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News & Views of Phillips Since 1976
Thursday June 20th 2024

Skunk and Racoon

By Peter Molenaar

It is now forty years since I held title to 16 acres near Lake Milac. Many of us had chosen to go “back to the land”, in the aftermath of the Vietnam War. We all had our share of sublime moments, but survival became an issue for most of us.

Was it the full moon and stars which heightened awareness as he walked the dead end gravel road to “the farm” that night? Bloop, bloop, bloop, the sound echoed from the flooded culvert below. What the ”¦ the fight or flight response was intense but instantly suppressed as Skunk emerged and approached directly. The young achieved enlightenment while she sniffed his feet.

Many moons later, while sitting upon a beach in Powderhorn Park, he was visited by Racoon. The warm breath touched the calves of his legs lightly beneath. Serenity and wisdom prevailed. Yet two Native youth came forth to issue stern warning against such composure. Ironic?

Words from Rez Life by David Treuer:

“If the Sioux are known for being fierce warriors, the Iroquois for diplomacy, and Cherokee for being civilized, the Ojibwe are [or were] known for being loving.”

But what?

Jeffrey James Weise was the sixteen-year-old boy who killed his grandfather, his grandfather”'s girlfriend, a security guard, a teacher, and five fellow students on the Red Lake Reservation in 2005 before killing himself. He was a victim of neglect.

More words:

“Those who were obsessed with what was often called the ”˜Indian Problem”' recognized that the bond of family, the connection between parents and their children and, sometimes even more importantly, between grandparents and grandchildren, was the most significant and strongest bond linking a person to his or her identity, tribe, and reservation. If this bond could be broken, Indians would disappear as Indians and the ”˜Indian Problem”' would be solved.”

Enter forced boarding schools”¦

Mother Earth now sends messengers to echo Lenin”'s words: “Workers and Oppressed People of the World Unite!”

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