Jan 6/98: Tuscarora position on Project OK


January 6, 1998

My relationships of the Great Way:

The war against Native peoples in the state of Chiapas in Mexico is not far away: it's as near as your next fast-food hamburger. Large tracts of rain forest are falling to the chain saw so huge herds of cattle can graze, so the masses can satisfy their cravings for cheap meat. Meanwhile, Native peoples are being slaughtered and herded off their communal lands to make room for cows in Chiapas.

Up closer to the United States border in the Sierra Madre and around Copper Canyon drug lords invade Native lands trying to force native peoples to grow marijuana and poppy flowers for heroin. The drug lords beat, torture and murder Natives to enrich themselves off someone else's craving. To them and their customers it's nothing more than the cost of a cheap joint or fix.

Mexico is fertile grounds for the oppressor, especially since the enactment of the North American Free Trade Agreement. It has never been easier for someone with money to take advantage of dirt poor Natives and Mestizos. Desperate to feed their families they will eagerly work without breaks for hours on end. They will make but pennies an hour so that their bosses can make a profit selling their goods to the masses north of the border.

It greatly pains me to hear that there are some among our people who have made deals with the Mexican government to have poor Natives in Oaxaca to make items that reproduce the traditional symbols of the People of the Great Peace. This matter should be considered deeply.

For we have to wonder if this matter is not part of a larger pattern, a larder war of conquer and divide. A history that consists of meat and drugs and some rich oppressor getting richer while Native peoples are destroyed. It,s certainly nothing new. Nor is our anger and outrage. Yet, we must look deep to find our greatest strengths against such an enemy.

This enemy has the power to poison our minds and make us like him: ugly with hate, fear and greed. Our enemy has the power to entrance us into being mindless, unaware, wandering like a dead person on the earth, not knowing love or warmth, living like a demon, drinking poison. Our enemy wants us to be dependent on his economic system, for us not to be able to survive except paying him monetary tribute with all our lives. This enemy wants to divide us, for us not to be of one body and mind, and to have a few people who represent themselves as leaders go off in secret and make economic deals to make themselves rich. This enemy is so powerful as to even entice our people into selling out our heritage for a fistful of dollars and a brief blaze of glory.

To fight such an enemy we need to consider remembering who we are and under what tree we receive shade. Are we not the people of the natural way, the people of the Great Peace? Are not our voices the voice of Deganawidah? Then should it not be that we should support other Native people and not participate in the war against them? Should we not consider even our very food and from where it comes and take care that it does not come from the rape of the land and the slaughter of people? Should not we even consider the duty given in the wampums that we should consider every moment the Great Peace and the welfare of the people? Is there not a great threat to the peace and that the only defense is the uplifting of the Great Tree of Peace and the rising once again of Turtle Island? Heh-heh, sisters and brothers of the Great Way, have we not to share the Gayanerekowa throughout Turtle Island? Let us start then, with this very breath, to show with courage, grace and dignity that our minds, our lives are victorious against the great enemy and that the Great Tree of Peace will soon shelter all of Turtle Island.


Robert Locklear
Kau-Ta-Noh Confederation of Tuscarora
North Carolina

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