

The concept of the tribe as a stable political unit, and the chief as the established political leader of the tribe, is an illusion of the conquerors, based on the assumption that other people must be politically organized, just as they are. Neither tribe nor chief have the legal charter, permanent standing, or sanction of their people, to represent them in negotiating lasting and binding treaties.

The United States is the result of a land theft from England, who secured much of the land through thievery and coercion from the Dutch, Spanish, and French, who themselves came in possession of it via the same tactics. Oftentimes the United States negotiated treaties over land for which they did not hold clear title, even by their standards.

This does not read like your usual fluffy, new-age, self-absorbed language, Same Ole Song. Who are you quoting uncredited?

2. Treaties need to be negotiated in good faith.

And since they were not negotiated in good faith, it follows that the United States committed fraud with these instruments. If any one of us signed a rental or ownership agreement with a landlord or lender, when we failed to live up to any of the terms of the agreement (like paying rent), control of the property in the agreement would revert back to the landlord or bank, correct? Of course it would. So how's about we of the dominant, non-Indian culture start finding ways to hold our bribe-dealing government (which is only an expression of what white apartheid society is more than willing to tolerate) accountable for fraud and confront or abolish it.

It is the responsibility of ALL citizens to hold their government accountable to its own laws. The Germans were held accountable at the Nuremberg war crimes trials for not stopping Hitler and his genocidal march across Europe while they could. We are obligated do to no less. Remember. We are talking about genocide here.

In most cases, the government had hidden agendas, deliberately misrepresenting themselves and misleading the other party at the negotiating table. In essence, the treaties were a smokescreen for the extermination and exploitation that the powers-that-be had no intention of abating. For example, during the overrunning of the American West, treaties were "negotiated" at all, only because of pressure from liberal Easterners. It wasn't that they did not share the general goals of the Western front-liners, it was more that they wanted it done in a humanitarian way.

That the US has perverted treaties to their own ends does not mean that American Indians cannot hold that same entity accountable for living up to the legitimate aspects of the treaties. Accountability and law enforcement are what is being called for here. The US settler state claims it is a "government of laws not men". We, as its citizens, are responsible for holding that very government accountable to its laws or prosecuting it as out-law if it will not be held accountable.

3. The negotiators need to represent their constituents.By and large, those natives who purportedly negotiated and signed the treaties were acculturated. They were commonly known as "Mission Indians," "Fort Indians" (those who left their people to live in squatter's camps outside the forts and trading posts) or "Godfearing Indians" (meaning Christianized). Many signers were cajoled with alcohol and/or coerced with threats of the annihilation of their people. These signers were merely puppets or figureheads, who did not represent their people. Those who maintained their traditional ways would usually have nothing to do with the treaty negotiations, and history records dates and events and the voices surrounding them - the voices not at the treaty table went unheard, and their existence was forgotten. As well, conquerors are in the habit of hearing only what they want to hear.

The existence of Traditionals was not forgotten. They still exist! What we want to know, Same Ole Song, is where are you going with all these points, most of which are correct, and read like you "lifted" them out of somebody else's work. Are you a plagiarist as well as a cultural imperialist?

"What about great leaders such as Seattle, Joseph, Red Cloud and Sitting Bull," some will say, "did they not represent their people?" I would suggest that we look at these leaders not as they were before the treaty signings, but at what they became after the signings - Christians, farmers, proponents of schooling, and so on. Geronimo, for example, gave up the Old Way not because he was defeated militarily, as that is not the way of the warrior. He succumbed because of clan. For the Apache, clan matters above all else, and he saw there was no longer a way to maintain clan existence by running or resisting, so he and others went through the motions of appeasing the conqueror in an attempt to preserve the clan.

Nope. You did not make it far before you started repeating lies again, Same Ole Song! Geronimo was imprisoned and repeatedly tortured until his mind was shattered by the very same man who later was responsible for setting up the Indian Boarding School system, in which half of all American Indian children kidnapped from their people were murdered.

4. The negotiators need legal jurisdiction over, or ownership of, the points of negotiation.The natives did not own the land - they were of the land and shared it with all the plant and animal people who lived there. The land's "resources" were not theirs to disburse - the water and minerals and trees and animals were literally the people's mother and sisters and brothers. Natives were gypsies, living here today, somewhere else tomorrow, and maybe never seeing the same place twice. When the Buffalo moved, they moved.

Did the buffalo move to Alaska? Did the buffalo move to Mexico? Did the buffalo move to Peru? Are there penguins in Miami? Are there redwood trees in the Sonora? Are YOU planning to take your freak-show of school on the road next month to Arizona? Then you cannot, sir, be native, so you need to shut the hell up about everybody else's degree of nativeness or otherwise! The indigenous nations of this land were and are as diverse as the land itself.

There is overwhelming evidence for long-term occupation of most areas of Turtle Island by distinct peoples with separate languages and cultures. The Hopi witnessed the destruction of three of their ages or worlds, the first an age of fire, the second an age of ice, the third an age of water. This is not possible without long term residency in their homelands. Do you know what is happening to them in their homelands today?

Or is it that because they are not migratory enough now, you are going to say they are not truly native, ignoring their destruction in order to reap the benefits of that destruction - like 501c(3) non-profit status? That very legalized entity gives you a tax break from the federal government as well as to anyone donating to your school. So you get extra money by following TO THE LETTER, the tax code of the Occupation Government, yet you turn around and judge American Indians as not native enough because they want their treaties with OUR society honored!

What a hypocrite! What a lying, racist hypocrite!

Same Ole Song, it is obvious. You have simply reversed the polarity your ancestors used to dispossess American Indians of their ancient homelands. In the past, natives were not "civilized" enough. Now you are saying they are not "primitive" enough, and thereby granting yourself a pass on doing anything even remotely effective to stop the ongoing genocide while you play Indian safely behind the front lines.

Imagine having such a view of reality and being asked - or told - to sell something that simply could not be sold. The concept would be incomprehensible to you - there would be nothing to negotiate over. The conquerors were just as dumbfounded - they could not understand how someone could claim not being able to sell something because it was not his, and yet fight to the death to protect it.

The bottom line: virtually all treaties are bogus and amount to little more than a smokescreen to legitimize the rape of the planet. Buying into the treaty scam only further legitimizes the rape.

So again, resisting rape only further legitimizes the rape, like for example, setting up a 501c(3) non-profit rape crisis hotline?

Obviously, a rape crisis hotline is not enough to stop a system founded on rape. But it is an absolutely vital TACTIC that can be incorporated into the ultimate strategy of destroying the apartheid system that utilizes rape as a tool of oppression to maintain its dominance.

The current treaty rights movement is primarily about getting a piece of the pie - jockeying to gain economic advantage and control of resources. (Exceptions include subsistence hunting and fishing rights, the right to use traditional travel routes, and the right to maintain use of sacred places.)

Oh, ho!!!!! So suddenly now we have legitimate treaty rights???????!!!!!!!!!

Dude! Like, are there any treaties that DO NOT address these rights at some point in their wording?

We think you like these rights because they do not threaten your real estate holdings.

"Ok, the treaties were a sham, and yet we now have the present reality - reservations which are virtual concentration camps. What are you doing to help the situation"

To begin with, I would like to expose an illusion that most of us have bought into - that it is a them-and-us situation. We are all conquered people, we are all living on a reservation. English is not our native language, Christianity (or Judaism, atheism, nihilism, etc.) is not our native religion. The concept of them-and-us, with them being natives and us being of the dominant culture, is an illusion; we are all on this boat together.

There is a hierarchy of oppression, white man. The oppression of indigenous peoples is the bedrock upon which all the others rest. Dismantle that bedrock and we will have gone a very long way towards dis-integrating all the others. And unlike a woman, Same Ole Song, you are not facing a one in four chance of rape in your lifetime, so do not even think about telling women how much you "feel their pain".

Most of us don't recognize our reservation status because we have been drugged to numbness and brainwashed to submission.

So we are all dumb drunks? Doubt it! Looks like you are getting your butt handed to you by some very sober and very intelligent former students, employees, and other acquaintances who were/are horrified by the things we have heard come out of your despicable, racist mouth.

That does not make us privileged. It does perpetrate the grand illusion of privilege by keeping us placid and obedient. One look at the reality that is masked by the illusion, tells the story -- cancer, diabeties, heart disease, alcoholism, drug abuse, gender-elder-child abuse, universal loneliness and lack of self-knowing and self-purpose, epidemic levels of depression and other psycho-emotional imbalances, feeling like a stranger in the woods, global warming, poisoned food, water and air...is that privilege? Is getting to choose the model and color of my car, which side of the suburban street to live on, what 40-hour-a-week job to work, which fast food place to grab my lunch, and which side of the same coin to vote for, the exercise of privilege?

Compared to living in a car in the middle of a South Dakota winter like some people on the Pine Ridge Indian reservation have been forced to do? Yes, that difference is called Privilege! And no, being a wage-slave at Walmart is not fun. But it ain't chain gang labor at Angola either, now is it?

And who has the highest rates of all those maladies you listed in the second sentence? Yep. American Indians. You know, we are certain that those indigenous peoples on Turtle Island who suffer from diabetes would love to be able to return to THEIR ancestral diets, but the cost of things like salmon, wild rice, and buffalo are just beyond the reach of their $2000 dollar a year incomes.

That does not mean our culture has failed us: instead of the meaning of life, it has excelled at giving us meaningless life.

Getting Back to the reservations, they were never intended to be permanent homelands for natives. They were set up as transitional camps where the native could be acculturated, and then gradually merged into the population-at-large. Whether or not this is still the intention of the government, and whether or not this is the desire of the natives, it is still the inevitable fate of the reservation and the destiny of its inhabitants. The reservation system has been in use for thousands of years all across Eurasia, civilized Africa, and the civilized Americas, and in each case the reservation eventually disappears as its population becomes absorbed.

Oh, you just so wish their fate was inevitable don't you, Same Old Song? Are you aware that 19th century whites were constantly bemoaning the fate of the "disappearing Indian" as well? Breaking news, paleface! They still have not disappeared! Nothing is inevitable. Look, it's like this:

"The Indian plays much the same role in our American society that the Jews played in Germany. Like the miner's canary, the Indian marks the shift from fresh air to poison gas in our political atmosphere; and our treatment of Indians, even more than our treatment of other minorities, marks the rise and fall of our democratic faith." - Felix Cohen, modern founder of federal Indian law

If they are all murdered off, the rest of us do not stand a chance!

"What about the miserable condition of people living on the reservations?"

The main reason for their misery is not economic, it is because their spirits are broken. And yet the typical approach to helping them is economic. We are typical of materialist cultures - when we have a problem, we throw some money at it (or its equivalent). An unaculturated native would take a shack in the woods any day over a house with a lawn and indoor plumbing. When we think small we lose - to focus on what the powers-that-be say are the reservations, is to become blind to the fact that the whole rest of the civilized world is a reservation. And to the fact that the conquerors are continually at work maintaining that reservation and making a reservation of what little is left.

That imperial system of conquest as currently exercised by the United States gets its ability to make more reservations around the world by stealing uranium from the lands of indigenous peoples for its weapons. YOU and your family, Same Ole Song, do not live next to an irradiated pile of tailings, none of your students have to work in the uranium mines to afford your school, and the bombs the uranium goes into are not tested on your land.

You bloody well better believe the main reason for their misery is economic! Theft of mineral resources that go into the making of the US imperialist state's technologies of death come from those lands at cut rate prices while Native Americans starve, die of cancer, or are murdered for standing up for their sovereignty rights that would put a stop to the exploitation. Without this internal colonization of Native North America, reservations in places like Iraq and Afghanistan could not be made.

For all your so-called nativeness, Same Ole Song, you yourself do not live in a shack. While one of us was a student at your school (back in the days when it only cost $3600/yr), your house was being completely remodeled into the showpiece it is today. While no student labor was used in the building of the house, attention that normally would have gone to the students, went instead into house building. Students in the 2002 Yearlong program went hungry (or were slopped tasty treats like roadkill deer fetuses) while laborers living at the school's center took the lion's share of the food. Twelve out of fourteen students quit the 2002 Yearlong because of the neglect and abuse.

It's too late to save what was - that is hanging on to a romantic notion of the past. This is now, and we are here as a bridge, to bring the wisdom of our ancestors to the coming seventh generation. The clan memory is a continuum, not a relic.

"Tamarack, in what kinds of political issues are you personally involved?"

I could fill books with that story, only I'm not going to take the time, because it is not important. I learned a lot as an activist, and now I am doing things that are making a difference. That doesn't mean I'm no longer involved in activist activities; however, most of what I do now is smokescreen and trickster motivated. I would be an idiot to tell you publically what I am doing to transform the present order. However, I'll describe a couple of my very-visible diversionary activities (and perhaps some of you will have an idea as to what they are really all about); I am working with the Wolf River Protection Fund to help raise the 8 million dollars needed complete the purchase of the land and mineral rights from a mining company that had been attempting to start an open pit mine which would have contaminated our regional watershed. The land is sandwiched between two local native reservations - Mole Lake Ojibwe and the Potawatomie. (The man who designed and produced the informational materials for the Fund is designing my next book).

Yeah, we figured it had to be all about you somehow! Notice how Tamarack mystifies his activist involvements. He does this so he cannot be held accountable when HIS activism falls short of its stated goals.

Wait. Did you just say "purchase the land and mineral rights"? Now that's not very native of you, Tamarack! We thought you said real natives do not buy and sell land or resources. Ever. What sort of huntergatherindigenousclan way is this to control what happens at the Wolf River? By the way, do you still sell shares in the Teaching Drum that gives investors the right to live on the school's land? Does your lapdog, spokesmouth Glenn Helkenn still own a share of that land?

By the way, this mine issue is a good example of the shortsightedness and ultimately harmful effect of most political acts. When the aforementioned mine was stopped, everyone celebrated. Almost everyone - I mourned. I knew that when you play someone else's game, you loose, no matter what the scoreboard says. I did some research, and sure enough, the company's game was to find the path of least resistance. They had several feelers out to see where they could rape with the least headache, and they ended up in South America, where they could mine with much less oversight. This means far more poisoning of The Mother than if the mine had been here, where at least there would have been some regulation to reduce environmental effect during mining, along with a degree of mandatory cleanup and restoration.

Environmental regulation by who, dear? The very same imperialist, white male racist entity that poisoned the land in the first place? Mandatory cleanup and restoration by who, hon? Ojibwe traditionals? Or Eurosupremacist, corporate industrialists?

Yes, rapists look for other victims. It's why we make allies, numbskull. It's why we communicate with one another about effective strategies and tactics so that we can learn from each other's successes. "A degree of mandatory cleanup...." Jesus. What kind of crack is he smoking?

Our cultural upbringing has conditioned us to focus, and we have become good at it. The exploiters cry "foul" when we band together to save a Tree, and behind our backs they laugh at our foolishness, because we have given them the run of the Forest. That will only change when we change - when we get out of our egos and return to relationship. When honor and respect is the means, it will become the and.

For a couple of my other current political involvements, watch for two new web pages from me, which will be up-and-running in the near future.I'd like to caution you about putting much stock in these visible activities of mine, as they are nothing in comparison with my real involvements.Please visit our website at

http://www.teachingdrum.org/
So now you have "political involvements"? Talk about an alienated, dominant-culture construct. And of course, there is no effective checks and balance on your "involvements" because you just gave yourself some really slippery wiggle-room with the "I'm a trickster" business, you know, just in case it turns out you too got played by "someone else's game"!

A website? How very huntergatherclanindigenous of you! Is this going to be like that Warrior Way website you and yours have been talking about for years now? You will excuse us if we don't hold our breaths. Just our noses. Good god, somebody please, strike a match. Or at least give us a courtesy flush!

Hey, Hey. Ho, Ho. This racist crap has got to go.

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5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

“Luther Standing Bear expressed this process of becoming indigenous when he remarked that: ‘the man from Europe is still a foreigner and an alien...but in the Indian the spirit of the land is vested; it will be until other men are able to divine and meet its rhythm. Men must be born and re-born to belong. Their bodies must be formed of the dust of their fore fathers bones’”.*emphasis is mine.
(Sacred Lands And Human Understanding, Vine DeLoria, Jr. 1991, Hoka Hey Magazine, Fall/Winter, 1992, P.6)

DeLoria elaborates on Standing Bear’s observation:

“Although non-Indians are born in North America, they are not indigenous to North America and they remain strangers in a land they do not understand. They have not had sufficient time to set down roots that will enable them to understand America or themselves. American Indians are indigenous because we have paid attention to what the land is saying to us and where there are sacred places we have become a member of the community of those places, where there are holy places we have paid utmost respect, and where we have consecrated the land with our lives and blood we have truly become native to this land.”
(Sacred Lands and Human Understanding, Vine DeLoria, Jr. 1991, Hoka Hey Magazine, Fall/Winter, 1992, P. 7)

12/22/2005 3:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sydney ,referred by the local Aborigines as "Warrane",has been inhabited for at least 50,000 years.50,000 year old grindstones been found in the area recently, predating any previous finds worldwide...read more

5/28/2007 2:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have not heard of any local tribes in full support of the teaching drum, in fact some of the things i have heard are in opposition of the drum and what it's doing. i think it's a cult with a capitol C. We cannot make up what we feel is true, truth is truth, lies are lies. i do believe anyone can know the land and live the good road, but we won't find any of these people advertising themselves.

1/01/2008 1:02 PM  
Blogger Nemeses said...

We hear you on the "Cult" observation. That's spot on. We really ought to use that word more than we do around here. Thanks for checking out what we have to say so thoroughly, and for your comment.

Do you think the land calls people to her? Do you have any thoughts on the way that the land indigenizes people over time?

1/03/2008 10:02 AM  
Blogger Saladman said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9/28/2009 2:48 PM  

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