Delegates from 34 Native Nations at the Creek Council House in Indian Territory, now called Oklahoma, 1880
We Are Native because We Are
These are present tense statements. Our connections to our Native Nations and Native communities are current. They are not something in the past or the distant past. They exist now.
I am Mvskoke because my mother Mona Lee Smith Rothschild is. She is Mvskoke because her mother Leola May Berryhill Smith, my grandmother is. My grandmother is Mvskoke because her mother, my great grandmother Jeanetta May Grayson Berryhill is, and because her father, my great grandfather Pleasant Luther Berryhill is, and ad infinitum.
It is the same thing with my next door neighbors. They are Cherokee because their father is. He is Cherokee because his father, their grandfather is. He is Cherokee because his father, their great grandfather is and so on through numerous great grandfathers and great grandmothers.
My children are Mvskoke because I am. My grandchildren are Mvskoke because their mother is. And so the future will go on further.
None of us are alone either. I come from a large family and I believe my neighbors do as well. I have many 1st and 2nd cousins either reconnecting or in most cases never left the embrace of our Tribal Nation.
All of us have great responsibilities to learn, grow, and teach others, now and in future generations. In person, remote, and digitally documented. Digitize, digitize! Speak it, show it, write it, type it, scan it, photograph it, video it and share it all.
Waking up from the effects of genocide
This is what genocide, colonialism, and assimilation do. They disconnect survivors from our Native Nations and Native communities. They turn our collective focus and growth into scattered individuals with no connections rather than nourishing vibrant communities; rather than connecting citizenry of Native Nations that existed for tens of thousands of years at minimum, way before the United States or Canada. They slowly and sometimes invisibly burn our Native Nations and Native communities down to nothing or next to nothing.
Our ancestors are not prehistoric people either
I saw on Twitter today a post where a skull was found in a construction site in Oklahoma and of course, it was a prehistoric skull. Just one example of the relentless, uncountable and never ending dehumanizing minimization of Native lives. History didn’t start in North America when white colonizers came. Geesh.
We are whole and not fractional people
Colonizers of course, did everything they could to kill every Native in North America. When all was nearly done and colonizers were coveting the final pieces of Native land, they invented blood quantum. To this day Native peoples are categorized by the government as to what fraction of a whole Native they are. No other group have their ‘pedigree’ measured. Yet we are human beings, not dogs or horses; we are never a partial person. Still, colonizers think nothing of minimizing our humanity and of reducing our Native being to inevitable mathematical disappearance.
Truth be told, there are only 2 valid measurements of Indigeneity, either 100% or 0%. There is no in-between or fractional state. A person is either all Native or they are not Native at all. Native Nations and Native communities decide who is Native, not colonizer governments or non-Native people.
Thank the Creator
Our Nations have woken up. There is a great return and indwelling of citizens back to the Native Nations and Native communities. Thank you Creator.
Yes, there is much work to do, but I do believe the future is bright for Natives, Native Nations and Native communities.
Genocide, murder, kidnapping, torture, abuse, rape, enslavement, theft, dishonesty & more are the dominant attributes of Christianity. Inextricably linked to the ruling empires of whiteness since at least the 4th century ce, Christianity’s sins have towered immeasurably over those it chose to evangelize & “civilize”.
And this is still the situation today.
Many people would put Christianity in the headline and sub-headline in scare quotes as though they weren’t true, but this is my point, they are true.
This post is not a pre-1492 or post-1492 history lesson, so keep in mind if I write about something as though it were a fact, it is because it is a fact. If you do not know the facts, you need to go back to the books. There is plenty of well documented, scholarly and non-propagandized history accessible to the general public. We live in an age of shared knowledge and communication which are the medicines breaking the false hierarchies.
This post is not a theology lesson either, so if what you think are basic tenets of the Christian religion don’t align with what I’m saying, you need to go back to the book. It would be understandable if you thought the Christian Testament was a tool of colonialism and other horrors, because it has been used that way, but again read the book in its full context. Maybe this is the wrong time to let your pastor tell you what the Bible says and means.
You will find there is no biblical support for the combined actions of the European descended colonizer governments and churches in the Americas (North, Central and South) or Africa and other locations.
Murder is murder, theft is theft and lies are lies.
You can’t attack a people, kill their families, steal everything they have, and then lie to yourself and others that their (self-defense) justified your actions.
The entire North, Central and South Americas belong to the Indigenous of the Americas. The Indigenous were doing just fine before 1492, and no Indigenous people attacked Europe and any other lands that were not their own. Anything else that happened was purely instigated by and the results including all future results are owned fully by the European colonizers and their descendants.
Ditto, the Indigenous peoples of Africa were minding their own business in their own continent, when European colonizers invaded their lands and started stealing their lands and resources, as well as selling their people internationally.
Christian colonizers think keeping what you steal is OK
This is big. This is a concept that permeates Christian thinking today from MAGA to Progressive in even the most mundane ways. Rarely is restitution or restorative thinking a part of justice. Every excuse in the book gets pulled out.
Even worse, colonizers think murdering and stealing human beings, and all their possessions has no consequence for white people but BIPOC can rot in the graves or prisons for defensive actions. The self-deceitful enormity and variety of this goofy thinking is mind-boggling and can be worked into all kinds of action avoidance and intellectual mumbo-jumbo.
It might be convenient for murdering thieves and their descendants to think it was a long time ago, or that they didn’t personally do those things but those are just Christian criminal rationalizations for their continued enjoyment of ill-gotten gains. Do you think those excuses would deter the US Government from seizing the assets of a mafioso’s family or a drug lord’s?
If I steal your wallet and it has $1000 in it, when I get caught, are you OK that I bought my kid an iPhone with my ill-gotten gains, and that my kid should keep it with no remuneration to you? Spin in all the circles of self-deceit you want, it’s stolen property, there was no legitimacy from the get go.
Forgiveness is one thing… and the we are all broken mantra is another
But nowhere did Jesus say when you steal something, you and your descendants get to keep it and all appreciations if you get caught or held to a righteous standard. The Mormons might have alluded to this, but nowhere in the Christian Testament did Jesus say skin color is a measure of value and evil and that white is the best of both. Nowhere does Jesus say you can kill people that don’t believe as you do or are in the way of some land you covet. Manifest Destiny is a lie, the Doctrine of Discovery is the crazy rambling of a man (and system) that thinks he is the sole telephone system with G-d. All of this nonsense needs to be filed right next to the flat earth and falling off the edges nonsense.
In recent months watching reactions and actions (or lack of them) to over 1500 dead indigenous children that could scale to over 100,000 dead indigenous children, along with the denial and lack of cooperation from supposedly godly people really turned out to be a knowledge blessing for me.
Christianity sucks. Denial of this is the most anti-spiritual thing you can do. Seriously people, is your god so small that they need your help hiding and minimizing crimes against humanity? If you love G-d, let it rip people! G-d will joy in your embrace of the truth and justice. G-d takes no joy in your silence over crimes in “The Church”. Imagine Jesus staying silent as he toured the country and witnessed corruption in organized religion, its leaders and the people who followed them…
Yet your average American Christian acts like it’s sinful to criticize crimes in “The Church”.
You can’t put new wine in old wineskins
I spent at least 45 years of my adult life trying to figure out how to best fix the inequitable American political system. Vote, protest, vote, protest… crickets. Finally fully embracing my own Native heritage, engaged in 2 way relationship with my Tribal Nation, and plugged into the pain and joy of my Indigenous relatives across the Western Hemisphere, the light-bulb turned on.
You can’t fix what was designed and maintained as broken on purpose. The 2 party system, the Democratic/Republican Party, the Democratic Socialists of America, or even full on Socialism or Communism or any other colonizer construct will not fix the American Empire. Christianity of any kind will not be the guiding light in a governmental sense, ever.
At the pace of change (currently backwards), you’d be lucky if 500 or a 1000 years from now that prosperity would be respectful and equitable. More than likely, the best you’d get, even then, is keep voting, this is the election that will change everything… Yeah right…
The land and sovereignty of North, Central and South America have to go back to the Indigenous. All of it.
Ditto for the treasures and extraction wealth. Additionally, BIPOC peoples need reparations. It doesn’t matter if the governments of the Western Hemisphere go bankrupt in the processes. It wasn’t theirs to begin with.
One thing totally missing from the colonized criminalized Christian mindset is you just can’t keep moving forward without cleaning up your mess. The colonizer violence, theft and oppression are Ponzi schemes. They are unsustainable, they will collapse of their own weight. At its worst, the damage to our only home the Earth we are experiencing today is unforgivable. We must stop this and righting the wrongs of the last 529 and especially the last 200 years is the only way.
The European colonizers cannot bring life back to their murder/genocide victims & they cannot replace the lives they stole in slavery, but they can replace the material things and concepts they stole and murdered (like land & sovereignty) and make reparations to the rightful descendants.
Absolutely, as lands, wealth and power are returned to their rightful owners, this would produce a wildly different North America, South America, Africa & other areas. The status quo would be incredibly disturbed, it would be a lot of work reversing hundreds of years of theft and murder/genocide; it would be painful for some.
Western governments need to disband and fully cease operations. No Big Daddy relationships. The churches need to go back to living rooms where they belong. Both need render their criminal gains to the rightful owners. period.
In the end everyone would be glad, for the Indigenous are not like European Christian colonizers. They do not feed on the oppression and possessions of others.
One final non-secular point: Christianity has to decide, is Jesus more important or is the US/Canada/Europe criminal colonial model and its ill gotten gains more important?
My guess is the criminal colonial model is way more important to everyday Christianity, and all the books, worship, cathedrals, Christian politicians and Christian rock and roll won’t fix the broken and useless witness of Christianity in its likely final demise. Hopefully I’m wrong about this 2nd to last paragraph, but I doubt it.
Personally, I don’t see how you can be a Christian and a follower of Jesus at the same time. Christianity is the anti-Christ near as I can tell.