Settlers, Immigrants, and the Kaianerehkó:wa
By Kahehtí:io, Rotiskare:wake
I should first point out that my assertion that settlers should identify as immigrants to begin true reconciliation with Onkwehón:we, is primarily directed toward settlers of European descent for they initially laid the colonial foundations that set the stage and standard of living for all other immigrants to come. They have also proven the most stubborn, ignorant and racist in response to Onkwehón:we exercising self-determination and land preservation.
In order to understand the context in which I make my assertion one must first gain an objective perspective regarding the imposition of euro-settler colonial society on turtle island, it’s ideologies, and the ruin it has caused.
Settler society remains intrusive and a tool for colonial expansion and empire building. Its systems/institutions are inherently out of touch with reality i.e out of balance with the natural world. Maintaining balance is an intrinsic part of Onkwehón:we worldview and needs to be seriously examined, considered and adhered to if we are to collectively survive.
Colonialism and its doctrines of domination offer justification for systems such as capitalism to thrive as they exploit and ravage the natural world. This way of life and the kind of thinking behind it needs to come to an end, as such self destructive practices should no longer be tolerated in a society with a conscious populace.
The established institutions of greed, exploitation, oppression and destruction of all life must be identified, addressed, confronted and rectified by the very people these institutions are supposedly meant to serve. This must be done soon or else there will be nothing left for future generations to enjoy.
It is imperative for all those with a sound mind and able body to accept personal responsibility to correct wrong doings less we resign ourselves to mere spectators in our collective ruin. Take for instance the man made Fukushima disaster that continues to poison the waters and threatens all life, it’s a no brainer that all nuclear reactors should be decommissioned, yet the very institutions we expect/have faith in to act in our place to protect life are the very institutions that are responsible for bringing about this destruction.
We cannot expect or misplace our faith in these institutions of industry and government to correct themselves. They are out of touch with reality as they instead subscribe to a man made “reality” where the acquisition of wealth reigns supreme. They are thus – in every sense of the word – delusional. We should not intrust our collective well-being to those who have proven themselves incapable and incompetent, failing to do so makes us just as culpable and irresponsible.
Attempting to reform or salvage such a colonial system is an insult to the idea of liberty itself. It overlooks and seeks to mitigate the condition of those who have, and continue to suffer from genocide, slavery, displacement, discrimination and forced assimilation at its hands.
The entire colonial construct along with its ideologies of domination and superiority are responsible for birthing a delusional, out of touch with the natural world societal construct. By denouncing colonialism i.e. settler society we can than mutually work to replace it with life ways based upon the epistemologies of Onkwehón:we.
With the dismantling of colonial and Christian based notions of being separate and above nature, comes with it changing the historical narrative which includes the falsehood that European explorers “discovered” this land which implies it was uninhibited and up for the taking. The idea or concept of the ‘settler’ or colonist must than be redefined. I think the term immigrant is an appropriate designation.
Definition of immigrant: A person who comes to live permanently in a foreign country. (Should this definition not seek to include their descendants?)
There is something very wrong with the logic of the settler, take for instance if one were born on Mars, the settler would then identify as a Martian thus usurping the identity of actual Martians (if any, past or present), at no point would the settler consider themselves an immigrant, for they are either settlers or consider themselves likened to indigenous inhabitants, this is how colonialism works to expand empire.
The main folks who would reject the idea of identifying as immigrants and adopt an Onkwehón:we way of life (which by the way was already agreed to through the acceptance of the Two Row Wampum) would be the so-called “euro-americans”, whose ancestors thought it their god given right as Christians and as a superior race to claim, to subdue/colonize and to civilize these lands, what has been coined ‘the white man’s burden’. Now the descendants of these genocidal maniacs think themselves entitled to everything that has been claimed yet accept no responsibility for the “crimes against humanity” committed, they would have us “get over it” instead.
Although Onkwehón:we have thus far already contributed so much in the way of authoring many progressive concepts initially frowned upon but reluctantly adopted by settler colonial society, we have not been given the proper credit in the history books. I suppose that’s because it would undermine the established narrative and superiority complex of western Christian civilization. Our contributions include equality of the sexes, environmental protection, division of power in government with its checks and balances (although this not practiced as was initially taught), military tactics, treaty making, medicine, and the list goes on. Our contributions have had profound impacts on the world we live in today.
We have yet to make our greatest contribution, that being bestowing the formula, as we understand it, for world peace. The founding fathers of the US were taught this formula but altered it to suit their own needs. It is said that they declared their people unfit to enjoy true freedom, that they needed to be told what to do, that they were not like our people. They used this justification to alter the formula and kept hierarchies in place.
Today’s a new time, with fresh minds, when we can finish the job where others left off and again strive to pass on the teachings of Kaianerehkó:wa.
I know such a grandiose claim requires extraordinary proof. My family at this time, for the most part, is still recovering from the residual effects of colonialism, displaced both in mind and body. We are a fractured people, but I know through my experience that there are enough like minds, if given the proper incentive, that could put differences aside and work together to pass on these teachings for the betterment of all, future generations and the natural world. We are all in this together, I know we can build a better world one in which we truly enjoy individual liberty and live in balance and harmony with all life on our mother.