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Illahee Spirit Runners

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WALK THE WALK

“Be The Voice For The Voiceless” Grandmother Agnes Baker-Pilgrim

“The general who advances without coveting fame and retreats without fearing disgrace, whose only thought is to protect his country and do good service for his sovereign, is the jewel of the nation.”– Sun Tzu, The Art of War

SUPPORT INDIGENOUS RESISTANCE!

Please send contributions and reparations to:

Illahee Spirit Runners P.O Box 2576 Corvallis, OR. 97339

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Protect Native Rights, Protect Sacred Sites.

Oak Flats

Illahee Spirit Runners received a call for solidarity asking for spiritual leaders to join Wensler Nosie Sr. and others for ceremony as he suspected he may removed from the sacred site of Oak Flats by forest service or even possibly national guard. The copper mine threatening the sacred site is already pumping all the water out of the area noticeably lowering the water table has hired an Isreaeli security company. There are many spiritual people at the site including a member of the Pee-Posh descendants of the Anasazi and the Hohokum. Many Plant relatives in a diverse and mostly healthy eco system including 3 or more critically endangered Mexican Grey Wolves, and indigenous foods are being whittled away at currently as you read this. We are aware the mine will use 6.5 billion gallons of water a year and will leave a 2 mile crater in a holy place that is considered feminine by the Apache who consider it the birthplace of all life. Therefore we see an eco feminist element in the destruction of this place. Approaching camp we were told we went by a ancient giant footprint in the lava. Puling into camp  a crow flies by. Crows and ravens being great friends of the wolf and always go where wolves go. People came from all directions for the ceremony. Much singing. Songs from many peoples. I brought the Anishinabe wolf song and i also sang honor song for everyone who showed up because showing up is a big part of the movement. We shared food, danced and prayed then we prayed some more. And when you thought we was done praying we prayed some more. The first night around the fire there were many people. I heard the name Edison Chiloquin spoken. I have a picture of Edison a man i have come to deeply admire and i often think: what would Edison do? The next day i did sweat lodge ceremony. It was a very good ceremony the prayers were strong. Many sweats i have been and i would say this one was very good. I need these ceremonies for my severe P.T.S.D. I was also able to talk to a few people about P.T.S.D and cultural trauma. I realize these ceremonies as a crucial part of the treatment of P.T.S.D. I will continue to seek Inipi sweat lodge ceremonies to continue treatment of my P.T.S.D. An Apache man man and a Dine man ran the sweat. The Dine man revealed a wisdom to me about wolves and what they meant to the Dine before the current understanding association with skinwalkers. I hesitate to share this but i must in the spirit of decolonization clear my brother the wolfs name. Wolf/wolf warriors were the first warriors to be sent out to protect because wolf has the gift of speed and is faster than everyone else. Wolf was able to report back to the tribe with valuable information. This resonated with me and spoke of the spiritual path im on. The way im seeming to be faster than most people and now im able to report back to my fellows about many of the indigenous struggles around Turtle Island. I will try to remember this when i feel frustrated that the overall movement is going so slow. Its valuable that i can give insight into each of many indigenous struggles and various movements. It helps me to be a better teacher. as wolf is a teacher weather we like it or not. I was reminded as i was taught by a Lakota warrior woman to “protect the people weather they want you to or not”. I was grateful for the lessons. I was able to with the help of a woman with Poor Peoples Campaign remove a couple bags of broken glass and trash from the sacred site making it easier to walk barefoot and connect to the earth.

canyonThe second night is now approaching the sun is going down one of the fullest moons of the year. A meteor shower lasted the duration of my stay and i slept near the fire we had organized around in a circle. This second night i speak of is the night it is expected law enforcement to show up. It was interesting to note who stood by Wensler Nosie Sr. when the law was supposed to show up and send him back to the reservation and eject him from the holy site. i am honored to be among that smaller more courageous group. Its not a coincidence. My grandfather was a bodyguard to a general in the Korean war and i am an expert in an ancient bodyguard style martial art from Okinawa used to protect the trade prince of Okinawa from pirates and other threats. I am honored to have once again fulfilled my responsibilities as Ogitchidaw to the land and the original people. As i found out what Oak Flats wasn’t i found out what  Oak Flats is. All situations are different and learn things everyday. I expected a potential Standing Rock situation. Some kind of occupation. Its not really like that its more like exercising inherent right to ancestral homelands specifically sacred sites as should be protected under the American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978. I was able to relay on the second night by the fire about ancient gardens in the north with up to 13 types of edible plants and how they were planted by the Paiute , Cayuse, Nimipu and possibly Blackfeet peoples and the need for them to exercise their inherent rights to ancestral homelands and ancient culturally significant foods sources returning to maintaining them as was done in a practice of human beings benefiting the landscape. Wensler Nosie Sr. encourages natives to return to their holy and sacred sites. If they do remove Wensler and the others from Oak Flats and all mining, developing, resource exploitation doesn’t stop immediately it will show to the entire world and international community that the U.S constitution is a sham! Solidarity With the Apache! Solidarity with the Pee-posh! Solidarity with the wolf! Solidarity with the acorn, the cholla, the yucca! Protect Native Rights! Protect sacred sites! yucca

Climate, (Lightning) Strike Reflections

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Decision to take action for global youth climate strike was a chance to try to unite and get some new energy to continue our current efforts to protect wolves knowing the struggle to protect wolves is related to all life because its tied directly to the land/habitat. I remember after putting a lot of organizing effort into this and being met with the usual deplatforming and conspiracy to deny my civil rights that the left is still terrible at supporting indigenous resistance and is bent on white supremacy in the environmental movement at all costs. A poster read (Local solutions to climate change) I defaced a poster and crossed out local and put the word white in its place. I felt the slogan white solutions to climate change being more fitting. Seeing youth of color used as mouthpieces and shields to prevent radical action from taking place. I acted by contacting 350 pdx and Unitarian Universalist National ect and fire back at them for a decade of racial exclusionary tactics by local branches of their organizations in an attempt at responsibility and accountability.  Our current stance with 350 is were asking them to disband having no consent to operate on our land and having a poor improvement record for so long. With no faith in their improvement its my believe they should dissolve themselves. A report on cities and racism to be filled out for the U.N regarding racism in kkkorvallis being brought to the attention of the Mayor. I organized in public to try to gain more participation from the public and the lack of support confirmed we should change or go underground until what seems is an apathy spell has been lifted. After meeting with limited results from the usual suspects of the white liberal world i went back to where i knew i had a better chance, the poor and economic/environmental refugees the homeless of whom 13 percent are native. The homeless did respond filling one of our slots as a drummer. He is known for sake of security only as Coldwind. I resent the time lost i spend trying to reach the privileged. I think its an abuse of teachers but that seems to be a colonial trend. Indicative of its treatment of the wolf the ultimate teacher and ultimate colonial animal. When we protect the wolf we protect everyone and everything”. I also resent trying to have to compete with NGO’s and do fliers and posters using more paper. Meeting in person being so much better. We tend to have a yearly rendezvous for that which usually meets with poor attendance i think due to the same whitecentric organizing that is wasting the paper. I find myself dreaming of a day we collectively awaken and take spiritual action and open a can of spiritual whoop ass. Im satisfied at this point with our own performance however given the terribly difficult circumstances. Day one we did a direct action warm up and i taught in a way where people can learn by doing. We used the Anishinabe Wolf song which is a big part our movement. The wolf song is a purification song and a Sun Dance song The power of the drum and a song is real and profound i can’t stress that enough. Looking back i think it was good practice. The office staff were good sports about it and behaved at least in a way favorable to their own attempts at constitutional free speech free expression. Had we been blessed with the strength of the right team with more hands and hearts we could have done more. A big part of the movement is showing up. Next is showing up in a meaningful way having done self work and ready to follow directions of the rightful stewards the indigenous resistance and those most decolonized voices among us. As was the case for some of the mouthpieces and shields used against us the colonized native has been the enemy of the traditionalist since colonists arrived. Keeping wolves in the media is something i have an agreement to do so i did it. I will at least be able to circulate this blog you are reading now. You can assist by sharing it widely. We did two direct actions over the course of the week which was the amount of days we had people willing to go forward so our performance is directly linked to your participation. We had a direct action training by Deep Green Resistance of which im a former chapter leaders for. The training seemed promising and came as a blessing for which we are grateful. Indigenous people are nature itself. I reflect on poison oak. It grows where forests have been wounded or traumatized. Bright red in the summer it serves as a warning and acts as a poison guardian. It effects humans not animals that i can think of. Like a poison oak we make it uncomfortable for the colonizer to colonize. The last shall be first and the first shall be last. As Frantz Fannon pointed out is the result of anti colonialism. Satisfied enough to be capable. Climate strike included pipe ceremony and we used the wolf pipe given to us by Potawatomi Warrior Society. On my mind now is how to literally return the land to indigenous rule, Restoring power and literally returning the land. I caught a taste of Edison the Medicine Chiloquin’s dream . Prepare to be potent and present in the time of the 8th fire prophecy. Preparing to run to Mexico with Peace And Dignity Journeys. Reflecting on teachings from Eddie Benton Banai, Harry Charger. Reaching out to Holy Men and Indigenous Warrior Women. Thunder sounds across the sky and we gather the lightning rain to drink. Lightning put nitrogen in the ground and things grow. Green obsidian.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/08/13/crazy-scientists-alarmed-lightning-near-north-pole-seen-latest-sign-climate?utm_campaign=shareaholic&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=facebook&fbclid=IwAR25ymdsqg61miF5clgX7-bM4PbX-xkd_I8Kms58Lonkom1S0gZhzx1FdvY

Why did I walk as a white woman?

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By Elisabeth Tullai

Information about The Longest Walk: We Shall Continue came to me through activist feeds. Doing a bit of research, I was enlightened of the issues being brought forth for indigenous rights. I wanted to be an authentic ally but wasn’t sure how to be that or how I would be received. Still, there was a force pushing me through my questioning and towards participation. Information regarding dates and times would be revealed without my searching, cutting a path towards supporting the walk.

The day of the walk coming through the area of St. Louis came to me and although unprepared, I participated.

I woke slowly, moved slowly and organized my mind slowly for the drive of over an hour away from my dry home to be out in the rain, joining strangers in an urban walk for Indigenous rights. I questioned my motives:

Were they pure and authentic or for feeding my own ego?

Other than walking, what could I, one person with limited funds, time, energy, connections and resources do?

Am I being truly helpful or a hindrance?

What could be learned?

What could be shared?

I had no answers to any of my question on my wet and quiet drive to the city.

We met in a corner of St. Louis in a soggy and lonely park corner. Names, greetings and a common friend connection were exchanged, and the welcoming began. Preparing with prayer, we then began our wet walk, minor inconvenience in comparison to previous walks of native people. We walked in drizzling rain, most with heads exposed and damp. Flags and staffs were carried along city streets that until recently in creation time, were wild and free. Typical city and my settler structures lined the avenues. We passed train stations, post offices, court houses, huge homes of worship of the god brought to the land, libraries and polices headquarters. These same headquarters where two years prior tears of silent protest flowed of “police silence is violence” for the unjust murder of the black community members of St. Louis.

Most of these buildings were cut and hauled from stone stored safely in the earth for millions of years and now were stacked in high towers representing power: cold, unwelcoming, and intimidating.

We walked on, joined by more along the way, while the weary took brief breaks. Smiles and shouts of welcoming friends were exchanged with human hugs and the surrounding of sage and cedar smoke for protections and purification.

My thoughts were on the native people of this land. This stolen land that I have benefitted from. My thoughts turned to the continued strength it takes to be informed and engaged in resistance to an entire history of attempting to be wiped away by white supremacy. Unlike those engaged in this daily battle stretching back 500 years, I had the privilege of being able to rest at any time and not be informed or engaged. At any time, I could quietly withdraw and return to “my” home and land.

I continued to walk, I was not weary, only a bit wet. I began to slowly process the lessons being learned in real time through real people. I continued because they could not stop.

Arriving at the arch, under the ground of which was cut into the earth a museum glorifying the great white lie of “manifest destiny” we circled around. Speaking, sharing, singing and praying we closed this day. The next day the walk would continue from the arch to Cahokia, a former thriving community of native people who abandoned their home with the encroachment of Europeans. The walk would continue. The songs would continue. The education and empowerment would continue. The prayers would continue. I would continue as well.

Being a very small part of the people inherently connected to the land was humbling for me. I felt fully grateful to be authentically included.

In reflection I answer my original questions:

I cannot honestly say that my motives were pure. Only the creator knows my heart. I know my own ego was fed as I desired to be a part of important activism.

I learned that I could create a local community activity with intent to educate and activate others in native rights issues even with my limited resources. I put faith forward that what is needed would come.

I was serving in a helpful way in giving love, support and much needed rest for a brief time for the walkers.

I learned about love, strength, humor and resistance through the unity of the people.

I can share the issues of The Longest Walk with my community and that native people are still here and continue to be in resistance to laws that deny their rights as humans and the original people of the land.

Native American people will continue, just as the walk continues.

Electric Rush

coverIllahee Advisor started off the day early by making it past the security doors at Salem B.L.M. Following up on a previous visit where a large group of people in masks confronted the building. Advisor wants to make certain he is fully understood. Sharpening his tools he asks for a meeting with the director. Over hearing that a meeting was starting in 30 min we knew the situation was more tense because people from other agencies were on their way therefore it could be a prick to the ego of Salem B.L.M to be seen having to deal with things of this nature. Illahee Advisor is soon speaking with assistant director. She leaves and sends her boss who is shaking with a slight tremor and visibly grinding his teeth. This man who did not look like a director we might have met before tried right away without listening to get Illahee Advisor to exit a public building denying the existence of a public comment/grievance paper. After some flexing of political prowess and announcing awareness of the attempted trick to get advisor to exit the building and refusing to comply with attempts to get advisor to exit the building without completing requested paper work; the man agreed to produce such a paper together so we went forward. By encouraging him to act ethically advisor figured we did him and the agency a favor saving them face. On the document produced there were two items. 1. Protect wolf as a culturally significant animal. 2. Protect wolf under the American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978. The document was addressed to the Director and staff. Next Illahee Advisor  hired a homeless southern condor man to be his photographer at the governors building. The southern condor man with great enthusiasm provided a lot more than photo. He was obviously a spiritual person and his eyes, presence and pulsing spirit acted as security. Inside the capitol building we fill out the usual paper to turn in to the governor. After that we turn in the paper again containing the two items advisor begins to let out a sundance song using turtle shell rattle. One of his songs that makes the wind blow. Secretary informs us there is a meeting going on but once advisor begins a spirit song he has intentions of finishing it. The two state troopers who had glued themselves to us as soon as we entered the building motioned as if they were going to interfere with our freedom of speech/expression as well as freedom of religion then i think realizing they might want to refrain and seeing advisors intent to continue no matter what abandoned their thoughts to interfere and returned back to a guarding position just observing. I think it is good for the youth to see what we go thru just to try to reach so called government. Next Illahee Advisor went to Fish And Wildlife Headquarters and unleashed the power of the drum once more with the Anishinabe Wolf Song. Wolf Song is powerful partly in the sense that it demonstrates a revival the indigenous religions colonists attempted to murder. Head of security followed advisor out of the building and attempted to establish dialogue. Having previously informing head of security to his authority is illegitimate  the invisible warrior did what he does best and disappeared. Unshaken except for the electric rush of it and all the coffee Illahee Advisor went to Adair Village a place where the invisible warrior is secretly cherished by Fish And Wildlife staff. Anishinabe Wolf Song again made itself felt. Next Illahee Advisor went to Siuslaw Forestry where someone new at the desk freaked out and called security. Without any hesitation at all Illahee Advisor continued his song knowing full well security would never reach him. The kind of confidence that comes with experience. In retrospect advisors thoughts are of pity for the man who called security on the constitutional rights this country sadly professes to love. Pity and shame. A boot licker of the empire could not take away our beauty nor stop our prayers today because like the river Willamala our prayer for the wolf is unstoppable. Today we broke barriers and got 5 actions in a day. Written By A Furious Ghost

Foot messengers in the Capitol

officespring2019After meditating at a Buddhist temple the night before and participating in walking meditation; and after inspiring a morning prayer for wolves that ended in a father and son howling together. Advisor of Illahee Spirit Runners visited O.D.F.W Headquarters. Approaching on foot by way of wetlands carrying A.I.M flag and hand drum in hand. Advisor entered the building and announced in a strong voice, “American Indian Movement. Were still here”. Speaking loudly and concisely about protection of wolves as a culturally significant animal and including protection for wolves under the American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978. Advisor sang Anishinabe Wolf Song and was on point. It was talked about that there are benefits to singing a purification song. Advisor was told that the director of O.D.F.W made an appearance. If that is so then it is good. Further reflections this week include why natives aren’t stockholders or consented at whats know as the stockholders meeting and how our voice still remains insistent on being heard in this matter. Illahee Spirit Runners want to visit the Governors and B.L.M in a last minute attempt to alter the outcome of proposed unfavorable wolf plan. Today was a reminder. Were still here and we still care. Thoughts of gratitude for having been able to reach people and make an impact in a meaningful way in my lifetime. Written By: Nobody

Showdown for the future of wolf.

goodsageDays after receiving the news of delisting in “Oregon” and across many of the lower 48 so called states. On March 14th and 15th in Kalapuya territory Illahee Advisor lead a camp to protect wolves. We used the wetlands area to launch multiple confrontations against Fish And Wildlife. I use these natural areas as much as i can for strength and subterfuge like an artist who knows how to use his pallet as a fellow prayer walker once pointed out. In a dream it was revealed that im standing on my strength/the earth/ represented by turtle.  Day 1 encounter 1 Illahee Advisor snuck into the Directors office. Illahee Advisor used turtle shell rattle and invited the spirits of his ancestors to that place. Security made veiled threats and the Director who i sense sympathizes with us and the plight for the wolf told him to stand down.  Encounter 2 day 1 Illahee Advisor packed up drum, rattle, flute and used them all at the office many people witnessed this. Towards the end of day 1 Illahee Advisor completed pipe ceremony. As soon as i knelt i noticed a giant hawk or eagle flying directly over me ready to carry those prayers to the great mystery. I used cannupa sacred pipe to establish a greater connection to pray for the wolf. I prayed for a giant fault line to open up and swallow the buildings of these illegitimate and corrupt agencies. I prayed for a comet to hit the building and for its occupants to be struck down by many lightning bolts. It was nice to organize out of a wetland, natures water filter. The songs of the geese and the frogs were a treat. The geese seemed to say “keep going. Your going the right way”. Day 2 began with Illahee Advisor again trying to sneek into authorized personnel only area. After failing I went and hit em with the drum again. At that point i seen many state police and the state police building is right down the street. I walked up to the largest of the state troopers and stared him down. Day 2 encounter 2 i brought my wolf up to the building i was displaying the American Indian Movement flag. Encounter 3 day 2. Photographer and a backup person that i trust showed up. We quickly organized to confront staff this time delivering papers with the Paiute Wolf story on it. This story explains wolf as a deity. They were informed that their claims of freedom of religion are invalid and illegitimate. Fish And Wildlife was informed that traditionals at regional A.I.M/Regional Idle No More view them as illegitimate and our ancient claims to the land supersede any and all colonial laws ever made. They were informed that they have no jurisdiction over indigenous peoples. They were informed that if they go ahead with a wolf hunt we will officially work to abolish the agency once and for all and that a hunt would be them admitting they are unable to protect wildlife. The encounter ended with the Anishinabe Wolf song and words being exchanged between an ex cop who must have gotten too big in the belly so he went to work for Fish And Wildlife. He was informed he was on stolen land. He made it clear he didn’t care. One of these days we will make them care since its the only path we have been left with. To provoke us is to provoke the great mystery. To provoke earths army- the elements-the storm. I was then contacted by Blackfoot holy man by phone. He told me what i have given up and what i have sacrificed for the land and the animals has become my power. He says the great mystery is raising me up to what it wants me to be. In this way the great mystery is teaching me what i need to know about myself. All in all we showed no fear and persevered through every difficulty. Many thanks to those who risked their bodies and minds. Many thanks to those who sacrificed of themselves in the form of time. Many thanks to those who called in and offered unrelenting telephone support over the two days. What happens to wolf also happens to the Anishinabe {First People} and furthermore humankind. All credit goes to the great mystery.

Written By Illahee Advisor the Invisible Warrior

Photo Credit to Kendall. The Peoples Photographer

We Shall Continue!

cave rockSpirit Runners have returned to Illahee. Overall I am pleased with what i seen on the walk. Many people from the 1978 walk made an appearance. New walkers on their first walk joined in. As a traveled i seen a Madrone forest that was killed to widen a freeway. The water draining from it was a copper color and signs were up to keep the public from seeing the carnage. I couldn’t help but to know the dire situation we are in as a result of colonialism on our lands. I met up with walkers outside of Sacramento. I helped them walk east over the Sierras into Nevada. I seen the continued inspiration of the people. I was able to connect with people about protecting wolves in the wild. I was able to connect with many elders and listened to them speak about various issues. I know from the 8th fire prophecy that it says elders will die of a sad heart when the young ones do not go to them seeking knowledge. Being so aware of this i took the time to alleviate it. I was able to do security for the group and i felt honored to do so. It was nice to reunite with a few walkers i remembered from the 2011 walk. We made it to the Carson Indian Colony and were hosted in the gym. I brought my two wolves who were able to visit with walkers and community members who came out to visit us. I was able to talk to a Paiute traditional and spent some time with the Chief of the Western Shoshone of which i am considering returning to “Nevada” to assist with a anti nuclear walk later this year. On our way to Carson we stopped at a sacred site known as Cave Rock on lake Tahoe where people who were training to be medicine people would go and make offerings. Many of us made offerings here and had a  ceremony. I left written materials about how men can treat women better and its my thoughts that this is a way to actually do something about missing and murdered women instead of just talking about it. We need real information on how to treat each other better. I left information on how to free animals caught in traps. I stressed the importance of asserting our spirituality and protecting cultural knowledge thru oral tradition and how wolves are sacred. I was able to see where protecting wolves was connected to many of the 11 issues A.I.M is talking about this year. I felt that i honored my grandfather who is a senior A.I.M member by continuing in his footsteps. I was able to connect with the Northern Nevada chapter of A.I.M who is intact, active and growing. We did inipi. I observed a powerful and profound prayer for leadership, something we have been lacking in the movement for years. Not enough determined leadership willing to suffer for the people. This prayer was an indication of what we have been going through as a result of this lack of leadership. After the sweat lodge ceremony we all gathered around a large drum and played the A.I.M Song. American Indian Movement is still strong and i am proud to be a part of it. One thing is certain. We Shall Continue!

The Longest Walk: We Shall Continue
Alcatraz to Washington D.C.
February 11th – July 15th 2019
“We are going to continue to walk, and walk, and walk until we find freedom for all the Native people!” Phillip Deere, The Longest Walk 1978

The 11 Issues

1) Support and Protect Indian Children: The Indian Child Welfare Act is supposed to protect Indian children from being taken away from their Nations. It was recently found to be unconstitutional in Brakeen v Zinke. The ruling was based on state rights, ignoring tribal sovereignty, and viewing Indian status as racial only, and not based on the legal/political relationship between Indian Nations and the United States government. If this is upheld at the Supreme Court, Indian children will be fair game for states in collusion with private adoption agencies to legally kidnap Indian children. The grounds of the ruling would also open the doors to usher in a new era of Termination, annihilating Tribal Sovereignty. Further, over 14,000 children are being held in prison camps on the southern border of the United States, most of whom are Indigenous. These children are virtually forgotten, and pressure needs to happen so this crime against humanity is stopped.

2) Honor Indigenous Women: Respect and protection for Mother Earth is a common principle for Indigenous Peoples and Nations. Indigenous Women have been at the forefront and heart of every single struggle to protect and preserve our lands, waters, families and nations in this regard. Yet Indigenous women are still marginalized and are subject to abuse, rape and murder. As Indigenous nations we are committed to actively change this state of affairs. There can be no protection of Mother Earth if there is no protection of Indigenous Women. Collectively, we must create and develop ways of honoring Indigenous Women by way of men taking responsibility to stop the abuse and rape in our communities, and to bring to justice those engaged in committing these crimes.

3) Strengthen Inherent and Indigenous Sovereignty: Nation-states, including the United States, are undermining inherent sovereignty and self-government by relegating self-government to nothing more than self-management. Corporate and municipal structures are the structures of choice. This is nothing more than Termination under various guises. The nation-states of Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States have formed an alliance called CANZUS that coordinate together in advancing a common public policy objective to achieve this goal. We re-affirm our unwavering commitment to the assertion of our inherent sovereignty and self-government as Indigenous Nations, in a way that is inclusive of our own laws, values, customs and traditions. Indigenous Sovereignty is not defined by non-Indigenous laws, rules and regulations; nor by economic development, good governance, and corporate structures. These elements may be pragmatic, but they do not define us. We also specifically support tribal sovereignty and the relationship between Indian Nations and the United States as being nation to nation and not merely government to government as it is often wrongfully characterized. Underlying all of this is a long history of a bilateral, bi-cultural relationship based not on equality but rather on principles of equitability. This means that the relationship recognizes each other as being of the same status, but maintain their distinct identities. Indigenous ideals relating to sovereignty are not just about power and control but are also about responsibility and respect. This places obligations on Indigenous Nation citizens to practice traditional and customary responsibilities, rooted in Indigenous Knowledge, including the protection of our relationships with our respective lands, waters, animals and plants. This concept of Indigenous Sovereignty has been severely challenged by a long history of manifest destiny, genocide, and land loss. It is essential that we as Indigenous Nations actively reassert the practice of Indigenous Sovereignty on the one hand while mounting challenges legally and politically on the other.

4) Create an Environmental Covenant: As Indigenous Peoples, we have a responsibility to be caretakers for the environment. That responsibility falls upon our respective Indigenous nations regardless of contrary nation-state policies and laws. We therefore commit to the creation of an Environmental Protection Covenant to be agreed to by Indigenous Nations that set minimal standards in regards to any developments on or in watersheds and traditional territories surrounding our respective Nations.

5) Repeal Public Law 280 and Overturn the Plenary Power Doctrine: Public Law 280 is a relic from the Termination ere of the 1950’s. It gives criminal and civil jurisdiction over certain Indian Nations to certain states. We support the repeal of this law and expect appropriate resources to be provided to transition back to Indian Nation jurisdiction. The Plenary Power doctrine is a legacy of judicial racism that was established in a legal decision called US v. Kagama (1886). Under this doctrine, Congress has unilateral authority over Indian Nations. The Dawes Allotment Act, the Termination policies, and all the other acts of Congress against Indian Nations since this time have been done under the Plenary Power doctrine, where Indian Nations cannot legally contest the constitutionality of these acts. Recognized Indian sovereignty literally exists at the whim of Congress. In these times, this is especially worrying. We are committed to asserting our sovereignty despite any actions by Congress that would otherwise be unconstitutional, and to developing strategies to overturn this racist doctrine.

6) Land and Waters Clean Up and Protection: Indian lands have long been considered a dumping ground by various corporations and government agencies. For example, one of the worst nuclear accidents in the United States was the Churchrock uranium mill tailings breach on the Navajo Nation in 1979. Thirty eight (38) years later the area still has not been adequately cleaned up, and people and livestock are still exposed to contaminated water. We acknowledge that 500 million has been allocated to cleanup some of the damage from uranium mining on the Navajo Nation, there is a real concern that this and other environmental cleanup funds will be cut under the current administration. Further, the environmental racism inherent in the inadequate funding and acknowledgement of harm to the environment that impacts upon Indigenous Peoples needs to be stopped. We call for the creation of a Superfund dedicated to address this historical neglect in all nation-states, clean up our lands and waters, and create policies to prevent them from being contaminated again.

7) Treaties, Lands, and Customary Responsibilities: In the United States, Indian Nation authority does not just extend to the boundaries of the reservation, it extends over the respective traditional territories. This includes treaty lands and un-ceded lands taken without consent. This authority extends not only to hunting, fishing, food and medicine gathering, but also to our sacred sites and protection of our watersheds. Any process of consultation is always going to be inadequate because it means that the ultimate authority will always rest with non-Indians. We are more than capable of understanding and making decisions on development issues in our traditional areas. We also note the recent decision by the Supreme Court of Canada in the case of Tsilhqot’in Nation v British Columbia 2014 SCC 22 (2014). In this case the Tsilhqot’in Nation was found to have proved that they had retained aboriginal title over a large part of their traditional territory and were therefore found to have consent authority over timber harvesting in this area. We assert that the same principle should be adopted here in the United States, recognizing the consent authority of Indian Nations for developments impacting upon hunting and fishing rights and responsibilities, food and medicine gathering rights and responsibilities and engaging with sacred sites and Ceremonial grounds.

8) Strengthen and Assert Spiritual Freedom: The legal assaults on Indian spiritual beliefs and practices have increased over the last few decades. Despite the American Indian Religious Freedom Act 1978 requiring federal agencies to respect Indian spiritual practices, these same agencies ignore and actively oppress Indian spiritual practices. For example, the US Army Corps of Engineers, in supporting the DAPL pipeline, actively supported the Morton County Sheriff Department in preventing Indian people from praying on land under their alleged jurisdiction. Much of the militarized action undertaken against Water Defenders was in fact in areas under alleged federal jurisdiction, and primarily involved suppressing freedom of religion. There are also a number of court decisions, such as Lyng v Northwest Indian Cemetery Protection Association (1988) which creates a weaker standard for First Amendment protection of Indian spiritual beliefs and practices. We are committed to actively asserting out spiritual ways in our lands, whether on or off reservation, and see this as an essential responsibility. We will assert these responsibilities on our sacred sites and Ceremonial grounds as part of a living practice, and not as some relic of the past.

9) Protect Indigenous Knowledge: Indigenous Knowledge which includes our spiritual ways, language, customs, traditional values, social structures, law, political structures and though are the very heart of who we are, is under significant threat. Basically, corporations and nation-states who have for generations attacked, undermined and minimized Indigenous Knowledge are now creating definitions which recognize it on their terms and in their context as a property right. What should never be defined under non-Indigenous ways of thought, is now being defined in various United Nations forums and such, in ways to foster development. This is really obvious on issues relating to carbon trading and carbon credits. To protect Indigenous Knowledge we advocate for a definition that is from a completely Indigenous Peoples perspective that is outside of property law. Without such a stand, those seeking to impose development projects upon Indigenous Peoples will be in a position to acknowledge that Indigenous Knowledge is harmed by the development, and can be taken with property compensation provisions.

10) Support Just Transition: The current economic system is not doing enough to address major environmental issues such as climate change. Often, Indigenous nations and communities are at the front end of development projects that cause harm. Just Transition is a way of finding ways to create sustainable economies of scale that focuses on renewable energy, and community health and well being.

11) Confront Alcohol and Other Drugs Abuse: Alcohol and Other Drugs have played a major role in the subjugation of our Peoples and Nations. Alcohol, heroin and meth amphetamines, to name but a few, continue to wreak havoc and devastation. There is a need to strengthen our collective commitment to stop this cycle of addiction and abuse, that leads to shattered families and communities.

Written By: Illahee Advisor

Voice Of The Voiceless

siletz river

New Moon. August 11 2018. Illahee Spirit Runners traveled over the mountain to support an indigenous lead grassroots effort to protect the Siletz River which has been having waste put into it. Illahee Advisor payed respects at the grave of Chief DePoe as requested be our co-founder who is deceased. Our co-founder’s grandmother was married to Chief DePoe and is burried in the Siletz graveyard. Illahee Advisor connected by phone with Siletz Tribal council and in person at Siletz pow wow. Responses from from Tribal Council on why people aren’t protecting the river and the land varied from “I hope They Stop” and “We will be at the meeting to see how it goes”. to “Its peoples free will to not protect the land and the water”. and “Its been happening for 20 years”. I will leave you to let those responses soak in. I was able to meet with a Azteca man who told me about the river getting sick over what he said was 25 years. Shellfish and crawfish getting sick. Otters getting sick and dying. Steelhead getting sick and dying. The shellfish need the steelhead and the salmon he said. Their eggs get in the gills of the fish and hitch a ride up stream. He told me of so many lamprey eels that it would look like a giant snake coming up the river. Over time less and less eels until there were no more. I have eaten the lamprey eel before and i know that some elders prefer it to the salmon. Its a little greasy but its really really good. As we walked in the parade through Siletz i heard a simple looking man who’s face told a story shout out “I wish i had some good eels to eat”! I was pleased that many young people showed up to take some of their first steps in the movement. They are the most impacted. I think its them who will have to act now or they will inherit a dead river that may take a hundred years or more to heal. I think about the Atlantic Salmon and how its extinct in the wild. I think about how 140 species are going extinct every day. I don’t know how anyone can operate in a reality where thats not important to them. I met with potential female indigenous leaders and what i could locate of traditionalists or what at my best recollection resemble traditionalists.  I thought: What would Dino Butler do? What would Chief John do? I struggle with how to reach the youth. Their input, creative energy, youthful ethics free of the corruptions of someone who might have come to accept injustice over time. I will help bring about new leaders. I waited in a short line that always seems to be formed to wait to talk to Grandmother Agnes Baker Pilgrim. When it was my turn i got down on a knee and i said “do you remember me” I told her my name and my rank. She said “I remember your name”. I asked her how do i motivate the youth? She said to pass on her words. I think this is a good thing. I think i will do just as she asked. I told her the kids are afraid what do i do? What do i tell them? She said “Tell them to be the voice for the voiceless. Tell them that god will protect them. God will look out for them. I could see that she believes this completely and it is unavoidable to see how much she cares for the world. We are waiting for the go ahead to do some kind of prayerful nonviolent confrontation. At this time i seek that my help be requested.

Walk For Nuclear Disarmament 2018

20180727951149521July 27 2018. Illhee Advisor met Peace Walkers for nuclear disarmament on the river Willamala. Advisor passes a smudge of cedar for protection for the day. This would be Illahee Advisors third sacred walk/run with members of Ground Zero. Ground Zero is working with American Indian Movement so the day was a bit of a reunion for Illahee Advisor who was joined by his Aunt and Grandfather. Uncle Bob was present and ended up leading the walk. I heard Bob, a native man from “California” say he had been on many sacred walks since last we walked together. I could tell this was true because when he walked he was communicating with his hands. To the Great Spirit, to the walkers and to the world. He had that fast A.I.M walk like he been on the road for a while. Walkers walked to the confluence of the rivers. This is a sacred place to the Kalupuya. As we approached i seen the salmon had come to join us. I have seen many animals join prayer walk/runs in the past including dogs, antelope, wild horses, goats, and raptors including many eagles. I was excited to see the fish join us. Some of us formed bonds on the A.I.M Salmon Walk at the end of last year. Our combined prayer seemed to have summoned the salmon that day. We met with many spiritual communities, A synagogue, the mosque, the zen temple, the Quaker house. Also an encounter with the young leader of the N.A.A.C.P seemed promising for future alliances with the Illahee Spirit Runners. Later going back by the river Uncle Bob and Illahee Advisor did a prayer for the river and sand a sacred song. Turtle shell rattle was used. New connections were formed. Illahee Advisor spoke the truth about white supremacy at O.S.U and confronted a gatekeeper from the colony of Corvallis who has continued to be arrogant and disrespectful in her organizing. Illahee Advisor wittled away at the gatekeeper using moral and ethical arguments backed up by research counter. It appears Illahee Advisor even inspired the Buddhist Monk Kanaeda Senji to speak about American Activists being exclusionary in their organizing spaces. Illahee Advisor got the evening meal prayer which he included the Martin Luther King Jr. quote

“True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice.”

This is the same quote Illahee Advisor said to the group at last years anti nuke walk. This indicates limited growth from the colony of Corvallis. Gatekeepers exposed to the movement beyond the trappings of the colony seem to not be able to stand. Their tactics are made possible by isolation. Its adult bullying and its preventing the unification of peoples to protect the earth and solve our mutual problems. Walkers were able to solidify their bonds. I have known from these walks a sense of (Maiingan) family. It was good to see three generation of my family stand together for the same cause. I seen 3 keepers of the fire united. Illahee Advisor received wisdom after the walk from his Aunt which will assist him in his struggles to protect the wolf and the land/water. Illahee Advisor was welcomed to stay at the Temple on Bainbridge island anytime. Illahee Advisor made a has made a connection with a youth from the temple. The youth seems intrigued by Illahee Advisor who showed up with wolves at last years event. Illahee Advisor and the youth agreed to meet in the future and stand up to injustice together. In this way Illahee Advisor is becoming more than the invisible warrior he is becoming the invincible warrior who will live on in the hearts and minds of the youth.

Lightning Makes No Sound Until It Strikes

Lightning_Strikes_Photography+10My experience at Poor Peoples Campaign is going well. I have used support i have gained from them to reach the office of Governor Kate Brown twice. While i was there i was able to speak about wolves as a culturally significant animal. The Governor has been hard to reach on this and dodged nearly 20 wolf groups on the topic in 2017. I was also able to bring up the topic of ending the Indian Wars the longest war. I heard stories from people of 4 races of the medicine wheel. I was moved by those stories. Ive been able to lead all marches i was present for. I have been able to speak in an effective way and have conveyed a generous amount of information. On more than one occasion lightning came out of my mouth. I think the protest song ‘Somebody’s Hurting My Brother’ is fitting. It makes for good metaphor. Miingan being brother to Original Man. Poor Peoples Campaign talks about standing on the backs of giants. I stood on the backs of Harry Charger descendant of Fool Soldiers who had a non violent vision to negotiate for the release of prisoners during the Dakota War and Edward Benton-Benai who was spiritual leader for American Indian Movement. Not only is it the 50th anniversary of when King was shot its also the 30th anniversary of the American Indian Religious Freedom Act which came 4 years after Eddie Benton-Benai influenced the reintroduction of wolves by citing Anishinabe Spirituality I agree with the shifting the moral narrative idea. I think i have always been doing that and its a big help to find people that feel the same way about it. It felt solid to connect with people from many religions. I feel like i may be reaching the Governors assistant. The staff recognizes me and i think i even have a fan whos a state trooper. It must be interesting to see this drama unfold from their perspective. I like the use of music. I like that song New Unsettling Force. I think its badass. One of the first things i learned with the American Indian Movement was the power of a song. The A.I.M song. Later with Illahee Spirit Runners i used the Anishinabe Wolf Song. I played the Anishinabe Wolf Song at the Capitol June 18. I explained there is a revival of indigenous spirituality and its scares the powers that be. It scares them even more when they see we are supported by the others. Various groups pledged their long term involvement. Illahee Spirit Runners was one of those groups along with a Yaqui man whos head of a farm workers group. Poor Peoples Campaign has a list of relevant and bold demands. https://www.poorpeoplescampaign.org/demands/

The P.P.C is bringing attention to the four evils Martin Luther King JR. spoke of. Poverty, Racism, Militarism and Ecological Devastation. Its clear to see they are all related. Ive been able to communicate and get my needs listened to which has been a challenge in the current political climate and i think thats really outstanding. I see some areas to improve on. One seems to be getting past some media blackout issues. The other one is we are going to have to do some sneak ups so they won’t see us coming. “Lightning makes no sound until it strikes”. Martin Luther King Jr. This seems like something the Invisible Warrior would have experience in. Its down to tactics and logistics. Ive been gettin my teacher wolf on. There was talk today of low numbers. I assured the people there were those amongst them who could effect change with 5 person teams. I spoke a powerful truth that if we have even 25 person teams we will be overwhelming.