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GANIENKEH NEWSLETTERS

INDIAN SURVIVAL CRISIS BULLETIN

NO. 1

SEPTEMBER, 1983

WHAT IS THE WARRIOR SOCIETY?

The Great Law Gayanerekowa called them "The War Chief and his men". The term Warrior Society was supplied by the white man. The term seems to fit nicely. The Great Law has definite functions for the War Chief and his men. They are charged with the defense and protection of the people. Their duties take many forms. Keeping the peace, teaching, public speaking, repossessing lost lands and human right, taking care of confrontations, settling dangerous disputes and international negotiations and doing work of all kinds to promote the welfare of the people.

The Rotiyaner of the National Council are Chiefs of Peace, chosen for their wisdom and intelligence to legislate laws and make decisions on political issues. They have to be mild, calm and peaceful types in order to make just laws. It's against the Great Law for a Royaner to participate in a disturbance or conflict as taking care of such is the function of the War Chief and his men. In the event of war, if a Royaner wishes to take part in the struggle, he must first depose himself from the chieftainship in the National Council and go in as a simple warrior and take orders from the War Chief. After the war is over, if he is physically intact and well, he may resume his duties as a Peace Chief.

There have been objections by some well meaning Indians against having a Warrior Society. "There is no war," they say. Nothing can be further from the truth. There has been a constant psychological warfare waged against the natives of America right from the start of the European occupation of Red Man's land and it's as deadly as the one with guns. It's a war against the minds of the people and the casualties are the drug addicts, drunks, and suicides which are at the highest rate among the Indians. The Europeans went all out on a drive to give the natives inferiority complexes which destroy the personality of the people. Oppression is an act of war against the people. Legislating the Indians into extinction by way of assimilation is an act of war against the Indians. Legal extermination of the Indians as a distinct people is an act of aggression. Genocide as practiced against the Indians is an act of war and the Indians must act in self-defense. The answer is the Warrior Society, whose task force is charged with finding the ways to protect the people against every form of aggression being waged against them.

The traditional Peace Chiefs Rotiyaner (as well as Canada's Indian Act Band Council) are not oriented to strife and confrontation violence. They are politicians and not military people. This is why the Great Law has peaceful functions for them. The War Chief, by nature and training, is fitted to deal with violence and aggression. The Warrior Society is trained to deal with every kind of emergency from an invasion to childbirth. A modern phenomenon in the Warrior Society is the presence of girls and older women within its ranks. The distaff side as taken to the study of weapons of war and have become experts in their use.

The Warrior Society is actually the power of the people in action. The Indian struggle for survival has many sides. One of the most important is to counteract the psychological warfare inflicted on the Indian people. This calls for talented men and women (yes, women have an important place in the Warrior Society) to speak publicly and write tracts describing the rights of the people and the best ways to fight for survival. It's called propaganda and it's important in any warfare, psychological and physical. Words of encouragement and pep talks are a big help. There are Indians walking around dazed and confused, suffering from identity conflict as a result of the psychological warfare. To fight any kind of war, one needs courage, gumption, knowledge of the enemy and strategic planning. The biggest simple requirement is FIGHTING SPIRIT. People with fighting spirit shall not become casualties of a psychological warfare. Only ten percent of any population will fight for their rights. How does one acquire fighting spirit? Our ancestors discovered the secret long ago. All their men were great warriors. One hundred percent. How did they do it? Were they naturally all great warriors or were they developed? They must have been developed because, at present, we who inherited their blood, are also heir to that ten percent population fighting spirit. One method that has come down to us is the War Dance. Our ancestors brought up the spirit of the people by the War Dance, even of those who did not dance. Since it works, it should be performed at every opportunity. Publicity is another important work of the Warrior Society. Artists have the job of making word and picture posters, signs and billboards giving all kinds of useful information to the general public.

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