By John Karhiio Kane (Mohawk)
When you pull up my blog online (http://letstalknativepride.blogspot.com), this is my intro:
"People are free to be consumed with contemplating their existence, their origins, the origins of the universe, supreme beings, controllers of destiny or anything else. But solving "The Great Mystery" is neither a requirement of being Ohnkwe Ohnwe nor does it provide a path to righteousness. I maintain that spirituality does not require faith or the leaps that faith requires but, rather, awareness. If it helps to believe that "God has a plan" and we just must have faith that "He" knows what "He" is doing, then walk that path. My interest is in taking the mystery out of life by pointing to the obvious that is ignored every day in the midst of fanatical ideology and the sometimes not too subtle influences of promoting beliefs over knowledge. I have said it before: “beliefs are what you are told; knowledge is what you experience.” I support a culture that prepares us to receive knowledge and to live a life with purpose. [And] I am certainly not suggesting there is only one way to do that."
We live in a world where one of the most overused concepts is "science." Now, the basic idea of studying and dissecting an object or a concept for better understanding is both noble and consistent with most forward thinking cultures, including our own. However, the problem isn't the open-minded approach to learning but, rather, the practice of cherry picking info or skewing the findings to backfill preconceived notions or spiritual beliefs.
Christian Scientists, the Church of Scientology, Quantum Healing and a host of other religious brands actually jam "science" or scientific terms right in their names; and you can bet they cite a ton of scientific data to "prove" their spiritual claims. I have heard plenty of the "born-again" experts detail scientific proof that evolution is false and that science supports creationism. But think about it — Papal Bulls from the 1400s also were based on scientific evidence of racial superiority. And we saw how those ideas were played out through the centuries.
But science isn't just being appropriated by desperate men trying to save their religions. The “religion” of power and wealth also has invested in “convenient” science. Governments and corporations – some intertwined with one another – and established religions, are finding ways to undermine Indigenous peoples by gathering scientific evidence to void the entire concept of Native populations.
One general concept currently being circulated is that if we – the original people of this continent – all migrated here only slightly before the White man or if we are really just White men with great tans then somehow our claims to land and resources are invalid.
The notion that we all left Europe, traveled through northern Asia and crossed the Bering Strait is still taught in schools as a "theory" when it barely qualifies as a hypothesis. The windows of time that were established by science for such a possibility have been slammed shut again and again but the "theory" is clung to regardless.
The unlocking of DNA is the next scientific breakthrough for solving the "Indian problem." You see it all comes down to, "if we can figure out where they came from that is not where they are now or at least make up a compelling story of such, we can cut the cord that ties them to the land." So connect us genetically to Europeans or Asians and who cares how we got here?
Now let's be clear that it isn't just the White man trying cut our legs off here. There are those among us touting ancient Egyptian connections, Jewish connections, African connections and connections to alien worlds through worm holes. Our own Creation stories have been altered to match up with other cultures and get promoted as an exact account of our creation rather than the lesson of Creation. Hell, there are those among us that suggestTekanawida was actually Jesus Christ.
And that is the reason for beginning my column this week with my blog’s introductory statement. By all means speculate all you want about our origins. Create stories and fantasize but do so without creating dogma. The Great Mystery was never presented as a challenge. It is not a pass or fail test. It is like the Ohenton Karihwatehkwen — an acknowledgement not necessarily of a higher power but of things that are simply unknowable. In a world that presents itself with all of Creation so open and honestly, it is pointless to obsess on the unknowable.
If there is a point to this folly then what is it? Solving the Great Mystery is not only futile but also dishonest. I can point to an agenda and a strategy behind this mockery. Every major religion on Earth has made a claim to knowing the Great Mystery but how has the planet fared with these claims to knowing the unknowable?
The ties to our past have in too many cases been weakened by the attempted genocide of our people but the good news is that we can still know the present. The same Creation that produced the world of our people seven generations ago has also produced this one. The paths of those that came before us are still available to us. Our cord to our mother has not been cut. Who else can make that claim? Our "original instructions" are not from someone's account of the past. They come from Creation, every day!
– John Karhiio Kane, Mohawk, a national expert commentator on Native American issues, hosts “Let’s Talk Native…with John Kane,” ESPN-AM 1520 in Buffalo, Sundays, 9-11 p.m. Eastern Time. He is a frequent guest on WGRZ-TV’s (NBC/Buffalo) “2 Sides” and “The Capitol Pressroom with Susan Arbetter” in Albany. John’s “Native Pride” blog can be found at www.letstalknativepride.blogspot.com. He also has a very active "Let's Talk Native...with John Kane" group page on Facebook.