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GANIENKEH NEWSLETTERS

INDIAN SURVIVAL CRISIS BULLETIN

NO. 5

JANUARY, 1984

THE RIGHTS OF INDIANS

Page 2

The government of Canada is presently in the process of giving self-government to the Indians. The move is slow going and a special committee went all over the country interviewing Indian leaders to determine what kind of business to give to the Indians. Some of the Indian leaders who were interviewed are politically aware and knowledgeable. Other Indian leaders had no more ideas about government politics than any ordinary white Joe on the street. They're so used to oppression they think it's an Indian way of life. White people are also oppressed by horrendous taxation, high cost of living and an ever-present threat of nuclear power fallout exterminating they're being exposed to by their masters. The Canadian government has decided to give Indians self-government under Canadian sovereignty and control which is not real self-government. It's the same kind of self-government white people labor under in cities, towns and villages and are accountable to the federal and provincial governments. The proposed Indian self-governments shall be tied to the same apron strings as are the white people. The super rich are the masters behind the scene. All the Indians should struggle towards regaining their own free territories so they can operate their own form of people's governments with no interference from any other government.

5. Indians have the right to their own religion. The white man forced his European religion on the natives of America. They called it "conversion". Indian religion is a natural unorganized religion with no ordained priest to keep in ease and comfort. It does not require money in fabulous amounts to keep the red man's religion. White man found many faults with the Iroquois religion. We do not pray. We only give thanks. We don't tell the Creator what to do which is what happened when the white man prays. He assumes that God doesn't know how to conduct his Godhood, so he tells him. More than that, he tells him over and over again. God's dumb, see? Can't understand anything the first time. Gotta tell him lots of times. Somebody comes up to you and flatters you over and over. You likely say: "What's with this cat? Does he think I'm stupid or something? Tells me the same thing time and again." God must think: This dude is trying to talk his way to Paradise without good acts." White man says he brought God to the Indians. This means God can't go anywhere by himself. White man has to bring him. He's still bringing God to Indians in the jungles of South America. We wonder why white man doesn't bring God instead to Canada, the United States and other white man countries where the people need religion more than the happy innocent Indians in the jungles. "Civilized" countries are wallowing in crimes (sin) and corruptions. A lot of work for "men of God" right at home in Christian lands. Every community is a sin center. Maybe the sinful white man doesn't accept the unprovable dogmas and doctrines in his religion such as hell, devil, purgatory, indulgences, temporary repentances, etc. Maybe he ought to try the Indian religion which doesn't have such unprovable doctrines. Instead, he'll give thanks for the bounties of nature and to show his utmost appreciation, participate in sacred dances which make the people happy. It works. Some Indians have the ability to say a lot in a few words: it takes only a few rituals to cover a man's earthly existence. The people got together nine times a year for Thanksgiving Festivals. They are known as spiritual ceremonies. Babies are named at three of these festivals. marriages are another occasion for a religious assembly. The Chiefs perform the ceremony. White man calls it a civil ceremony. An Opening Thanksgiving Ritual is performed and spiritual advice is given by the Chiefs. The civil authorities become spiritual advisors for the occasion as well as for the Thanksgiving Festivals. A funeral brings out some more appropriate spiritual rituals. The red man bows to no other system of religion as being superior to his own.