August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Friday, February 8, 2013

Mohawk Nation News 'International Treaties'


MNN.  Feb. 8, 2013. We Onkwehonwe are the keepers of the law of peace here on Great Turtle Island. Any valid treaty must have have the principles of the Two Row for all North and South America. The law of the land is Kaianereh’ko:wa. 
1701 Great Peace of Montreal, only valid treaty, rooted in law of the land.
1701 Great Peace of Montreal, only valid treaty, rooted in law of the land.
The Indigenous have treaty-making powers.  The Iroquois call the Two Row Wampum the “Guswentha, which means “Two Roads”, defining the relationship between two sovereigns. It is recorded on a belt made of wampums. 
Two Row. Root of international treaty on Great Turtle Island.
Two Row. Root of international treaty on Great Turtle Island.
The First Iroquois Treaty with a European nation was in 1606 with the Dutch. They called it a “Peace and Friendship” and “Trade and Commerce” treaty, to allow them to trade in our Territory. Similar treaties were made with Great Britain, France, the Thirteen Colonies, and eventually the United States.  These are the “Covenant Chain” treaties. Treaties on behalf of the settlers were made with the Crown. 
The Two Row concept is the basis of the principle of non-interference in international law. Valid international treaties are rooted in the natural law of the land. If not so rooted, they  apply only on the seas. 
Never shall the 2 vessels cross paths.
Never shall the 2 vessels cross paths on the river of life.
The canoe of the Indigenous and sailing vessel of the Europeans travel side by side on the river of life. Each boat symbolically contains their people, language, forms of government, laws, culture, traditions and ceremonies. In the Indigenous canoe are all the lands and resources that the Great Natural Power vested in the Ongwehonwe. The parties agree to not interfere or make war with the other, forever. 
No one can legally put “one foot in the canoe and the other in the Vessel”.  We would be stranded or perish should a storm suddenly arise and the vessels separate. We can only follow one jurisdiction, one law. Otherwise our people will be in  great peril. 
The Two Row is embodied in the Great Peace in the following articles: 
Wampum #78: Whenever a foreign nation enters the League or accepts the Great Peace, the Rotinonshonni’onwe [Iroquois] and the foreign nation enter into an agreement by which the foreign nation persuades other nations to accept the Great Peace. 
Wampum #83: When peace is established by the termination of the war, then the Great Peace comes. 
Wampum #84: Whenever a foreign nation has been conquered or has accepted the Great Peace, their own system of internal government may continue in the territories we have provided for them. They must cease all warfare against other nations. Ceremonies are protected.  
Wampum #87: When the war of the Rotinonshonni’onwe on a foreign nation is ended, peace is restored to that nation.  When all terms of peace have been agreed upon, a state of friendship is established. 
Wampum #97: Before the Great Peace, each nation had its own Council Fire. The Fires  continue as before and they are not quenched. 
Wampum #99: The rites and festivals of each nation remain undisturbed and continue as before. The people of old times retained them as useful and necessary for the good of the people. 
As Morpheus said when talking to Neo the first time in the Matrix: “… most people are not ready to be unplugged and many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependant on the system, that they will fight to protect it”. Anyone still plugged into the system can become an agent of the system at anytime. Use your own mind. Follow the natural law of the land. 
"I will return to you in stone".
“I will return to you in stone”.
As John Trudell sang: “We hear what you say. One Earth, one Mother. One does not sell the earth the people walk upon. We are the land. How do we sell our mother? How do we sell the stars? How do we sell the air? Crazy Horse, we hear what you say.”
MNN Mohawk Nation News  For more news, books, workshops, to donate and sign up for MNN newsletters, go  More stories at MNN Archives.  Address:  Box 991, Kahnawake [Quebec, Canada] J0L 1B0

Journey of Nishiyuu: Photo where the trekkers sleep

The Journey of Nishiyuu. Weeskychahnjowahp. What the walkers sleep in on trek when they are not in cabins. 
(Photo: Stanley Jason George)
The youth trekkers continue on their journey to Ottawa in solidarity with Idle No More.

Zapatistas Marcos VI 'Ellos y Nosotros. Las Miradas 2'

Them and Us Part VI: Gazes, Second Part: Gazing and Listening From/Towards Below by Subcomandante Marcos

VI.-The Gazes 2.

2.-Gaze and listen from/towards below.

Can we still choose towards where and from where to look?

Can we, for example, choose between looking at those who work at the supermarket chain store, ream out the workers for being complicit in the electoral fraud[1], and publicly ridicule the orange uniforms the employees are forced to wear, or look at the employee who, after cashing out…?

/The cashier goes and takes off her orange apron, grumbling with anger over how they reamed her out for being complicit in the fraud that brought ignorance and frivolousness to Power.  She, a woman, young or mature or mother or single or divorced or widow or single mother or expecting or without children or whatever, who goes to work at 7 in the morning and leaves at 4 in the afternoon, of course, if there isn't overtime, and not counting the time between home and work and back again, and after giving school or work the "work-suitable-for-her-sex-that-can-be-completed-with-a-little-bit-of-flirtation," she read in one of the magazines that are next to the register one day when there weren't many customers.  To her, whom those are supposedly going to save, it's nothing more than a question of a vote and done, ta-da, happiness.  "Do you really think the owners wear an orange apron?" she irritatedly murmurs.  She fixes herself up a bit from the purposeful untidiness with which she goes to work so that the manager doesn't bother her.  She leaves.  Outside her partner is waiting.  They embrace, kiss, touch each other with their gazes, they walk.  They enter a cyber cafe or whatever you call it.  10 pesos per hour, 5 pesos for a half-hour.../

"Half hour," they say, mentally calculating the budget-time-from-the-metro-bus-walk.

"Spot me some money, Roco, don't be a jerk," he says.

"Ok, but come by on payday, because if not, the owner will be all over me and you'll be the one who will be spotting me money."

"Ok, but it'll be when you get a cell phone, dude, because I'm working at a car wash."

"Well, wash it, dude," says Roco.

The three of them laugh.

"7," says Roco.

"Ok, look for it," she says.

He goes to enter a number.

"No," she says, "look for when it all began."

They navigate.  They get to where there are just over 131.[2]  They play the video.

"They're bourgeois," he says.

"Settle down, revolutionary vanguard.  You've got something wrong with your head if you judge people by their appearances.  Just because I have light skin they call me güerita and bourgeois, and they don't see that I live paycheck-to-paycheck.  It's important to see each person's history and what they do, dummy," she says, smacking him upside the head.

They keep watching.

They watch, they shut up, they listen.

"So they told Peña Nieto all that to his face… they're brave, yes, it's obvious they've got balls," he says.

"Or ovaries, idiot," and another smack from her for him.

"Watch out, my queen, I'm going to accuse you of inter-familial violence."

"It would be gender violence, idiot," and another smack.

They finish watching the video.

Him: "So that's how things start, with a few people who aren't afraid."

Her: "Or they are afraid, but they get it under control."

"Half an hour!" Roco yells at them.

"Yes, let's watch it."

She goes smiling.

"And now what are you laughing about?"

"Nothing, I was remembering," she gets closer to him, "what you said about 'inter-familial.'  Do you mean that you want us to be a family?"

He doesn't miss a beat:

"That's right, my queen, later is late, we're already getting there, but without so many smacks, kisses instead, and more below and to the left."

"Hey, don't talk dirty to me, dude!" another smack.  "And enough of 'my queen,' aren't we against fucking monarchy?"

Him, before the strong smack: "Well, yes my… plebeian."

She laughs, him too.  After a couple of steps, she says:

"And do you think the Zapatistas will invite us?"

"Of course, Vins is my buddy and he said that he's tight with sockface because he let him win at Mortal Kombat, on the little machines, so all we have to do is say that we're friends with Vins and done," he argues enthusiastically.

"And do you think I'll be able to bring my mom?  She's already pretty old…"

"Of course, speaking of witches, if I'm lucky my future mother-in-law will get stuck in the mud," he ducks his head expecting a smack that doesn't come.

Her, angry now:

"And what the hell are the Zapatistas going to give us if they're so far away?  Do you really think they're going to give me a raise, make people respect me, make it so fucking men don't look at my butt on the street, and that the fucking boss stops looking for excuses to touch me?  Are they going to give me money so I can make rent, so I can buy clothing for my daughter, my son?  Are they going to lower the price of sugar, beans, rice, oil?  Are they going to put food on my table?  Will they stand up to the cop that comes around everyday to bother and demand money from the people in the neighborhood who sell pirated discs saying that it's so they don't report them to Mr. or Mrs. Sony…?"

"It's not 'pirate,' it's 'alternative production,' my quee….my plebeian.  And don't get all huffy with me because we're in the same boat."

But she's already on a roll, so no one can stop her:

"And you, are they going to give you back your job at the plant, where you were qualified as a who-the-hell-knows-what?  Are they going to validate your classes, the training courses, and all that so that the asshole of a boss takes the company to I don't know where, and the union and the strike, everything that you did, to later end up washing cars?  Or like your brother, El Chompis, whose work they took away and they disappeared the company so that he can't defend himself and the government with its same old babble that it's to improve service and world class and blah blah blah and did they really lower the rates, no, they're more expensive, and the fucking lights go out all the time[3] and fucking Calderón goes to shamelessly teach classes to gringos[4], who are the masters of all this shit.  And my Dad, may he rest in peace, who went to work on the other side [of the US-Mexico border], not to do the tourist thing, but to make money, dough, moolah, to take care of us when we were younger and there crossing the line the migra came down on him as if he were a terrorist and not an honorable worker and they didn't even give us his body and that fucking Obama, it seems as though his heart is the color of the dollar."

"Damn, stop your car and pull over, my plebeian."

"It's just that every time I think about it I get mad, working so much so that in the end those above keep everything, the only thing that's left to privatize is laughter, although I doubt they'd privatize that, because there's not much, but tears, yes, there's an abundance of those and they get rich… richer.  And then you come along with your stuff about the Zapatistas here and Zapatistas there, and below and to the left and the eighth…"

"The Sixth, not the eighth," he interrupts.

"Whatever, those dudes are far away and they speak Spanish worse than you."

"Hey, hey, don't be mean."

She wipes away her tears and murmurs: "Fucking rain, it ruined my esteelauder, and I'd fixed myself up all nice for you."

"Boyeeeee, I like you even better with nothing on."

They laugh.

Her, very serious: "Ok now, let's see, tell me, are those Zapatistas going to save us?"

"No, my plebeian, they aren't going to save us.  That and other things we have to do for ourselves."

"Well then?"

"Ah, well, they're going to teach us."

"What are they going to teach us?"

"That we're not alone."

She remains silent for a moment.  Then:

"Nor alone[4], dummy,"another smack.

The collective van looks like it's going to explode with people.  We'll see if the next one has room.

It's cold, it's raining.  They embrace each other more, not so that they don't get wet, but rather so they get wet together.

Far away someone is waiting, there's always someone who is waiting.  And while he waits, with an old pencil case and an old and shabby notebook, he keeps track of the gazes from below that are seen in a window.

(To be continued...)

From any corner of any world.

Planet Earth.
January 2013.

"The Nobodies," based on the text of the same name by Eduardo Galeano.  Played by La Gran Orquesta Republicana, a ska-fusion band, Mallorca, Spanish State.  Members: Javier Vegas, Nacho Vegas: sax.  Nestor Casas: trumpet.  Didac Buscató: trombone.  Juan Antonio Molina: electric guitar.  Xema Bestard: bass.  José Luis García: drums.


Liliana Daunes narrates a very other story called "Always and Never Against Sometimes."  Greetings to the Chiapas Solidarity Network, which struggles and resists right here in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Latin America, Planet Earth.


"Minimum Wage," by Oscar Chávez and Los Morales.

Translated from the original Spanish by Kristin Bricker. 

Translator's Notes:
  1. Enrique Peña Nieto allegedly bought votes with grocery store gift cards with the full knowledge of the supermarket chain in question. 
  2. Refers to the #YoSoy132 movement against Enrique Peña Nieto, sparked when 131 university students organized a protest against his visit to their campus. 
  3. Refers to former President Felipe Calderón busting the Mexican Electrical Workers Union (SME).
  4. Calderón teaches at Harvard now.
  5. Many Spanish speakers have noted the sexism they argue is inherent in the need to feminize and masculinize nouns and adjectives.  The Zapatistas in particular look for ways to use more inclusive language, and this exchanges makes reference to that.  When the boyfriend says that the Zapatistas will teach us "That we're not alone" he says "Que no estamos solos," using the masculine form of alone (solos), which, according to the rules is what one does in mixed company.  So his girlfriend responds, "Ni solas," saying that women are also not alone.

VI- Las Miradas 2

2.- Mirar y escuchar desde/hacia abajo.
¿Podemos todavía elegir hacia dónde y desde dónde mirar?
¿Podemos, por ejemplo, elegir entre mirar a quienes laboran en la cadena de supermercados, reclamarle a l@s trabajador@s el ser cómplices del fraude electoral, y hacer escarnio del uniforme naranja con el que obligan a vestirse a l@s emplead@s, o mirar a la empleada que, después de entregar la cuenta…?
/ La cajera va y se quita el delantal naranja, refunfuñando por el coraje que le dio que le reclamaran a ella ser cómplice del fraude que llevó al Poder la ignorancia y la frivolidad.  A ella, mujer, joven o madura o madre o soltera o divorciada o viuda o madre soltera o esperando o sin críos o lo que sea, que entra a trabajar a las 7 de la mañana y se va a las 4 de la tarde, claro, si no hay horas extras, y sin contar el tiempo de la casa al trabajo y de regreso, y luego a darle a la escuela o a la casa, a las “labores-propias-de-su-sexo-se pueden-cumplir-con-un-toque-de-coquetería”, leyó en una de las revistas que están a un lado de la caja, un día que no había mucha gente.  A ella, a quien se supone que ésos van a salvar, nomás cuestión de un voto y ya, tarán, la felicidad.  “¿Acaso los dueños se visten con el delantal naranja?”, murmura irritada.  Ella se arregla un poco el desaliño propositivo con el que llega a trabajar para que el gerente no la esté molestando.  Sale.  Afuera la espera su pareja.  Se abrazan, se besan, se tocan con la mirada, caminan. Entran a un café-internet o cibercafé o como se diga.  10 pesos la hora, 5 la media hora…/
Check back for English translation

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