Consequences and A Great Remembering
Consequences and A Great Remembering
by Shawna Bluestar Newcomb (Shawnee, Lenape, Azteca) (Turtle Island, “North America”)
They had "a blueprint for not just colonization of the Americas, Turtle Island, but for the exploitation, domination and genocide of its peoples. Did you know.... that the Inter Cetera papal bull issued by Pope Alexander V1 May 4, 1493 called for non-Christian nations to be reduced and subjugated ("barbarae nationes deprimantur")? -Steven T. Newcomb
I often reflect on what happened to our people, our great Indigenous nations, of the great accomplishments, and our Original Free and Independent existence dating back to the beginning of time. I think about what happened to our beautiful and deep connections, our bond with the land, our Mother Earth, and the majestic trees, the pristine waters, the clean air, the vast beautiful rolling hills and valleys. I consider what happened to the profound knowledge and wisdom, and the language systems of our elders and ancestors based on thousands of years of history from time immemorial.
Women and Nature were once placed on the altar to be honored and held in sacred regard. The wisdom of the elders was held in highest regard. Sometimes I cry and ask, where are the old ceremonies and songs and dances, and will we find our way back? I also celebrate that we are still here, with our deep understanding that we are connected to our ancestors and our original spirituality. Many of us still understand our Original Instructions; we understand what it means to be a good human, a good ancestor, to have a good heart and honor our interconnection to all things and each other. To consider the wellbeing of the people, our love for the Earth as our Mother, to remember the animals as kin; to be giving, caring, honest, to have humility, respect, honor, courage, love, and not to take more than is needed, to carry the wisdom to live by these Original Instructions. These are all simple yet profound values the modern world has forgotten.
It's only been about 250 years since the founding of the United States; and it is the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower sailing to the continent now called North America, to the Wampanoag Nation territory. History books in the Western Hemisphere show the perspective of this story looking from the ships coming to shore. They speak about Columbus as a hero. They glorify the idea of “European discovery of lands and peoples."
Yet behind their use of the word “discovery” is a history of domination, dehumanization, displacement, slavery, genocide, rape, and torture of our Indigenous peoples. Is this really something to be celebrated? In the name of God, Glory, and Gold? Ame-Rica means love of riches. Where did the gold and the silver that went to Europe come from? Where did the sugar and slaves, and what they deemed “free land” come from? When do they acknowledge with respect the Original Peoples and lands of Great Turtle Island and Abyayala to the South?
It's important to reflect on a different perspective of the story as we see into the mindset of greed and entitlement that has led to the present-day imbalances and crises—the social, political, economic and ecological crises we are seeing. It's important that we begin to examine the root cause of the turmoil, injustice, disease, anxiety, anger, deep depression, grief and collective trauma, to see that this is related to a pattern of domination and dehumanization that was carried by the invading colonizers. Values and ideals shifted when the sword, war, vengeance, and greed were placed on the altar, when domination, dehumanization, consumption, greed were celebrated.
It's time we look at the consequences, of what this has led to. This pattern of the Domination Code has led to modern-day challenges of chronic disease in body, mind, heart, and spirit, with toxic masculinity, suppression of women and the two-spirit community, dysfunctional families, abuse of every kind, life destroying, life consuming economic models that do not support and sustain life. We cannot continue on with these patterns.
We've been seeing the terrible consequences to our planet, the warming and pollution of the waters, destruction of eco-systems, burning of the rainforest, and the effects on innocent animals and peoples. This domination code has been woven into the inner workings of society and takes the form of bias, racism, systemic oppression, dehumanization and diseases as a 'normal part' of modern-day life.
We are in a time of awakening for the world. It's time to pause and reflect on the ways we've been living, how we've been treating ourselves and each other, and our planet. We are feeling the effects of a big wake-up call. The Shadow is being illuminated in order for us to all to heal. This shadow is the collective trauma of our planet and All Peoples. What are the repercussions, the consequences of living disconnected from our heart and spirit and nature? What happens to a society and world when we forget where life comes from?
It's time to honor and recognize the truth of the history that hasn't been told: the story from the perspective looking from the shore at those ships coming to Turtle Island; the story told from the Indigenous perspective. It's time to see the repercussions and consequences of the displacement of Indigenous peoples, and how as a result this now affects all people and the planet. It's time to acknowledge the historic grief and continuing trauma from the children forcibly taken from their families and put into reeducation schools and beaten for speaking their language, forced to assimilate into a foreign culture, aimed at eradicating our Indigenous existence and ways of life.
It's time to acknowledge the ripple effects and dire consequences this has for all peoples and our precious planet. We are now seeing the opportunity of a great awakening. Let us move away from visions clouded by greed, overconsumption, and patterns of domination and dehumanization.
As an alternative to the Domination Code, I speak to The Reverence Code based on ancient and Indigenous wisdom and spiritual connection. This is a time of reconnection to our hearts and spirits, to consider the greater good. It's time to a come to a deeper understanding that we are all in this together. It's time to see the importance of learning about decolonization education, studying the negative effects colonization has had and continues to have, on Indigenous Nations and peoples and on all peoples and the planet.
It's time to find innovative and creative solutions that benefit All Peoples and the Planet. It's a time to acknowledge and remember the ancient ways and knowing of Indigenous Peoples that withstood the test of time for millennia, and to shine a light on the way forward with this great knowledge, to help restore harmony and balance.
This is a time to honor and celebrate Indigenous peoples throughout the world, for their great knowledge and wisdom of living in harmony and balance with the natural world that withstood the test of time for millennia. The world is in desperate need of finding this balance again right now. Time is of the essence for our planet and future generations.
It's time to uplift and celebrate the resilience, beauty, art, and music of the Indigenous Original Nations of Turtle Island and across the world, all Indigenous nations and cultures. It's time to honor and restore the diverse Indigenous nations’ cultures, arts, languages, architecture, science, music and ceremonies.
People are wanting answers now, and it's time for people to come together in a good way. All of humanity and Mother Earth is in need of deep healing, and I see we're all in this together. There are simple yet powerful solutions that our Indigenous elders and ancestors can provide, offering an understanding of harmony and balance, of love for Mother Earth, with sustainable practices of living with the natural world, and a deep consideration for the next seven generations and beyond. This is needed now more than ever.
This is a time for people to find a sense of compassion, respect, love, and patience, with themselves and each other. We can turn things around in simple and practical ways, starting by knowing a true fuller history, seeing the struggles and intergenerational trauma of Indigenous peoples around the world, that continue on to this day, and making amends, seeing how much we have in common, and returning to deep reverence and peace for all peoples, and the natural world.
All Our Relations & Wanishi, (Deep Gratitude)
Shawna Bluestar Newcomb (Shawnee, Lenape, Azteca)