I am Native American, Native Alaskan, Native Hawaiian and Native Mexican. I am also a trained Medicine Woman, I have also been raised to understand know, and live, in the true native ways.
Years ago when the Makah started their nonsense about “traditional whale hunts” (Because all of our ancestors had power boats & electric harpoons)
I laughed because I knew this was a media ploy after the announcement for their bid to build a new casino. From that point on in many Native circles they became known as “The Pay Per View” Injuns.
Then they just had to push it after myself and many other elders warned them of the grief this would bring, to murder our brothers and sisters who for generations traveled with our grandfathers side by side on the oceans, they were friends, they had a bond the whales knew and understood would bring them safety. Babies were introduced to each of our elders long before any white man ever became aware of their existence.
Then much to our horror these murderous despicable creatures rode along side our sisters and our brothers and we watched as they betrayed them and our mother.
How happy the whales must’ve been to once again see their brothers out playing in the sea, there were many who had known their grandfathers, but as the harpoons hit their bodies and they screamed there were many natives that screamed too.
Parts of so many of us died that day. Parts of the earth and our ways died and rotted with the whale carcasses left on the shore, no dignity, no regard. Oops I guess whale blubber doesn’t taste as good as hamburger at Albertsons.
Natives know that there was no need to harvest the whales because we now have Albertsons, we have McDonalds. The only time it is right to murder our sisters or brothers is in time of need, and then only to take that which we need, and there are many celebrations, and gifts of praises for the life they so graciously gave for us to sustain our lives. That was and never has been a small deal. None of us would ever let our kill rot on a beach, there would be no waste at all, the whale hide makes a good traditional boat, the bones set the frame, and make indestructible fish hooks, the blubber contains much needed fats for cooking, for heating a home, the intestines make incredible bags that still stretch for long hauls & to hold belongings that need to be kept dry, as well as making a good casing for smoked blubber to sustain us in times of need and for survival if we were living in the 1800’s. We are not.
After those kills, and the waste, many of us went to go bless the carcasses but we knew…
We are all entitled to act or behave any way we want but we are not free to escape the consequences of those acts or behaviors. Soon they were having record numbers of child deaths, and stillborns but no one wept for them, and no one will. They know, we all know they brought it on themselves but they obviously can’t see through their alcohol induced fogs, and slathering greed at what new casino money will bring that they don’t care, so in the end it is them who murders their own children.
I will go send out a blessing and ask our brothers and sisters to forgive us, and they will because they are a part of us and they know it would do no good to hold any malice because they know there will be consequences. Which is sad because I would like to see them organize and destroy their boats leaving them at the mercy of the seas.
No Native would begrudge them their ceremonies, or religious practices, that is something precious to all of us, but we all know that taking from the earth at the expense of our sisters and brothers or our Mother the earth is never permitted.
Native “religion” is not the same thing as other denominations, it is not a set book of rules with a vengeful jealous boastful God waiting to reign down hellfire on us, it is more a way of life, a set of fluid values that can and should change as circumstances do. As I said we have stores now, we have no need to kill, atleast not the city Indians, life on the rez is hard, there is still much need, but even those Natives still give honor to whatever one of our brothers and sisters give their lives to sustain them, and they would never let an entire carcass rot on a beach.
The worst part is what is going to befall these peoples and that it is their children who will suffer the most but I will not grieve for them, no one will, it is not permitted.