The Politics of Liberation 

[This recent article is brilliant]

 Thomas_Ridout_map_of_Grand_River_Indian_Lands,_1821 100411-fleming-smokeshack-protest-caledonia-mv-024

If, as a non-Aboriginal you have ever given thought to the politics of race-based abject poverty, here is a link to a brilliant article.

For anyone (Aboriginal or settler) who has never comprehended the full brilliance of the Two Row Wampum, here is vivid explanation of how it is that each nation should, “steer their own boats” and “not interfere with each other’s internal affairs.”

The author (Tom Keefer) is not Aboriginal but has been in the middle of many pro-Aboriginal protests throughout the years. Without agreeing with all of Keefer’s activities, he poses a troubling concern for those who choose to subvert Aboriginal rights.

In his piece, Keefer draws large amounts of data from the Black rights movement in the USA in the late 1960’s and 1970’s.  The words and thoughts of noteworthy black activists like Stokely Carmichael and Charles Hamilton are used throughout Keefer’s article.

None-the-less, the thought of uniting native and non-native activists around causes such as “rights” must be chillingly frightening to those who, for generations have exploited the politics of “divide and conquer”.  This article is refreshing in its frankness.  The downtrodden, the weak, the impoverished and the politically disenfranchised have a great deal in common and have common gripes against those who would use race and economic status to determine “right and wrong”.  

If you take the time and read the entire article and then pause and give it thought, the code of Handsome Lake, Carmichael correctly points out where non-Aboriginal supporters of “Indigenous Rights” is most important.  Carmichael tells those who support “Native Rights” to focus their energies and their protests in their own (non-native) communities. “One of the most disturbing things about almost all white supporters has been that they are reluctant to go into their own communities – which is where the racism exists – and work to get rid of it.’

I shall watch the backlash from recent legislation dealing with the smoke shacks at places such as Six Nations at Grand River.  It is apparent that since the Haldimand Proclamation (1784), the honest intent of sovereignty ever occurring has constantly been under attack (most recently at Caledonia).

May it come to pass that someday,  the courses of two vessels — a Haudenosaunee canoe and a European ship — traveling down the river of life together, may run truly parallel though never touching the three white stripes denote peace and friendship.



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