“Indians and wolves are both beasts of prey, tho’ they differ in shape.”George Washington Aka Ko-no-to-ka-ri-ous
After ushering a new President into the highest political position within the United States of America’s highest office, Onkwehon:we (original people) everywhere took notice that one of his first acts was to cancel the Keystone pipeline’s permits. A sure shot for Joe Biden, who is already making some other beneficial changes for Onkwehonwe. Is this just smoke and mirrors for another four years of finely controlled care measures for Onkwehon:we?
Why do we care?
Colonists have never separated Wisk Nyonwhenhtsake, nor by the imaginary lines they have drawn on paper; Rotinonhsonni can only be separated by force from the clay that makes us. That solely rests with Shonkwaya’tison. The President’s colonial laws directly impact our relatives who do remain on their traditional lands.
In Kanyen’keha, the term Konotokarious loosely translates to the idea of a Town Eater or Town destroyer. It was less than an endearing name for a particular type of depraved colonizer and mercenary soldier, and the name itself continued to hang on the neck of every president that was elected since that time. Names are given differently among different Onkwehonwe nations or communities, but our names are our inheritance and passed down within the Rotinonhsonni worldview, and we grow into them.
How we have come to know Konotokarious
The most famous bearer of this name is George Washington, the first president of the United States. George himself inherited the name long before the Sullivan campaign waged against Onkwehon:we. Given to him by Tanaghrisson, a Seneca Royaner, George was not the first to be given that name. Kanotokarious is a variation of an Algonquin word given to John Washington, a great-grandfather of George Washington.
When John Washington had murdered five Chiefs from the Sussquenhannock Nation while negotiating peace with the coward, the name came about. In the form fit for only the privileged, he then shifted blame to a mob of “Marylanders” in his account of events for a deposition. His punishment was a public shaming by Governor William Berkely, a small token that did nothing compared to what he inflicted on the Nations who had weakened after their leaders’ fall.
You had me at #LANDBACK.
To strengthen the nation-to-nation relationship while ensuring the right to vote, Biden must first accept and recognize the Onkwehonwe Declaration of Independence, subsequently offering dual citizenship to those who can obtain dual citizenship. Our two-row binds Rotinosonni, so we would not be eligible for this option. I would be speculating if I said that this is how Joe Biden intended his mandate interpretation. It implies that the American dream is dependent on this new relationship and includes a landmass loss in their countries portfolio.
After returning control of our lands to us through his restoration mandate, Onkwehonwe can begin the process of returning to our ancient governance systems in their totality and demonstrate how the entire collective held a place of importance in decision making. We can then restore the health of the land according to our understanding of health.
You lost me at Father.
Biden lost me at his paternalistic perspective in his assertions that he will find solutions to problems created due to colonization. From that point on, he seems inconsistent with wanting to develop any type of real relationship truly. Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women is a direct result of colonization; I’m not trusting to take food from the same system that over-sexualized our women in the first place.
The same way of thinking is in play when Biden mandates strategies to support our health. Health and wellness are the people’s responsibility; for us as Onkwehon:we it also falls to us how to determine the methods that we address those elements of our being. Yes, it results from colonization, and Yes, we can use some help but on our terms using our traditional medicines and ceremonies.
Campaign Mandates not Promises
It’s up to the people in that ship to hold Biden to his campaign mandates rather than viewing them as just promises that he could break. He should be held to these standards, as should, every inheritor of that name should until they grow out of it. If Joe Biden truly wants to start that growing process, he will want to stop interfering in Onkwehon:we matters. First, he needs to find all the families that his predecessor separated and free all of the Onkwehon: we IN CAGES.