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Ed Walkinstik-Man-Alone Oral History Interview, July 2, 1986

Oregon State University
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MT: Okay, this is Ed Walkinstik-Man-Alone. What year were you born, Ed?

WMA: Well it depends which birth certificate you look at. The uh, one from the rez or the one from the United States government. I have to go by the one from the U.S. government so it would be July 14, 1938, which makes me five years younger. (laughing)

MT: I understand your name was Wonder. Can you explain that.

WMA: Yeah the de-Indianization program of the 1930's --1920's and 30's-- were young Indians were taken from the reservation and shipped a good distance away, and put in what were fondly referred to as "Government Indian schools", and taught to be white. They were stripped of everything that they ever were to know about being - what they were - who they were. Uh, while I was in the schools, we 00:01:00learned a rather cruel lesson about this quote "Nation under God" that our teachers, Christian as they were, were directed to do one thing - and that was to mentally and physically abuse us any way they could until we became white. We were stripped of our names, our identities, we were not allowed to utilize our language. Any thought or any mention of any Indian tradition, ceremony or anything like that, you were physically beaten for it. So uh, it was a, it was total brain-washing process. Now this is the idea, like I said, to make us white. What they did, was make us better Indians! It pretty much backfired, because excuse the expression, even at that age it pissed a lot of us off! Uh, we were not white, and we still are not white, and we don't want to be white. I 00:02:00mean the little bit of white blood I had in my veins right now I find an insult. I mean, you know yeahch. You know, it's like them thinking they had a little black blood in their veins you know, they would die of hydrophobia or something. But uh, now it was just total stripping of one's culture. And it still goes on today, except that the schools are not as physically brutal, but they are as mentally brutal.

MT: I didn't realize that.

WMA: Oh yeah. The schools still exist, in fact there's one just about, oh forty or fifty miles from here. Chemawa. And regardless of what you want to say, you know they say "Great Indian School," and everything else. Well you should get up there, and look at the inner politics of that school, it is still run by the "Bureau of Idiotic Asses". You know, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, which 00:03:00unfortunately are a necessary evil. They're the only thing between us and extinction. Okay? But they are our absolute dictator, providing we want to carry their card. I refuse to carry it, the card, and I refuse to even register. My family never registered, anything else when they moved the families back in the 1830's - we're part of the Trail of Tears - the Choctaw lived and navigated the Mississippi River from the Gulf of Mexico all the way up to the Great Lakes; they were the largest tribe east of the Mississippi. Uh, in fact the Choctaw were the ones that taught both the French and the British and all others that came over to navigate the Mississippi. They're the ones that set up the trade routes on the Mississippi River. So in case the anthropologists want to know 00:04:00how, say, quote "something that was supposed to be up there got down there", very simple. It's very possibly the Choctaw or one of the river tribes, had brought it down, off the old trade routes.

MT: Where were you raised?

WMA: Uh, raised. (chuckle) That's kind of a cute word. Uh, an Indian doesn't get raised. He gets beaten up. You know, or beaten down. It was six of one, half a dozen of another. Uh, no we were thrown up, and we were thrown up in government schools, and when those became unpopular, we wound up in cotton cottages, and then in orphanages, I finally wound up in an orphanage down in California.

MT: Down in California?

WMA: Yeah. Sacramento. And uh, like I said, it wasn't a pretty sight all the way 00:05:00down the line. Uh, a rather interesting anecdote, there was a young lady that, uh, came from the same reservation I did. Uh, well, when we - first time we entered the government school; in fact I had a paper around here that I'll dig up for you, it's called "America's First Pool", that I wrote a number of years ago.

Anyway, the young lady, I won't give her name cause - in honor of her rest - was, uh, promptly raped the second day she was there by the so-called "Christian" teacher. I mean brutally raped! And uh, nothing she could do about it, this -you know, what did an Indian have to say? Didn't amount for anything, you know, equivalent to what a Black had to say, or what a Black still has to say, Mexican- American, or Polynesian, you know. It was the white over the Polynesian, always taught that, always first up. So uh, this is just a quick 00:06:00synopsis, but anyway, when they closed down Argum [?] School, which is up further north of here, in fact it became a Japanese internment camp, during World War Two. We were sent on to cotton cottages and then to the orphanage in Sacramento. We were promptly informed at the orphanage in Sacramento that, uh, in order to be part of the society, uh, that we would promptly have to become Christians. Attend the Christian church, on the threat of beating. She promptly committed suicide. She said she'd rather be dead than Christian. So, it's kind of rather a sore anecdote going back, but this is, this is still going on. One of the problems is that, uh, the wechecho, the white person out here, does not 00:07:00understand traditional life. Is not really interested in traditional life. They're interested in filling their books up with, you know snatches of what they get, and what they like. You know, for a-what do you call it, romantic [?] issue, but to get down to the nitty-grittys uh, I often question it because I've seen too much of what I know is true - changed in the white writings. That's why you notice on the release I signed for you that reads "shall not be taken out of context nor shall the meaning of any of it be changed" of what I've said. Otherwise - no, you can't have it! There are certain things I can't even talk about, because they're forbidden.

MT: By the white man?

WMA: No. By our heritage. They're you know, ceremonies, or thoughts, groups, societies amongst Native Americans. You have 'em amongst Polynesians. Things 00:08:00that you do not discuss. They're like private societies, within a society. So everything is not open to what we call the wachecho. This, number one they're incapable of comprehending it in the first place, otherwise they wouldn't be turning around and stuffing a multitude of different religions down our throat when we've had one for 25,000 years that worked just fine! And the same thing again. You go to the Islands, the religion there was beautiful. But it was "wrong", see? (both laughing) But anyway, where was I? It's, well anyway - the thing I'm aiming at is just that the white person does not understand cultural shock! And even to this day, you see, I'm still going through it. Look at me - I'm nearly fifty years old, on my one birth certificate. Uh, but I still cannot 00:09:00fathom the double standard out there. That we are called citizens, but uh, we're not! We're things! We remain the brunt of sneers, jokes, uh, second-class position. In fact, in most cases, third class position. The laws are not equal, anybody of another colored element, the laws are not equal whatsoever, and that I can prove to you. There's a box on the other side of the wall there and a pile of paper right there. I'm in year seventeen right now, just, what do you say, getting my rights and benefits for an injury suffered seventeen years ago through the United States government. Well, twenty-two years in court to get my 00:10:00name back should be rather interesting! You know, weiho can go down and change theirs tomorrow, you know. Really don't even have to give a reason.

MT: What brought you back to the east coast from when you lived in California? I know you lived in North Carolina?

WMA: Yeah, it was in - well, I've lived all over the United States. In fact, all over the world. But uh, North Carolina, what brought me to North Carolina is that the Solar Chariot, it's a motor home that I built, actually a class-room on wheels that taught appropriate technology, alternative forms of appropriate technology, such as solar, wind, bio-fuels - that's making fuel out of alcohol - moonshine - okay, I was teaching people how to build all their own equipment, how to recycle, how to how to survive, basically, without the use of money. And, 00:11:00uh, that particular motor home went 571,000 miles in seven years. Was totally unfunded. It was all done on bartering. Forty-seven round trips across the United States the hard way. You'll find it in Mother Earth News, issue fifty-three- "Ed Walkinstik, Hope, and the Amazing Solar Chariot". But anyway, our job primarily is going to rural, poor areas. To teach! And it was all, like I said, done by bartering. How do you charge somebody that is already so far down in the hole that, you know, the only thing that will help 'em is help. You don't come in there and take the last thing they have! No matter how minimal it is.

Well, this is a concept in which the white person out here cannot understand. They talk a lot about it, you know, "Help thy neighbor" etc. All this, but uh, 00:12:00they'll help their neighbor, and they will find out which pocket it's in and get it! Uh - that was primarily what the chariot was. Educational tool - hands on - right on the spot, we taught people how to build their own things. How to do this; How to organic garden. Herbology -for medicine purposes, stuff like that. See I'm of a medicine family. Our family were herbalists. Herbal shamanics.

MT: I learned about that today. The medicine man.

WMA: Yeah, well see, they turn around and say "medicine man", but do they make a distinction between whether he's a herbalist, or a spiritualist? Or is he both? They, uh, where I come from, you had a spiritualist Medicine Man, dancer - rattle shaker, quick way to define it in the English word, cause there's no 00:13:00translation in our language, to the English word for it. And then you had the herbalist who administered, uh, different herbal concoctions. Alright, that's where the name Walkinstik comes from. Or the word Dubdehono. It does not mean somebody with a cane. Walkinstik's a little animal. Looks like a ferret, or like a marmot. Maybe I can think of a better one. Like a little otter. Okay. That used to lead the people to the healthful herbs; where they grew when the animal was ill, and they would watch what the animal did. And they would utilize those herbs. Then they started watching other animals and everything else, but a Walkinstik is the, in lots of tales it is the one that introduced the Elders to 00:14:00the medicines. So-

MT: That's interesting.

WMA: Okay. So we're named after the animal, even though, but we're not of - but that animal is not a clan. We're of the Bear Clan. You've seen me frequently wear a necklace with the bear claws on it. The Bear Clan ring. Okay now the Bear Clan, uh - clans are families; more or less Bear Clan cannot marry Bear Clan. Wolf Clan cannot marry Wolf Clan. Snake Clan cannot marry Snake Clan. Snipe cannot marry Snipe; goes right on down the line. Eagle can't marry Eagle. Really the same thing as marrying your cousin. Okay. Or your sister. You know. Oooooooo. But Clan can inter-marry, and hopefully like to marry up. More or less, Bear Clan is considered, by the white standard I guess, and I guess in the 00:15:00Indian standard, Bear Clan, say, is above Fox Clan. But, uh, only in the idiom of size-comparative analysis. Actually, no, the Fox clan has its distinct element, which does not exist in the Bear Clan. The Bear Clan has its distinct element, which does not exist in the Eagle Clan, or the Fox Clan or any other clan. They have their own ceremonies, their own traditions, and everything else. Just like all families. You know, all families are different even though they come together. Uh, even though Indian life, how do you say - I even hate the word Indian. That came from Columbus, and that poor slob never even landed on the shores here! The word Indian is a-is-isn't-is not Indian. No. We're -

MT: What would you liked to be called? Native American?

WMA: Native American, preferably. Yes. Because we are the first Americans, we 00:16:00are the original Americans. Yes. And I would say that those indigenous to this land, and those forced over here, to be enslaved on this land, probably have more right to this land than those who claim this land as, um, their sovereign you know spot in the world. More or less, not to be non-patriotic, I believe that, uh, what has happened, and what is still going on is um... What's a good word for it, without being too offensive? Uh, derogative. Very derogative. Very inhuman. Example, not one treaty has been kept, so white man has no honor. I mean he's already proven that. He, you can stand here and just watch his honor 00:17:00hobble down every day. Just hobble down like, like an old broken-down old man There is no honor. His honor is in what he can get his hands on. How fast he can get his hands on it, and how much he's got in his pocket. And, you know, whose wife can he trick.

But his thing is, you know, well he's macho da-da-da! And in Native American life - No. Uh, Native American life you gotta remember that a great number of the, uh, tribal associations are matriarchal, not patriarchal. And I like the matriarchal aspect of it because there's just better balance. Much better balance. Of course uh, the women have the upper hand in this element, which is great - more or less, divorce is very simple. If you blew it, she just took your moccasins and stick 'em outside the door! And, she's saying basically, "You're lucky to go with those!" And there was no recourse. Nobody else in the tribe'd 00:18:00intervene. Alright. Uh, you see this, very, very much even to this day uh, particularly down in the Southwest with the Navajo, and the Zuni and the Hopi. And the, uh, Pima. Particularly with the Navajo, which are the-right now being totally abused. Thoroughly abused! Uh, they, they trump up this thing at Big Mountain, saying that the Hopi and the Navajo are fighting, which is a crock of - excuse the expression - shit. I worked there! I spent a lot of time in those areas! All round Cameron, Tube City, that area there. And no they're not fighting each other! That's another Hollywood ploy because vested interests want to strip mine that, just like they did Black Mesa. Those lands are sacred! That's a church.

MT: Is that the, the Navajo tribe - is that the one, the government is taking them off the land?

WMA: Nearly 11,000 of them, Nearly 11,000 of them are being forcibly removed. In 00:19:00fact, in about four days. And the other thing that's coming up is the, uh, they're talking about making them pay for it! The Navajo! Well, you people - uh, not you, the American taxpayer, which I guess is us, has already paid millions and millions and millions of dollars for this relocation program. "Relocation program". Well, "relocation", say, in 1833 through 1936 was called the Trail of Tears. Okay. And has accomplished nothing! Absolutely nothing, other than destroying a very ancient, sacred way of life! It's genocide. Which, by all international treaties on this earth - is illegal! It's a direct violation with 00:20:00the Guadalupe Hidalgo Treaty, signed with Mexico, when Mexico ceded their rights to specific parts of the United States, particularly that of the Southwest - Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and southern California. It's in direct violation, because the Treaty states politically that the indigenous of that area, shall remain in that area. And be un- you know - untampered, unmoved, not stripped of what is sacred. Now this nations sits here - you get on TV, on any day of the week here, and you can hear Jerry Falflat on TV, Jerry Falwell, you know-

MT: (Giggling)

WMA: Gimme, gimme, gimme, you know. Who's the other one? Rogers or somebody. Anyway, all these TV prophets. (cough) And I'm not sure how you spell that. Is 00:21:00it p-r-o-p-h-e-t, or p-r-o-f-i-t?

MT: (Laughing)

WMA: Uh, turning around and saying, "Well the only way to heaven is uh, through your paycheck" You know. "Stick with us, kick in a few bucks, and we'll make sure you get there." People have got to go down - they've got to go look - they've got to go down, understand the simplicity of this form of life. The beauty of it. My god, you think they've got laws out here? Tribal law is mind boggling! I mean there are taboos left and right! There are do's and don'ts left and right that make the so-called weho-wachecho laws uh, akin to something out of kindergarten! But the laws are sacred. And then to have this, this, un-formed 00:22:00fool walk into societies that are in excess of 25,000 years old and tell them they're doing it all wrong! When their society hasn't even reached the first thousand years! It doesn't make sense. It just, you know...Who are they? What are they doing here? Kind of reminds me of this cartoon I always have in my mind. It shows two Indians standing up on a hill overlooking the rock at Plymouth, and the boys getting off the ship there. Standing on the shore talking, you know. The other Indian is pushing the other one-turned around saying - "Aw let 'em alone! What harm can they do?" (both laughing) Isn't that ironic? But uh, now - it doesn't make any sense! Uh - the labeling, everything 00:23:00else they do. Well, you've seen the labeling? I had one wonderful experience talking with young lady, a Māori from New Zealand, here, and uh, I think we've learned well from the white about one thing - about labeling. I think in Hawaii, they call a white a hoale. Uh, we call them [unclear] - "white spiders". (both chuckle) They spin a web - tie the Indian by the feet - see, so he starves to death. And then uh, the Māoris, down in New Zealand they call them pākehā. And uh, about the best way to translate that is uh, something like uh, what is it? Something like - just a minute, I gotta think of the word. Uh, oh a "bureaucracy of a different color". (Laughing) It was the closest, the 00:24:00closest that I could think of pākehā. I think it's probably the best translation that I could think of. The "bureaucracy of a different color".

MT: Why did you decide to come to Oregon?

WMA: I suffer from, uh, what do you call it? I don't sweat. Well - and being in the South, as hot and humid as it was, I couldn't even go outside during the day. Okay. For me, getting away, out of that, heat down there like that is fatal. So we, I was raised here in the Northwest when I was a child, and I've always loved it. Took me thirty years to get back here. And I always managed to, 00:25:00you know, survive in this area. I'm surviving very well in this area. I can actually go outside during the summer time, and you know, that's a rare treat! After sitting in a bathtub for six years. (laughs) Yeah - sitting in a cold bathtub during the summer -that gets to be a real drag!!! I mean after six years, you come out looking like a -you know, a really dilapidated prune! You ever sat in a tub for a long time? Well alright - you try it for eight to twelve hours a day, for three months. Okay. Well, that, it's a long story but you know, to heck with it. I don't sweat. I'm learning to sweat again, now that I'm back out here. I'm not being bombarded uh, by the uh, the consistent heat that you have down there. You know, the Carolinas and that area there were you know, you get a-hundred, hundred and three, hundred and four degrees. And 97% humidity! I 00:26:00mean, I've spent some time over in Hawaii - I've never seen that type of humidity in Hawaii! I have in Panama!! You know. And down in Pago Pago, yes. But uh, you know, and throughout the South Pacific, but nothing like what's in the Carolinas, and Georgia and - Oh and also, eastern Texas, like down around Corpus Christi. You don't breath in the air - you drink it! It's almost thick enough to cut. But no - it took years to get enough money to get back out here! But I got back out here again! I have no intention of leaving unless I go, you know, go back overseas. There are some places overseas that I would very very definitely would reconsider living again. Japan's one of them. I spent two and a half years 00:27:00there, and probably two and a half of the most beautiful years of my life. There, and in Sweden. Uh, I wouldn't mind living in Germany for a while. I don't know if I want to live there continuously! And, uh, New Zealand - I would, you know, providing it would be somewhere around the Māoris. Māoris, Māoris [changes pronunciation slightly], depends on whose saying it to you. The Kiwis down there call them the Bloody Ories! (both laugh) Of course, the Māoris turn on them - call them the dumb Kiwis.

MT: I know you're an educated man. Uh, I know you're intelligent. You're a 4.0 student. What are you studying?

WMA: Which time?

MT: This - Now.

WMA: Alright I just left the field of industrial technology, 'cause I've gone just about as far as I can in it, and I'm now looking at educational media, 00:28:00which would be under the Liberal Arts program umbrella. More or less going through three different, uh, what do you call it? Concentrations. To form one degree. And I'll finish up my baccalaureates in that. And then I will probably continue on, in the same field, through the School of Education, and my Master's program. So uh, see I'm not looking at uh, at the uh, program that is offered there - in Educational Media, cause that's only for, you know, grade school and high school - stuff like that. My interest lies after high school. More or less for secondary. I'm interested in people, uh, adults, like myself, that have been injured, and lost their jobs, been out of work, like me for seventeen years! And 00:29:00have spent seventeen years trying to get a baccalaureate's [sic] degree. I've spent what, uh, three of those years in school, and the rest in court. And this was a guarantee that when I was injured that I would be retrained, and I'd be put back to work! I was formerly employed by the United States government. Hm, gee what a coincidence! Them again! (laughing) Oh - everything'd be all taken care - and all this other stuff! I will not go into the details of what has been taken care of - we could write a book on that! But, uh, excuse the expression -I have been scheiße-ed. Screwed, uh, cheated, berated, insulted - and I could think of a lot of other adjectives or verbs whichever you want that would describe exactly what it is to uh, deal with the, with these government 00:30:00so-called Vocational Rehabilitation program. Uh, you're better off going out and living with the bears. Eat your food out of a log like they do! Because, uh, they don't keep their word. They don't know how to keep their word. I find very few white people that I can stand face-to-face with. I'd rather stand, and look at 'em sideways! More or less, I want to be out of the way, in case they throw more bullshit!

MT: Mm-hm. How do you - You have kids, right?

WMA: None of my own. The only child I had, a little boy, died in 1980. But I've raised nine children. These are children that, uh, well, like these two that I 00:31:00have here. Now she was left stranded out in the middle of nowhere, in Texas, with two toddlers, and absolutely nothing! Now she's got guts. And uh, well she pulled herself up by her bootstraps. I, I like a fight! I can't stand these people that sit back - Woe is me! You know? They gotta go forward, and say hey I ain't gonna buy it. That ain't the way the law is written. But uh, I've been with her now - six years. And I've watched two very, very confused, very small children grow into some, probably some of the most respected children in town right now. And we constantly get comments on their manners and everything else. 00:32:00But we also get a little response back every now and then, on what do you call a - racial - indifference, as far as - particularly in the Mormon community. Uh, we've had the kids come home occasionally and you know, crying - they were insulted for their Indian-ness. They didn't think like, uh, quote "the Mormons did". Of course the Book of Mormon turns around and coldly quotes that the Indian is a filthy race, and godless! And the only way they can redeem themselves, is become Mormon. (laughing) It never ends! So I, I find them a 00:33:00source of humor! Where a lot of people would find them a source of irritation. I find them as a source of humor. I mean, why be angry with them? They - you can't be angry at ignorance!

MT: True.

WMA: I mean really, you know, that would be playing their game. No, we kind of enjoy our distinctions.

MT: Do you uh, raise them to not like the white man?

WMA: Of course not! No, in fact we encourage - uh, I may sound like, you know, like I don't like the white man. No. No, no, no, that's completely out of context. No. I do, I enjoy all people. I enjoy all people, uh, it's not my place 00:34:00to judge them. So, you know, it's like this house - it's, it's like Shoe's [?] house. It's on the honor system. And those that defile the honor, they're just not welcome. But no, this door is always open. It's always open. You know, there's always a hand available. Well, we have a lady and her son here, Marie. They're out from North Carolina. They've just gone through a very emotional and degrading-breakup. And you know, she's, was in the state of blowing her brains out. She had no way - come out here. Come home. Come here and let us try and help. That's it, and we've done this for years, and years, and years. We would 00:35:00have it no other way. No, to say I don't like the white man would be erroneous. I don't trust him. (both laughing) Okay? But like him, yes. I just don't trust him. I mean, what's he gonna steal from me? I don't own anything. He made sure of that years ago!

MT: Can you talk to me about your parents?

WMA: Not much is known about them. Great-Grandfather's the one that raised me. Dad, uh, broke the Great Wall. He married outside the tribe. He was a full-blood. He married a lady that was Kwakiutl and Jewish. The Kwakiutl, that's the Indians of British Columbia, that carved the totem poles the Chilkat 00:36:00blankets. Alright, apparently her mother had, uh, married a Russian Jew fur trapper, or something like that. Up in Canada. Now, how mom and dad ever got together, I, you know, to this day, well, I don't even know. But I know they did. I know Dad was banned from the [unclear] Reservation in Mississippi forever. He was never allowed to return. For breaking the Law. I could visit it, but I couldn't stay overnight! So, we were on the other Reservation, which was in Oklahoma, a place called Broken Bow, which is just west of Eagleton. In fact, dead north of Paris, Texas. Well, like I say, you people don't even know what the Laws are, yet, I mean not you - I'm taking the context of the white idiom, out here. They don't know what Laws are! I'm not even sure they know what the 00:37:00sacred is. Otherwise, they wouldn't be doing what they're doing. They wouldn't be standing out there and cheating every chance they get for their gain. I mean what are we supposed to do as Native Americans. Buy skyhooks? See, there's nowhere for us to go any more. I'm the last living member of my family, and it's gonna stay that way. More or less the Walkinstik-Man-Alone name, when I go, it goes! At one time, I didn't want it that way, but now - I don't know. You know, kinda caught in between. Maybe I ought to do what Great-Grandfather said - let it in there. You know, they broke his heart! They trashed it. He was so angry, 00:38:00he refused to ever learn anything dealing with the English language. He hated it so bad. He hated the handling. The broken promises. White man doesn't know what a promise is! But to him, I guess it was made in good intentions, uh, see - promises have long memories. The white man doesn't - out of sight, out of mind.

And you asked about land - and land rights. We don't have any land rights! Not really. What's happening at Big Mountain is a good example of it. If they want it, they'll come take it. You know, you don't see too much of it in the Northwest yet. But of course these are the last tribes to be affected by the 00:39:00western migration of the white people. But, see, the directive is already written in Washington, D.C., under B.L.M. and B.I.A. - Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Indian Affairs - to do away with all reservations. To assimilate the Indian into the "melting pot." Now I mean - I may not see it in my time, but it's coming. And lot of the Indians out here are totally oblivious. "Oh, it won't happen to us, da-da-da-da." "We're protected - you know, we have...what's this, uh, Restoration Program and everything." Restoration's just another form of bull. I mean, you know, with big, long horns. It, no, uh-uh, they're only fooling themselves. There are no reservations left in Oklahoma. Ours was taken 00:40:00away from us in the 1940s. It's now, where the Indians are, it's just called Indian Row. It stretches from southeastern Oklahoma all up into northeastern Oklahoma, but reservations, no. There are no official reservations left in Oklahoma. And, the Navajo Reservation. The Navajos were moved down around the Hopi at the turn of the century. Their reservation was up at Black Mesa. There are a few Navajos that are still up in that area there, sure, those that weren't in the way. And they went and strip-mined the coal, strip-mined the uranium. Now, they bypassed thirteen environmental impact laws to go ahead and strip-mine that out. And the land is totally unreclaimable! All the tailings and everything 00:41:00are laying just the way it was dug up. The radioactive tailings from the uranium mining, are all laying right there. The Navajos that are around that area there have used those tailings to build their homes. Now we have a massive, massive, horrendous problem with birth defects, cancer, respiratory problems and everything else that are directly related to this. Course they didn't bother to notify the Navajos that it was dangerous. Now, you see, out here, you couldn't begin to do that! You couldn't go in there and tear up the land, leave it lay like that. You have to recover it, put it back as close to the way it was, but you see, the government's thinking on this is "Well why bother? It's Indian land! We just - you know tear it up - make it a little rougher for 'em. They like to live like that." Well - that's - virtually it's just, um, if it was 00:42:00brought out clearly, and in the clear words that it's supposed to be, it was deliberate homicide. You know, just deliberate homicide. They were in the way.

Now the white people out here, they think well, you know, they got it set pretty well, and everything else. But uh, say - they are not looking at the vested interest, but the vested interest is looking at them. You have a law out here that is very interesting. Very similar to the one they use on, uh, taking reservations away and everything else. The law out here is called Eminent Domain. If you're in the way - they move you! They'll take your land and move you - physically. You see, the white people can't relate that law to what's been going on for over 500 years here with the Native American. They can't relate the 00:43:00law to what happened up in Hawaii. They can't relate the law to what's happened in all the South Pacific islands. And in the Virgin Islands. And the east Atlantic or the west Atlantic. They just do not relate to this, to where they're standing right here. Well, ask those people that have been in the path of a freeway! And they'll find out immediately. Well okay, like with the Navajo. They're taking these poor individuals. They've taken a couple, three thousand of them, gave them nice houses, in town. Now remember, these are sheep herders, with no skills, that have never lived outside the confines of their ancient lives. Most do not even speak the English language. Have been forcibly moved into a hostile area - you know, in town with the whites. And the whites resent 00:44:00it very much. Given these beautiful homes, and the banks immediately come in and give 'em loans on these homes, you know, mortgage their homes so they can get the fancy car and everything else and live like the white man. But they forgot to tell the Indian one thing when they do it - he's unskilled. He has no job or anything else. So what happens when the note comes due? They take his car, and his home! And put him on the street. He can't go back to the land he came off of. So, he has to go out there and get himself a skyhook. Skyhooks don't exist. There's no place for the Indian here.

See, the thing that irks me the most, and, uh, in fact, I think it's probably the grossest insult that the Native Americans have ever suffered - is the white 00:45:00man calling an American Indian an amateur environmentalist. Calling the American Indian an amateur environmentalist. That this land thrived without problem for time immemorial before he showed up! And in less than 500 years it's not even safe to drink the water, let alone go out and breathe the air. And this is progress? It's progress to "Stone City", is what it is. In case you don't know what "Stone City" is, that's, you know, these little plots of land you see around with headstones on 'em. Okay. Great progress. Excellent, nice thinking. (chuckling) Amatuer environmentalist indeed! But land rights - no, we don't have any, not really. I don't care what the clown up there in Washington, D.C. will 00:46:00say, you know, "Well we gotta help these poor Indian people" They could help by leaving us alone - dammit! That would be, you know, the greatest help they could ever do. Leave us alone and stay out of our hair, and for Christ sakes stay out of our, you know, our tribal lives. If they really want to learn, they're most welcome! But to come in, and to turn around and say "Oh no, you're doing it all wrong!" Well, that's like asking the Black person to come in to, say, a Mexican town and to turn around and tell them they're all stupid! How far would he get? He'd better have a razor 'bout that long, okay, that's just to knock the bullets away as they're coming! No I, now, just sit back and kind of watch it evolve. 00:47:00I'm up to my ears in Native American affairs. In fact uh, I guess -

(break in recording)

-uh, you know the white man, uh, they turn around and make a law and enforce it, quite frequently without anybody's vote. Except, you know, their quote "leader", and, uh, that law is enacted and enforced, and that's okay and if somebody doesn't like it, they can get up and you know, raise a little smoke about it. Uh, it might be delegated and regulated and then, maybe changed to some extent. 00:48:00But if you take an indigenous individual or somebody not of the color of the white, and they turn around and start questioning the law, say, we get slapped with the "activist"'- activist - doesn't make sense. It does not make sense! When you turn around and say "Hey, it's wrong" you know it's wrong -I know it's wrong - let's do something about it. Well, the vested interests turn around and say "Oh, nail that activist! You know, he's making waves!" Well, how do you fight something like that? Sure, I was on Alcatraz. Damn proud of it too. I was at the Nisqually fishing up in Washington. Proud of that! I was at St. Regis. Damn proud of that!

MT: You went to, um, protest at Alcatraz?

WMA: Alcatraz, yes. Alcatraz Island. Alcatraz means "pelican". But, um, okay, 00:49:00here it was. Alioto was the mayor of San Francisco at the time. Since Alcatraz is in the county of San Francisco, you might say, uh, whatever the name of the county is - I can't remember the name right now. Anyway, Alioto, when they closed down the federal prison, uh, it's in the 1863 treaty that that belongs to the Indians. Okay? Being held in trust for the Indians. I like that - "Held in Trust", uh (chuckles) well, why can't we have it? Well anyway, they decided that uh the power, the Fathers in San Francisco decided "Well, we'll sell it to these big corporate types - they'll put a nice resort out there on the Island." Sell it? Sell It! Why don't they ask the owners? You know. They were gonna build a big resort and everything else out there, you know. "Well the Indians got no use 00:50:00for it!" So, well the, you've seen the unification of the Native American. It happened at Alcatraz. More or less, enough is enough! You're not gonna do like you did on the East coast! Get, you know, an island for $12.50 worth of beads. We have, you know, learned a little bit since then. So, I mean $12.50 worth of beads - that's fine! But we're still not that stupid, we ain't stupid enough that we're just gonna let you take it! And furthermore, it's not for sale!

MT: Did that happen in the 60's?

WMA: Yes. Yes, uh-huh. 1969.

MT: I read about that in the book we have.

WMA: Oh great - well, you're looking at one of those smiling faces that was standing out there, you know, giving a few war hoops every now and then. But, uh, it's just, you know, it was just one of those crazy things! There's Laurie. 00:51:00Anyway, we drew the line there. Now, excuse the expression, and I think maybe it'd be about the time to say it, it's now we're pissed off. If the white man wants to play the game that way, there's one thing about the Indian - he understands. White man's got no honor. And if an Indian has to die, at least there's honor in death. We're gonna fight from now on, and we're gonna fight harder.

MT: What happened with that fishing - the fishing rights?

WMA: Nisqually? Oh - it's been prolonged. That came under the, uh, under another treaty in which the Nisqually were guaranteed the uh fishing rights, in 00:52:00perpetuity. That means forever! There's no question about it. It's their right to fish on that river. Well, the commercial fisherman, who are out there with their big nets and everything else, you know, gathering up everything, and the Nisqually picking up the, you know, the few extra salmon running up the river, not quite that many, were being blamed for taking all the fish! It's the commercial fisherman! Well, the commercial fisherman - (Someone knocks at the door) Ya! Hello?

(break in recording)

WMA: Anyway, uh, the fishing right thing is coming up again; is gonna effect the great, greater Northwest Indians. It's just that, you gotta remember that most of the, uh, quote "commercial fisherman", are white. And they're lobbying right now, to do away totally with those clauses in the treaty allowing the Indian his natural traditional way of life, and a way to feed his family. See again, 00:53:00they're taking the only occupation these people have and understand, away from them, which is a tradition, which is a religion - and turning around and saying "Go put on a suit, and you go downtown and work." You know. Well that's like, it's like you know, taking tepees and buffalos on the freeway. Makes about as much sense. But it's no good. So, uh, but that - you're gonna be seeing a lot of that here before long, but the object is that you're gonna start seeing a lot of violence here. Unfortunately. And I understand from a few people that I've talked to over in the Islands, they're not at all happy any more. A lot of the encroachment that's going on into, further into the Islands, into some of the sacred areas. And uh, (chuckles) every once in a while, I mean, white boy comes 00:54:00back over - got his head shoved in by the, you know-(Phone rings) [Tape stops and starts again] But anyway, uh, like I said, I've seen a few white boys walk back over here with their head stoved in, and somebody called them a haole just before they hit 'em. (both chuckle), and they can't understand why - they apparently are the sons of some developers, that are over there, that are saying, you know, "What the hell - some dumb superstition. Plow it under and put a condo there." He has no concept! And I, you know, I hope the Polynesians do get up and start knocking the snot out of 'em. They're not gonna find it so easy with us anymore! The object is, is that we're slowly unifying.

MT: Unifying, meaning that right now, all the Indians are their own, in their own tribes.

WMA: No, we're unifying as a Nation of Indians. More or less, you know, old 00:55:00tribal grievances and stuff like this, that had been in existence for centuries, are being cast aside for the, uh, defense of - to maintain what little we do have, and that is our identity. As the natives of this country they call America. We don't own the land. We were put here as the caretakers! Now we have somebody here to turn around tellin' us that we don't know how to care-take. Therefore, we shouldn't have it. And therefore, that since they're better equipped, they'll care-take it. Only trouble is - is their caretaking is awful rough on moccasins! You fall on the ground and you know, you get a bruise or two 00:56:00- and you fall on concrete out here -if you get up, you're gonna be lucky! The Great Spirit didn't mean for there to be all this concrete. This stone that's not natural...The Great Spirit God didn't mean for people to be stacked on top of each other. If he had he would have built 'em stacked on top of each other; didn't mean for 'em to come over here and smell like roses, or what have you. If he'd a wanted, he'd a made 'em a rose. I mean, you know, you turn on the television anywhere, you're evil if you stink. You're evil if you smell like yourself. They don't even know what a person smells like anymore. He's gotta smell like some flower of some type, you know. Real flowers of the family - blooming idiots. (laughing) And you know, it's - I don't know. Like I said, 00:57:00being out here is still strange to me. But that's why I feel more at home in Japan, or over in the Islands, or down in New Zealand, than I do here. I mean, this is foreign to me. I don't - it doesn't make any sense, what's going on. It's against all teaching! Yet I'm forced to live in it.

MT: Can you tell me something about the Choctaw Tribe? How they-

WMA: Choctaw.

MT: Choctaw. How they - did they live in a teepee? Or those mud houses?

WMA: Oh no, no. The Choctaw are part of the longhouse people. You had what, excuse the expression, "Five Civilized Tribes" quote, a Yankee term, okay? And there were the Cherokee, the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek and Seminole. Alrighty, 00:58:00as history has it, we're also known as the Disowned, more or less, we broke the Great Law. We came south to hunt, and did not return to the great North, the Northeast. Now if you get up around the Seneca, the, the Assiniboine, uh, Mohawk, Huron those nations up there. Those are all longhouse people. Corn planters people. Corn Planter was the first major chief that the United States signed a treaty with, uh, George Washington. That treaty was broken here, back in the 1940's or 1950's. Blatantly busted! In, a, uh, when they put up a dam in a place called, what the Indians now call Lake Perfidy, it, uh, it's on that album. Bitter Tears by Johnny Cash. But anyway, uh, the Choctaw are longhouse people, just like the people of the great Northeast, more or less the long, 00:59:00rectangular houses, that were communal. Alright. They were partitioned off for some privacy, but they were primarily communal. They were also noted as the Mound People. And, uh, I get a kick out of you know, sitting here and reading all these cute little anecdotes coming up in anthro-magazines about all these mysterious mounds coming up through Ohio and through the Carolinas and everything else, and what are they, and what do they represent, the whole shootin' match. And, um, I, you know, kinda tongue and cheek it every once in a while, remember what Great Grandfather said - he turned around and he said "Gonna let' 'em mull over these for a while, that oughta blow their minds, you know." But he didn't say it that way, but it's the closest translation I can make, without being, uh, facetious. Uh, but they never thought to think that maybe, uh, the answer's right in front of 'em, but they're so close to the trees 01:00:00they can't see the forest.

If they ever stopped to think that maybe some of these are representations of clans, and clan burial grounds. Ah. It's one element, also some of the mounds have no burials in 'em or anything else. These are sacred. The Choctaw in history and belief, believe they came from one of these mounds. That's rather ironic, uh, my research in later years, uh, we find that the Hopi had the same belief. And several tribes have beliefs similar to this - that we came from under, out into this world. But, uh, pick up a book called The Book of the Hopi sometime; it's rather interesting. But no, the Choctaw are Mound people, and 01:01:00there were several tribes involved in Mound building. Uh, also, we were a republic, more or less. The Choctaw were a republic. You'll find out a lot of the, uh, forming of the American government is directly taken from the longhouse people! The American government is set up in many aspects like the Indian republics were; particularly those of Corn Planter and a few of the others-more or less the Mohawk, the Seneca, the Iroquois nations.

MT: Can you tell me some of the laws of the Tribe?

WMA: Uh, I have to think a minute cause I have to watch, uh, what I'm - if it's forbidden. Well, I told you one; uh, the one my Father broke. He can never 01:02:00return 'cause he married outside the Tribe. That's, that's in the Bloods.

MT: If you break a law, then it's automatic that you can't come back?

WMA: No it depends on the law you break. The severity of the Law. Uh, to marry outside the Tribe, as a pureblood, is the equivalent of, you know, of a murder. You've destroyed a very sacred part of an indigenous group. And, um, banishment is usually the penalty more than taking them out and hanging 'em or something like that, which is, you know, actually it' s just not done. Banishment was probably the most devastating thing that could happen. Uh - Laws, laws, laws, 01:03:00laws. You don't whistle on the Reservation at night.

MT: That's a belief that we have.

WMA: What?

MT: That's a belief that we have.

WMA: That's - you'll find it's a very common belief amongst the indigenous, because you do not wish to wake the evil spirits.

MT: Right.

WMA: Right. Yeah. That, that's a very steadfast rule in a great number of Indians, indigenous colonies of the Americas. And it's also uh true as you get into the Eastern Atlantic regions, it's still there, I hope. All throughout the South Pacific it's the same way. I know that the Māoris, will actually turn pale at night if you whistle. Uh, Laws: Well the Great Laws, which were handed time immoral, make the Ten Commandments look like something that came out of a 01:04:00cartoon. More or less Laws such as it's forbidden to strike a woman, for any reason. It just something forbidden, don't do it! Out here, the white man, he takes fair game in seeing how fast he can knock one down. How quick he can insult one. This is unheard of! In fact it's mind boggling! I still can't handle it myself out here. It's just you know, in fact most of the fights I've been in here in the white world have been when a man has abused a woman, verbally. And, uh, it's, well unfortunate, turn around to say you know, that's not very cool man - and of course, the guy takes a swing, and of course, the next thing I know, I want to scalp him. (both laugh) But remember now, the scalping and tomahawks are not Indian.


MT: Scalping?

WMA: Scalping is not Indian; and tomahawks are not Indian. Scalping was introduced by the French, tomahawks were introduced by the British. We just had good teachers. We had something like a mace, or a "coup" club, is what it was called, usually it was a curved stick with a round stone in it. And what you did, you went up there, you went up and counted "coup", or otherwise knocked his head in. Counted "coup" was meaning to ride into the thick of the battle, strike your enemy without killing him, and leave the battle, and count "coups". Alright? Uh, we had games like lacrosse, which is a, what could I say is a mild - well, you've played over here at the campus, a mild form of lacrosse. Okay? Ours was rather brutal. In fact, it could be quite brutal. Uh, Jesus, there's so 01:06:00much - you cannot - Oh, okay, another thing too, is you see - this just galls me - I'm out here all the time seeing it - We think all Indians wear long hair, the headdresses, stuff like this. Now, this let's examine that closer you know. Because you go to the pow-wows and everything around here. Or you see pictures it's always somebody in a headdress, yeah, with long hair hanging down and feathers sticking up. That's rather difficult if you're on horseback, and riding through the woods isn't it? You're liable to get hung by your own hair. No, they, uh, what they call the Appalachian Indians, of which Choctaw is considered part of the group, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Chippewa, Creek, uh, Natchez and a bunch of other tribes like that, always wore close-cropped hair.

In fact, um, one of the ways you can trace some of the elements back as far as 01:07:00finding out where the southeastern tribes came from, is one, by dress; two, by their houses; and three, by their hair styles. You get in amongst the Cherokees, you'll find out they wear Mohawk haircuts. The more traditional the Cherokee is, the more of a Mohawk he's got! And you see that in Cherokee in North Carolina right now. Now the Cherokee in North Carolina are the ones that the government didn't get during the Trail of Tears. They hid out! Well, they still have their Reservation there, and believe me, they're very staunch about it. And, uh, they just, they don't mind white folk coming, but, uh, like I said, they don't hate 'em, they just don't trust 'em. And, uh, they tend their own business, their own 01:08:00law, their everything else, like I say. We, the Choctaws, just here in the, what was it, about fifteen years ago, got the right to try our own people under Indian law. More or less, it came under the, uh, Brother's Mercy case back several years ago where the member of a family had asked to be dispatched because he could no longer live the way he was living, and had asked his brother to kill him. Mercy killing. His brother did. Well, the white government stepped in and, you know, "we're gonna hang that sucker up for murder". And, uh, I can tell ya right now we raised enough stink and enough dissension among the Native American groups of that area, that the government backed off and Choctaws now 01:09:00try their own people, under their own laws. Because, they know, the white man cannot comprehend the traditional laws. He's not interested enough to learning 'em. His mind doesn't work that way. You know, he's got, uh, well, you know, his form of logic - his form of logic - nobody else has any logic.

But, uh, no, laws that just - you have to live there in order to understand them. Most of 'em are not written down. It's a living thing - just like over in the Islands. They're not written down. It's something that you're brought up with - a custom - custom law - they're laws involving custom. You know, and anything dealing with it. Sit down and say "What are some of the Laws?" I can 01:10:00pinpoint a few, and that's it! But the overall - no - it's something you have to live. The one I told you would be classified as a superstition! So they would turn around and say "That's not a law - it's a superstition." Believe me, it's a law! You can, you know, get badly beaten for whistling! And you can, in a lot of cases, if you persist, be banned! Another thing too, is amongst our people, you don't, if psychologically there's something wrong with 'em, in the Native American belief there's nothing wrong with 'em, that they are "gifted" somehow. 01:11:00In another spirit - and they're not to be harmed. They're not to be abused. The same thing out here, where you have, where they got you know, the constant battle about the homosexuals, Native Americans have 'em too - any indigenous people have 'em, except these are highly respected! And they're usually midwives! They're highly respected. They have a high esteem in our tribe. They're not looked down upon. You know, everybody doesn't have to be a warrior - somebody's got to deliver babies. Otherwise you don't have any warriors. So, the whole concept of - the easiest way to take the concept of the Native American living, and their laws, is to go back to your roots, as a Polynesian, as a 01:12:00Hawaiian, you can understand it, the white person out there can't. There's no way -he's not equipped to! He's never seen it, he's never lived it. "Yeah, live in a dirt floor shack! Oh - go out and dance around a fire! Eat stuff that was burnt in the ground! Or, go out and get some stuff off trees, and make this delicious stuff". They're not equipped! They're not equipped. The idiom is "Live, and let live." Out here, the white man can't do that. If you don't live like a white man he doesn't let him live. It their idea-

MT: So do you feel that what is going on, like when Hawaii got taken over by the white man, South Africa, and Indians, is that all the same? Basically the same thing?


WMA: Exactly. It is disgusting! But it is, again, one race on this earth that is imposing its ideas upon anything sacred, anything personal, anything human, in the name of their God, which they don't even respect! Their God's only part time - only when they need him.

(break in recording)

WMA: We were just discussing how this is happening in Africa, and the-oh-American Indian, just about anywhere there's indigenous people, we've covered that pretty well. It is a disgrace - the white people, this one particular race, has no comprehension - they're so caught up in their own idea. 01:14:00They preach one thing - yeah - "Thou shalt not kill - and if you don't believe it, I'll kill you!" That type of mentality. The only thing right is white. And, uh, unfortunately I hate to leave him with a cold message - if the only thing right is white, it's in the minority! It's very definitely in the minority. The white man doesn't understand that he is the minority! You know, he calls himself the majority. He's gonna keep on, and he's gonna piss off the indigenous of this world, and he is gonna become even more scarce! But what he's doin' in the 01:15:00meantime, as a white man? If he isn't controlled here before long, there won't be any world for any of us. There won't be anything. Lot of people now, they're just don't even want children anymore because of what is happening. Why bring 'em here? So they can be abused also? So they can be insulted and degraded? You know, debased? That's not a way to live. And I, you know, I'm not gonna be-excuse the expression-their Nigger. I outgrew that a long time ago! And, uh, I will not tolerate being talked down to by them. They have no business, because one, they may be well educated, but they're not mentally equipped to handle truth.


Truth is, to them is, is like a lollypop. It's there until it melts. It's temporary. Only use it, you know, when it will benefit them. Well, the government's the same way. This is not a government, what they have. This is an oligarchy, more or less. A government by the people, for the people - no, we don't have that anymore here. And the biggest problem with it is, it's centralized! I believe in the Polynesian government, it's like the Native American government - it is non-centralized. More or less, the decisions are made by all, for the benefit of all. Not most -but for all. And this is the 01:17:00thing that the white man cannot understand. He has to have "A Leader" you know, Big Daddy, the honcho you know, okay. "Charge!". No, and he cannot even fathom the idea of a non-centralized government. It's you know - it doesn't exist. It's impossible. It can't work. That's funny- how long have the Hawaiians been in the Islands? How long have the Polynesians been in the Hawaiian Islands?

MT: A long time - way before they came.

WMA: Long, long before they came! Same thing throughout all the South Pacific. And they didn't have any problems.

MT: Right.

WMA: In fact, they were quite free. You know, they were themselves. The same 01:18:00thing here. Uh, history here - without too much trouble to show, Native Americans here - 25,000 years, and no problems. And in Africa - look at it! They've been down there since time immemorial, and they were getting along just fine. It don't make much sense. You got one group people turn around and saying all the rest of you are wrong!

MT: Uh huh.

WMA: So the best thing to do is I wish they'd shut up and start listening, more or less, come in and learn something, for a change, instead of dictating. They might find that there's a lot of beauty in the things they're missing or that they're changing, I know that the devastation that's been wreaked on the Hawaiian Islands is so disgusting that I mean, I want to bomb it every time that 01:19:00I go there. And it's getting harder and harder to go over there and find something that's even a semblance of being untouched. You know [voice fades]. And that is, um, the, what is the word for it, the legacy which has been handed us, like you and a bunch of others, has been very, very predominantly here in the United States amongst the Native Americans, the legacy is, uh, infant mortality rate that would scare the hell out of any nation, teenage suicide rate that should be nonexistent but is rampant, the total debasement, cultural shock problem that to this day remains totally ignored. It's just... I... I find it 01:20:00very difficult to comprehend this, this class of individual, that had appointed himself as "The Leader", that has taken it upon themselves to go ahead and purposely destroy things that he cannot fathom - or will not fathom - or even bother to try and understand. That, unfortunately, in our belief and language 01:21:00and idea, is not considered a human being, but as a form of animal that is known up in the northern part of the United States, particularly central and northeastern part of the United States, called a kihkwahâkew - wolverine! Destroys for the love of destroying! That, uh, I guess that's the only the way I can classify the white man, is a kihkwahâkew - wolverine. He's the devil's child. A horrible thing to say, but what do you say after 500 years? He's great? (both laughing)


How come I keep hearing that word in the distant islands over there - haole. And in New Zealand pākehā, and weihocha, and wachecho, and kuncha. He's destroyed everything he's touched. That was simple - it was beautiful. I don't know - I don't know where to put it. Like I say, I have a great many friends, many of whom are welcome in this house here as guests but the white man as a whole I do not trust! But then those that enter this door are not white. Even though their skin is. Those are the ones you can trust. It's just like walking [in] their shoes. You know, Sharon and I were discussing that here a couple of 01:23:00days ago, and turned around and said you know when we were there last Thanksgiving it was like uh, going to dinner at the United Nations.

MT: At this friend's house?

WMA: Yeah, it was such a pleasure. It really was! You know, all these cultural differences there, but there was no cultural debasing! So all I gotta do is walk across the street, and in five minutes, I'll have a dinner debasement that you wouldn't believe - with a book thrown in, and well Shoe [?] was probably the reason why I moved here. It's hard to find people as pure and real as he is. It's very, very difficult. When I speak with Shoe [?], you know, it's here. It's 01:24:00here, you know. The man walks tall. He never has to turn around and look at his shadow, 'cause his shadow is real - he's real.

MT: He's a good man.

WMA: I'll tell ya - if we had more like him making the rules out here - I think there would be some hope for the future. I really do! I sincerely believe it.

MT: This is Michele M. Teruya.