Believe What You Like But Know What You Must

People are free to be consumed with contemplating their existence, their origins, the origins of the universe, supreme beings, controllers of destiny or anything else. But solving "the Great Mystery" is neither a requirement of being Ohnkwe Ohnwe nor does it provide a path to righteousness. I maintain that spirituality does not require faith or the leaps that faith requires but rather awareness. If it helps to believe that "God has a plan" and we just must have faith that "He" knows what "He" is doing, then walk that path. My interest is in taking the mystery out of life by pointing to the obvious that is ignored everyday in the midst of fanatical ideology and the sometimes not too subtle influences of promoting beliefs over knowledge. I have said it before: “beliefs are what you are told, knowledge is what you experience”. I support a culture that prepares us to receive knowledge and to live a life with purpose. I am certainly not suggesting there is only one way to do that.

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Monday, September 14, 2009

The Seneca Nation Formally Submits to DHS Pressure on ID's

Well, it is confirmed! The Seneca Nation of Indians has formally announced its plans to develop a Department of Homeland Security compliant Enhanced Tribal Card. They even give it its own set of initials like FBI, DHS, BIA and IOU. They are called, what else, ETC's. Sorry Scott, your Dad didn't tell you the whole truth. He didn't just agree to add an expiration date. No, these cards will be scannable, have digitized photos with specific biometric coded measurements and have RFID chips (see the link to RFID Chips on the side bar at "What They Say"). This way your identification can and will be broadcast to check points, police or any other receiver devices the state/provincial and federal governments decide to use and install. Oh yeah, they will also have expiration dates on them.
For those of you that say, "So what? What do I have to hide? I don't care if I am tracked and identified where ever I go", the best is yet to come. The final requirement of the DHS for a Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) compliant ETC is a declaration of citizenship. No, we aren't talking about Seneca Nation citizenship. This is it; once and for all. Are you an American or a Canadian? This time the Seneca Nation is overtly complicit with US and Canadian officials in this game of assimilation and semantics. Of course, no one is forced to get these cards, only those that may want to cross that border that was never intended for us (...for now). Ironically, the Seneca Nation of Indians can't afford to issue these cards so to add insult to injury, the Seneca Indians will have to pay individually for the right to comply with the feds and obtain their own ETC.
So let's hear it for those defenders of Sovereignty and Native rights. If you are not a member of the Seneca Nation of Indians, fear not. The Saint Regis Indians, the Oneida Indian Nation of New York and the Haudenosaune (otherwise known as Onondaga, et al) are right in line (as well as every other federally recognized tribe). And guess what? You get to have your "Nation's" logo on the card (maybe even your Indian name). No one will ever know you finally declared your subjugation to your oppressors. Hell, you won't even have to show the card. It will transmit who and what you are from your pocket.


Ohnkwe Ohnwe said...

Check out my original post on the ID issue. Find it on the sidebar on April 30th. Be sure and check out the comments and feel free to add a comment here.

Ohnkwe Ohnwe said...

Received via email with permission to post.

In a message dated 09/14/09 22:55:13 Eastern Daylight Time,

I read the article.
What can one say that isnt allready obvious?
If one goes along with the ID Plan, then obviously one admitts US or Candian Citizenship superior and over ones Indigenous claim.
If one does not go along with it well, I'll leave that to your imagination. But it wont be pleasant.

If there is to be True-Indigenous sovereignty, then a "United Indigenous effort" at making that happen, must-exist.

As a student of history, may I point out the following fact;
any time over the last 300 years, there has been an effort at Unity or any unified alliance of Indigenous nations in attempts at stating and enforcing Sovereignty , traitors to the spirit of unity and to the people, sprout as if they were of watered weeds.They hide like the chinces they are in the dark and do their dirty work, all the time wearing a mask of propriety.

Even the "League" has had and continues to realize intercene issues and todays league appears to be in the worst shape in many years regarding a concerted Unity
All over Turtle Island, there is nothing if not, dis-unity.
There are not enough Indigenous persons today that understand that ones heritage and loyalty to ones blood and nation, is not suported or stated with a "by your leave' or permission or approval of ANY-other national body, but is carried within ones heart and veins, not ones wallet!
No one, but the maker of all life can dictate what and who a Human being is!

Staiyu-aginali wahya, anikeetoowahgi.
[be strong - friend wolf , a true keetoowah person].

Uwas’ Neyahdu’hi’ k’dodi ni’i’

Only may there be peace within your presence.

Beat The Chip said...

I hope you get together with all the other native New Yorkers in your State and find a way to continue fighting Enhanced drivers licenses and identity. Elliot Spitzer really angered so many because he moved forward with this identity plan. Your example could really encourage a lot of people.

Johan said...

What can I say ?
I'm from Europe, so sorry for my bad English.
In our history books, the "discovery" and "colonisation" of the Americas still are being depicted as being acts of heroism.
Well, I guess it's hard to teach our children that in fact our forefathers were liars and oppressors who swarmed your lands like mosquito's. Apparently, this oppression still is going on.
Why is what's still happening at your side of the world, not on the news in Europe or worldwide ? Seems like a cover up to me.
As said, I'm European, and I'm white. But I'm aware of what my forefathers started, and I disagree with history, a history that still is going on.
I'm a (moderate) musician, and I recently started a musical project. There are lots of native influences in my music. I opened a myspace account for it. I'm not putting the url here, because that may look like spam.
Why am I telling you this ? Because I want to link to your blog from my myspace bandpage (but only with your permission).
Because I believe music could be a vehicle to bring certain things under the attention.
Not that I expect much from it, but if only 1 visitor of my page ends up at your blog, it's good, no ?
This is not a pitiful attempt of a European trying to do something back. That would be ridiculous.
It's just that, as a person, I don't believe in the glory of a nation, when it's based upon oppression. People should be aware.
If you agree with me putting a link to your blog, please send me a message :

Take care !

Anonymous said...

For anyone that wants a US or Canadian ID feel free to get one. Most states and provinces have "Enhanced" ID's and drivers licences already. Just don't try to kid yourself into believing that having one of their ID's proclaiming that you are their citizen is an expression of sovereignty just because it has a Native logo on it. I got news for you, you still will need a drivers license even if you have an ETC.

Ohnkwe Ohnwe said...

Tulalip Changing Their Minds on ETC's

Indian border ID solution in limbo

By Krista J. Kapralos
Herald Writer

TULALIP — Months after a federal law began requiring passports or enhanced identification cards to cross into the U.S. from Canada and Mexico, American Indians are still struggling to find a solution that won’t infringe on their tribal sovereignty.

According to the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, people who want to enter the U.S. at the Peace Arch checkpoint and other border crossings along the Canadian and Mexican lines were required, beginning June 1, to carry electronically enhanced identification.

That’s a problem for local American Indians, who say they have a right to visit their relatives, attend ceremonies or even go on vacation across the border in Canada with nothing more than their tribal identification cards.

Federal officials said they would allow tribal governments to create electronically enhanced tribal identification cards, but few tribes have taken that step, in part because of the cost. The Tulalip Tribes initially expressed interest in designing an enhanced ID system that would host information for various Pacific Northwest tribes. The tribal government has since backed away from that plan.

The federal Department of Homeland Security told tribal leaders that border officials will be flexible in allowing Indians to use the tribal ID cards they currently carry for a “modest but reasonable transition period,” Tulalip policy analyst Theresa Sheldon told The Herald in June.

It’s still not clear how long that “reasonable transition period” will last.

Krista J. Kapralos: 425-339-3422,