EDITED VERSION FOR WFTE - SCRANTON PENNSYLVANIA *Originally broadcast March 29th, 2012 w/additional music.
DOUG GEORGE-KANENTIIO is an Akwesasne Mohawk. He is the co-founder of the Native American Journalists Association, a former member of the Board of Trustees of the National Museum of the American Indian and the author of "Iroquois On Fire". He resides in upstate Onieda Territory with his wife Joanne Shenandoah and family. The Hiawatha Institute (www.Hiawatha.syr.edu)
Kanentiio@aol.com or via surface mail: Box 450, Oneida, NY 13421
The awareness and agenda of placing Mother Earth at the top or at least the basis of the OWS movement - seems to be lacking. Doug discusses another thinking process often overlooked and minimized...even by the "new OWS movement". Many young Original Nation peoples are preparing to step up to a leadership role but seem to lack "a process of critical analysis of the West's historical processes, to seek out the actual nature of the roots of the exploitative and oppressive conditions which are forced upon humanity. At the same time, as we gain understanding of those processes, we must reinterpret that history to the people of the world. It is the people of the West, ultimately, who are the most oppressed and exploited. They are burdened by the weight of centuries of racism, sexism, and ignorance which has rendered their people insensitive to the true nature of their lives. We must all consciously and continuously challenge every model, every program, and every process that the West tries to force upon us. Paulo Friere wrote, in his book, the Pedagogy of the Oppressed, that it is the nature of the oppressed to imitate the oppressor, and by such actions try to gain relief from the oppressive condition. We must learn to resist that response to oppression. The people who are living on this planet need to break with the narrow concept of human liberation, and begin to see liberation as something which needs to be extended to the whole of the Natural World. What is needed is the liberation of all the things that support Life-the air, the waters, the trees-all the things which support the sacred web of Life.