Mohawk Nation News. June 27, 2008.

Dear Native Youth. Take some time to read a few timely words from an elder, who has your well-being in mind:

Do not join the Canadian or U.S. military. They are violating the Two Row Wampum Agreement. Everywhere the Europeans went they put Indigenous people in the galleys of their ships. A few would be promised some benefit if they carried out some hideous deed against their people. Some were even freed. But they were never free. They helped their masters make holes in the hulls of our ancestral canoes to try to get control over the whole river of life.

They think this is a tried and true method. First corporations and governments create conditions of poverty and economic desperation. They give the youth the feeling that they have absolutely no options except to blow their brains out with drugs or alcohol. Then they stride in with banners claiming to be saviors, and that they know of an “honorable” way out. You belong! We want you! Be a man! Get a free education! Get paid! Defend your country! Be a hero!

They are recruiting you to be their galley slaves for their fortunes and fascist agenda. The colonists are trying to remodel our canoe. They’ve got seats for us, as galley slaves. To qualify we have to stop using our minds and agree to follow their orders.

The colonial states need cannon fodder for their illegal wars. You are the target, Indigenous youth of Onowaregeh, Turtle Island. If you join, you will end up disillusioned or in a body bag or seen as treasonous by our people.

Don’t be fooled. A seat as a galley slave is not the same as a seat at the negotiating table. Since the invasion of Turtle Island, colonial governments have not respected or upheld our rights to our land, resources, self-determination, freedom and human equality. The blinded visions of the politicians and military are not bringing a better life of freedom and democracy to us, to the countries they invade or to their own youth who are so cruelly sacrificed to paranoiac delusions of grandeur. Once you slap on that uniform you belong to them.

Did we ever have freedom and democracy? You bet we did. The U.S. Senate even recognized the Kaianereh’ko:wa [Great Law of Peace] as the basis of the U.S. Constitution. Today, the U.S. and Canada are taking away freedom and democracy from us and the people they invade. Don’t be fooled by Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s recent apology over the church and state’s orchestrated residential school genocide. Did you notice any changes in the Indian act to abolish the usurpation of supervisory authority that caused all of our problems? They’re not the boss of us. They never have been. But they still dream they are.

They want us to be their patsies. They are trying to recruit us to commit the same crimes they committed against us. Don’t do to others what was done to us. Middle Eastern people are not our enemies. We know your situation is not easy. We know you are intelligent, strong, can think for yourself and find a better way.

You will be made to kill dark skinned people for their land and resources. Should you return home from warfare your body may be filled with depleted uranium. These weapons are designed to kill the “victims” and to contaminate you for an early death to cut down on medical bills. “Depleted uranium” used to make “dirty bombs” destroys the soil and the poor people in these Middle Eastern nations.

You will be fighting for greedy capitalists you don’t even know, who come from “Bay Street” and “Wall Street”. [London and the Vatican]. You are not even from “Main Street”.

Indigenous youth, your time is needed at home to help take care of your loved ones? A wife and children are helpless without their protector?

Military funerals are displays to reinforce nationalism. Our nationalism is to care for our families and lands.

After trying for centuries to kill us off, they are coming after you, our children, to fill up their armies to die in their stinking wars?

Indigenous youth, you could be ordered to kill your own people. There is no glory or ‘neat’ adventurism in slaughtering men, women and babies.

We Indigenous have no beef against the Islamic world. They have no beef against us. We do not covet their land, resources and treasures [oil]. Turtle Island is ours. We don’t have to carry out mass murder against others to steal from them. Our mind, body and energy are tied to our land. We belong here. These European invaders are complete strangers here who are able to destroy and disrespect our land, turning it into a toxic waste dump almost unfit for us to live on.

Indigenous youth, you are going to be told lies meant to make you hate the people you are going to be ordered to slaughter. Many of you will die.

On the internet are many stories about a coming financial collapse or worldwide famine. There is no need for any of this. The people of the world can work together to make sure that everyone is decently provided for. The cartels have decided that certain of us are meant to starve to death. Your family will need you during the hard times that may be coming.

Parents, our youth are too precious. We should not sacrifice them. We must cherish and protect them. We don’t want to cry later.

Karakwine jasimon@sympatico.ca