Once again, I feel as if I have written words similar to these, many, many, times before. They still rattle on until I put them down on paper and share them. They appear to want to share themselves independent of the neural pathways I label as “Moi”.
I awoke this morning to memories of my Native American ancestors. I believe that those of us who live in the Americas, whose European, Asian, Middle Eastern and yes, even African ancestors, will never sleep peacefully until we recognize and teach our children what actually happened to the first people on this continent. We must teach our children the truth about those who lived for thousands of years with a rich culture, whose languages were as old or older than Sanskrit; the millions who roamed traded freely from Canada to Tierra del Fuego; who managed the biosphere of the entire continent - forests with no undergrowth, so there was more room for deer, turkey and other game, floating islands of cultivated fields in the Amazonian basin; navigation and trade canals that ran for thousands of miles; astronomical observatories second to none in the ancient world; languages of immense richness and complexity. Until this history is as much a part of the education for our children as the powdered wig-wearing Mason founders of our country; until we admit to ourselves the thousands of treaties that were written and broken and do what we can to redress the miscarriages of justice done in the names of European dominated governments; until we are completely honest about these sort of things we will continue to be a nation living a lie. Such nations, or any people, who lie to themselves about their past: not wallow in its misery, but freely admit the miscarriages of justice done in the name of their religions, governments or the love of greed, power and imagined wealth; these nations or people are not living up to the full potential of what humans are capable of being. Imagine a butterfly who refused to emerge from the chrysalis and spread its wings, and you see the image I am seeing.
I dreamed of the first people of the Americas, but the same can be said of all first people around the world. Archaeological, and Genetic evidence is building for the all but incontrovertible fact that all of us are descended from a few hundred or a few thousand breeding pairs of the ape Homo Sapiens Sapiens, who lived in Africa at roughly two hundred thousand years ago. If true, and one buys into the capitalistic idea of hereditary ownership of land and wealth by single families, then we need to reconsider our accounting of how management of the planet's resources should be distributed. Each of the descendents of the initial breeding pairs should receive consideration. Otherwise, we are not being true to very principals of inherited wealth that we espouse. We are instead, saying “might makes right”, and that all broken treaties are valid, which is to say no treaties are valid. In this type of world all of us will go to sleep worried that someone may take from us what we inherited. If on the other hand, we say the rule of inheritance is inviolate, then genetics should soon tell us exactly how many breeding pairs we descended from and that figure can be used as the basis for distributing responsibility for the management of the nation's resources.
However, for me personally, this equation will forever be incomplete, since it ignores the simple fact that Homo Sapiens Sapiens is not alone on this planet. All life, which by my accouting includes every atom making up this planet, for even the so-called inanimate elements, even the very stone itself is constantly changing and evolving into new forms; all life is owned by life, and is responsible for the nurture of life. This phrase makes no sense in English or American English, because that language, even most of the language in science and current major religions is based on the idea of ownership in order to manipulate, rather than responsibility in order to nourish.
Here again, native peoples such as my Native American ancestors can help guide us. We must be honest with our children in all things as soon as they open their eyes. We must show them that they are part of the web of life, not separate from it. We must coach them in how to try and right the wrongs for which they play a part. Only then, can we hope to have them realize their full potential as human beings. Only then, can those who harm become those who nurture. Only then can we devote ourselves to our true destiny – to continue to grow, learn and enjoy the vastness of the Universe. What would Star Trek be like if the crew fully acted out these principles, precepts, or laws? Roddenberry gave us one vision. Perhaps, there are others, even more wonderful. Perhaps, here again Native peoples, first peoples, can show us the way. Maybe their Crow Medicine can achieve its full potential in the stars.