GENOCIDE IN NORTH AMERICA–TODAY: WBAI NEW YORK INTERVIEWS WITH DOUG HENWOOD AND TIOKASIN GHOSTHORSE

Nazi Belt Buckle

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Economics and Politics: Interview WBAI 2-15-98 with Doug Henwood
Economics and Politics INTERVIEW WBAI 2/15/98
(Doug Henwood and Jim Craven)

DH: There was a court decision in Canada last December in British Columbia where the Canadian court decided that Indian claims to property in BC were actually well grounded and that this may have a substantial effect in Canada about who owns what. A lot of these disputed lands are rich in resources, so this is not mere matter of landscape, it’s also a matter of big money.

Jim, before we get going, just a word on nomenclature. I’ve been saying “American Indians” all along, and I know a lot of folks prefer Native Americans, or the Canadians use First Nations, what’s the word on language here?

JC: There’s a mixed bag on that. Most of the people that I know use the term American Indian. What they mean by that is an Indian of the Americas. The reason why many will use that is first of all, Indians weren’t even American citizens until 1924. Many Indians also feel that they’re not real Americans, there’s no real place for them in America, and they are sovereign nations within a nation. They prefer the term Indian rather than the term Native American. Also many Indians I know don’t like the nativism that’s associated with that term Native American, and there may be some implication that the further back here your ancestors go, the more “real” American you are; and most Indians that I know don’t share that kind of sentiment. They don’t differentiate people by how far back your ancestors go. The actual word Indian didn’t come from Columbus looking for India and missing the boat. Rather, when he came here there was no India. The Indian comes from the term “la gente en dio” – the people in god. They’re also referred to as “Los Indios.” Columbus called them gentle and loving people and thought they would be easy to turn into slaves, which is what he actually wrote in his diary. Most of the people I know prefer to use the term American Indian, but they don’t mean an equivalent to “Irish-American” or Jewish American”, they mean an Indian of the Americas, which includes Central, South American and Canada.

DH: Now let’s talk about this decision from the Canadian Supreme Court. What’s involved with this decision that’s relevant to the US?

JC: First of all, the decision didn’t go as far as some people might think in terms of of really laying out full use, full custody, for indigenous lands. But it was an extremely important decision in the sense that it was a recognition that some of the very same rights and privileges and laws that protect property today in white society, call into question the very property they protect. For instance, suppose you find all around you your relatives and neighbors being slaughtered and the people who are doing the killing send a message that you’re next. You flee for you life, leave your home. Somebody moves into your home and destroys all records, histories, whatever that show you occupied that home. Then they proceed to go ahead and sell your home to someone else who had no idea how it was acquired. The new owner holds that property only as long as the true story isn’t told. As soon as the true story is told about how that property was originally acquired, even under mainstream or capitalist law, that property becomes tainted. The new owner doesn’t get to keep it, even though he innocently bought stolen property.

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The same thing holds here. More and more the courts are realizing that when the true story is told and it becomes evident that so much Indian land was stolen, and by stolen I don’t mean according to Indian law, I mean according to white law, capitalist law. What happened with the Canadian decision was that for the first time or almost the first time they are starting to admit oral histories and historical place names as a basis for establishing original occupancy. What happened historically was that American society was confronted more and more with this contradiction, and this contradiction was by virtue or your own laws, not Indian laws, this is stolen land; ill-gotten land.

So the answer to that was, first of all, you know Indians never really had a concept of private property or territory; therefore, in Indian terms, nothing was really stolen from them. That was the first myth. The second myth was, well, Indians never continuously occupied territorial lands, or Indians never made “improvements” on the land; therefore, they don’t hold ownership in the way that we establish legitimate ownership. So there were attempts to rewrite history to get around that contradiction, that being by virtue of capitalist law, that property is stolen property. Now what’s happening is that the courts, right now there’s a case going on whereby thousands of non-Indians are being sued by the federal government on behalf of the Cherokee, Chocktaw and Chickesaw nations having to do with the Arkansas River because it turns out that as a result of a 1970 Supreme Court decision, that land was treaty land and it was illegally sold to non-Indians. So now these mineral and land owners are all being served notices that they don’t hold title they once thought they held. So what we’re seeing now is a recognition that either you’re going to have to come out in an open, naked say and say, yes, we have sacred laws but they’re only situationally applied; they’re not really that sacred. If you’re non-white they don’t apply. If you’re not “American” they don’t apply. Or they’re going to have to make some kind of attempt to apply consistency.

DH: This speaks to what Marx calls primitive accumulation, which is the origin of private property through act of theft or in claiming private land that was previously held in common. So whether we’re looking at the enclosures in England or the theft of native lands here in North America or in what’s going on in a good bit of the Third World today, the capitalists have not really lost much sleep over the contradictions of their own tradition. Do you think this is actually going to give them pause? Force them to come to terms with their own hypocrisy?

JC: I think that the extent to which this happens is as much is as necessary. Their primary goal is to maintain the system as it is and the basic power structures as they are. But they do make concessions when contradictions require it. Their policies represent very few of ultra rich, but they need a mass social base, especially when you have the illusion of a democracy, participatory democracy, they need a mass social base to ratify policies which are actually in the interests of a very few ultra rich people. How do you do that? One way is to push hot button issues, like abortion and whatever. They try to get people to vote one way or another on single issues for a party that can never represent the interests of those who are actually voting for that party. That’s one way. The second way is of course through mystification and rewriting history: American the most moral, decent, productive, efficient, richest, beacon of democracy, and so on. Of course then they don’t discuss all the ugly dictators we’ve supported and are supporting cause there’s a contradiction there. The other way they deal with it is to make concessions on an ad hoc situational basis. So when those contradictions surface, become really glaring, naked, they will make such concessions as are necessary to keep the façade going. So they say, yeah, you got me, you got me there. According to my own laws, this is stolen property, you’re right. So they’ll return bits of land, piece by piece. Of course usually what happens is that land returned bit by bit, they just find another way to get it. What you’ll see is big developers who come in and front certain interests in the tribal councils, and they wind up getting the land back through “normal commerce,” or they’ll find ways to counter-litigate and tie people up in court for extensive periods of time through expensive, costly litigation. But still they’re caught in that contradiction between the façade of the system and the façade they need to maintain that system vs. how the system really works and for whom it really works.

It’s quite clear: out of 22 industrialized countries, the US is No. 1 in wealth and income Inequality. We’re number one in infants born at low birth weight; homicides; substance abuse; executions; imprisonment. We’re number one in a whole bunch of indicators that don’t speak very well for us. Those indicators are an indictment of that very system itself. The average life expectancy for most Indian males is between 49 and 52 years old. For Indian females, 47 and 51 years old. That’s as opposed to a white male around 71 and white female around 73.

DH: Those life expectancies are really about the bottom of the poorest portion of the Third World. We’re talking about some pretty bad social rankings here.

JC: That’s correct. The infant mortality rate is much lower in Cuba than it is among Indians in North America. In fact, it’s lower than all of America combined.

DH: Let’s talk about the social-economic conditions that Indians in America live in. I think people who live in urban areas might not think about it very often. Where do folks live, just how bad off are they?

JC: It will vary, of course. But for the vast majority of reservations in this country, and I’ve been on many, people are isolated, it’s very stark, almost all the businesses are owned by non-Indians. Typically you get about 12 or 15 cents on the Indian dollar that stays on the reservation, the rest is shipped out in banking and other services. Savings are little, and what little savings that occur don’t stay on the reservation, taken to big banks in the big cities, it’s never reinvested on the reservation. You have tribal councils that sometimes are corrupt and sometimes not. You have big developers with extensive agendas with their eyes on the prize, with various ways of identifying the mineral rich land and moving in to get it 10 cents on the dollar. You have very few children graduating from high school not to mention going to college and graduating. You have one Indian Health clinic overworked and understaffed. You have high incidences of tuberculosis, incidences of AIDS because of kids going to urban areas and becoming involved in prostitution and drugs and returning with AIDS. So the clinics are overstretched in terms of demands and ability to meet those demands. You have high incidences of alcoholism and drug addiction, about 5 times the national average, teenage suicide roughly five times the national average.

People say then, well what about the casinos? The best studies I’ve seen suggest that out of each casino gross profit dollar about 18 cents actually goes to the tribe because you’re taking out consulting, licensing fees. So only about 18 cents stays with the tribe and of that a large amount is taken off by the powers that be in the tribe, so that maybe 5 cents of a casino dollar comes anywhere near the average Indian on an average reservation. So casinos are not the panacea that everyone talks about. Plus you lose part of the heritage and culture when you enter that type of enterprise. It’s a very sad, stark existence. It’s an indictment. People talk about genocide on Bosnia, and we should definitely be concerned about that because we’re all human beings, we’re all part of this planet. It’s interesting by the way that in the Inuit language there’re 103 words for snow, but only one for people: which is “Inuit” (human being) There’s no word for black people, white people, red people, there’s just one word: human being. And so we should be concerned about Rwanda and Bosnia, but there’s genocide going on right here in America, and as long as it keeps going on it’s an indictment of this country. For those who say why should I care, I’m not Indian, the issue is that the best form of “national security” is having a society that’s worth being secure.

DH: How does the situation of American Indians compare with that of other indigenous peoples around the world, say in Australia or Canada or New Zealand?

JC: Well, from what I’ve been able to see, the situation in New Zealand and Australia with respect to aboriginal people is actually somewhat better than the US in terms of available services, recognition of aboriginal rights – it’s not a rosy picture, there’s still very brutal exploitation there–but there is more recognition that when this kind of subjugation and genocide is going on inside your borders it’s an indictment of the whole nation. In terms of services and national sovereignty, in Canada, in my opinion, it’s much better than the US, although again if you go to Saskatchewan and Alberta and whatever, it’s still a very stark existence on Indian reserves. I worked on a Cree reserve and conditions then and now still are pretty raw. But I would say that they’re better than here in the US. The US is way behind in terms of addressing not only land issues but issues of national sovereignty and what’s happening. If something isn’t done now I suspect that there won’t be any Indian people left in three generations.

Narrator: Because of their death or because they will blend into the surrounding society?

Racist Caricatures449

JC: All of it: death, blending, all of it. Part of it has to do with the redefinition of Indian people by non-Indians. This is a serious issue. The other thing is the powerlessness. Just imagine if you had a football team called the New York Niggers. Or the Kansas City Kikes. Or the San Francisco Spiks. Imagine that they have the watermelon shuffle. Some caricature of a black person coming out and shuffling around. There would be an absolute outrage and rightly so, because that’s really ugly stuff. But nobody thinks even twice about the Washington Redskins, the tomahawk chop Kansas City Chiefs, the Cleveland Indians with the buck-tooth, illiterate looking Indian icon. We’ve seen so much sensitivity, and rightly so, to injustices that have been done to blacks, Jews, Hispanic people, and we should, but when it comes to Indians, we see all sorts of stereotypes and caricatures that no one would dare make with respect to any other group, and part of it comes from the fact that we have no national Indian voice or leadership, but part of it is the whole history that well, they’re dying anyway, they have no power anyway, they’re off on their own anyway, so just let them go.

DH: You say there is no national Indian movement, virtually one publication of any significance. Why is there this lack of cohesion, lack of voice?

JC: Well, a lot of it has to do with the divide and rule tactics that have been used against Indian people for hundreds of years, where they would separate tribes and where there were some territorial disputes, and not even disputes really, disputes were created. A good example is the Hopi and Navaho. The Hopi and Navaho have been inter-marrying for generations. But because there is some uranium and coal some land disputes were started. The Paiute and Navaho are another example where the powerful, mostly for economic interests, played one off against the other. These divisions continue to this day. Just imagine: we don’t have, for example, a Bureau of African American Affairs, of Polish Affairs. But we have a Bureau of Indian Affairs. What do they do? Right now, for example, there’s close to $3 billion missing in BIA accounts. Missing! Nobody knows where it went. And the records were all torched, they weren’t even put on computer backup. We’ve got another case where, because Indian royalties were undervalued by oil and mineral interests according to the formula they were using, almost $6 billion of royalties due tribes being ripped off by undervaluation of oil and gas royalties. The BIA also has been caught, for example, fronting for developers, identifying mineral rich lands and then aiding developers in getting some of the land at 10 cents on the dollar. The BIA should be abolished; they’ve done far more harm than good. Their argument is that now, for example, to recover your money you’ve got to stick with us because otherwise you have no chance of getting the tribal monies that are missing – almost $3 billion dollars missing.

But the BIA is a custodial agency, a broker on Indian issues. It was formed to take care of “internal colonies” – it’s part of the Department of Interior and says, “we can’t trust you Indians to deal with non-Indians directly.” So if non-Indians want to deal with Indians they have to go through the BIA. There are some exceptions to that, but not many. It’s a gatekeeper between various nations and non-Indian people and other interests. Again, we get to the same problem. Can you imagine if we had a Bureau of African American Affairs, or Bureau of Caucasian Affairs? There would be an outrage if there was something like that, but nobody says anything when it comes to Indians.

DH: What might a more humane set of policies look like?

JC: I can only speak for myself, but basically it comes down to the fact that there needs to be more coherent and cohesive outreach to non-Indians. Indians alone are not going to be able to solve these problems. They need natural allies. Part of the problem is to break down a lot of the stereotypes and myths, you know, about the rich Indian from casino money, and so on, among non-Indians. Indians need to work with working class people and progressive intellectuals and whatever, to say, these are the myths you’ve been told about us. We don’t think you’re the enemy, because your skin color is different. Please join us because our fight is your fight. You know, there was a time in Germany when people said, well, I’m not Jewish, or homosexual, or trade unionists and therefore this isn’t my problem. What happened is they were living in a Nazi society where it was only a matter of time that anyone with a heart or an IQ over 60 could be next. It’s the same thing about Indians in America. If you don’t care about Indian issues, well go ahead and say that now, because you may be next, because it means you live in the kind of society that allows genocide, that allows this kind of desecration of the sacred, if you want to put it that way. And it’s only a matter of accident as to whether or not you’re next. So we need to reach out, we need to build united fronts, common concerns, break down stereotypes, and need to educate. We need to say, listen this is all of us, we need to stay together. We don’t want to take your land, please don’t steal ours. By virtue of the very same principles that you hold sacred that defends your property, then please understand that our lands, our rights, our birthrights, our cultures and heritages have been stolen from us and we need to define ourselves, we don’t need non-Indians defining what is “authentic” Indian and what is not.

WBAI Interview With Doug Henwood: 6/18/98 Genocide Right Here, Right Now
Investigation of crimes of genocide in Canada WBAI Interview: 6/18/98 (Doug Henwood and Jim Craven)


Narrator: Tell us about this panel you’ve been serving on investigating crimes of genocide in Canada.

JC: This was an inter-Tribal court made up of tribal judges from different tribes and nations. It was sponsored by the International Human Rights Association of American Minorities which is a consultative body of the UN. It was a UN-NGO-observed tribunal. Any comments I make here are personal, not official findings as these findings have not been made public yet. The tribunal was conducted under the rules of tribal law. The director of IHRAAM was present, and it had to do with allegations of systematic and various forms of abuse of Indian children in the residential school system. It also had to do with allegations of genocide under the terms of the UN Convention on Genocide. This Convention defines genocide as follows:

A. killing members of the group,
B. causing serious bodily and mental harm to members of the group;
C. deliberately inflicting on a group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part,
D. imposing measures intended to prevent birth within a group, or
E. transferring children of the group to another group.

So it was also to investigate the patterns in residential school systems and other things: de-Indianizing land, privatizing Indian land and whether they constituted genocide. And finally the Canadian government. has imposed a settlement of $326 million because there’s already been an admission of guilt to some extent in a British Columbia Supreme Court decision. We were also to investigate whether those monies had been paid to the victims, or the terms under which they would be paid, and whether there were other victims who should be covered under that settlement. So that’s basically it. As of now, none of that money has been disbursed and we are supposed to investigate. There are some disputes between some of the nations where some don’t want a blanket settlement. They want to fight it tribe by tribe, nation by nation, and the reason for that is because a blanket settlement – “we’re sorry, here’s $356 million, now the guilt is over” – some people feel we need to get out the particulars of what went on, not just to point the fingers of blame, but also to bring individuals to justice that need to be brought to justice and also to point out a pattern.

Listen, the word genocide came from a Polish jurist named Raphael Lemkin in 1944. It comes from “genos which means race in Greek and “cide” or the killing of, which is Latin. The UN has subsequently differentiated “ethnocide” where a group is progressively destroyed, but there may not be an intention to destroy that group as a group. An example is warfare, like in Bosnia let’s say, where one group is at war with another group and gets wiped out, but supposedly the intention is not to wipe out these people as a people. That’s called ethnocide. Genocide means that there’s a conscious, deliberate intention, what they call in law mens rea – an intention to destroy a people as a people. One of the reasons why some people are opposed to a blanket settlement is that it may gloss over or not allow us to get to exactly what is going on and whether there is genocide going on and not just ethnocide. I found it interesting: the Canadian Prime Minister Jean Cretien said “It looks like the Court has attributed (he’s talking about the BC Supreme Court) to the federal government some responsibility. If we had responsibility we have to meet our responsibilities.” The Canadian government was summoned to be at this tribunal, but sent no observer. The Catholic Church was asked to be there, because a lot of the residential schools were being run by them (UC, Catholic, Methodists, Anglicans, and there was some mention of Mormons), but they sent no one. Observers from these churches were asked to be there also. Not only to look at what has happened but to make sure it doesn’t happen again. They chose not to send any observers even though they knew this was an official UN tribunal. Another quote from Jerry Kelly of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops: “This is a major threat to every church in the country.” “The potential costs are exceedingly high. I don’t really know what’s going to happen. The number of cases have just grown and grown.” So the churches are well aware that there are some serious allegations being made and they’re mounting, but they chose not to send representatives.

DH: The situation is that the churches were subcontractors of the Canadian government to run schools and they were essentially subcontractors for genocide.

JC: Well, I wouldn’t necessarily use that term “subcontractors” but I guess that would be proper. Under Canadian law in the case of broken families it’s a matter of law that the children are put into residential schools. The residential schools are run by the churches. So that gets into the forced assimilation issue as opposed to choosing to be assimilated. Under international law if people choose to assimilate with another group, that’s not a crime. But if people are forced to assimilate into another group, that comes under one of the particulars of genocide. We heard allegation after allegation of people whose parents put them in residential schools believing they were under a legal obligation to do so. We heard allegations that children were beaten for speaking their native language, being left handed, for practicing traditional rituals or practices. We heard testimony where children were forced off their traditional Indian diets and residential school diets designed to be cheaply provided, heavy on carbohydrates and fat, where you could feed a lot of people for very little. As a result a lot of them today are suffering diabetes and kidney failure and other kinds of diseases associated with diets they were pushed on to in the residential school system. We heard repeated allegations of sexual abuse, physical abuse, murder, intimidation when people reported murder, threats of retribution when reporting murder. We heard allegations of secret graveyards, of victims who were buried, graveyards of children the products of liaisons between a priest and children that were disposed of.

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DH: And these horrors were something in the distance past, right? We’re talking about fairly recent events?

JC: Oh yes, going back to the 30’s all the way up to the present. The allegations we heard go right on up to the present.

DH: And this is not just freelance abuse but part of a pattern amounting to genocide?

JC: Yes. What we are looking for is whether there is a pattern. Lemkin, when he wrote his original book on genocide, said that genocide involves two phases: The first phase is the destruction of a national pattern of the oppressed group; the second phase is the imposition of a national pattern of the dominating group. So what we heard were allegations of the destruction of the national pattern of Indian peoples, meaning diet, religion, language, culture, family structure, belief systems, moral value systems – all of it. Then we also heard that the residential schools were being used to de-Indianize, and impose the national pattern of the dominant group – to Christianize them, to de-Indianize them.

DH: Why were they doing these things?

JC: There are various motives involved. One is economic. For example, one of the cases we heard that was typical was known as the Lot 363 case. This had to do with traditional native ancestral land on Flores Island which is off BC, of the Ahousaht people. This land was expropriated by the UC, sold in 1953 for about $2,500 to the grandson of a church missionary despite repeated protests of the Ahousaht elders, and that land was then sold to McMillian-Blodell for over $1 million in 1994 – it was very rich in old-growth timber. So part of the motive had to do with de-Indianizing children as a way of breaking their connections with their tribes, their nations, but also breaking the connection of the nations with their ancestral lands, to privatize ancestral lands. The second motive we heard of course is the usual arrogance of some of the mainstream religions that, you know, “We are the true church,” Our way is the only way,” “These children are savages practicing a savage religion,” “They represent an affront to the mainstream culture,” and so on.

DH: Again, we’re talking about the present, not the 19th century?

JC: That’s right. It goes on today. We heard allegations, for example, of just recently very very severe beatings by RCMP and others, and again it seemed that if you’re Indian, you have no protection, no rights, it’s just open season. We heard allegations of public beatings within a context that probably people from other groups would not suffer the same intensity. We heard about not only priests and church officials being involved, but members of the RCMP, allegedly, members of the government.

Narrator: We hear all about NAFTA, the economic borders between the US and Canada supposedly disappearing rapidly. You told me a case this afternoon of people who were prosecuted for crossing the border to trade wheat with other tribe members.

JC: Yes. Among the Blackfoot people, there are four main tribes, the Akaina or Blood, the Northern Peigan, the Siksika which are Blackfoot, and the Southern Peigan or Blackfeet which are in Montana. There was a case of one person, Harvey Franks who brought wheat down across the border to sell to the Blackfeet tribe in Montana (keep in mind that these are all part of one natural people who existed there long before there was a Canada or a United States or indeed any kind of border.) He was put on trial in Alberta for violating the Wheat Export Control Act because in Canada all wheat is brokered through the Wheat Board. So his argument was that Blackfoot people are a whole people, that members of one tribe have every right to sell to fellow Blackfoot, and further that this interfering with commerce between tribes of one nation is effectively helping to promote the destruction of that whole nation. I’m not sure where the case stands right now, my understanding is that it’s in abeyance right now as a result of protests against it.

But this is an example of whereas NAFTA is supposed to break down borders for free trade, free commerce, here’s someone who just from one tribe of a nation came to sell to his fellow tribal members and was put on trial for it. I suspect part of the reason is because of the sovereignty implications of it. In other words, because we have the Jay Treaty which the US has recognized but Canada doesn’t which calls for free and unmolested travel on both sides of the border between indigenous people (so many of the nations are divided because of the border) and in order to keep one nation together and preserve what’s left there has to be free exchange back and forth. This has been interfered with on both sides of the line.

DH: The border exists at the pleasure of capital and the state.

JC: Indeed. As to the tribunal, we took it very seriously, it was conducted under tribal law, everybody understands that allegations are not facts in and of themselves, they may lead to facts, but they’re not facts in and of themselves. I suspect personally that non-Indians got a much fairer hearing from Indians than Indians have ever received from non-Indians in their courts.

DH: We’re running short on time, but is one of these tribunals planned for the US?

JC: Yes. It’s still in the works right now. This was the first tribunal of its kind to investigate not human rights in China, in Tienanmen Square or whatever, but now we’re talking about genocide inside our own borders. And the people who are doing this know how to use that term very carefully. So what’s being planned now is inside the borders of the US because the Boarding School system, which is equivalent to the residential school system in Canada, many of the same atrocities and abuses allegedly occurred in those schools, too. There are so many Indian nations in the US who have made these kinds of allegations for years and they’ve never been investigated. So the next stop will be inside US borders to look at the same kind of thing.

Narrator: Has this tribunal been publicized well in Canada, do people know about it?

JC: What happened was at the tribunal we had people who brought to us how they had allegedly been threatened inside the tribunal. We had false press releases sent out telling people to go to another place at another time so that press wouldn’t show up. The government of Canada and members of the churches refused to show up even though it was a UN tribunal. Right now I’m sitting on another phony press release saying that findings have already been made from this tribunal which is not the case. We also saw during the tribunal numerous examples of attempts to sabotage what was being done there. So yes, it was publicized but not as widely as you might think because there were some forces at work there trying to prevent it from being fully publicized. Nevertheless it did occur and it was generally conducted with a great deal of integrity although we did have some problems internally.

DH: Any idea of who was doing these disruptions?

JC: I can only speculate, but I suspect it was the people who were being examined, they would have the greatest motive to do so.

DH: How would you compare the status of the Indian peoples in the US vs. those in Canada?

JC: The fact that something like this could even go on in Canada is indicative of something. On a formal level, I believe that in terms of indigenous rights and so on, Canada is probably ahead of the US. On the de facto level, perhaps that’s another question. But I think the Canadian is probably more “advanced” than our own government in the US in terms of being willing to consider the possibility that there were some serious crimes and wrongs that need to be addressed and prevented in the future. The settlement for $356 million, as much as that may be a blanket settlement and designed to not deal with the specifics that may be uncomfortable to deal with, is a heck of a lot farther than what we’ve seen here in the US. In capitalist law, if you wrong somebody, you’ve got to pay damages. It’s the same thing here: some people have been horribly wronged and until we’re honest about ourselves and our own history we’re going to have a real tough time pointing to human rights violations in China, and Burma and other places, when there’s genocide going on right inside the borders of the US and Canada.

“Set the blood-quantum at one-quarter, hold to it as a rigid definition of Indians, let intermarriage proceed…and eventually Indians will be defined out of existence. When that happens, the federal government will finally be freed from its persistent Indian problem.” (Patricia Nelson Limerick, The Legacy of Conquest: The Unbroken Past of the American West p. 338).

There’s no acknowledgement that the “legacy of racism and inhumanity” mentioned in the “apology” continues today in the more recent use of Indians for medical experiments, as objects of chemical/biological warfare, and in forced sterilizations, among other things. There’s no discussion of redressing broken treaties, or the possibility of reparations. There’s no discussion of the estimated $3 billion (plus interest) “missing” from BIA accounts. Where is it? There is an estimated $6 billion (plus interest) in royalties owned to Indian Nations. Where is it? Lost monies mean lost lives here and now.

There is no discussion of Indian Reservations being designated as dumpsites for toxic wastes (the nazis used to bring the victims to the gas chambers, the new nazis bring the gas chambers to the victims.)

Indian Nations are sovereign by the same international law that recognizes the US and Canada as sovereign nations. Nations do not make treaties with their own “citizens.” In the case of Canada, “subjects” do not make treaties with fellow “subjects” of the Crown. We do not need permission or recognition of our sovereignty or nation status; we need only continue to assert them and point out the hypocrisy and intentions of those bent on our extinction.

Interview WITH TIOKASIN GHOSTHORSE WBAI New York: 11-27-03
Saturday, February 19, 2005
Interview, WBAI, NY, 11-27-03

First Voices, WBAI, interview with Prof. James Craven, Economist at Clark College, 11/27/03, day of mourning (aka “Thanksgiving”). Contact info: jcraven@clark.edu; 360-992-2383; firstvoices@wai.org.

Song by John Trudell: “Look at Us”

TIOKASIN– And that is John Trudell on his original CD or original tape way back in the early1980’s That is called “Look at Us”. And, uh, if that didn’t wake you up, and some of you who think that, uh, myself and other people who you’ve heard here on this station, WBAI, haven’t heard enough; and if you think that we are ultra, ultra liberal, ultra left wing, I say to you that, as one native person I am neither left wing nor right wing. That is your business; that is your politics. And that game is a loosing game. I can say that.

So, uh, we will bring to you now Prof. James Craven, a Blackfoot. He is a professor and consultant of Economics and Business. He is the Division Chair of Clark College out in Vancouver, Washington. And I bring to you now Prof. James Craven, a Blackfoot warrior.

Good morning Prof. James or Jim, how are you doing?

Prof. JAMES CRAVEN: Okay Tiokasin. Can you hear me okay?

TIOKASIN: I can hear you very well. Thank you for coming on this morning and joining us on this, uh, infamous day.

Prof. JAMES CRAVEN: Thank you for having me.

TIOKASIN: And, uh, you know, we’ve been quite a while since we’ve had you on –I think it was early spring or something, the last time you were here.

Prof. JAMES CRAVEN: Yes.

TIOKASIN: At that time you were working on– First of all, how –let’s do this for the listeners out there: How do you view today?

Prof. JAMES CRAVEN: I—Today is a day of mourning for me and for all native people, and it should be for non-native people as well. There is an unbroken chain from the time that those Pilgrims came, right up to the present, of genocide against our people. And not only genocide against our people, but oppression of other people as well: poor people, poor white people, African American people, gay people, and so on. There’s a long chain of abuse that goes right back to the Pilgrims. And in fact, many of the so-called Pilgrims, with names like Phillips and Whitford and so on, not only went on to become the Plutocrats who formed the Republic –and who designed a constitution that only white propertied males could vote, and held slaves and wrote in their own declaration of Independence that we’re savages, basically to be exterminated–but those same creatures, or their descendants, are still to this very day in the highest echelons of government. They are in Skull & Bones, they are in the highest echelons of government, they’re in Homeland Security. And they’re doing the same things that their ancestors intended a long time ago. You know, the Pilgrims –everybody portrays the pilgrims as these poor persecuted people who came to America looking for freedom. Uh, in fact, the Pilgrims were persecutors. They were chased out of where they were because they were trying to ram their stuff down every body’s throat. And then when they wanted a Theocracy in England and Holland, dominated by them, and even the English couldn’t handle them. So they came here, not refugees from persecution, but seeking a more open field to do more persecution, and to create a kind of anal-retentive society that they wound up building. And so there’s a long, unbroken thread. So it’s a day of mourning. Uh, it should be. For native people to celebrate Thanksgiving is like for Jews and sensible non-Jews celebrating Hitler’s birthday. It’s an abomination.

TIOKASIN: Jim, I’m going to play uh, what I would call their, illusion of the Devil’s advocate here-

Prof. JAMES CRAVEN: Yes

TIOKASIN: Is uh, you know, what happens when –you know, they call it a day of mourning– what happens when we have these nay-sayers, who are also native people who say, “Well, you know, that’s fine Jim, but let’s move on, let’s get to business.” What would you say to that?

Prof. JAMES CRAVEN: It’s like telling a rape victim “Why don’t you just get over it?” You see, the problem is, you can’t move on as long as the past is embodied in the present and constrains the present. You know, for example, you know I’m an Economist, I teach Economics. Wealth begets wealth and poverty begets poverty. You see that for example when the original Pilgrims came, they immediately occupied positions of power from which it was relatively easy for them to gather more power and more wealth. And power begot wealth and wealth begot power. And so, the same inequalities and the abuses, and the same genocide and theft and deceit upon which this republic was founded, continue to this very, very day. And so we can’t get over it, because it ain’t over. It’s still going on. It’s in our face as we speak. You know the average life expectancies for reservation Indian males and females is 47 years old in the United States, it’s lower than Ghana. That’s as opposed to 71 and 73 years old for white males and females respectively. Um, the instances of Meningitis, tuberculosis, influenza—deadly influenza—uh, various, AIDS and other diseases, are 10, 15, 20, 30 times what the national rates are in the United States. And we don’t have a Bureau of Caucasian Affairs, we have a Bureau of Indian Affairs. And we don’t have a Caucasian Act, we have the Indian Act in Canada and the Indian Reorganization Act in the United States.

IndianHolocaust

From the Nazis own mouths and writings, their major inspiration for genocide came from their reading of U.S. and Canadian histories and genocide against Indians: How to conduct, cover-up, gain mass acceptance for and legitimate to other nations genocide itself. The Nazi 1933 Race Hygiene Law and 1935 Nuremberg Race Laws were copied from the Alberta Sterilization Act of 1928 and British Colombia 1933 Race Hygiene Law and the Sterilization Laws of 27 U.S. States mandating sterilization of Indians, Blacks and Disabled as “feeble minded” per se.” width=”300″ height=”212″ class=”size-full wp-image-3543″ /> From the Nazis own mouths and writings, their major inspiration for genocide came from their reading of U.S. and Canadian histories and genocide against Indians: How to conduct, cover-up, gain mass acceptance for and legitimate to other nations genocide itself. The Nazi 1933 Race Hygiene Law and 1935 Nuremberg Race Laws were copied from the Alberta Sterilization Act of 1928 and British Colombia 1933 Race Hygiene Law and the Sterilization Laws of 27 U.S. States mandating sterilization of Indians, Blacks and Disabled as “feeble minded” per se.[/caption]

This country was founded upon theft, deceit, genocide, racism, white privilege, and that continues to this very day. We can’t get over what’s not over. And that’s my answer to that.

TIOKASIN: Uh, that- that’s uh… I’d like to add one more thing to that, Jim, the… day of infamy. Millions of Americans celebrate Thanksgiving. And they gather to feast, and most are unaware of the true holiday, or the history of that holiday. And America’s schools have taught that the coming of the Pilgrims made everyone happy. In reality, it was the beginning of the longest war in the US –the extermination of the indigenous peoples. Thanksgiving Day was first proclaimed by governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1637 to commemorate the massacre of 700 men, women and children who were celebrating their Annual Green Corn Dance in their own house. Gathered at this place, they were attacked by mercenaries –English and Dutch. The Pequots were ordered from the building. And as they came forth they were killed with guns, swards, cannons and torches. The rest were burned alive in the building. The very next day the Governor proclaimed a holiday and feast to –quote-“give thanks,”unquote– for the massacre. For the next 100 years a governor would ordain a day to honor a bloody ‘thanking God the battle had been won.’ And that’s from two books: Where White Men Fear to Tread, by Russell Means, and Facing West: the Metaphysics of Indian Hating and Empire Building, by Harr Drinnan, 1990. And that’s another explanation for why a lot of Native people will just not celebrate, and not even eat tofu turkey. And that’s another reason for why not to celebrate Thanksgiving, because it’s just a day for Capitalism, as I see it.

indigenous lands 3webHUDBAY_1

Prof. JAMES CRAVEN: Yes. Ya, exactly. And it’s a cover-up day. And, you know, as I said before, if people only understood the thread, going back to 1619, 1620, up to the present day –including the same family names—the thread is unbroken. And if people could really see that, how history way back then is alive and well within the present. It’s shaping the present that we see. And, uh, for example, amongst us Blackfoot, we have a lawsuit right now going in Canada, where we’re basically putting the Canadian government on trial for genocide in their own courts.

TIOKASIN- Let’s talk about that, Jim, let’s talk about how they are treating you in both countries. It seems like to me, from what I’ve been reading, that the United States will not pay attention to this case, but in Canada it seems to be a major, a major uh, thread in changing the history of how native people are treated in that country.

Prof. JAMES CRAVEN: Yes

TIOKASIN: Could you give us a background on that?

Prof. JAMES CRAVEN: Well, as you know, we—Blackfoot nation still survives to this very day, although they would try to deny that it exists. We still have our traditional government and our mechanisms for selecting our leadership; which, of course, have been the same ones we’ve used for thousands of years. And we are divided by the US-Canadian border. We have Blackfeet in Montana, in Browning, Montana. They’re called “Amskaapipiikani. And then we have three major Bands of Blackfoot in Canada: the Kanai, or the Blood Blackfoot; Apatohsipiikani, or what some call Northern “Pagan” Blackfoot –an ugly word; and then we have Siksika, which are Blackfoot at Gleichen in Alberta. And we’re a divided people. And, for example, in Canada, our people live on $229 a month Canadian. And yet, we’re mandated, — we’re living on isolated, poor, desperate reserves in the middle of nowhere, with no facilities. Okay. If you get sick, there’s no health service available, there’s, there’s nothing. And you have to go to Lethbridge, for example. Well they mandate, also, insurance. We pay sometimes $1,000 a year to drive off [the reservation] –if we got caught without insurance, our vehicles are impounded, and before we even get to court our vehicles are sold. So before even being charged and convicted our vehicles are impounded and sold. And we argue that this constitutes one form of Genocide. Okay. It’s called deliberately inflicting upon people conditions of life calculated to bring about their physical destruction in whole or in part. It’s Article 2C of the UN Convention on Genocide –Article 2. And we’re arguing in court in fact that Canada has violated all five specific, uh, tests of genocide given in Article 2. And the same with the United States. The United States didn’t even sign the 1948 Genocide Convention until 1988 –forty years after; and is still not in compliance with it. So, we have nowhere to go; we have no weapons except the truth and the courage to tell it. And so what we’re doing is we’re simply –we’re resisting the only way we know how. And that is to continually try to tell the truth to anyone who will listen and refuse to obey their laws. An Indian who obeys the Indian Act in Canada, or the Indian Reorganization Act in the United States is like a Jew who obeys the 1935 Nuremberg Race Laws—they’re aiding and abetting their own extermination and that of their own people. And since Canada became a signatory to the UN Convention of Genocide in 1953, um, and Canada has a supremacy clause as the United States does in the Constitution, therefore, it becomes the supreme law of the land. And we’re arguing that this Canadian government is violating the supreme law of Canada, and that native people have an absolute duty to refuse to sign on to, or participate in, any form of registration or Indian Act or so-called “special treatment” that we natives get. And so, what we’re doing, we’re having a court case. We’ve already been in court several times. We’ve been subjected to all sorts of misconduct –playing games with Discovery, all sorts of other things—and now we’re going back to court on January 23 and 24. And we’re going to make the case that not only will we not obey the Indian Act, we can’t. If we do we’re aiding and abetting our own extermination, and that of our own people. We have an affirmative duty. And that we’re actually paradoxically upholding Canadian law. And of course we’re also asserting the existence of sovereignty of the Blackfoot nation and our own traditional governments. Because we regard the tribal councils that are set up by the Department of Indian Affairs in Canada and the Bureau of Indian Affairs in the United States, we regard those councils as, basically, uh, traitors. That doesn’t mean that everybody who sits on them is a traitor. But, they are set up sort of like the Vichy Government was set up by the Nazi’s in occupied France. They’re set up as puppet governments to keep us down and eventually to exterminate us. And that’s what our case is about there. And we’ve got a lot of support from different nations in Canada and the United States. And this is one form of resistance that we’re doing. And we’re not going to stop. We’re just going to keep going until the last one of us is left.

There’s only 35,000 Blackfoot left, probably. And our land base is 2.6 million acres. It’s bigger than Israel and Palestine put together. And they want it cause our land has oil and gas and, um, pristine water and other things. And so this genocide goes back even before the Pilgrims, but especially with the Pilgrims. It’s an ongoing thing. And there are other forms of disrespect to which we’re subject. For example, one of the things that people should understand is the early Pilgrims who came here, who formed the Plutocratic families, who became the leadership and the “founders” of the Republic, then went on to become the richest families in America. Their descendants, for example, many of their descendants went into organizations like Skull& Bones, which is an extremely treacherous, evil kind of society. And to this day they’re, for example, holding the skull and artifacts and remains of Geronimo illegally in that tomb. This is the kind of arrogance and contempt they demonstrate. But one of the things that people don’t know is, one of the reasons that they got into the whole skull business, is these same individuals, the descendants of the Pilgrims, uh, members of Skull & Bones, were instrumental in the Eugenics movement in the United States, which passed sterilization laws in 37 states defining native people as feeble minded –as inherently feeble-minded and thus subject to sterilization. And according to Ward Churchill in his book Fantasies of the Master Race, by 1977 almost 40% of native women had been sterilized. And so they formed these eugenics societies which continue to this very day; the Pioneer Fund, and so on, who would claim that Indians had different types of skulls and different sized skulls. And so they would go around for example in the early 1800’s and later decapitating Indian bodies and sending the skulls back to Washington DC for examination to “prove” their so-called racial theories of what they called “skull science”.

So this thread continues from the Pilgrims, from the founding of the Republic on slavery, theft and deceit, all the way through the 1800’s, the formation of the Skull & Bones and other such societies, the Pilgrim Society, later the council on Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission, Ford Foundation. All of these are different fronts that they are using to this very day for eugenics, for population control of non-white people, and for all of their racist theories. And so there’s an on-going thread. If I could, Tiokasin, I just wanted to read –this is not a new story I’m giving. For example, from the Louisville Courier Journal, okay, magazine section Sunday, October 8, 1989: “Bonesman’s Bond” and the subtitle reads: “President’s, Poets, Punduts and Pinkos, have sworn allegiance to Skull & Bones, Yale’s rich and powerful secret society and the most exclusive college club of all. So what’s all this Nazi stuff doing in the club house?” And they know that inside “there they have a Nazi shrine in one room on the second floor with a bunch of swastikas and a kind of, uh, SS Macho iconography.” And here, from the New Haven Advocate, October 19, 1989: “Bone of Contention: Skull Duggery at Yale”:

It’s an extraordinary story. Skull & Bones temple at Yale is illegally holding the skull of Apache Chief Geronimo, stolen from the grave by Senator Prescott Bush, father of President Bush, and other Bonesmen. The Apaches want the skull back. Under Connecticut law, section 53-334, Offenses Against Public Policy, and title 45-253 of the State Probate Law, the holding of human remains is illegal. New Haven lawyers, according to Altman, are reluctant to sue or press for criminal or civil complaint because of the power of Skull & Bones. To which we say, wait a minute, this isn’t Russia. The local prosecutor has a duty to prosecute if the evidence is credible. After all, we live under the rule of law and that includes presidents. Mr. Bush is accessory to criminal offense, apparently compounded by Satanism. He has to be brought to the bar of justice. “

And it goes on. It says: “other news sources please copy.” This goes back to 1989. Holding native remains and using them for satanic rituals that they routinely engage in goes on in Skull and Bones. This is the kind of arrogance of these creatures. That… —they would never do this to some other groups of people. And so there’s an unbroken thread of arrogance, of genocide, of racism, of attempts to exterminate native people. And it continues to this very day. Mr. Bush just appointed five Bonesman to the US government including Mr. Donaldson, the head of the SEC. Members of this secret, satanic, very sick and twisted society. By the way I might add that these people, Bonesmen, for example, including Prescott Bush and George Herbert Walker were principle financers of Hitler from 1924 onward. They were also involved in a 1934 plot to overthrow FDR and set up a fascist dictatorship in the United States. That plot was, was uncovered by Major General Butler, Smedley Darlington Butler, twice won the Medal of Honor. They were trying to recruit him to be, uh, the general to lead veterans, to create a veterans army that would help to take over the US government. Then they went on. Prescott Bush was found guilty of selling Nazi securities after Pearl Harbor. Investing Order 248, issued in November 17, 1942, the Union Banking Corporation run by Bush and Walker was –the assets were seized for trading with the enemy during war time. Then they went on from there, uh, the Bush family had a plant, along with Fritz Tyson, at Auschwitz, that used slave labor in Auschwitz to build a plant that profited directly from slave labor in Auschwitz that formed the core of the Bush money that helped to get that present preppy moron, uh, help him steal the white House. So when we look, we find the thread going back from the Pilgrims, to the founding of the Republic, to the founding of the secret societies like the Skull & Bones and others, through the eugenics movements of the 1920’s, and through the same people financing Hitler. And I might add, by the way, that Hitler himself, from his own mouth, said that the American eugenics movement, along with what was done to native people –he used to read “Wild West” novels of Karl May, —Hitler said that was his inspiration for the possibility of genocide, for the possible methods of genocide, and how to cover up genocide. From Hitler’s own mouth, he said that the American and Canadian experience was his inspiration for what to do with Jews and non-Jews, what they called “untermenschen”, and, uh, in German they called “lebensuwertes leben or “life worthy of life”. This is the same thing; we’re the Canary in the mine. What’s been done to native people has also been done to other people, but done more intensely to us. But the same creatures and their descendants –going back to the Pilgrims, to this very, very day, with the Preppy occupying the White House that he managed to steal–um, this is the same thread. And so we can’t get over what ain’t over. It ain’t over. It’s still going on.

TIOKASIN: When you said it ain’t over, it’s still going on , is uh, part of the mind set of Americans –every day average Americans who all say: “Well Jim, that kind of like, you know, prove it… Let’s –let’s get on with life, let’s –look, we’re the greatest country, the greatest democracy we, you know, that was then, and uh, if we keep voting, if we keep doing this thing called Democracy, then it’s going to get better.…” What do you say to people like that who are looking for a way out?

Prof.. JAMES CRAVEN: Well, first of all, a Democracy –well of course we’re not even a Democracy. In Constitutional terms we’re set up as a Federal Republic. But, you see, the problem is, even if you had –Democracy—it means not only voting from a given menu, it means having some real say in who’s on the menu in the first place. Look what we got in the last election. Both Mr. Bush and Mr. Gore were literally declared front runners before they’d even run in one primary. The menu had already been rigged by the backroom boys with the big money. And we choose between Tweedledee and Tweedledumb and dumber. We have no input whatsoever on what’s on the menu in the first place, that’s number one. Number two: even if we were to get someone of our choosing that would actually be respectful of, you know, some basic principles of Democracy that we lecture the rest of the world about, then there’s the whole system. The problem is getting in in the first place, and then, once you’re in, what do you do once you’re in? Because now you’ve got a Congress, again selected by the big money boys, in some cases they are the big money boys themselves. Um, then you’ve got a whole bureaucracy, where you’ve got all the –again- the big money boys are planting their minions in them, as Bush did with the Bonesmen, so on. And then there’s the problem of information. To have a democracy you need a free and open flow of information, and the right for all different ideas to contend. We have no such thing now. You know, our media here, are largely whores–on-their-knees-whores. They know what questions not to ask. It’s not a conspiracy that way. They all know the limits. Imagine any journalist who asks Mr. Bush certain questions, like, for example: “Could you pass –you know–could you pass the same security check that other people under you have had to pass? You know, would they [those under Bush] be allowed to say–on the dope question—‘Well, I‘m not gonna say yes and I’m not gonna say no. Let’s just say I had a wayward youth.”; that journalist who posed that type of question would be finished. See, so, we’ve got another problem that way. And then there’s the system itself and how and for whom the system works. Capitalism. Although it does sometimes a great job in terms of developing material forces of production and so on, Capitalism favors the few over the many. Because wealth of the few can very easily turn into more wealth. Even if you’re stupid, and you don’t know much, you can always get somebody else to turn your wealth into more wealth. Whereas if you’re poor, you’re trapped in poverty and getting out of poverty is almost impossible, especially under this system. It happens, but they’re rare occasions. So we also have a system where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. And the rich can use their wealth to buy political power and then use political power to get laws in their favor that give them more wealth. And that’s the Medici family that used to run Italy, they had a slogan which was “Money to acquire power, power to protect money.” That was the slogan, and that should be the slogan of the Bush family, and the Rockefellers and the rest of them. So, there’s the illusion of freedom, but if you really start asking some tough questions, then, watch what happens. So when you watch the talking heads on the news shows, nobody has to tell them what questions not to ask. They know what questions not to ask. Because they know if they dare ask them, that a) they won’t be called on again. And that means b) they don’t get the scoop. Without the scoop they don’t get c) exposure; and without exposure they don’t become a d)name; and without becoming a name they don’t get more access. That’s what journalists do. Access brings the scoop, scoop brings exposure, exposure makes them a name like Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw. And having a name gives them more access. But they only continue to get the access as long as they do a Faustian deal and agree not to ask certain nasty questions. They let Bush get away with stuff all the time. And they’ve done that in the past with Clinton and the rest of them. So we can’t rely on the mainstream media. What we have to do is educate ourselves, check our sources very carefully, have an open mind. If we make mistakes, be honest, don’t do what they do and cover it up. We make a mistake, be honest about it, say “ya, we goofed up, we thought this was true, but, but it turns out it wasn’t.” And then try to reach as many people as we can. But the whole voting scam, I mean the one thing about this last election is –this wasn’t the first one that was stolen. This was –there’ve been– many elections in the American history were stolen, literally stolen. Where, where the people that were selected were not the ones elected. It’s nothing –John Kennedy;’s case may have been another case; it was very close. But we know other cases where, uh, the Tilden case, and so on. And so, the game is rigged. You’ve got to understand that right now. And, choosing –you know, we don’t even have the lesser of evils anymore, we’ve got the evil of lessers. And so the answer is not in the people playing the electoral game. I mean I’m all for getting Bush out, because I believe that we’re on our way to full-blown fascism in this country. I believe that 9-11 is for Bush what the Reichstag Fire was for Hitler. It is a pretext. Okay. Now that’s no disrespect to the tragedy or to the victims. But the fact is, 9-11 was foreseen and foreseeable. Uh, and the fact is also that all over the world, many more people who died in the world trade center are dying every day from conditions this country -and regimes- this country has helped to set up and helped to survive—have helped to perpetuate.

TIOKASIN: And that’s our experience as indigenous people here in this country. And uh, I- I, my ears are ringing, and, uh, there’s a lot of people out there who, simply will not, I would say, uh, bend their ear a little bit to what we as indigenous people are saying, because ‘that can’t be true with America, that’s can’t be true with us, why don’t you Indians just get with it, why don’t you just pull yourselves up by your boot straps and get with the program’. Uh, but before we do that, Jim, I want to say that you are listening to WBAI –I totally forgot about this ID that we’re supposed to do. WBAI, New York, 99.5. And we are talking with Prof. James Craven out of Clark College, Vancouver Washington, and his is a professor of Economics, consultant of Business and a Division Chair at that College. And so what we have here is a case of um, not listening to the experience we have had as native people. Because after 9-11 no one came to native people to ask: “What is your experience with this type?” Because we’ve had terrorism on this country for, you know, for many centuries. From the beginning–it was the onset of the Eurocentric mind. And, uh, we in our own quarters, so to speak, is that we have also the same type of mindset of the sellouts. We have the spiritual sell-outs. We have the ones who just basically don’t want to be native. There’s the ones who have become ‘American Indians’ –America’s Indian, so-to speak, you know what I mean?

Prof. JAMES CRAVEN: Yes.

TIOKASIN: And uh, right now there are native people out there listening. They consider themselves “Native Americans.” And I know this is a word of contention here when I say “America” –and I say “Ame” which is the root word or etymology of “Amour,” which is a Spanish word meaning “the love of,” and Rica, which means riches. So we’ve got “Amer-Rica.” And, and when you become an “American,” you become “one who loves riches.” And that’s just the opposite end of a native person. “Native America” is an oxymoron and it should not even be said in the same breath.

Prof. JAMES CRAVEN: I don’t, I refuse to use it.

TIOKASIN: Hmm. Why is that?

Prof. JAMES CRAVEN: First of all, it implies that the more further back in the American history, or occupation on Turtle Island that your anscestors go, the more real American you are. It’s a form of nativism. Most Indian people that I know don’t believe that. Okay. The second reason is that we weren’t even American citizens until 1924. And nobody asked us if we wanted to be. The United States declared American Indians American citizens in 1924, –uh, Canadians in ’63—and the central purpose of that was to make them national minorities so that they wouldn’t be covered under international law dealing with genocide and so on. Cause see the United States was planning to put the Germans and Turks on trial for war crimes during World War One, and somebody said, well just a minute, what you guys have done to Indians and African Americans is every bit as bad as what the Germans and Turks did, you’re gonna get put on trial yourself. And so the answer was, in 1924, was to summarily declare Indians American citizens without their consent so that they would be removed –they thought anyway—from the protections of international law. That’s the second reason. The third reason is, which America? Where is there a place, you know, for Indian people in America? You see. What, I mean, America has never been a place for Indians. Even the founding documents of the United States refer to Indians as savages. Uh, Thomas Jefferson, that rapist and that hypocrite, in letters, in a letter to, uh, William Henry Harrison, February 24th, 1803, said that his, his policy would be to forcibly … extirpate –either assimilate or extirpate—these savages. The, the small pox infections were celebrated by the Pilgrims as God’s wrath against the savages –as a good thing that would prevent their births in the future … So, from the founding of the Republic to the very present day, there is no place in America for Indian people. And they still to this day do to Indian people what they wouldn’t dare do to any other group of people. Uh, we don’t have a Bureau of Caucasian Affairs; we don’t have a Caucasian Act. We, you know, we don’t have a football team called the Washington White Trash or the New York Niggers. Because they wouldn’t dare do something like that. But the Washington Redskins? No problem. So we get to see, you know, an ugly, disgusting word. If people only knew the origins of that word. You know, sometime play Reverend Goat Carsons’ song the “Red Skins” for the audience, so they can see where that name really came from. It’s like calling an alligator a purse. Like having a team called the Auschwitz lampshades. Because that’s where it came from, when Indians were skinned for trophies, which European tourists called Redskins. Breasts were turned into tobacco pouches. Testicles were turned into tobacco pouches. Women’s vaginas were turned into hat bands. That’s where the term came from. So, what, what America is there exactly? You know, what –so that’s another reason why I absolutely refuse that term. And I even, the term Indian I sometimes have a hard time with, but I use it generically. But when people ask me for example oh are you Indian, I say “I’m Blackfoot. I’m from a separate nation of people with our own laws and our own traditions and our own ways.” You see. And that’s another thing,we still have, to this day, by any test of international law, these are native nations, Indian nations. By any test. And what we need to do is we need to take it back. We need to assert our nationhood.

TIOKASIN: That’s right.

Prof. JAMES CRAVEN: Cause the same criteria, the same international law that allows the United states to say “we’re a nation,” or Canada to say “this is a nation,” the same ones say there is a Lakota Nation, there’s a Blackfoot Nation, there’s a Makaw Nation. Some of them are almost on the verge of, of total extermination. But, that’s one of the reasons –I, I’m a traditionalist. And some people say to me: “Well, you wanna go back 200 years.” No, no. If we go to our traditional ways we’re 200 years ahead of where the white man is now. Because, in our traditional ways we didn’t throw away our elders. We, our children didn’t disrespect elders. We didn’t have AIDS and all sorts of stuff. We didn’t’ have alcoholism and drug addiction. We didn’t have any of these things in our traditional ways. So when people say “you wanna go back 200 years,” I say, “No, no, our traditional ways are 200 years ahead of where America is today.”

TIOKASIN: Jim Craven, we are, we are –time has flown here this morning. 10:55 here on WBAI. And, uh, I’m must gonna throw in a word there, uh. Lately we’ve been seeing a lot about the word “Indian –NDN” the letters N-D-N. And I, my acronym for that is “natives defending nature” or you could say “natives defending natives.” So I am in that sense, if you call me an Indian, I’m going to understand it as NDN.

Prof.. JAMES CRAVEN: Right.

TIOKASIN: And, and that’s the new way of going through Native America’s NDN –N-D-N. And, um, is there any last words here –we have to leave here soon and any last words, any thoughts that you would like to loan to the people or lend to the people out there?

Prof. JAMES CRAVEN: Well, just please remember what this day really means. And please remember that we are all linked together in bonds of common humanity. And where there’s oppression, there’s going to be resistance, and where there’s oppression, oppression is everyone’s business –not just native, you know, NDN people’s, but it’s everybody’s business. And also, I would urge people, that coming up there will be demonstrations. I will be coming out for them. We are going to organize demonstrations against Skull & Bones, right outside there, their sick twisted tomb at Yale, and I would urge people to keep their eyes open on the internet and so on, and to join us at New Haven to demonstrate against the Skull & Bones and to demand the return of, of Geronimo’s remains and all other native artifacts that are being held illegally by the Skull & Bones. And, and it’s not just a matter of artifacts, because this shows, you know, these guys are at the highest levels of power in the American government, this shows their racism and their arrogance. It should be of concern to everybody that, at the highest level of the American government we have members of a secret, sick, twisted satanic cult helping to run this country. And, so I hope that people will keep their eyes open and will join us in New Haven to demonstrate, and to make the connection between the Pilgrims, 1619, and America 2003. Because the genocide continues and the descendants of the original genocidal maniacs are still doing genocide, still doing eugenics and racism, still occupying positions of power, and they need to be removed. And they need to be exposed.

TIOKASIN: Ya, James do you have –well first of all I want to say Kudos to that because there will be, I am predicting, if not thousands of people showing up in New Haven for that. Because that’s the root of everything that’s happening here. It’s not Wall Street. It could be the secondary thing is Wall Street, but it starts there, in uh, New Haven. And that is, uh, a spiritual front that hasn’t been contended with and we as native people are very qualified to take that on.

Prof. JAMES CRAVEN: Exactly right.

TIOKASIN: Is there any contact like maybe a website or an email that you would like to give out?

Prof. JAMES CRAVEN: Well people could write me at jcraven@clark.edu, and just write me on the internet if you have it, If you don’t you can call area code: 360-992-2283. And again, it’s not only for Indian people. But we ask non-Indian people to please join us, because we’re the Canary in the mine. Today it’s us, tomorrow it’s you. It’s everyone’s business. And it’s not just as simple…. And I believe we’re on our way to full blown fascism in this country and I think we have out last chance to stand up and expose it. This is one of many contributions along these lines. But we also consider the remains of that great warrior Geronimo being held like this an absolute desecration and insult to all Indian people, and this is everybody’s business.

TIOKASIN gives numbers again, and notes that listeners can also email firstvoices@WBAI.org.

Prof. JAMES CRAVEN urges all to get book: Fleshing out Skull and Bones: Investigations into America’s Most Powerful Secret Society, edited by Chris Millegan.

TIOKASIN thanks guest…
Posted byOmahkohkiaayo i’poyiat10:03 AM

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About jimcraven10

About jimcraven10 1. Citizenship: Blackfoot, U.S. and Canadian; 2. Position: tenured Professor of Economics and Geography; Dept. Head, Economics; 3. Teaching, Consulting and Research experience: approx 40 + years all levels high school to post-doctoral U.S. Canada, Europe, China, India, Puerto Rico and parts of E. Asia; 4. Work past and present: U.S. Army 1963-66; Member: Veterans for Peace; former VVAW; Veterans for 9-11 Truth; Scholars for 9-11 Truth; Pilots for 9-11 Truth; World Association for Political Economy; Editorial Board International Critical Thought; 4.. U.S. Commercial-Instrument Pilot ; FAA Licensed Ground Instructor (Basic, Advanced, Instrument and Simulators); 5. Research Areas and Publications: International law (on genocide, rights of nations, war and war crimes); Imperialism (nature, history, logic, trajectories, mechanisms and effects); Economic Geography (time and space modeling in political economy; globalization--logic and effects; Political Economy and Geography of Imperialism); Indigenous versus non-Indigenous Law; Political Economy of Socialism and Socialist Construction; 6. Member, Editorial Board, "International Critical Thought" published by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences; International Advisory Board and Columnist 4th Media Group, http://www.4thMedia.org (Beijing); 7. Other Websites publications at http://www.aradicalblackfoot.blogspot.com; wwwthesixthestate.blogspot.com;https://jimcraven10.wordpress.com; 8.Biography available in: Marquis Who’s Who: in the World (16th-18th; 20th; 22nd -31st (2014) Editions); Who’s Who in America (51st-61st;63rd-68th(2014) Editions); Who’s Who in the West (24th- 27th Editions);Who’s Who in Science and Engineering (3rd to 6th, 8th, 11th (2011-2012) Editions); Who’s Who in Finance and Industry (29th to 37th Editions); Who’s Who in American Education (6th Edition). ------------------- There are times when you have to obey a call which is the highest of all, i.e. the voice of conscience even though such obedience may cost many a bitter tear, and even more, separation from friends, from family, from the state, to which you may belong, from all that you have held as dear as life itself. For this obedience is the law of our being. ~ Mahatma Gandhi
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5 Responses to GENOCIDE IN NORTH AMERICA–TODAY: WBAI NEW YORK INTERVIEWS WITH DOUG HENWOOD AND TIOKASIN GHOSTHORSE

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