"Greetings on Colonization Day,
I begin by prayerfully remembering our free and independent ancestors, the Lenape and all the Original Nations and Peoples of this vast Turtle Island (Mother Earth), and of the entire Western Hemisphere from the Arctic Circle to Tierra del Fuego at the tip of South America.
As you ‘occupy Wall Street,’ I ask you to reflect: You are on the island upon which our Indigenous ancestors lived and thrived for thousands and thousands of years. Please take a moment to recognize that we, the Original Nations, still exist here on Turtle Island. We have the right to exist as free and distinct nations with full self-determination.
What is the true source of our many grievances? It is the mentality and behavior of greed. The word ‘America’ is the combination of two Latin words ame (a command form of ‘love!’) and rica (riches and wealth). The effects of an insatiable desire for and the pursuit of riches and wealth first afflicted our Indigenous nations and peoples, and now afflict all peoples. Clearly, we need to address and rectify the political economy of greed, and the destruction it has caused and continues to cause.
Greed is an unsustainable value, but it is also an illness that is rooted in addiction. It is maintained in keeping with the slogan, ‘The more you eat (consume), the more you want.’ The addict will stop at nothing to get a fix; he will sacrifice anyone and anything to feed his addiction. For this reason, an economy of greed has and will continue to sacrifice the health and well-being of women, children, men, and all living things on Mother Earth. As a great Anishinaabe leader has profoundly stated, “Their way of living is our way of dying.” It is rapidly becoming ‘the way of dying’ for everyone."
Get the Story:
Steven T. Newcomb:
An Open Letter to ‘Occupy Wall Street’: A Shawnee-Lenape Perspective
(Indian Country Today 10/12)
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