(submitted to me for posting by blackbear~mato)


US Elections: We Are the Wolf

┬ęby Doug George-Kanentiio

I am a citizen of the Mohawk Nation, Haudenosaunee Confederacy. My
national status prohibits me from casting a vote in the election of a foreign
nation such as the United States. I adhere to the decision by the Haudenosaunee to
reject the 1924 Indian Citizenship Act since it would not only qualify our
standing as Iroquois but, if embraced, will inevitably lead to the termination
of our treaty relationships with the US, Britain, France and many other Native
nations.

Our leaders have made it quite clear: a tribe is not a nation, therefore
we are not tribes. While there are some Iroquois who do vote and give money
to US politicians they do so against our own laws and customs. We were
instructed at the time of first meeting with the Europeans not to become entangled in
their affairs. We set in place for all time an agreement we call Kaswenta or
the Two Row Wampum. This most sacred of covenants states that we shall glide
along the river of life in our canoe while the European is in his ship. We may
travel in the same direction but risk our lives if we attempt to cross from
one vessel to the other. This treaty remains in effect after 380 years.

We do, as thinking humans, have our opinions as to the political
situation in Canada and the US since whomever assumes power in those two nations must
be instructed as to their obligations under treaty. The recent US elections
are causing great concern among the Haudenosaunee and its allies.
Our sense of alarm was affirmed when the Republican Party used a family of
wolves to cause fear in the hearts of the American people. The wolf is an
honored being among us and is one of the three clans of the Mohawks and Oneidas as
well as a clan for the other nations. Over the generations we have learned
much from this wise being whose strength, loyalty and intelligence is righfully
admired by all Native peoples.

We have come to understand that the Europeans hate and fear the wolf
since they cannot control him. They have often intertwined Native people and
wolves and are obsessive about using our repsective images to do very bad
things. We have been treated as has the wolf: despised, hunted down, murdered. Our
environment destroyed, our families-packs rubbed out, the truth of our cultures
lied about while we have been subjected to the most vile of stereotypes. Just
look at the mascots of the University of Illinois, University of Florida,
Cleveland Indians, Atlanta Braves, Washington Redskins, South Dakota's "Fighting
Sioux".

We are, just as the wolf, barometers of the health of Anowarakowa, the Great
Turtle Island and its current condition is bordering on the critical When the
Republicans abuse the wolf they attack us as well as we are committed to the
survival of our four legged brother-sister. This is what the entire Bush
campaign centered upon: fear. Not a call to honor, service, compassion, truth,
integrity but fear so powerful as to cause the American voter to put aside their
common sense and return to power a man who caused an unjust war in which tens
of thousands of human beings have died. This is a man of minute compassion
who is a destroyer of the earth, a killer of lifegivers, a deceiver and a
coward. But those who managed his campaign knew that fear, with its instinctive
complusion towards self preservation is more powerful than all the ideals
appealed to by his opponent.

Integrity counted for nothing during this mean election. If they could
have gotten away with having Native men lurking in the woods, waiting to
launch a sneak attack on the helpless settlers they would have done so. Fear the
opponents to Manifest Destiny, depict them as cruel, inhuman, bloodthirsty,
merciless. Once those images are fixed in the mind the rationale for
exterminating them is a matter of course. Just like they are now doing to anyone who
stands in their way. Listen carefully to how the US troops in Iraq describe their
enemies or rationalize the killing of women, elders and children: the wild west
is back and the insurgents are those pesky redskins. As for the non-combatant
casualties? Don't forget, nits make lice.

The cowardly French, sneaky Arabs, vodka sodden Russians, heartless
Germans. Damn them all and throw in the finicky Canucks as well. They can all stew
in the same pot along with the Indians and wolves.

The process of selecting a US president has drifted so far away from the
principles of Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin as to no longer resemble
their intent. They rebelled against the excesses of a despot while establishing a
government which is supposed to act as a harness on the more radical of human
ambitions. What would they say about the demolition of our environment? An
act blatantly uncaring and perversly suicidal. Yet virtually nothing was said
about this issue, as if the rights of the unborn meant nothing to the
devourers. Ecocide: The willfull and deliberate destruction of an ecological system or
planet.

That is why we, as Haudenosaunee, watched the Americans go crazy and
give almost unlimited power to a man of blind conviction. Americans have to be
more than a little mad: how else to explain this wickedness?

The wolf ad worked very well. It will be cited throughout the years as
the most effective commericial of the Bush campaign.

And as for the get-out-the-Native vote: it was a huge gamble which
flopped. All the Republican candidates in areas with significant Native voters won:
Oklahoma, South Dakota, Alaska, New Mexico, Arizona despite the overwhelming
support for the Democrats among Native people. Don't think for an instant the
Republicans will forget this either. Just wait until the Indian Gaming Act is
revised.

Meanwhile, we'll join our wolf cousins and watch from the woods.