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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Thursday, May 20, 2010

The New Making A Visible Impact Magazine Is Out

Look for it in stores starting tomorrow. Check out articles from Jed Morey and Lance Morgan. Also check out the MAVI Racing article. MAVI Magazine is free so support it by purchasing ad space. Help us spead our message.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Making A Visible Impact Magazine's Next "Signed, Mavi"

Dear Mr. Obama,

I'm not going to start listing the long list of promises and assurances that you made during your campaign and at the beginning of your presidency. I am also not going to go through the litany of treaties that most Native people feel compelled to quote from as if they define our existence. I will not rehash the most recent travesty that you and the Congress are trying to inflict on our people either.

I will tell you; we get it. Not all of us, but enough of us to matter. The Crow might be falling all over themselves to adopt you and give you an "Indian" name and there are plenty of "tribal" officials that would love to get a photo op with you or get invited to some White House function. But those of us that have been in the trenches fighting for our sovereignty and autonomy, we have always understood. We have a name for you too. Rahnatakaias: it means "Town Destroyer". It is not so much a name for Barack Obama as it is for the office you hold. Your actions are what make it personal. We understood from the start that the men who would hold your office would be praised by many and always be promoted as men of fine character even as they acted out the most cowardice and inhumane policies against our people. George Washington ordered what you and your contemporaries would call an act of terrorism his instructions to General John Sullivan regarding the Seneca people:
I would recommend,...parties should be detached to lay waste all the settlements around, with instructions to do it in the most effectual manner, that the country may not be merely overrun, but destroyed.
But you will not by any means listen to any overture of peace before the total ruinment of their settlements is effected. Our future security will be in their inability to injure us and in the terror with which the severity of the chastisement they receive will inspire them.

Washington was the first to earn the title, but you all do your part to earn the description. Jackson's "Trail of Tears", Lincoln's Homestead Act and execution of 38 Lakota prisoners (the largest mass execution in US history) as well as Kennedy's flooding of Seneca land with the Kinzua dam are just a few examples that rarely get much attention from folks like you. But we remember. So we get it.

You certainly are not the first to make overtures to Native leaders only to continue on with your belief that you and your Congress have legitimate authority to legislate over us. In 200 years you have broken many Native people and destroyed many Native communities. You have bought and paid for tribal leaders to sellout their people from coast to coast. But know this; the People of the Haudenosaunee are not beaten or bought.

Legislating against us does little to change those of us that understand our sovereignty. Criminalizing us does not make us go away. Feel free to turn off the rhetoric any time. It just makes you look foolish in the long run. Just keep doing what the 43 before you have always done. There is no reason to lie to our faces or on your taped addresses. You do not work for us. Congress does not represent us. Just because the Senate declared us citizens in 1924, doesn't make it so. As I said, we get it.