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Broken treaties, broken promises
By Yo’Nas Da Lonewolf-Muhammad
BRIDGING THE FAMILES
Updated Jul 26, 2007 - 4:50:00 PM

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Greetings Relatives,

In mafia movies, there are many messages in the way those in the mafia handle each other, whether it be towards family members or outsiders. In one movie, I heard a mafia boss say, “All I have is my word!”—that is said a lot, not only in mafia movies, but in everyday life.

The Bible teaches that your tongue is a sword. There is so much in the power of our words.

As a child, I would be teased a lot from children my own age who said I was “adopted” because of my brown skin, while my Native American mother was fair-skinned. When I would come home crying, my mother would tell me to say to those who teased me that “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me!” That helped me through all the teasing because now I had something to say back. But as I got older, I realized that the teasing still hurt me. Words do hurt. But what hurts the most is when someone gets your hopes up by their words and doesn’t follow through with their actions.

Native Americans have been going back and forth with the United States government since 1722 on treaty developments, such as The Great Treaty of 1722 between the Five Nations, the Mohicans, and the Colonies of New York, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. In 1926, there was the Deed and the Trust from Three of the Five Nations of Indians to the King.

What king you may ask? The king of Britain. The Five Nations had developed treaties with a country outside of the United States in the country’s early development. There are endless treaties to all Native Americans that lived in every state, from name changes to land, to even food.

Now, it wasn’t easy for Natives to agree to treaties, but through government strategies such as wars and killing off food supply and water, fear was implanted into them and the Natives had no option but to come to an agreement with them. But as time progressed, broken promises did also as many of these treaties were not upheld.

Today, Native Americans are fed up with those treaties that were established, and there have been many attempts to change them, to no avail. The reason for this is because the U.S. government does not want to give the Americas back to Indigenous people, so they stand on these broken treaties that they pillaged many Indigenous children, women and men for. Even former African slaves were promised 40 acres and a mule for years of forced slavery, however, that promise was also broken.

If the common ground relationship between the Blacks and the Native Americans is being hurt by trusting a government that wouldn’t follow through on promises, then why do we imitate the same behavior towards one another?

In day-to-day human conversation, people tend to say, “I’m going to do this; I’m going to do that for you. I know this person; I know that person can do this for you.” We don’t seem to follow through on what we said we were going to do.

I understand that things can happen to prevent us from following through on our promises, but did we do all in our power to prevent the unsuccessful outcome of a project or a promise?

As we bridge the Black, the Red and the Brown people of America together, we must be mindful to not fall into the trap of giving broken promises, which will divide us more than unify us. We all have been lied to, so we must not lie to each other. If you say that you are going to do something, do it if it is God’s Will, but in that will that God gave us, do all that you can to fulfill God’s Promise.

I love you all!

Mitake Oyasin

All My Relations

(Yo’Nas Da LoneWolf McCall-Muhammad is the National Director for the Indigenous Nations Alliance-Millions More Movement and is now working to develop chapters throughout the country. If you would like to assist in this Movement, please email yonasda@gmail.com or visit www.myspace.com/indigenousnationsalliancemmm.)


 


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