Tuesday, August 31, 2010
We Don't Need Leadership; We Need Participation
I have had this title posted on the top of my blog for several months. It couldn't be a more appropriate expression now. Tomorrow the people will show themselves. In Tuscarora the people will continue what they started yesterday, standing out on the street making themselves seen and heard. In Cattaraugus the people will gather at the Big Indian and at Native Pride. There too the people will be seen and heard. Some will grab the microphone, I may myself, but don't for a minute think that anyone is any more important than anyone else. We may not always agree, and that is OK. We aren't soldiers all marching in step looking to some fearless leader. We are the People. Before we were Senecas and Mohawks we were "The People of the Mountains" and "The People of the Land of Flint". We were "The People of the Marshlands" and "The People of the Hills. We were "The People Where the Stones Stand" and we were "The People of the Cypress". We weren't 5 or 6 Nations nor were we 50 or 52 Chiefs. We were the People of the Longhouse. We need to stop looking for a savior, for the One with all the answers, for a leader. We need to step up and get involved. I have another favorite saying: "The best way to prevent the abuse of authority is to not give it; the second best way is to take it back". This isn't necessarily a slap at tribal government, I'm talking about the State, but if the shoe happens to fit; wear it. At times such as these we have three choices: we can do nothing, we can expect others to fight for us or we can all do our share. Showing up for a rally or a demonstration isn't exactly hard work and no one is really expecting conflict, at least not tomorrow. Certainly no one will be putting their life on the line. Stand up and be accounted for. See some friends and make some new ones. No one needs to lead a charge.
We don't need leadership; we need participation.