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we were all indigenous, and can again become...

we were all indigenous, and can again become...
I did not fall from space...
However alien I may appear to this planet, this land, these people, I come from this earth. From its water, its soil, its people, its blood. It has provided me with a life, which I willingly and humbly direct. Despite all attempts by the civilized logic to separate me, to dislocate me, to destroy my connection, I am still part of this fusion of life, this deeply integrated accumulation of living beings.

I, like all of us, have direct lineage to a different way of being, to a direct experience with the world. We once lived unmediated from the earth, ate directly from the forest, drank straight from its waters, slept touching the ground, healed ourselves with its plants, made all of our decisions concerning our lives with people we loved. We are still these people, only scarred, with cold and clunky armor created for us by a culture of death that we have reluctantly accepted when and where we have grown too tired and weak. We have been tamed. We have been domesticated. But, we are still connected under this baggage, this defensiveness, this disposition.

I have been severely damaged from generation after generation of upheaval, defeat, and domestication at the hands of colonizers, and at times I did the colonizing. But this was only after I had been sufficiently separated from the earth, others, and myself. But mostly, I have been just a pawn and a tool in the ongoing war against life. I have suffered greatly: in the direct brutality inflicted upon me in my own life, through more subtle institutionalized methods, as an accumulation of my ancestors' pain, and from missing out on a penetrating and more integrated connection to the world.

I have been moved so far from where my relations once dwelled, yet I can still feel connected to place. Maybe not in the same way that my relations did to the land they were indigenous to, or the people who were/are connected to where my feet currently rest, where I inhabit. But I can still go deep into the ground, take the air into my lungs, learn from the whispers of this place, offer my respectful and modest influence to this land, and unite the world around and within me.

we were all indigenous I have always felt dislocated within civilization. Whether the suburbs, the cities, or small towns, I have always felt suffocated, empty, and lost. Traveling from one location to the next, always over-idealizing the succeeding context. The grass always seemed greener. In this postmodern reality, dislocation is not the exception but the norm, and even the sought-after condition. We can never be whole as long as we live outside and above our surroundings, or for that matter, even view them as surroundings, and not as part of us. At some point I think it is important to find a place, a bioregion, a home (though not necessarily a sedentary location).

I have much to learn from those deeply connected to the place I call home, those who have an intimate relationship with the land, animals, plants, people, and patterns of this specific environment. I have most to learn from those who have evolved with this place; whose bodies, minds, spirits, and culture have developed alongside these mountains, birds, trees, and rivers. I do not wish to "play native" or co-opt traditions, but to tap into and learn from a physical and spiritual knowledge, so that I can live respectfully and sustainably with this particular part of earth (which is comprised of infinitely diverse forms of life).

I have much to learn from the survivors. Those who were forcibly converted to patriarchal gods. Those who were burned at the stake. Those who were given blankets with smallpox. Those who were stolen from their homes and families and chained in the bellies of ships. Those who were pushed out of their lands and herded into camps. Those who were marched and dragged down trails of tears. Those who were stripped down, re-educated, and assimilated. Those who became beasts of burden. Those who were pitted against one another. Those who were put on trains, and again, herded into camps. Those who were gassed and burned. Those who were lynched. Those who were bombed. Those who were raped. Those who were beaten. Those who have been virtually destroyed, yet continue to endure. Those who have been whipped, yet amazingly continue to thrive. Those who attempt to regain their ancestral knowledge. Those who raise healthy children. Those who burn down the suburbs. Those who reconnect with the earth. Those who remember. Those who survive. And, I have much to learn from myself. I have much to remember.

I did not create this monstrosity, this leviathan, this death culture. I am both a by-product and survivor of it. I was not the first to step out of the forest. I did not create the first separations, plant the first corn, irrigate the first field, domesticate the first animal, subjugate the first woman, support the first stratification, fabricate the first weapon, construct the first city, build the first ship, enslave the first foreigner, kill the first indian, assemble the first railroad, erect the first factory, split the first atom, plant the first flag on the moon, genetically produce the first clone, and like Al Gore, I didn't invent the internet. But I am also profoundly tied to their legacy and their innovation and expansion. And I am also the victim of their legacy of death, domination, and destruction. "Pleased to meet you, hope you guessed my name [civilization]. But what's puzzling you is the nature of my game."

I know in my heart and in my bones that we can live differently, that we have lived differently, and that those possibilities can come together in beautiful ways. I have no expectations within this nightmare; my/our only hope is to wake up from the confusion. There is no future in this failed experiment; all I can do is reject it. There is no possibility of readjustment; it can only be destroyed. I must find a place, people, and a way to live differently; to reconnect and to dream.

We were all indigenous to somewhere, someone, and somehow...and can become so again. The old ways are gone, but I am still going home, not necessarily where I started, but maybe somewhere I began.

Wish us luck!
Beautiful! 04.Apr.2005 13:16


We cannot go back... but we can come full circle.

I am also looking for my tribe 04.Apr.2005 17:04


I am also aware that this experiment is not working. I am however, finding it hard to find people who are healthy and sane enough to travel with on this leg of the journey home.

hmmm 04.Apr.2005 17:24


I'm a little skeptical of the "noble savage" theme -- my ancestors have been in the thrall of different patriarchal religions as far back as history goes -- but I appreciate the sentiment. Ironically, the closest most people are going to get to a stone-age hunter-gatherer lifestyle is if they really screw up their lives and end up on the street.

we have a choice! 04.Apr.2005 17:36

reinhabit cascadia

we have a choice:

are to be ivy or dandilions?

We Are All Descendants Of Tribes 04.Apr.2005 18:21


[Quote]Ironically, the closest most people are going to get to a stone-age hunter-gatherer lifestyle is if they really screw up their lives and end up
on the street.[Quote]

I am an Earthwalker of mixed European ancestry, and I have been walking
the Red Road (as best I could), since about ten years of age, for fourty
years. We will not see it in our physical lifetimes, nor will those of
the next few generations, but Human Beings will return to living the
Natural Way. This is the time of the Seventh Fire. The Eighth Fire has not
yet been lit. The voices of our ancestors are speaking to us, and some
people are beginning to awaken to the memories of the original dream.
However, many people will never have an understanding of what it means to
be a Human Being.

two-spirit 04.Apr.2005 20:42


Dude, what's up with this "warrior" shit? You been so brain-colonized you gotta imagine yourself in the killer class in order to remind yourself not to be a slave? Isn't this the same thug/punk dichotomy that's set men at each other's throats for millenia, beating their own sons to make them "tough"?

I take it, 'what?' 05.Apr.2005 06:49


You had no argument with what he said.

To two spirit warrior and all IMC readers 05.Apr.2005 14:58


Wow, I have seen your postings and almost always assumed you were Native. That's cool that you are living here on this continent with the knowledge that you are of European ancestry, but seeing that the people who have lived here before columbus had a lot of good things going... I trust that you will hold our fragile cultures carefully in your heart and not exploit them.

...which is why I take issue with your little icon. Don't you know how disempowering these images, stereotypes and caricatures of us truly are? Please make sure that in your life, your vision of the red road does not render the contemporary native inconsequential. You as a European descendant should live on whatever path you choose, indeed, but you cannot claim that which is not yours, and the little icon is one of those things.

I have been so troubled in my path of decolonization of my mind--I am indigenous to this continent and I recognize that we are all humans and that no one "should leave." I agree with the original poster that we all have indigenous heritage, but some of us are indigenous to here and now, and have closer memories and cultures (like 150 years or less) of indigenous life before white imperialism. So please, when you are on your paths, all of you, yes, do educate yourself especially about the Native people of your area, but do not assume that you know what it means to be indigenous to the americas, and especially do not allow yourself to "appropriate" Native cultures--like the first comments said--yes, we need to come full circle, but there are people who can guide us.

My only complaint is that I just tire of white people in the US saying "I live this way...this means I am nothing but indigenous," which I feel only serves to render the real Natives as useless in the eyes of the "revolution." We have to learn from each other and not deny where "we" are still benefitting (class-wise, 1st world priv, etc) from the genocide on this land (whose 'ceded' lands are you living on? do you know? how are they doing today?)


AHHH 05.Apr.2005 15:06


NO one of European descent living in the US will "become indigenous" until the true indigenous people of this land are allowed to fully activate their indigenous sovereign rights and receive true JUSTICE. It's simple logic--and if you are a European descendant who thinks this is not fair that you aren't considered indigenous to this land, just think about how fucked up it must be for real indigenous people to be denied their cultural heritages...

work to educate on this issue or else we're all doomed and you know it too.

get off it! 05.Apr.2005 19:06


Indian, "white" (whatever that stereotype is), black (or African American) etc... all of us are here now and there will continue to be too many of us until we bleed out due to resource exploitation. Face it, the Native Americans had the same thing happen to them that has always happened even when our ancestors were few...killing and taking what they had the power to take. Hell, they even did it to each other so, get off the high horse chief. That is what "freedom" is all about! It is not given, it is stolen only. Never to bestowed upon people only secured for oneself. Lump it, there are too many of us and the fighting is only going to get worse until we really screw up the planet beyond a comeback.

That is humanity in a nutshell.

talk about knowing each otherl .. . . . 06.Apr.2005 05:41


whatever happened to gringo starrs????

good item by the way (comment by nobody stands way out like a sore thumb here but what do you expect from a population, half of which make no bones about taking pride in being ahead when it comes to dishonourable forms of fighting; the effeciency types will be always be with us and remain extinction and depression causes number one, most numbing of numbers; a lone 'one' of them is bound to stray here now and then and more will come with evil intent)

ah, no 06.Apr.2005 12:49

let's try again

If white people feel like they need to be "indigenous" they need to go to Europe. It's still there, it's not that hard to get to, we didn't fall here from space. If that doesn't work for you, you better come up with a different metaphor for what you're doing than indigenousness.