Inside the bowels of the “just-us” system of incarceration I found something out.
The old people at longhouse always told me hats-sqay/you see. Ya gotter hatsqay! So I realized that if I apply peace, power and reason in jail, it will make everyone’s stay a little bit easier. The energy is moving around, and though people are still the same as they were, we are re-taking our original form as Haudenosaunee.
It’s like what happens if you plant a sapling and tie it down with a hook. Kick it a couple of times, but give it the proper sun, water, earth, and love and though its bark might be scarred up and it might grow crooked for 30 years, eventually it will re-take its natural form. The form it was meant to be at creation.
It will reach for its brother – the big warrior in the sky – the sun and it will grow tall straight and strong because nature is stronger than manmade things. That’s us! Everywhere I look there’s Cayuga, Mohawk, Seneca, Oneida, Tuscarora and Onondaga long hairs running around with their plastic lacrosse sticks laughing. I’d bet they were doing that 3,000 years ago with hickory sticks – and I don’t mean the food either.
The application of peace, power and reason is the indestructible gift from Tekanawita, the Peacemaker. Peace, power and reason is universal and applies to everything – from arguments over the last slice to blockades and confrontations with the government. Or to what happens on one little range in jail. It’s a place where strength is needed to keep the peace and unity cohesive while being attacked by outside forces intent on causing trouble and dividing.
First you have to have power – spiritual, mental and physical. The power to move and to change the outcome of the very things the colonizer sought to destroy. True power comes from spirit and love but here some people are just destroyed, so I avoid them. I never let them take my laughter, but I also let them know that if they want a problem I’ll knock their teeth out.
I doubt if Ottawa and Quebec would take us seriously if it wasn’t for Oka. We showed them that we’re not taking it anymore. That’s power, but that’s a last resort. Most times the only language that ignorant people understand is war and fighting.
So once people realize you will bite, that’s a good deterrent. If they won’t stop, or if there’s two or three of them, I’ll take my chances by going first and seeing who helps me. So then I have my guys that will help me – that’s my war party.
So then I make the troublemakers and bullies leave. I’ve saved a lot of weaker people – black, white, Asian and a lot of Onkwehon:we. When they realize that they have worth and you will selflessly stick your neck out for them, they will follow you to the ends of the earth.
When you have power, then the guards will try to provoke jealousies and weakness/ohkon-say by giving one person extra food. But I counter this by spreading everything out equally. That’s the “one dish one spoon” way. It’s kindness and the great law that’s ohnikonra – a good spirit and reason.
The opposite of that is selfishness, which can destroy all we’ve worked for. That’s how the people were at contact from thousands of years of warfare, starvation and oppression. They were brought here so we would show them the way back to the creator. It was meant to be so. Once power and reason are established, the final outcome is peace.
I have to stay vigilant watching for troublemakers both among the inmates and the guards. That’s like the eagle on top of the tree. The eagle warns us because eagle flies so high and close to the creator that it can see much farther than us on the ground.
I seen this work over and over in here. Sovereign people aren’t afraid to move. Spiritually strong warriors with love in their hearts move because love knows no fear. It’s the most powerful thing in creation – death can’t destroy it. Its eternal glow will always be here.
You can’t kill a spirit. We only go home to the creator to be reborn as something alive and the circle is never ending. This is why the clan mothers, chiefs and warriors were so powerful. They loved each other, they loved their clan family, and would die before they betrayed them.
So that’s what the warfare, rape and death/ohtko that was brought to these shores sought to destroy: love amongst the clan family.
Everything included all my relations-ohna ehto wakiro!