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"Our elders," said Tom Goldtooth, executive director of the Indigenous Environmental Network, "told us to focus on praying for the federal agencies and the US government and North Dakota to hear what we were doing and saying: we have to protect the sacredness of the water.” (Photo: Sarah van Gelder)
“Our elders,” said Tom Goldtooth, executive director of the Indigenous Environmental Network, “told us to focus on praying for the federal agencies and the US government and North Dakota to hear what we were doing and saying: we have to protect the sacredness of the water.” (Photo: Sarah van Gelder)

In the waning months of 2016, as the Standing Rock Sioux’s protest raged against the Dakota Access Pipeline (NODAPL), an historic Back To The Future journey was begun anew for the entire human race to ponder. This journey wasn’t just about Climate Change and how to more quickly convert the world from fossil fuels to renewable energies. It was about an ancient conflict within the human mind and heart that has existed since time immemorial and resurfaces with a vengeance each time the human culture of the Old World collides again with those of the New World. This very old story speaks to the heart of what happens every time the sacred world view of indigenous peoples in the New World, like the Sioux, clashes with the profane world view of those from the Old World, like the Americans and their European forebears, who have long since lost any sense of their own ancient indigenous nature. It provides a template for how America and every other country in the Old World first came to be, then continued to expand in the New World, and use the same violent, destructive ways to further devolve in the future if the world’s minions and their politicians don’t start to fundamentally respect the sacredness of the Earth and all its waters, lands and natural resources. Otherwise, the future well-being of the human race and Planet Earth is not only severely threatened but ultimately doomed on the path they’re on.

This time-worn tale serves as an ultimate challenge to ponder the historical record and re-examine the successful survival strategies that the sacred world view of indigenous peoples have used for thousands of years when compared to the profane ideology of those from the Old World whose only sacred, inviolate principle, since before and after their invasion of the New World, has been the same feverish acquisition of money, capital, power and use of questionable survival strategies that in only a few hundred years in the New World has led to so much violence and destruction against the human race and Planet Earth.

During the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, the Sioux’s uprising against the Dakota Access Pipeline was roundly ignored by presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. When President Obama finally showed the courage to call a temporary halt to its construction, it was only to be a brief Pyrrhic victory for native peoples, environmentalists and Climate Change proponents that amounted to a mere interlude now that President Donald Trump, who has a conflict of interest investment in the Dakota Access Pipeline, and his administration, packed as it is with billionaire climate change deniers who favour more oil pipeline construction, fossil fuel-nuclear energy development, now have taken hold of the reins of America and begun to plot a vastly different course of action for the XL, DAPL, America’s unsustainable energy philosophy, the fate of Climate Change and very survival of the earth as the world  now knows it.

In North America, neither Democrats, Republicans, Liberals nor Conservatives were able to really grasp the deeper world view underlying the Sioux’s protests about the sacredness of the waters of the Missouri River and the hallowed nature of their ancestral homelands; and so, for months, nothing was done to intercede on behalf of the Sioux and their allies while they were violently set upon by the political, law enforcement and military forces of the United States Government and North Dakota authorities. As the Sioux and others steadfastly sought to peacefully block construction of DAPL through their homelands, the politicians disgracefully allowed the chaos to escalate to the point where innocent men, women, children and elders were put in harm’s way and subjected to some of the most inhumane, brutal physical assaults committed against hapless, innocent civilians since the atrocities perpetrated by American political and law enforcement authorities during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s & 70’s.

Before the political decision finally was made to withdraw DAPL’s construction permit to continue, America’s mainstream press did little to truthfully bring to the American public’s attention the real facts and world-shaking significance of what was going on. This wasn’t by accident it was yet another typical intentional news black-out by what could be characterized as the ignorance of the profane world view’s civilization and inherent bias of its over-arching, money-obsessed belief system.

For months, the many horrific things that transpired remained all but invisible to the outside world until independent, alternative journalists took it upon themselves to become the sources of breaking news stories. They were the kind of horrific stories one normally expects to see or hear happen in fascist, banana-republic police states rather than in the heart of America itself. Vicious attacks perpetrated by the Wall Street conglomerate behind the Dakota Access Pipeline’s, military-like defended, construction project, and a host of ruthless bankers and petroleum moguls in their New York, Washington D.C. and Texas boardrooms, directed the DAPL operations to proceed irrespective of the potential cost to human life and limb that was intentionally perpetrated against the protestors. Pro-Trump Law & Order politicians in North Dakota, hordes of state police brought in from four surrounding states, and U.S. National Guard troops committed violent attacks against the human and civil rights of the peaceful protestors; often indiscriminately spraying or shooting them, at point-blank range, with every conceivable weapon short of heavy combat assault weaponry; using everything from MACE, Pepper Spray, Taser darts, rubber bullets, bean bag projectiles, concussion grenades and high-powered water cannons to ear-busting acoustic sound cannons.

Such atrocities were repeatedly covered up by a sea of lies made to the public by American politicians, police and military authorities who spun the violence as reciprocal between the Sioux who, so the spin went, were irresponsibly vandalizing private property and obstructing legally-approved construction while the authorities were simply doing their job to prevent the wilful destruction. This official spin sought to mask what, in reality, is America’s heavily-militarized police state’s ever-present, ever-growing, iron-fisted control over the people that makes its presence known whenever the people ever dare to take it upon themselves to prevent illegal or wrong things from continuing to happen. Throughout all the lies and violence, America’s mainstream press and media did little to ever counter fiction with fact and point out that even as the North Dakota prairie weather continued to plummet to dangerous, life-threatening lows, the Sioux’s resolve never wavered and they demonstrated remarkable, Mahatma Gandhi-like, forbearance and restraint in their refusal to match the brutality being committed against them by the American Government.

But before this barbaric historic event in American history finally came to an end, reactionary elements within the U.S. Government and military were on the verge of officially declaring “illegal”, and forcibly shut down, the Sioux’s Oceti Sakowin DAPL Protest village, evict everyone and transport thousands of its resident protestors to so-called isolated free speech zones. The utter chaos would have been immense. Coverage of the ensuing spectacle would have become a nightly televised feature on the world’s news networks and a colossal embarrassment for America if President Obama hadn’t wisely cut it short when he did; especially given that a column of seasoned U.S. military war veterans already was assembling to rush to the aid and defence of the Sioux and still threaten to do so now that President Trump, as America’s new Commander-in-Chief, has declared his government’s arrogant intent to proceed with the renewed construction of the XL and Dakota Access Pipelines. Once this new turn of events occurs, it will undoubtedly lead to an even uglier moment in American history than what already has happened under President Obama’s watch.

Horrific images come to mind of the Sioux and protesters of other mass movements in the future being kept out of sight and out of mind in the Trump government’s new Orwellian free speech zones to isolate them to endure whatever brutal harshness of the elements or lack of basic amenities until they finally give up in despair in the face of the hostile military forces on land, air and cyberspace massed against them. Whoever the protestors may be, isolated in these bizarre zones, they won’t actually ever be able to see who or what is the source of their protest. Equally as critical, they won’t be able to be seen by the world while attempting to block or protest against whatever is the issue of their concern. Hence, a non-news event with no photo ops and no story!

Such cunning ways to muzzle critically-important social, environmental, political movements and protests in the future could be described as the world’s new makeshift 21st Century ‘concentration camps’, akin to those of World War II. But this isn’t anything new and actually represents a throwback to the U.S. Army’s 19th century concentration camp concept of Indian Reservations that the Sioux’s ancestors were likewise forced onto to remove them from obstructing the imperialism of the ‘White Man’s’ European civilization; Canada’s concept of Reserves no different in their original purpose and intent.

Now that President Trump, and his administration’s  ‘Rogues Gallery’ of the ruthless extreme right have been given the keys to the kingdom, this final solution for those like the Sioux and the XL-Dakota Access Pipeline protests no doubt will become but one of a multitude of major issues facing America and the world that, collectively, will be an everyday, business-as-usual reality in the 21st century to ensure Wall Street, the Fossil-Fuel industry, Big Banks, their stockholders and the New Abnormal of Donald Trump’s ultra-right supporters can continue to make record profits while seizing control of every last vestige of human life and achieving utter dominion over all other species and resources on Earth. The 1%ers to remain forever after happily sedated by their fat tax cuts, dodgy money havens and generous corporate deregulations; while their bulging investment portfolios continue to sky-rocket as they sip on their martinis aboard some palatial cruise ship and flick through soft-porn fashion images in Elle, Vogue or CR, while headed for yet the next exotic ‘Club Med’ playground to experience the so-called ultimate “good life”.

Meanwhile, in the future, America’s brand name will continue to evolve into the New Abnormal ways of ever more ruthless, corrupt commerce and business that already are being planned and promoted in every country by ‘The Donald’ billionaire clones of the world. All the American and foreign wars fought in the past, or yet to be in the future, will continue to remain part of the same unbroken chain of violence, duplicity, betrayal and hypocrisy originally perpetrated in the New World that began with a vengeance once Western European brand names emerged in the New World and started to generate all manner of the hype that, in America’s case, sought to market itself as: ‘America The Beautiful’; ‘The American Dream’; ‘Land of the Free & Home of the Brave’, or; the ‘Shining City Upon That Hill’, as prophesized in a biblical parable by none other than Jesus Christ himself during his Sermon on the Mount.

With President Trump and his cronies now ensconced within their lofty seats of power, the bottom line of all this will only be kicked into ever higher and higher gear. Whatever sly marketing ploys are yet to be crafted to further promote the American brand name won’t change the course and direction of its civilization’s profane way of life; as now embodied within Trump’s most-favoured empire-building document: A Project For a New American Century (PNAC). The new Hitler’s, Mussolini’s and Tojo’s of the modern era are now again on the rise. President Trump, and the scary cast of shady characters that already are coalescing around him worldwide, aren’t the main culprits but merely symptoms of yet the latest manifestation of moral and ethical fascism that was long ago set into motion with every other rebranded European name in the New World, much to the regret of its indigenous, aboriginal peoples and the inviolate sacredness of their homelands.  Trump and his kind aren’t about to radically remake the American brand so much as serve as its latest, best and brightest, cheerleaders who will greatly speed up the evolution of its decadent brand in ways that only those like ‘The Donald’ can. They’re simply a continuation of the American brand that, at its core, never has fundamentally believed in the philosophy of a true democracy that advocates such lofty principles as: caring for one’s fellow man or woman; unionism to protect ordinary worker’s rights; the dignity of a liveable hourly wage; universal health care, or; the sacred protection and preservation of the natural world. What Donald Trump presages for America is what Karl Marx predicted one-day would simply happen to Western capitalistic countries like America.

Given this reality, one could argue that this is why newcomer cultures, like those of the Americans and other Western Europeans in the New World, and their political-military-corporate-class systems and feudalistic, plutocratic infrastructures, have, from the outset, been so fundamentally opposed to indigenous, aboriginal cultures and their socialistic, communalistic ways of life that practice values, principles and beliefs that seek to keep life sacred and in balance. The reality is that after over some five centuries of so-called ‘discovery’ in the New World, the newcomers still haven’t been able to grasp the sacred world view of life that believes in being one with all that is and constantly give back to it in gratitude, rather than persist with the profane view of things that perpetually seeks to take and acquire all that is for itself while giving back nothing of equal value in return.

Too many newcomers fail to see that in each unique place in the New World, such as on the ancient continent of Terra Australis, there are those special chosen ones, like its Kookaburra Clan, who are the first to awaken each morn to faithfully fulfil the sacred charge given to them by Creation to herald each new day, with great gusto and joy, as if it was the very first dawning of life itself; to remind newcomers and old-timers alike with its song, “Hooray! It’s another new day to continue to carry out the sacred duty every living being has been given to fulfil to ensure the continuation of life as it was originally intended to be!” To then, at the end of each day, put everyone to bed with another song that declares, “My and Your Sacred Duty Now Is Done! Sleep Well!” In Asia, the Chinese have the Rooster to remind them of these same things, as do the peoples of every continent in the New & Old Worlds also have their own unique awakeners. While most old-timers or ‘old souls’, as some call them, already know this to be true, fewer newcomers, or so-called ‘new souls’, are yet able to heed such simple wisdoms.

But perhaps this line of thought is a fruitless one to ever try to make, and simply too much to ever ask or hope that those like Trump – or any foreign race, culture or civilization that hasn’t ever had the same formative, maturing benefit of the thousands of years of relationship with or connection to all the lands and life forms that indigenous peoples have had – would ever evolve the same sacred view of life and ability or capacity to see things in the same way; the still unresolved problem that has existed for some five hundred years ago still exists today between the indigenous mentality and that of the invader, albeit in a multitude of new and different forms.

To breach this impasse is the ultimate solution, but of course the perennial problem is that the belief system of the invader mentality of the Trump’s of the world — fuelled by their insatiable drive for self-serving avaricious private enterprise, constantly fed by human greed and the other seven deadly human sins – has been predicated, since day one, upon perpetual growth and ever-larger consumptions of energy and resources, where the constant unsustainable explosion of human populations now has become the single most, driving cause behind every deteriorating crisis on earth. Among but a few of these many unfolding calamitous crises are: the rapid depletion of fish stocks and other food sources in the world’s oceans due to the unrelenting pressures of ever-greater human demands; the disappearance of vast tracts of prime farmlands for ever-larger, sprawling urban and rural housing developments; the loss of vast tracts of pristine forests destroyed for the raw materials demanded by ever-burgeoning home, industry and mega-agricultural projects; the ever more rapid loss of potable water sources destroyed by the continued mining-fracking-extraction of a host of diminishing natural resources; the wholesale loss of modern civilization’s unique architectural heritage, time-honoured traditions and cultural practices impacted by the tidal wave of immigrants created by all the chaos, akin to the invasions of the Vikings and Huns of old, that continues to destroy whatever host country’s former way of life which, in turn, is creating ever more civil unrest and political blowback to the detriment of the entire human race; not to mention the all but impossible task of trying to continually create ever more meaningful, well-paying jobs for the ever-burgeoning numbers of the displaced, unemployed and unemployable. Little serious discussion is ever raised by world leaders to address the ultimate source of these crises – of which their world view is actually the cause – and, hence, no one has yet come up with any answers or solutions how to ever stop or even slow them down, other than allow for the constant proliferation of world war, pandemic disease and endless economic expansion.

The indigenous sensibility of those who contend we humans have instead been created to maintain a small eco-footprint on the earth, and humbly serve as caretakers of legacies we’re obligated to bequeath intact to future coming generations of humans and non-humans alike, is a sensibility still totally alien and repugnant to the invader’s belief system today as it was five centuries ago. Such beliefs remain light years away from the grandiose dreams and ambitions of the invader mentality that first came to the New World, and today’s even more grandiose, all-consuming world view of all ‘The Donald’s’ who instead continue to look upon themselves as the ordained dominant ones whose God has decreed to them total dominion over all forms of life; while imbuing them with the arrogant belief that whatever actions they may take aren’t ever the source of whatever unsustainable population explosion, unlimited economic growth or human-caused climate change.

Yet, for better or worse, as our tiny Earth-orb continues to hurl through the distant reaches of the universe, this new-old Star Wars mentality, like it or not, now is going where it’s going and taking the whole lot of us with it for one hell of a wild ride; until, or unless, the penny finally drops and the reality dawns that the tragic direction and savage ending towards where the invader mentality of the Trump’s continue to point humanity is heading towards a cataclysmic head-on collision against the fateful solid brick wall that awaits up ahead.

So here we all are, still in the blush of 2017, having only anointed a fortnight or so ago what some would call, “the most powerful man on Earth”, who will usher in, so the spin goes, yet another much-touted ‘new world order’ that, “Will Make America Great Again”; yet, as many now fear, already is showing the early signs of coming apart at the seams, and will only continue to sound the death knell to whatever America’s free, brave, beautiful, shining dream once promised it would become but lied because it never will.

When this writer now thinks of America and the world’s dark, troubled future that lies ahead, a children’s nursery rhyme immediately springs to mind that goes, “Humpty Dumpty climbed a great wall! Humpty Dumpty had a great fall! All the King’s horses and all the Kings men couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty back together again!” Like all of history’s Humpty Dumpty megalomaniacs who’ve come and gone before Trump, the reality is that he, too, one day will also suffer the same fate and invariably fall off the great wall and never be put back together again. The hope always is that the people will wake up in time to cause the next Humpty Dumpty to fall off the wall before he or she can do irreparable harm to too many in the world.

To know all this to be true, one need only reconsider what the Standing Rock Sioux and their allies were up against as they resolutely stood together, in the face of brutish oppression and terrorizing, locked arm-in-arm in solidarity on the distant, frigidly-cold prairies of North Dakota, while crying out “NODAPL!”, in the hope that the rest of America and the world would hear their pleas and echo even louder the prayer and chant their cry represents for the future.

So, now it’s up to Canada’s First Nation peoples to resume the Sioux’s prayers and chants. How will Canada’s Liberal Government, its Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and the Canadian people respond to their fresh pleas? Will Canada come up with a ‘Final Solution’ to their own XL, Trans-Mountain, #3 Pipeline problems? Will PM Trudeau dutifully fall in-line with President Trump’s vision for the future, or will Trudeau and the Canadian people demonstrate the courage to go their own way? What of other countries in the New World like Australia who, by and large, already is on Trump’s climate change denial, greed-based wavelength? Will they hear in time the morning cries of their Kookaburra Clan or will they passively accept the demise of their Great Barrier Reef and the critical part it plays in Mother Earth’s ability to replenish and sustain herself; solely for the mundane purpose of mining and shipping still more coal and fossil fuels to China? Will a ‘Trump-Style’ revolution, that already is beginning to show ugly signs of happening, now explode among the world’s other governments or will they instead listen to, and take to heart, before it’s too late, the sacred wisdoms of their own aboriginal peoples or those indigenous mentors and wise ones from among the 194 signatories to the Paris Accord? Or will the future’s new suicidal norm now be Trump’s Way or the Highway and that cataclismic brick wall that inevitably await’s? A lot of unanswered questions and unknowns beckon in 2017 and yet another arduous yesteryear’s journey Back to the Future.  Let’s hope it truly proves to be not only the Chinese Year of the Rooster and the Australian Year of the Kookaburra but the Year of the Awakener within us all.

Jerome Irwin is a freelance writer and author of “The Wild Gentle Ones; A Turtle Island Odyssey” (www.turtle-island-odyssey.com), a three volume account of his travels as a spiritual sojourner, during the 1960’s, 70’s & 80’s, among Native Americans & First Nations in North America. It encompasses the burgeoning Spiritual Renaissance & Liberation Movements among native peoples throughout North America that occurred at the height of its civil rights movements. More recently, Irwin authored a series of articles that covered the “NODAPL” Sioux Protest in North Dakota. Irwin also is the publisher of The Wild Gentle Press.  Jerome_irwin@yahoo.com

 

One Comment

  1. K SHESHU BABU says:

    Since Trump policies towards environmental protection, safety of tribals, healthcare, etc are well known by now, it is left to the US citizens to decide the future course of action. Multitudes of standing rock movements must start to check the onslaught of Trump and his thoughts …

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