|NFIC Columnists – Doug George Kanentiio|
When Skennenrahowi walked among the Iroquois 850 years ago he sought not only to bring an end to war through the creation of the Great Law of Peace but also created a society in which women were assured of their natural liberties as free human beings.
He acknowledged that women were the lifegivers of the planet and as such carried a great responsibility to nurture and protect our sacred mother earth for all time to come. Along with this status came great political and spiritual powers for it was the women who cultivated the land and it was they who determined how its resources were to be distributed.
Along with this came the task of overseeing all of our political activities for it was they who selected our leaders and when necessary impeached them for breach of duty.
The world of the Haudenosaunee was decidedly feminine. The original being was a female and from her came all subsequent humans. The spiritual lives of the Iroquois revolved around grandmother moon and much of our music celebrated women.
Skennenrahowi was wise enough to see that men, as lifetakers, needed balance so he created a system whereby Iroquois women held veto authority over war and peace. It was they who decided on all issues involving the taking of human life.
Iroquois women were, and are, strong in their defense of this heritage.
They have become advocates for the protection of other species as well for they know we exist only insofar as we are sensitive to our dependency on plants, animals, wind and water – all of which have spiritual substance and the right to exist beyond human designs.
So it comes as a great sorrow to see many Americans celebrate the rise of the governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, to a position of unique power.
This person has largely discarded her feminine duties as a lifegiver so she may “succeed” in a masculine oriented society.
As a governor she has endorsed the murder of animals such as wolves and bears by shooting them from airplanes as a depraved type of “sport.” Her administration has offered $150 for the limb of a wolf, much as Americans used to give rewards for the scalps of Native men, women and children.
Palin believes that wolves are effecting the number of “game” animals such as moose and elk. Her big game hunter supporters hate wolves and are ready to slaughter them by the thousands using airplanes, poison bait or traps.
Anyone who has seen film as to how wolves are pursued by airplanes to the point of exhaustion then shot with a high caliber rifle has to be sickened by this practice just as they must be when they learn the State of Alaska wants to apply the same methods to bears including cubs. This so the “hunters” can affix the heads of their trophy catches on rec room walls.
Palin is also an advocate for drilling in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge so Americans may have a few days worth of oil for their cars and trucks. Such drilling will enrich the very oil companies she boasts of having defeated for control of the Alaskan legislature.
She derides government officials in Washington but eagerly seeks federal funds for projects ranging from a sports complex to the massive construction of a natural gas pipeline from the north shore of Alaska to the port of Valdez. This will be paid for with U.S. taxpayer dollars even while she claims that, if elected, the Republicans will curtail this kind of spending.
Palin also supported the infamous “bridge to nowhere” in which U.S. Senator Ted Stevens sought $250,000,000 from the federal government to connect an island of 50 residents with the town of Ketchikan. Palin only dropped her endorsement when the bridge became the object of ridicule.
Another example of environmental callousness at odds with her duties as a lifegiver is her support for open pit mining, in particular one to be built near Bristol Bay. Opponents maintain the mine will pollute the waters which feed into the Bay and bring great harm to the coastal fishing regions.
Then there is her denial that human beings are the primary cause of global warming. She acknowledges there is climate changes but adheres to the radical Republican stance that this event is not urgent enough to require immediate action such as protecting species which will be greatly effected by the warming of Alaska. She has opposed laws which will place the polar bear on the endangered species list.
Palin has also sought to interfere in the rights of Alaskans to read what they will by seeking to ban books she considers offensive to her political and spiritual beliefs.
She seeks an absolute ban of the right of women to choose except in instances when the survival of the mother is at stake. If you are the victim of rape or incest you will have the bear the fetus regardless of the trauma of such an experience.
Under Haudenosaunee procedures Palin would be excluded from leadership not only for her callousness towards the earth but her violations of natural law. She demonstrates self righteousness and anger, promotes fear and distorts the truth.
Governor Palin is no friend of those Indigenous peoples who retain their sensitivity towards a world in need of healing, to those who seek to address the ecological threats under which we all live.