Sunday, December 02, 2007

We Get Mail

The correspondent below is reacting to a post we made over a year and a half ago. The webpage it references no longer contains the relevant information. Our first concern of course is where our correspondent stands on the issue of Tamarack Song, not NAFPS drama. However, her comments highlight the often complex nature of ally work, and we appreciate that Ms. Archer wants to explain her growth. We don't get the sense, however, that she has read much of our website. Otherwise, she would know who Bryan is. We sure don't.

Look before you leap, dear. It's our theme, afterall.
Hi Bryan,

I was looking at the webstats for the Iladurarrak page, and I noticed you had visited. And I followed the link to your blog discussion. I left a posting, but also wanted to email you personally.

I just wanted to offer a couple of things. I don't know you - and so I'm offering these things in a good way, for clarity.

First, before you make any judgments about me personally, or the Iladurarrak pages - I would ask you to visit the organization I helped to found and coordinate - Four Directions Solidarity/Indigenous Network. The address is

I don't think any sort of plastic or wannabe would be able to pull off this sort of effort with as much Native support as we have had.

I was also a member of the Indigenous Delegation to the US Social Froum held this summer in Atlanta. I was invited by other Indigenous people in attendance to help draft the Indigenous Declaration to the Social Forum.

Also, you might be interested to know that I am an adopted member of the Oglala Lakota Cante Tisa (Strongheart Warrior Society) led by Duane Martin Sr. I think it says something that I have been adopted into one of the most traditional, hard-core warrior societies on Turtle Island. If I was some fake - this would have never happened.

Duane Martin was at Wounded Knee 73. Russell Means is also a Strongheart, as are the hip-hop group Savage Family. They also led the protests at this years Columbus Day protests in Denver with CO AIM. I think I stand in some pretty good company.

I don't like talking about myself. I'de rather not have to share these things. But I also feel like the awakening of people of European heritage back to their ancestors is a critical part of this age. So I have some sensitivity when people just decide to try and destroy the work I've been doing.

I don't charge money for any traditional work or ceremony I do - regardless what others may have said. Any confusion of this stems from about 2.5 years ago when I was just trying to figure out how to reach other people of Euro-heritage. I since I have changed the way I do this work based on traditional teachings.

I try not to criticize others. I will say my experience with the New Age Fraud/Plastic Shaman group was really saddening. I joined that group because we (myself, Stronghearts, members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee)are talking about putting on a Forum on Appropriation down here in NC. I thought they (NAFPS) would be allies. How wrong I was.

I offered to speak with anyone on the message boards with concerns about what I do by phone - and all I received was insults and piling on. It was clear the 'truth' wasn't a goal of this group - scorched earth policy was.

I even told a good story - a powerful story to people who know about traditional things - and all I got was flamed. I'de be pissed if I didn't feel so much sadness. It's hard to believe there are people like that saying they are working for Indigenous people and issues.

It was clear there was no understanding of traditional things. And everyone hiding behind screennames? This is activism? Who is this group accountable to? What Nation? What traditional council or government? These things trouble me.

When I realized they had close ties to Arvol Looking Horse - then some things made more sense to me because Duane and the Stronghearts were asked by the Grandmothers to speak with Arvol about some of his recent decisions and actions. It has been a contentious issue within the Lakota Nation, and Arvol was upset. But that's Lakota business. But maybe the people on this list knew this - and felt like they needed to attack. I don't know.

Ironically, Duane and I met at World Peace and Prayer Day at Elk Creek in 2005 - where we worked together with a few other people to make that event happen for Arvol, when other people failed to do what needed to be done. I arrived in SD several days before the event to help set up. I was proud to help make that event happen - and it has led to my present work.

So, without going on further - sometimes things aren't as simple and black and white as some people would like. You can't know a person, who they are, what they do by the goddamn internet. These people are indigenous?

I work in a traditional way, with other Indigenous people who fight for sovereignty and strength of Native people during this great time of change. I'll continue to do this in the best way I can with the spiritual guidance of my people and our Spirits.

I hope what I've shared with you has been helpful. Maybe you don't care about all this - but I feel I need to defend my Ancestors, and the work I personally do to bring their wisdom back - and to support the traditional sovereignty and strength of other Indigenous peoples.

If these are things you are interested in - I would invite you to learn more about Four Directions and get involved if you like. We need good people who care about Indigenous resistance, preserving traditional culture, and bringing people from the Four Directions together in a good way to help heal our world.

Take care,
Naomi Archer


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