Shout Out to Waziyatawin and Dakota traditionals
topic: Waziyatawin, a local newspaper, and Other Ways of mutual liberation (more edited version; 1st version was written under duress, notably, due to time limits and curious distractions cropping up)
author: a. visionary
(editing continueing as of this publishing)
See the art with the original cover text:
http://streetroots.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/streetrootsfeb0411page1.jpg (last accessed 2-17)
And this more recent link:
“This illustration was done on the spur of the moment,”–said chu-uck d., a local practicing “crucial arts interacter” about art he recently made and got published in a local semi-large circulation newspaper. “And yet i wanted to say something, more than what my programming would ‘tell me’.” (That is, to just make the art, and not put anything deeper than what the editor asked for in it.)
“So a person i’d only recently come across (“discovered”, heh…egad!) came to my mind, and that was Waziyatawin!”
Among other things, Waziyatawin “helps me balance myself better when i invoke her name even though i don’t know her at all. Probably both because i’ve experienced intensity when i’ve quite intensely ‘walked through’ some of the places where her people were forced to move to, and, as well, because i’m currently educating myself from the liberatory models of Onkwehonwe people.
What is “Onkwehonwe”, you ask? It’s a term Chu-uck first heard of when reading a Kanienkehaka scholar discuss indigenous resurgence in a book entitled
. “My understanding is that it’s meant to mean ALL First Nations peoples, but distinct from the popularized term ‘aboriginal’, which the author, G. Taiaiake Alfred, exposes as a colonial watering-down, assimilation game. “So i’m honoring various indigenous nations by using this word, and as well bringing in the excellence of a value system of nonviolent resurgence of traditional power. We are all descendents of tribes,” says Chu-uck, who is not indigenous to this side of “mOM Earth” himself.
The art, which included Waziyatawin’s name only was published on the FRONT COVER of the local independent bi-weekly newspaper Street Roots. (www.streetroots.org)
By getting that art published, Chu-uck says, “i’m giving an example of a way of bridging with people, a kind of CONFRONTATIONAL nonviolent way of giving one leading, controversial voice a surge of power by daring to include her name in that art and feeling sure it would still be published. But i never expected it would be put on the COVER of Street Roots!! What a surprise,” said chu-uck adding a bit of cussing in a little street-roughened spontaneous bliss.
Chu-uck, 45, is a bit controversial himself, of course, so that’s why he feels he can so-called “go out on a limb” as he did, even tho he doesn’t really know the Street Roots folks very well. “A lot of people would assume it ain’t a goOd idea to staNd so freeLy, so quickly, towards both current and ex-street folk; that would, i think, be ‘conventional wisdom’.” Explaining further, Chu-uck added: “Alleged ‘Nice, Upstanding’ people would openly defer to anyone with an ounce of street-wise toughness, and never say what they really think,” d. said, seeming to assume and project. “That’s my experienced intuiton, mostly.”
As to why publish in Street Roots and not a more well-funded source: “It’s about not wanting to walk in the colonial system as much as i possibly can. Street Roots is, i think, more independent, and i want to give gOOd sPirit to the possible excellence of homeless folks and their bests. So this is a *cruciaL aRtiNg* of sortz,” d. said, mentioning a self-theory/praxis he’s been diving into and “mapping” for quite a few years now.
As for giving a possibly “radically excellent” heart to Waziyatawin, despite her words about the possibility that killing may have to happen when settlers ally with Dakota traditionals being forced to fight for their lands and sovereignity, Chu-uck dissents.
“My praxis is about bringing more wide awareness that some Onkwehonwe have to think about in this reality. And by bringing this assumed liklihood that some may have to engage in killing into the ‘limelight’ so to speak, we may better find ways to avoid that; to not even have to go there.”
Chu-uck’s own trajectory has been all about finding creative, confrontational ways to avoid the worst of a deeply stupidized and alienated colonial humanity, while trying to convey portions of truth that are being actively suppressed and not allowed to be thought through.
“i’m not merely coming out of a vacuum with this stuff. i’ve been experimenting with this stuff since the early ’90s. And i found openings that no one else apparently knew. And i tried to convey it to the milieu i was involved in, but they couldn’t hear it, so middle-class-ly- challenged as they were…it seemed like…so i began broadening out my scope in general, learning a broad range of suppressed truths and educating myself about these things. And then taking my confrontational nonviolent methodology out into a much more broad-ranging Unknown”–namely actions he has undertaken in the last 10 or so years across the u.s.a.
“As i began to realize how many people are gearing up for all this Insane stuff happening around 2012 and all that,” especially, he says, amongst people worrying about “Armageddon” and the economic game being played on all of us, “i want to intervene. Intervene on that same old stupid scene! Nip it in the buds and inspire humanity’s organic, Great SpiRit HEART much more!
“There are openings for all these beautiful truths, but most seem to be falling back on the Last Ditch Efforts of various her/hir/historical examples, instead of what they could be doing RIGHT NOW, besides merely consuming and conforming, or even getting caught up in the curious game of “Speaking Truth To [“reputable”]Power” in its myriad way.”
“Maybe all of this is just my ‘privilege’; and that’s why i haven’t been put through the grist-mill that so many other oppressed/colonized persons have been put through. Maybe. But i see more going on than that reductionist approach.
“So anyway, i want to take what i’ve learned to as many people as possible who might be able to think about this! All of these things and so much more, related to this topic, you know?!!”
So what Chu-uck is saying is that he has found openings for suppressed truths to actually penetrate through the propagandized armors of quite a diversity of people, over the years. “It’s a few parts Harry Hay”–referring to a founding two-spirit hero who helped organize the Mattachine Society–“and other parts Saul Alinsky method and, especially First Nations’ traditional consciousness.” Suppressed truths that weren’t allowed to be heard, officially and politically.
“i’ve been reading over Waziyatawin’s voice (as well as a few others) in the online publication ‘Unsettling Minnesota’ (unsettlingminnesota.org) and now it’s been percolating for a goOd while and i’m starting to feel it’s time to speak up.”
So to sum up thangz, Chu-uck d. wants you to know, no matter who you are, that this is what he’s about, and he’s trying to do his best despite being, like so many of us, largely atomized and rendered feeling often overwhelmed and feeling “unable” and “incapable” of doing anything at all except to “go along with the program” as one of his more favorite Onkwehonwe speakers would say.
A final word. An invite. To check out Chu-uck d.’s Visionary Zine, now being sold/traded to persons who “pique” his interest. The discussion is evolving around the issues Waziyatawin and other Dakota patriots and allies are raising in their online publication. Perhaps you’d like to be a part of this?
Maybe you’ll see him around, maybe you won’t. It’s all good.