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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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I must have missed something

When did this battle to defend our economies become a fight for the right to buy from New York State wholesalers? I thought the whole reason for shifting to Native brands was to strengthen our position. There doesn't seem to be any voices out there fighting for our right to ship Native products from Native wholesalers to Native retailers from territory to territory. All the "legal" challenges are to fight the State from depriving us of their licensed wholesalers. Are we suggesting that the only way we can buy and sell Native brands is through the State? Are we stupid? How did we create a situation where all these Native brands were developed and then box ourselves in so we can't distribute them to each other with out the State? And why isn't this issue being argued? The only mention of shipping Native products has been around shipping product only to the "tribal leaders" or a "tribally run enterprise". When the "recognized leader" of the Tuscaroras was asked recently by one "his" people to allow electricity to a warehouse that was built, he said he only allows power to residences. So are we supposed to fight for "leadership" to be the supply line for our economy when they wield this kind of power? This goes way beyond the regulation of commerce. This isn't the freedom that is the foundation of what it means to be Ohnkwe Ohnwe. This isn't what it means to be Haudenosaunee where the "chiefs" possess this kind of power. When the private sector of the Seneca Nation built this industry and agreed to allow a mechanism to give back to the community, I don't think they had in mind giving complete control of their supply line to the Nation. They wanted to give back not give in. But perhaps we are back where we were in '97 when many thought we couldn't win so the prevailing thoughts were around getting the best possible deal out of the State. I must have missed something because as I recall, we pushed back even as the the governor was inking deals with "tribal leaders" and proved there was no deal to be had. Did all the success we have had make us stronger or weaker? Clearly, I must have missed something.

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