The Fallacy of Indigenous Nationhood
January 7, 2013
- Siem Maquinna, Earl George of the Ahousahts, to the author, Port Alberni, May 1995
All of the data indicates that nations at war suffering mortality rates exceeding 25% are permanently traumatized and destroyed, for they are incapable of ever recovering their pre-war integrity. They become for all practical purposes ghost societies.
- United States Air Force Manual on War and Counter-Insurgency, Washington, spring 1983
We've created a completely new Indian society and we're the new leaders of it. It's a done deal.
- Wendy Grant-John, government Indian and "chief" of the Musqueam Tribal Council, April 2006
by Kevin Annett
(abridged by henrymakow.com)
Indigenous nationhood, like Democracy or Christianity, is a wonderful idea; and wonderfully absent, in practice.
None of us have ever actually experienced these ideals - and yet how passionately we pretend to. In truth, we settle for cheap facsimiles of these visions that our various rulers convince us are the Real Deal. And sadly, we've believed their lie for so long that even now we teach it to one another, and to our children.
Let me leave aside the matter of Democracy, and Christianity, since I'm sure my gentle readers will need little convincing that marking ten ballots in one's lifetime and sitting in boredom in a church pew for an hour doesn't amount to much of anything. But I expect I'll have tougher sledding when it comes to tackling the fallacy of Indigenous nationhood.
The hard historical truth is that all genuine indigenous nations were historically uprooted and expunged by European colonialism within a few generations of contact.
All of them.
On average, more than 90% of the indigenous people and their nations in the western hemisphere were eventually exterminated by European weapons and diseases, starting with the oldest people, the learned, and the carriers of tradition and authority. The butchery began in 1492 in the Caribbean and ended around 1910 on Canada's west coast.
Killing off ninety percent of a people means, effectively, killing off all of a people. Recovery and continuity is impossible, especially after the children of the remnant populaces endure the massive brainwashing and cultural re-cloning fondly called Christian Education.
What remains today in the wake of this worst massacre in human history are not even pale imitations of those original nations, but something altogether new: namely, "ab-original" societies, manufactured by the conquering powers of church and state. For ab-original means, according to any dictionary, not of the original group.
NATIVE PEOPLE LIKE ALL OF US HAVE BEEN MANUFACTURED
In none of the hundreds of native groups I've worked with over the decades, have more than a handful of people known even a smattering of their original languages; nor do they practice their traditional ways, since those ways are gone.
None of them can live off the land, or practice ceremonies and rituals going back centuries. Their attitudes and hopes are the same as everybody else. They all flock into the same malls, buy the same pointless things, and poison their kids at the same fast food dumps as the "whites". And most of them pay taxes and vote and call themselves Canadians.
But what's most important, most of these aboriginals acknowledge that their traditional nation is dead and gone.
There are rare exceptions. But native men and women who aren't caught up in the money-chasing game of aboriginal politics are the first to admit that they are not indigenous, and know nothing of who they are, and were.
The vast majority of natives who don't play the Professional Indian game are invisible to the rest of us. I only began to know them when I became an outcast from my own culture and began to share their alienation. The Professional Indians, contrarily, are the only ones that you are allowed to see.
After all, upon whom has your attention been riveted by the corporate media for many weeks now other than "Chief" Theresa Spence, the $85,000 a year pseudo-hunger striker who is the poster-person of the government-launched dissent-funneling operation known as Idle No More?
Of course, this kind of fraud is nothing new. Conquerors always create their own version of the ones they've destroyed. The same thing happened to my former people in the Gaelic Highlands after English bayonets and schools wiped us out after 1745.
In truth, that's because a colonized people are no longer a people, but an appendage - that's the Latin meaning of "colon" - of the bigger Body Politic of the Conquerors. The remnant ab-originals depend on that Body for their very life and identity. Ask any AFN chief what he or she would do without a pay cheque from Ottawa. Ask Theresa Spence.
In Canada, as in America, the Pale Eaters - otherwise known as white people, since Assimilation means to eat someone - keep chewing up and swallowing ever more of the colonized peoples. They do so literally, by grabbing their children, their future, their lands and resources, and symbolically, by making the colonized perform for them to assuage their guilt and maintain the lie that Genocide didn't really happen in their country.
"IDLE NO MORE" A PUBLICITY STUNT
There is no authentic Indian leadership in Canada; how can there be, after all, in the wake of such a cunning arrangement? And so the AFN and other cardboard creations are collapsing, having zero credibility, starting with young native men and women.
So what does it all mean?
Actually, a lot, once we drop all our blinders.
The indigenous nations that we all once were have vanished, chewed up by a corporate global machine, and we stand now in need of a new definition that embraces our collective humanity and the natural law that has always been our true bedrock.
We, humanity, are in a final war for survival. But as long as we cling to all the false divisions and labels imposed on us by the rulers, we'll remain what we are: appendages of a thing that is killing our children, our souls, and our world. And we will all go under, regardless of our political correctness.
Who is an Elder, anyway? I guess we all become one, eventually. And I suppose that I am an Elder, now, after more than twenty years of struggle. But I don't need anybody to tell me that I am.
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Henry Makow received his Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Toronto in 1982. He welcomes your comments at