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					speeches=<img align="left" src="webImages/meansSpeech.jpg" width="158"
height="212" hspace='10'><br><br><br><br><br><br>The following speech was
given by Russell Means in July 1980, before several thousand people who
had assembled from all over the world for the Black Hills International
Survival Gathering, in the Black Hills of South Dakota. It is Russell
Means' most famous speech.<br><br><b>For America to Live, Europe Must
Die!</b><br><br>The only possible opening for a statement of this kind is
that I detest writing. The process itself epitomizes the European concept
of "legitimate" thinking; what is written has an importance that is
denied the spoken. My culture, the Lakota culture, has an oral tradition,
so I ordinarily reject writing. It is one of the white world's ways of
destroying the cultures of non-European peoples, the imposing of an
abstraction over the spoken relationship of a people.<br><br>So what you
read here is not what I've written. It's what I've said and someone else
has written down. I will allow this because it seems that the only way to
communicate with the white world is through the dead, dry leaves of a
book. I don't really care whether my words reach whites or not. They have
already demonstrated through their history that they cannot hear, cannot
see; they can only read (of course, there are exceptions, but the
exceptions only prove the rule). I'm more concerned with American Indian
people, students and others, who have begun to be absorbed into the white
world through universities and other institutions. But even then it's a
marginal sort of concern. It's very possible to grow into a red face with
a white mind; and if that's a person's individual choice, so be it, but I
have no use for them. This is part of the process of cultural genocide
being waged by Europeans against American Indian peoples' today. My
concern is with those American Indians who choose to resist this
genocide, but who may be confused as to how to proceed.<br><br>You notice
I use the term American Indian rather than Native American or Native
indigenous people or Amerindian when referring to my people. There has
been some controversy about such terms, and frankly, at this point. I
find it absurd. Primarily it seems that American Indian is being rejected
as European in origin-which is true. But all the above terms are European
in origin; the only non-European way is to speak of Lakota-or, more
precisely, of Oglala, Brule, etc.-and of the Dineh, the Miccousukee, and
all the rest of the several hundred correct tribal names.<br><br>There is
also some confusion about the word Indian, a mistaken belief that it
refers somehow to the country, India. When Columbus washed up on the
beach in the Caribbean, he was not looking for a country called India.
Europeans were calling that country Hindustan in 1492. Look it up on the
old maps. Columbus called the tribal people he met "Indio," from the
Italian in dio, meaning "in God."<br><br>It takes a strong effort on the
part of each American Indian not to become Europeanized. The strength for
this effort can only come from the traditional ways, the traditional
values that our elders retain. It must come from the hoop, the four
directions, the relations: it cannot come from the pages of a book or a
thousand books. No European can ever teach a Lakota to be Lakota, a Hopi
to be Hopi. A master's degree in "Indian Studies" or in "education" or in
anything else cannot make a person into a human being or provide
knowledge into traditional ways. It can only make you into a mental
European, an outsider.<br><br>I should be clear about something here,
because there seems to be some confusion about it. When I speak of
Europeans or mental Europeans, I'm not allowing for false distinctions.
I'm not saying that on the one hand there are the by-products of a few
thousand years of genocidal, reactionary. European intellectual
development which is bad; and on the other hand there is some new
revolutionary intellectual development which is good. I'm referring here
to the so-called theories of Marxism and anarchism and "leftism" in
general. I don't believe these theories can be separated from the rest of
the of the European intellectual tradition. It's really just the same old
song.<br><br>The process began much earlier. Newton, for example,
"revolutionized" physics and the so-called natural sciences by reducing
the physical universe to a linear mathematical equation. Descartes did
the same thing with culture. John Locke did it with politics, and Adam
Smith did it with economics. Each one of these "thinkers" took a piece of
the spirituality of human existence and converted it into code, an
abstraction. They picked up where Christianity ended: they "secularized"
Christian religion, as the "scholars" like to say- and in doing so they
made Europe more able and ready to act as an expansionist culture. Each
of these intellectual revolutions served to abstract the European
mentality even further, to remove the wonderful complexity and
spirituality from the universe and replace it with a logical sequence:
one, two, three. Answer!<br><br>This is what has come to be termed
"efficiency" in the European mind. Whatever is mechanical is perfect;
whatever seems to work at the moment- that is, proves the mechanical
model to be the right one- is considered correct, even when it is clearly
untrue. This is why "truth" changes so fast in the European mind; the
answers which result from such a process are only stopgaps, only
temporary, and must be continuously discarded in favor of new stopgaps
which support the mechanical models and keep them (the models)
alive.<br><br>Hegel and Marx were heirs to the thinking of Newton,
Descartes, Locke and Smith. Hegel finished the process of secularizing
theology- and that is put in his own terms- he secularized the religious
thinking through which Europe understood the universe. Then Marx put
Hegel's philosophy in terms of "materialism," which is to say that Marx
despiritualized Hegel's work altogether. Again, this is in Marx' own
terms. And this is now seen as the future revolutionary potential of
Europe. Europeans may see this as revolutionary, but American Indians see
it simply as still more of that same old European conflict between being
and gaining. The intellectual roots of a new Marxist form of European
imperialism lie in Marx'- and his followers'- links to the tradition of
Newton, Hegel and the others.<br><br>Being is a spiritual proposition.
Gaining is a material act. Traditionally, American Indians have always
attempted to be the best people they could. Part of that spiritual
process was and is to give away wealth, to discard wealth in order not to
gain. Material gain is an indicator of false status among traditional
people, while it is "proof that the system works" to Europeans. Clearly,
there are two completely opposing views at issue here, and Marxism is
very far over to the other side from the American Indian view. But let's
look at a major implication of this; it is not merely an intellectual
debate.<br><br>The European materialist tradition of despiritualizing the
universe is very similar to the mental process which goes into
dehumanizing another person. And who seems most expert at dehumanizing
other people? And why? Soldiers who have seen a lot of combat learn to do
this to the enemy before going back into combat. Murderers do it before
going out to commit murder. Nazi SS guards did it to concentration camp
inmates. Cops do it. Corporation leaders do it to the workers they send
into uranium mines and steel mills. Politicians do it to everyone in
sight. And what the process has in common for each group doing the
dehumanizing is that it makes it all right to kill and otherwise destroy
other people. One of the Christian commandments says, "Thou shalt not
kill," at least not humans, so the trick is to mentally convert the
victims into nonhumans. Then you can proclaim violation of your own
commandment as a virtue.<br><br>In terms of the despiritualization of the
universe, the mental process works so that it becomes virtuous to destroy
the planet. Terms like progress and development are used as cover words
here, the way victory and freedom are to justify butchery in the
dehumanization process. For example, a real-estate speculator may refer
to "developing" a parcel of ground by opening a gravel quarry;
development here means total, permanent destruction, with the earth
itself removed. But European logic has gained a few tons of gravel with
which more land can be "developed" through the construction of road beds.
Ultimately, the whole universe is open- in the European view- to this
sort of insanity.<br><br>Most important here, perhaps, is the fact that
Europeans feel no sense of loss in all this. After all, their
philosophers have despiritualized reality, so there is no satisfaction
(for them) to be gained in simply observing the wonder of a mountain or a
lake or a people in being. No, satisfaction is measured in terms of
gaining material. So the mountain becomes gravel, and the lake becomes
coolant for a factory, and the people are rounded up for processing
through the indoctrination mills Europeans like to call
schools.<br><br>But each new piece of that "progress" ups the ante out in
the real world. Take fuel for the industrial machine as an example.
Little more than two centuries ago, nearly everyone used wood- a
replenishable, natural item- as fuel for the very human needs of cooking
and staying warm. Along came the Industrial Revolution and coal became
the dominant fuel, as production became the social imperative for Europe.
Pollution began to become a problem in the cities, and the earth was
ripped open to provide coal whereas wood had always simply been gathered
or harvested at no great expense to the environment. Later, oil became
the major fuel, as the technology of production was perfected through a
series of scientific "revolutions." Pollution increased dramatically, and
nobody yet knows what the environmental costs of pumping all that oil out
of the ground will really be in the long run. Now there's an "energy
crisis," and uranium is becoming the dominant fuel.<br><br>Capitalists,
at least, can be relied upon to develop uranium as fuel only at the rate
which they can show a good profit. That's there ethic, and maybe they
will buy some time. Marxists, on the other hand, can be relied upon to
develop uranium fuel as rapidly as possible simply because it's the most
"efficient" production fuel available. That's their ethic, and I fail to
see where it's preferable. Like I said, Marxism is right smack in the
middle of European tradition. It's the same old song.<br><br>There's a
rule of thumb which can be applied here. You cannot judge the real nature
of a European revolutionary doctrine on the basis of the changes it
proposes to make within the European power structure and society. You can
only judge it by the effects it will have on non-European peoples. This
is because every revolution in European history has served to reinforce
Europe's tendencies and abilities to export destruction to other peoples,
other cultures and the environment itself. I defy anyone to point out an
example where this is not true.<br><br>So now we, as American Indian
people, are asked to believe that a "new" European revolutionary doctrine
such as Marxism will reverse the negative effects of European history on
us. European power relations are to be adjusted once again, and that's
supposed to make things better for all of us. But what does this really
mean?<br><br>Right now, today, we who live on the Pine Ridge Reservation
are living in what white society has designated a " National Sacrifice
Area." What this means is that we have a lot of uranium deposits here,
and white culture (not us) needs this uranium as energy production
material. The cheapest, most efficient way for industry to extract and
deal with the processing of this uranium is to dump the waste by-products
right here at the digging sites. Right here where we live. This waste is
radioactive and will make the entire region uninhabitable forever. This
is considered by the industry, and by the white society that created this
industry, to be an "acceptable" price to pay for energy resource
development. Along the way they also plan to drain the water table under
this part of South Dakota as part of the industrial process, so the
region becomes doubly uninhabitable. The same sort of thing is happening
down in the land of the Navajo and Hopi, up in the land of the Northern
Cheyenne and Crow, and elsewhere. Thirty percent of the coal in the West
and half of the uranium deposits in the United States have been found to
lie under reservation land, so there is no way this can be called a minor
issue.<br><br>We are resisting being turned into National Sacrifice Area.
We are resisting being turned into a national sacrifice people. The costs
of this industrial process are not acceptable to us. It is genocide to
dig uranium here and drain the water table- no more, no less.<br><br>Now
let's suppose that in our resistance to extermination we begin to seek
allies (we have). Let's suppose further that we were to take
revolutionary Marxism at it's word: that it intends nothing less than the
complete overthrow of the European capitalists order which has presented
this threat to our very existence. This would seem to be a natural
alliance for American Indian people to enter into. After all, as the
Marxists say, it is the capitalists who set us up to be a national
sacrifice. This is true as far as it goes.<br><br>But, as I've tried to
point out, this "truth" is very deceptive. Revolutionary Marxism is
committed to even further perpetuation and perfection of the very
industrial process which is destroying us all. It offers only to "
redistribute" the results- the money, maybe- of this industrialization to
a wider section of the population. It offers to take wealth from the
capitalists and pass it around; but in order to do so, Marxism must
maintain the industrial system. Once again, the power relations within
European society will have to be altered, but once again the effects upon
American Indian peoples here and non-Europeans elsewhere will remain the
same. This is much the same as when power was redistributed from the
church to private business during the so-called bourgeois revolution.
European society changed a bit, at least superficially, but its conduct
toward non-Europeans continued as before. You can see what the American
Revolution of 1776 did for American Indians. It's the same old
song.<br><br>Revolutionary Marxism, like industrial society in other
forms, seeks to "rationalize" all people in relation to industry- maximum
industry, maximum production. It is a doctrine that despises the American
Indian spiritual tradition, our cultures, our lifeways. Marx himself
called us "precapitalists" and "primitive." Precapitalist simply means
that, in his view, we would eventually discover capitalism and become
capitalists; we have always been economically retarded in Marxist term.
The only manner in which American Indian people could participate in a
Marxist revolution would be to join the industrial system, to become
factory workers, or "proletarians," as Marx called them. The man was very
clear about the fact that his revolution could only occur through the
struggle of the proletariat, that the existence of a massive industrial
system is a precondition of a successful Marxist society.<br><br>I think
there's a problem with language here. Christians, capitalists, Marxists.
All of them have been revolutionary in their own minds, but none of them
really means revolution. What they really mean is continuation. They do
what they do in order that European culture can continue to exist and
develop according to its needs.<br><br>So, in order for us to really join
forces with Marxism, we American Indians would have to accept the
national sacrifice of our homeland; we would have to commit cultural
suicide and become industrialized and Europeanized.<br><br>At this point,
I've got to stop and ask myself whether I'm being too harsh. Marxism has
something of a history. Does this history bear out my observations? I
look to the process of industrialization in the Soviet Union since 1920
and I see that these Marxists have done what it took the English
Industrial Revolution 300 years to do; and the Marxists did it in 60
years. I see that the territory of the USSR used to contain a number of
tribal peoples and that they have been crushed to make way for the
factories. The Soviets refer to this as " the National Question." The
question of whether the tribal peoples had the right to exist as peoples;
and they decided the tribal peoples were an acceptable sacrifice to the
industrial needs. I look to China and I see the same thing. I look to
Vietnam and I see Marxists imposing an industrial order and rooting out
the indigenous tribal mountain people.<br><br>I hear the leading Soviet
scientist saying that when uranium is exhausted, then alternatives will
be found. I see the Vietnamese taking over a nuclear power plant
abandoned by the U.S. military. Have they dismantled and destroyed it?
No, they are using it. I see China exploding nuclear bombs, developing
uranium reactors, and preparing a space program in order to colonize and
exploit the planets the same as the Europeans colonized and exploited
this hemisphere. It's the same old song, but maybe with a faster tempo
this time.<br><br>The statement of the Soviet scientist is very
interesting. Does he know what this alternative energy source will be?
No, he simply has faith. Science will find a way. I hear revolutionary
Marxists saying that the destruction of the environment, pollution, and
radiation will all be controlled. And I see them act upon their words. Do
they know how these things will be controlled? No, they simply have
faith. Science will find a way. Industrialization is fine and necessary.
How do they know this? Faith. Science will find a way. Faith of this sort
has always been known in Europe as religion. Science has become the new
European religion for both capitalists and Marxists; they are truly
inseparable; they are part and parcel of the same culture. So, in both
theory and practice, Marxism demands that non-European peoples give up
their values, their traditions, their cultural existence altogether. We
will all be industrialized science addicts in a Marxist society.<br><br>I
do not believe that capitalism itself is really responsible for the
situation in which American Indians have been declared a national
sacrifice. No, it is the European tradition ; European culture itself is
responsible. Marxism is just the latest continuation of this tradition,
not a solution to it. To ally with Marxism is to ally with the very same
forces that declare us an acceptable cost.<br><br>There is another way.
There is the traditional Lakota way and the ways of the American Indian
peoples. It is the way that knows that humans do not have the right to
degrade Mother Earth, that there are forces beyond anything the European
mind has conceived, that humans must be in harmony with all relations or
the relations will eventually eliminate the disharmony. A lopsided
emphasis on humans by humans-the Europeans'arrogance of acting as though
they were beyond the nature of all related things-can only result in a
total disharmony and a readjustment which cuts arrogant humans down to
size, gives them a taste of that reality beyond their grasp or control
and restores the harmony. There is a need for a revolutionary theory to
bring this about; it's beyond human control. The nature peoples of this
planet know this and so they do not theorize about it. Theory is an
abstract; our knowledge is real.<br><br>Distilled to its basic terms,
European faith-including the new faith in science-equals a belief that
man is God. Europe has always sought a Messiah, whether that be the man
Jesus Christ or the man Karl Marx or the man Albert Einstein. American
Indians know this to be totally absurd. Humans are the weakest of all
creatures, so weak that other creatures are willing to give up their
flesh that we may live. Humans are able to survive only through the
exercise of rationality since they lack the abilities of other creatures
to gain food through the use of fang and claw.<br><br>But rationality is
a curse since it can cause humans to forget the natural order of things
in ways other creatures do not. A wolf never forgets his or her place in
the natural order. American Indians can. Europeans almost always do. We
pray our thanks to the deer, our relations, for allowing us their flesh
to eat; Europeans simply take the flesh for granted and consider the deer
inferior. After all, Europeans consider themselves godlike in their
rationalism and science. God is the Supreme Being; all else must be
inferior.<br><br>All European tradition, Marxism included, has conspired
to defy the natural order of all things. Mother Earth has been abused,
the powers have been abused, and this cannot go on forever. No theory can
alter that simple fact. Mother Earth will retaliate, the whole
environment will retaliate, and the abusers will be eliminated. Things
come full circle, back to where they started. That's revolution. And
that's a prophecy of my people, of the Hopi people and of other correct
peoples.<br><br>American Indians have been trying to explain this to
Europeans for centuries. But, as I said earlier, Europeans have proven
themselves unable to hear. The natural order will win out, and the
offenders will die out, the way deer die when they offend the harmony by
over-populating a given region. It's only a matter of time until what
Europeans call "a major catastrophe of global proportions" will occur. It
is the role of American Indian peoples, the role of all natural beings,
to survive. A part of our survival is to resist. We resist not to
overthrow a government or to take political power, but because it is
natural to resist extermination, to survive. We don't want power over
white institutions; we want white institutions to disappear. That's
revolution.<br><br>American Indians are still in touch with these
realities-the prophecies, the traditions of our ancestors. We learn from
the elders, from nature, from the powers. And when the catastrophe is
over, we American Indian peoples will still be here to inhabit the
hemisphere. I don't care if it's only a handful living high in the Andes.
American Indian people will survive; harmony will be reestablished.
That's revolution.<br><br>At this point, perhaps I should be very clear
about another matter, one which should already be clear as a result of
what I've said. But confusion breeds easily these days, so I want to
hammer home this point. When I use the term European, I'm not referring
to a skin color or a particular genetic structure. What I'm referring to
is a mind-set, a worldview that is a product of the development of
European culture. People are not genetically encoded to hold this
outlook; they are acculturated to hold it. The same is true for American
Indians or for the members of any culture.<br><br>It is possible for an
American Indian to share European values, a European worldview. We have a
term for these people; we call them "apples"-red on the outside
(genetics) and white on the inside (their values). Other groups have
similar terms: Blacks have their "oreos"; Hispanos have "Coconuts" and so
on. And, as I said before, there are exceptions to the white norm: people
who are white on the outside, but not white inside. I'm not sure what
term should be applied to them other than "human beings."<br><br>What I'm
putting out here is not a racial proposition but a cultural proposition.
Those who ultimately advocate and defend the realities of European
culture and its industrialism are my enemies. Those who resist it, who
struggle against it, are my allies, the allies of American Indian people.
And I don't give a damn what their skin color happens to be. Caucasian is
the white term for the white race: European is an outlook I
oppose.<br><br>The Vietnamese Communists are not exactly what you might
consider genetic Caucasians, but they are now functioning as mental
Europeans. The same holds true for Chinese Communists, for Japanese
capitalists or Bantu Catholics or Peter "MacDollar" down at the Navajo
Reservation or Dickie Wilson up here at Pine Ridge. There is no racism
involved in this, just an acknowledgment of the mind and spirit that make
up culture.<br><br>In Marxist terms I suppose I'm a "cultural
nationalist." I work first with my people, the traditional Lakota people,
because we hold a common worldview and share an immediate struggle.
Beyond this, I work with other traditional American Indian peoples, again
because of a certain commonality in worldview and form of struggle.
Beyond that, I work with anyone who has experienced the colonial
oppression of Europe and who resists its cultural and industrial
totality. Obviously, this includes genetic Caucasians who struggle to
resist the dominant norms of European culture. The Irish and the Basques
come immediately to mind, but there are many others.<br><br>I work
primarily with my own people, with my own community. Other people who
hold non-European perspectives should do the same. I believe in the
slogan, "Trust your brother's vision," although I'd like to add sisters
into the bargain. I trust the community and the culturally based vision
of all the races that naturally resist industrialization and human
extinction. Clearly, individual whites can share in this, given only that
they have reached the awareness that continuation of the industrial
imperatives of Europe is not a vision, but species suicide. White is one
of the sacred colors of the Lakota people-red, yellow, white and black.
The four directions. The four seasons. The four periods of life and
aging. The four races of humanity. Mix red, yellow, white and black
together and you get brown, the color of the fifth race. This is a
natural ordering of things. It therefore seems natural to me to work with
all races, each with its own special meaning, identity and
message.<br><br>But there is a peculiar behavior among most Caucasians.
As soon as I become critical of Europe and its impact on other cultures,
they become defensive. They begin to defend themselves. But I'm not
attacking them personally; I'm attacking Europe. In personalizing my
observations on Europe they are personalizing European culture,
identifying themselves with it. By defending themselves in this context,
they are ultimately defending the death culture. This is a confusion
which must be overcome, and it must be overcome in a hurry. None of us
has energy to waste in such false struggles.<br><br>Caucasians have a
more positive vision to offer humanity than European culture. I believe
this. But in order to attain this vision it is necessary for Caucasians
to step outside European culture-alongside the rest of humanity-to see
Europe for what it is and what it does.<br><br>To cling to capitalism and
Marxism and all other "isms" is simply to remain within European culture.
There is no avoiding this basic fact. As a fact, this constitutes a
choice. Understand that the choice is based on culture, not race.
Understand that to choose European culture and industrialism is to choose
to be my enemy. And understand that the choice is yours, not
mine.<br><br>This leads me back to address those American Indians who are
drifting through the universities, the city slums, and other European
institutions. If you are there to resist the oppressor in accordance with
your traditional ways, so be it. I don't know how you manage to combine
the two, but perhaps you will succeed. But retain your sense of reality.
Beware of coming to believe the white world now offers solutions to the
problems it confronts us with. Beware, too, of allowing the words of
native people to be twisted to the advantages of our enemies. Europe
invented the practice of turning words around on themselves. You need
only look to the treaties between American Indian peoples and various
European governments to know that this is true. Draw your strength from
who you are.<br><br>A culture which regularly confuses revolt with
resistance, has nothing helpful to teach you and nothing to offer you as
a way of life. Europeans have long since lost all touch with reality, if
ever they were in touch with who you are as American Indians.<br><br>So,
I suppose to conclude this, I should state clearly that leading anyone
toward Marxism is the last thing on my mind. Marxism is as alien to my
culture as capitalism and Christianity are. In fact, I can say I don't
think I'm trying to lead anyone toward anything. To some extent I tried
to be a "leader," in the sense that the white media like to use that
term, when the American Indian Movement was a young organization. This
was a result of a confusion I no longer have. You cannot be everything to
everyone. I do not propose to be used in such a fashion by my enemies. I
am not a leader. I am an Oglala Lakota patriot. That is all I want and
all I need to be. And I am very comfortable with who I am.<br><br><img
align="left" src="webImages/meansSpeech2.jpg" width="158" height="212"
hspace='10'><br><br><br><br><br>Here, in a piece that was originally
presented as a lecture at Navajo Community College in Fall, 1995, Russell
Means discusses freedom and responsibility in our present-day world. He
talks about the true nature of education, and why we must think
critically about the educational and government structures that constrain
us.<br><br><b>Free to be Responsible</b><br><br>Hello, my relatives. I am
an ally. I come from Yellow Thunder Village in our very sacred holy land,
the Black Hills.<br><br>I'm going to talk about freedom today. Freedom.
You all know what that means, don't you? No, you don't. If you knew what
it meant, you wouldn't be here. If you knew what it meant you would be
out on the land being free, instead of colonizing your mind. If you knew
what freedom really meant then you would have no fear. This is a fear-
based society. You fear the police. Do you slow down when you see the
highway patrolman? Of course you do. A fear based society is usually a
male-driven society. You come from a matrilineal way of life, as I
do.<br><br>Freedom means you are never in a hurry. Think about that the
next time you have to get to class. You are never in a hurry, and never
is a long time. Freedom means you are free to be responsible. No one has
any rules or regulations for you to follow because you are a responsible
individual: responsible for your own behavior, responsible for your
generations, responsible for your Mother the Earth, responsible for every
living being, and responsible for the universe. That's what freedom
means. Those are the things that I have found out in my life about
freedom, because I've lived it. I've been free.<br><br>At Wounded Knee in
1973, we were surrounded by the armed might of the United States of
America, the most militarily powerful country in the world, but we were
free. For seventy-one days we walked in freedom, without a white man's
rules or regulations. We had no rules or regulations.<br><br>Laws are
made for lawless people. This is a nation of laws, and lawless people,
and that's why the white man lies to you all the time. That's why this is
a society of liars, and they pass more laws every year and build more
jails. You can always tell how civilized the reservation is becoming by
the amount of jails. The older Dine remember when there were no jails on
this reservation. You're civilized now, a part of this great country of
freedom and democracy: pick up a gun, let me train you to be a murderer
of human beings. Then let me train you to be proud to be a trained
murderer of human beings, and to fight for this piece of cloth. That's
what I want you to do, and if you don't do it, I'll put you in jail
because there are laws.<br><br>One of those laws knocked the hearing from
my father's ear when he was in boarding school. It was against the law to
speak your own language, so they beat him, accidentally hit him on the
head, and busted one ear drum. Every time my dad tried to speak Lakota,
he would speak softly because it was against the law to speak your
language. You were beaten and terrorized if you spoke Lakota. Some old
people on this reservation and on my reservation have arthritis in their
knees because they had to kneel on marbles, or pebbles, or rocks, for
hours, because they violated the law.<br><br>You live in the greatest
country in the world. That's what they keep telling you. If a man doesn't
stand up to salute the flag, make him leave this country. He's not
respecting your piece of cloth. Now, if a white man walked into this room
and told you that it's now a new law to stand up for the shirt that
Russell Means is wearing today, would you do it? You see how ridiculous
that is: a piece of cloth is a piece of cloth. It's used to clean your
car, wipe your hands. This shirt I'm wearing will eventually probably
wash my car or my pickup.<br><br>Freedom. You are free to be responsible.
If you are a responsible person, then you need no laws. If you are a
responsible person, you're proud of who you are. I know there might be
Navajos in this room, but I don't know if there are any Dine. The reason
I say that is because of freedom. I've fought for freedom, the freedom of
my people according to the law. It was the only law my ancestors ever
made, and they made it in agreement with the white man. It's called a
treaty, and it's backed by Article VI of the United States
Constitution.<br><br>The Constitution comes from us, from our way of
life. The Greeks didn't have it. John Locke didn't have it. No society on
earth had it. We had it. Individual liberty through representative
government. Rousseau didn't have it. None of the European philosophers,
or the Mediterranean philosophers, or the Far Eastern philosophers, had
that concept, only us. Freedom for the individual through representative
government. Our government is a clan system run by the women. The women
tell their children: you are free to be responsible as long as you
understand the universe because the universe is your tabernacle. If you
don't understand the universe, then you don't know who you are, and if
you don't know who you are, then how can you be free to be responsible?
You're going to need laws to function. You need time schedules. Freedom
is worth fighting for, freedom is worth risking your life for, and
freedom is worth going to jail for.<br><br>When I was a young man I grew
up in an America that was talking about freedom. They weren't talking
about political correctness. We didn't call ourselves Native Americans
because the government told us to. People of all colors, all the sacred
colors of the human race, were talking about freedom in the sixties and
seventies. We were talking about freedom, and we were doing something
about it - everybody in this country. You don't hear the word freedom any
more. You hear about civil rights. My ancestors never talked about civil
rights. What 's a civil right? It's according to the laws, that's a civil
right.<br><br>Freedom. What is it? It's also survival. You corner any
free animal, not a domesticated one that the white man brought over; but
you corner one of our relatives, and they will fight by any means
necessary for survival. They're free. Wounded Knee '73 was an expression
of freedom.<br><br>In a matrilineal society, when I married, my last name
would change, not my wife's. Indigenous people the world over,
specifically in the western hemisphere, never gave a new-born child the
name of someone else, because that would not respect that someone else,
and because you want that child, who just came into this earth, to have
their own personality and individuality, their own freedom. It's
respecting the individual. This country was based on the clan system. The
United States of America doesn't have founding fathers. That's an insult
to our ancestors. This country, the United States of America, has
founding mothers, and they were primitive ones at that. The Six Nations
Iroquois Confederacy used to be called at that time the Five Nations. The
men didn't have the right to vote. It was the women who picked the
leaders and removed them if necessary. It continues today among those
people. That's the basis of this country. If the white man was really
telling the truth, he would talk about the founding mothers. But women
had no rights when this country was founded, black people were counted as
three-fifths of a human being, and we weren't considered human
beings.<br><br>Self-respect, freedom. Are you Dine? Or are you educated
Navajos? That's what your educated tribal council calls you. They're
ashamed of their language, ashamed of their ancestors, ashamed of their
beauty. Do you know why they proclaim: we do not want to be called Dine;
we want to be called Navajo? Because it costs too much to change the
letterheads. What an insult. You should have had an insurrection right
there. A coup d'etat. If you had any dignity you would have thrown them
all out of office, and run them off the reservation. Tell them to go live
with the white man, like the Navajos.<br><br>I came to this reservation
and I fell in love with a Dine; she's also half Omaha. We were driving
around, and she was telling me about the sacred mountains of the Dine
land. I thought it was wonderful that she knew them. We drove up to this
man, and I stopped the car all of a sudden. She said, "Why are you
stopping the car?" And I said. "Wait, right over there. I just want to
watch that free man." He was a sheep rancher, that people demean by
calling a sheepherder. He's a stock owner, that's what white men call
themselves when they own stock. They call themselves ranchers if they
have two peach trees. She says. "Why do you want to watch him?" And I
said, "Because I want to watch the most successful individual
entrepreneur in Indian county today. No one tells him when to get up in
the morning, nor when to go to bed. No one tells him anything all day
long. And look at all the sheep he has. He's a very rich man. And the
most important thing that he's doing, is that he's praying." My wife, a
Presbyterian, said, "What do you mean he's praying?" And I said, "To the
Lakota, to the Indian, when you listen, you're praying. That's a form of
prayer, when you listen." She said, "Oh," and started to watch with me.
And to this day, when I see a sheep rancher, I stop, or at least slow
down, just to acknowledge, and say thank you.<br><br>I was in the Navajo
Nation during a time of internal strife, an important time in the history
of this nation. I went to a chapter meeting in Chinle. One of my in-laws
translated for me. The chairman of the meeting was a Navajo who spoke the
language well and wore two braids. He is known on the Pow-wow circuit as
a "traditional dancer." It was muddy outside, and a man, all muddy from
working in his field, started to speak Dine. A traditional man, you could
tell he'd been outdoors all his life. My translator was translating in
one ear, and I was listening. This man started his talk, like my people
did when they were traditional. He talked about the things he saw outside
his hoogan. He talked about what the wind has to say, and the flowers. He
talked about birds, when all of a sudden: Bang, Bang, Bang. And in Dine
that "traditional dancer" said, "Five minutes, your time is up!" I
thought, wait a minute! I'm on an Indian reservation. I've never seen or
heard of that in my life. It tells you I've never been to a tribal
council meeting.<br><br>We come from an oral society. I've never seen
anyone interrupted in a meeting on a reservation when they were speaking,
except one other time. Our own traditional people were speaking on the
Black Hills Yellow Thunder Village issue, where I come from. We had
repossessed 800 acres of land in our holy land from the U.S. Forest
Service, because we said we have a right to pray. We lost that case in
the Supreme Court. It was the last case before the peyote case that was
lost. The U.S. Forest Service called a meeting, and they paid for our
traditional people to come from all over Lakota land, and they came. We
started the meeting.<br><br>In an oral society there are protocols that
you have to understand and observe. If you're an Indian, you know these
things. In an oral society the old people get up and establish a format,
an agenda, but it's done orally, one person at a time. They seem to be
talking about the same thing, and you must listen closely. That's what an
oral society requires, because Indian people always talk in a circle. You
always end up where you began. You have to listen very carefully, so you
don't miss any of the spokes in the wheel that holds it together. The
tradi-tional people all speak about the same thing in different ways,
from their own experience, so that we can all have one mind and one body,
before we begin the serious business. And they usually talk about having
one mind, one body, one spirit, one heart. And you listen.<br><br>A young
Lakota woman sat in the meeting while an old man with a bunch of dirt on
him was talking. You could tell she was educated because she had nice
jewelry, a nice hairdo, and the proper heels. She raised her hand, and of
course no one acknowledged her; she wasn't the Chairman. "Excuse me,
excuse me, I'm sorry, but where is the agenda?" Everybody looked at her,
and nobody said anything. So she said, "Well, if I'm not going to get an
answer, there's no sense in me attending this meeting." And she stormed
out. Educated. And we went on with our meeting.<br><br>Freedom. I picked
up a hitchhiker outside of Chinle, and brought him here. He said, "Why
are you coming to Tsaile?" And I said, "To give a speech." He said, "What
about?" I said, "Freedom, I'll talk about freedom." He sat for a while,
and then he turned to me and said, "I don't know what to say to you." I
said, "Well, I'm going to talk about what you just gave up." He said,
"What's that?" And I answered, "Well, you gave up your freedom to ride in
this damn vehicle." I'm going 70 miles per hour. We talked about freedom.
He had a lot to say.<br><br>He has three teenage daughters, and we talked
about youth and the highway and about electricity and the fact that youth
need their electricity now. And once you get electricity what's the first
thing you buy? A TV. What's one of the first things the kids turn on? The
TV. If it's not that, they've got two things in their ears so they can't
hear anything. And you wonder why we're having problems.<br><br>When you
didn't have TV guess what time kids went to bed? When it got dark, and
they got up when it got light. Now, they go to bed late, and get up late.
And they don't want to work. Wonder why? Because you don't have a garage,
a swimming pool, or a jacuzzi - all the fine things the white man has,
and teaches you to want, to consume, and be greedy. How many of you have
been to Basha's and seen all that greed? You go into a super-market and
you get tons of food, tons of greed. We don't need all that food. Think
about it - it's greed! Everything is greed. You turn on the TV, it's all
about greed. And you expect to be Dine?<br><br>No wonder your educated
people who watch TV will vote for the word Navajo, and shame on you. I
remember when my people only called themselves Sioux. Sioux was a French
corruption of an Ojibway word meaning snake. Now they say Lakota. But the
white man doesn't want us to give away that word Sioux, so you hear him
call us Lakota Sioux. I'm Lakota. I don't put anything else behind
it.<br><br>I said earlier that if you don't know the universe then you
don't know who you are, and it's true. My wife recently completed a book
about the plants of the Dine in the Chinle area, which incudes this area.
She runs a curriculum center - you should all visit it, just for a touch
of your own pride, and shake the hand of Mike Mitchell, who started her
on this journey. Actually she says it was me who started her on this
journey, but not really, it's our ancestors.<br><br>My wife started
studying the plants, along with other Dine, and consulted Mike Mitchell,
and other medicine men and medicine women. They identified the plants
indigenous to this area, and the Dine uses for them. They listed them in
the Dine language, and sent the plants to the biology department of the
University of New Mexico or the University of Arizona, requesting
information on the white man's use of these plants. They identified about
160 plants. In every case the Dine traditional use and white contemporary
use coincided. However, in over sixty percent of the plants, the Dine
used the plant for more reasons than the white man. What? Our biology and
botany are superior to western culture?<br><br>We Lakota, one of our
instructions is not to give out certain information. And we're jumpy;
those educated Sioux started giving this information out. And now the
anthropologists, and other "ologists", have grabbed it, and are trying to
put in into a linear, mathematical equation, just like the white man. We
have our own universe and interpretation, except our universe isn't just
a roadmap. We know that the universe re-energizes itself, every seven
years. We know the power it gives us. We know that through the power of
the universe, manifested through the womb, it purifies women naturally.
Think about that! In the universe there is only one living being on the
entire Grandmother Earth (that's what the Lakota call it - Grandmother
Earth) that is purified naturally every twenty-eight days, the same
number of ribs in a buffalo. It is manifested through the universe, and
they picked the human woman, to purify. No wonder we're a matrilineal
society. Men aren't purified naturally. So if you understand this rhythm,
then you begin to grasp who you are.<br><br>In the curriculum center at
Chinle they're doing the same thing with astronomy that they did with
plants. They're finding that Dine knowledge of the universe is superior
to western science. They're doing geology - the rock people. The rock
people are among all indigenous societies. They know one another when
they come upon one another. My grandfather was from the rock people, and
some medicine men who work with my wife are rock people. Our geology is
superior to western science.<br><br>Two years ago I went to visit the
curriculum center. They were having a special event for all the teachers
of the school. I don't know how many teachers they have, more than my
toes and fingers. They're all white. Gloria introduced me to a Ph.D. in
botany, a Ph.D. in astronomy, and another Ph.D. in geology. Three
Ph.D.'s. I shook their hands, and then I looked over in the corner.
Sitting in the corner in one of those little chairs was Mike Mitchell,
unassuming and humble.<br><br>Coincidentally, the next school board
meeting was at Tsaile. I went before the board, as a community member,
and demanded a raise for Mike Mitchell. I told the school board that they
had to pay him at least a minimum of $120,000 per school year, because
that's the very least those three Ph.D.'s are getting a year, about
$45,000 each, and he's worth more than those three guys. He's never been
to school, can't speak English well, but he knows more than three
Ph.D.'s.<br><br>Now that's freedom. Mike Mitchell was making $8 an hour.
I'm proud to say they did raise his salary. He now gets $10 an
hour.<br><br>Think of the pride in your self image, if you had known when
you were in kindergarten, that you, your people, and your ancestors are
in fact superior in knowledge. Not wisdom, because the linear,
mathematical Eurocentric male world view has no wisdom. If they did, you
wouldn't see steam shovels on this land. You wouldn't see satellites; in
fact, they might even allow you some freedoms. You now know that your
knowledge is superior to western science. Not your tom-tom beating and
your chanting. I'm not talking about those stereotypical images. I'm
talking about knowledge and science. I'm not talking about culture. They
always want us to go into culture, and it's always an elective in a high
school curriculum. It's never a required subject.<br><br>You're
surrounded by freedom and you can't see it. The people in the canyon come
to me, and say, the Park Service is not letting us live. I was riding
with my son in the canyon. His family has been riding in the canyon for
generations, and the Park Ranger had the stupidity to stop us and ask if
we had permission to go into the canyon. He went away sufficiently
chastised, and respectful. I saw what the U.S. government did to the
canyon, with the two weeds they put there, that are now overgrowing the
canyon. Farmers from the canyon are complaining about those
weeds.<br><br>I look at this reservation, and yes, I see a nation, a
captive nation. One without pride. I'm sorry, I'm sad, because I see your
nation the way my nation was twenty-five years ago. The old people are
still alive, the ones with no education, who can't speak English.
Whitehair Begay just died, in Forest Lake. I knew him. We couldn't talk
together because he only spoke Dine. His medicine prayers died with him,
he couldn't pass on his knowledge. While he was here he held a Blessing
Way and a protection ceremony for my son.<br><br>The Navajo Tribal Court
is trying to give my son to a white man, and has threatened and tried to
put my wife in jail. A Navajo woman, who all of her adult life, since she
was a teenager, has been a gold mine for Dine children, and a proud
example for this nation: from her trick riding at rodeos when she was a
teenager, to her college years, Masters' degree, and work with the
curriculum center. Yet, because a white man points a finger at an Indian
child on this reservation, who's not even enrolled here, he's enrolled on
my reservation, these educated Navajos say he belongs to that white man.
My son has long hair, because he knows it's sacred, and he knows why long
hair is sacred. He knows that it holds memory. He knows why Indian people
have long hair, and he takes care of it.<br><br>You want to talk about
freedom in the great country you live in, and the flag that you learn to
fight for? Look at the individual jeweler entrepreneurs. They cannot sell
their jewelry, and have to get permits to sell at the tourist stops along
the canyon wall. And have you ever seen that jewelry they're trying to
sell? It compares with nothing you see at Thunderbird Lodge. You don't
want to lose those individual entrepreneurs, the only suc-cessful ones
you have on this reservation, the only ones whom no one tells when to get
up in the morning. The individual entrepreneurs that don't have alarm
clocks.<br><br>Look towards your children's future. Almost everyone of
you, if not all of you, if you're Dine, intend to have children. Or you
already have children or grandchildren. If you care about your eternity,
then come to our reservation, and I'll show you the way the educated
people will take you. You have less than six years left at those two big
mines here, and then it's gone. You're going to have to strip mine the
disputed land, when the New Mexico and Gallup mines are finally depleted,
because that's where the remaining coal is very rich. But it too will go,
in your lifetime, along with the water.<br><br>Come to my reservation,
and see that no youth ride horses anymore. Only the breeds, only the rich
Indians with jobs can afford to rodeo now. When I grew up everybody could
rodeo, if you had the guts to climb on, or no guts, and were foolish
enough to climb on a bucking horse, a bull, or a steer. Now you can't
afford to rodeo, or be a Pow-wow Indian. You're lucky if you can afford
to pay to see the Pow-wow.<br><br>I don't go to Pow-wows on this
reservation, because I'm not a Pow-wow Indian. I understand my culture.
You know what I want to hear when I live down here. I want to hear the
songs that the traditional people sing. I was driving north from Burnside
Junction, when I saw about fifty cars stopped. I thought it was an
accident, so I passed them all. Then I saw the riders on horseback with
the staff. I've seen that a lot of times on this reserva-tion, and I
always stop and give a prayer of thanks. This time it was big, it was
huge. A hundred riders, carrying that staff, and everyone was stopped on
both sides of the highway. One hundred riders. I wanted to know about it,
I wanted to follow them, but I couldn't, because I'm not from this
reservation. Traditional dancers, when they gather, speak about important
matters concerning the nation.<br><br>In my culture we have people who
dress half-man, half-woman. Winkte, we call them in our language, but gay
people are dressing up as women in our dances, and that's not the way. If
I ever go to a Pow-wow here and I see them dancing, I'm going to grab the
microphone, and tell them: that's not the way. If you are Winkte, that is
an honorable term, and you are a special human being. And among my nation
and all Plains people, we consider you a teacher of our children, and are
proud of what and who you are. If you're going to sing my songs, and do
my dances, then ask us. Quit butchering my songs, my dances, and the
things that I am proud to wear. It means nothing now. Our beadwork means
nothing. My grandmother wrote a book about our beadwork. You can read it
if you want to steal my songs and my dances.<br><br>So, you see, you
don't know the universe if you're a Pow-wow Indian. Otherwise, you would
have respect, because you would know who you are, and you would know
yourselves. And Whitehair Begay, and all his brethren and sisters, would
not die saddened.<br><br>It's not your language that tells you who you
are, it's your songs. We are the most musical people on earth. We have a
song for everything. Think of one thing, and we have a song for it.
That's why we don't need psy-chologists, marriage counselors, treatment
centers, jails, locks, and keys. Know your heritage! That's your her-
itage! You come from a people with no locks and keys. You had so much
respect for your women, that you lis-tened to them and followed their
advice, and you didn't have war.<br><br>And I don't care what the white
man says - he says the Dine, like the Lakota, were nomads. I live by the
canyon. I see people when they go from their winter home to their summer
home, and return. That's what the Lakota did, but it took a little longer
in those days. We didn't have RV's and refrigeration, and had to stop,
dry some meat, pick some fruit, and slowly reached our summer home. When
a white man has a winter home and a summer home, he's not called a nomad.
He's called rich. Think about it - he's a rich man.<br><br>You cannot
beat our heritage; you cannot beat what our ancestors had to teach us and
tell us. That's why they made a treaty, because they thought of you, all
of you. And they allowed the white man to have peace. Think about this,
you can write it down on your own paper in your own language, so you can
understand it. We can remember, because we have long hair, and we
remembered.<br><br>Learn your songs, and understand that our way of life
has all the answers, all of them, and if it doesn't, then sing a song.
That's what freedom is. Now maybe you can understand why it's worth dying
for, and why I was thrown in jail, and why I can tell you that I haven't
paid income tax for twenty-one years, until I had to last year. I had no
more excuses. I was a movie star. They knew I made money. But I have my
own driver's license.<br><br>You see, I agree with the white man. I agree
with the Congress, I agree with the Executive Branch, and I agree with
the Supreme Court - that they're all liars. They've admitted that they're
nothing but liars, and I admit that, yes you are, and you lied about our
treaty, and you lie about your Constitution. Therefore, I advocate that,
under international law, constitutional law, our law, and anybody else's
law, we revert back to our legal status before we signed the
treaty.<br><br>And guess what that legal status is? Free! We are free
people. When one nation unilaterally admits they vio-lated an
international covenant, then that covenant no longer has legal force in a
court of law, and you become a free people. That's your avenue, and you
think that's unusual? Lithuania did it. Lithuania is responsible for
utilizing this very concept and beginning the demise of the Soviet Union.
They walked away from the Soviet Union, because the Soviet Union admitted
they violated their treaty. Half the people living in Lithuania were
Russians. So there is international and legal precedent and knowledge of
this. Freedom: freedom to be responsible, to never be in a hurry, and
freedom from fear. Remember the freedom from fear, and return to the clan
sys-tem. There isn't a responsible mother from any society, any culture,
anywhere in the world, in the history of the human race, that wants to
see their son go to war. And if their son is forced to go to war, those
mothers have empathy for the mothers of their son's enemies. That's
profound.<br><br>Learn your wisdom - the missing link. In the Euro-
centric, linear, mathematical way of thinking, they only teach limited
knowledge, not wisdom. Vine DeLoria finally recognized this in his last
book, after all these years, and he has a Ph.D., and a GGD, and a whole
English alphabet behind his name. His nickname among the Lakota is
alphabet soup. Doctor of Divinity degree, D.D.D.; doctor, lawyer, M.A.,
M.S., B.A., B.S. bullshit; M.S. is more shit; Ph.D. does not equal
wisdom.<br><br>Wisdom, that's what our culture and our heritage is all
about.<br><br>Thank you.

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