Truth calls on the Two-Rower

To the editor:

Chief Sidney Hill, Tadodaho, of the Onondaga Indian Nation and Haudenosaunee Grand Council member, recently wrote a press release which was published in several trusted sources, including Indian Country Today and Intercontinental Cry Magazine. Chief Hill’s essay, entitled “Haudenosaunee Grand Council Reiterates Position on Elected Councils,” addresses the Two-Row Wampum campaign directly: “Whether it is reference to the Two Row Wampum, treaties, nation-to-nation relationships, or the subtle implication that these elected councils are somehow synonymous with the Haudenosaunee Confederacy or the Traditional Councils; this ambiguity has now perpetuated a false impression and confusion, both externally and internally, that elected councils are actually a part of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy.” Hill continues on powerfully and eloquently, but space here is limited.

Many well-meaning yet not-knowing people have not only embraced the Two-Row carnival; indeed, they seem to be the driving engine and genesis behind it. Why is discernment and separation between Native and non-Native important? As Hill also wrote, “The Grand Council of Chiefs feels that it can no longer remain acquiescent on this matter, and must insist that the appropriation of the Haudenosaunee national character cease.” Or, to simplify, there has been enough colonial-mindframe rape and theft of Haudenosaunee culture already, and more in modern times is unacceptable. Sally Bermanzohn, Barbara Valocore, Evan Pritchard, Amanda Sissenstein, and the rest of the fraudulent Koshare and Ciguato (fools and clowns) must be stopped and exposed for who and what they truly are, for the good of Haudenosaunee survival. Their greedy games and performances weaken Haudenosaunee autonomy and identity, and are probably a corporate-backed attempt to steal remaining Haudenosaunee resources.

So far, all we have seen is a bizarre money-collecting carnival run by non-Natives claiming to be Native. More than $100,000 has been collected tax-free, for unknown and foggy purposes, all using the power of “white guilt” to milk the sympathetic flock. There have been several dissenting voices over the last three years, and all have been ignored. Exactly how did this nightmare get this far? Just like in the Shoah, decent people stood by and said nothing, as it didn’t directly effect them. Those who don’t think undermining Native autonomy is not equal to genocide are fools; it has been the major non-fatal method used to deal with the “Native problem” since the first Europeans landed here 521 years ago.

The Two-Row canoe carnival approaches, and anyone who supports it and/or participates is allying themselves with forces that are trying to destroy and parasite Native culture and identity. The Two-Row is NOT “helping” Natives or environmental causes in any way, no matter how absolved it makes you feel.

Two-Rows have been drawn in the sand. Which side are you on?

Raymundo Rodriguez-Jackson

Joshua Seth Lulov

New Paltz