Dominionism's Threat Against Indian Country
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Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 09:47:52 PM EST
We are very pleased to welcome veteran blogger Winter Rabbit as a guest front pager. He is a teacher and a musician who writes at Native American Netroots, from which this piece is cross posted. -- FC  

He says of himself:

My circumstances have found me in South Dakota with some frequency in recent years.  I was ignorant of the area's history for the first two years and so I finally decided to educate myself.  This opened my eyes to the point that I vowed to help people understand, so that the assimilation and cultural genocide might cease. One day, I hope, that sect of the Dominant Culture that is religiously intolerant will be civilly restrained, because the entirety of the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples will be adhered to. My tribal heritage is unknown.
Religion and state have united to assimilate the American Indian in the past, such as with Ulysses S. Grant's Peace Policy that created the Indian Boarding Schools, and in more recent times, pro-Peabody Western Coal Indians and obtaining a false Hopi-Navajo Tribal Counsel designation by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, who were several First Mesa Hopi who had been converted to Mormonism.   Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them, and you cannot change what you do not acknowledge.

Indian Boarding Schools with the "incest, child abuse, hostage negotiations, kidnapping, and religious abuse" that accompanied it created two things in the victims: trauma bonds and Stockholm Syndrome by definition.


Exploitive relationships can create trauma bonds-chains that link a victim to someone who is dangerous to them. Divorce, employee relations, litigation of any type, incest and child abuse, family and marital systems, domestic violence, hostage negotiations, kidnapping, professional exploitation and religious abuse are all areas of trauma bonding. All these relationship share one thing:  They are situations of incredible intensity or importance where there is an exploitation of trust or power.


This sort of betrayal creates something called a trauma bond or betrayal bond. A trauma bond is where an intense, traumatic experience or betrayal of trust takes place, forming an equally intense relationship/bond with the perpetrator. It is related to Stockholm Syndrome, after the hostages of Stockholm bankrobbers who waited for them to get out of jail a decade later and defended them -- and one even got engaged to one of them.

Stockholm Syndrome explains why that when a new student began attending an Indian Boarding School and spoke their tribal language, students who had been attending that Indian Boarding School mocked the new student for speaking the language. "Exploitive relationships (were created) can create trauma bonds-chains that link(ed) a victim to someone who is (was) dangerous to them" between the children and the teachers. The authentic self being lost, mirroring and defending the cultural genocide inflicted upon them by their perpetrators was a defense mechanism to cover up the original pain. So, Dominionism's threat against Indian Country is not merely external in terms of land theft, but also internal: striking at the very core the authentic self.

Our communities are still struggling with the consequences of forced assimilation through religious and education institutions designed to kill the Indian in us, said Innu human rights lawyer Armand MacKenzie, who attended a residential school in Quebec.

Christian Crees Tear Down Sweat Lodge

Meanwhile, the Oujé-Bougoumou band council notified Lana Wapachee by letter in early December that several elders and community members were coming to her property to take the sweat lodge down. And they did. It was dismantled on Dec. 6 as Mianscum and dozens of community members stood witness. Police said the outer structure had to be dismantled as well. All the materials were left in a pile in the yard.

The ban believed to be the first of its kind signals trouble ahead for tribal governments that choose Christian beliefs over tribal traditions, according to some observers, who blame the heavy influence of Christian churches that often denounce traditional First Nations spiritual beliefs. Our communities are still struggling with the consequences of forced assimilation through religious and education institutions designed to kill the Indian in us, said Innu human rights lawyer Armand MacKenzie, who attended a residential school in Quebec.

First Mesa Hopi who had been converted to Mormonism.

 By Dan Katchongva, Sun Clan (Ca. 1865-1972) Translated by Danaqyumptewa

Now this Tribal Council was formed illegally, even according to whiteman's laws. We traditional leaders have disapproved and protested from the start. In spite of this they have been organized and recognized by the United States Government for the purpose of disguising its wrong-doings to the outside world. We do not have representatives in this organization, nor are we legally subject to their regulations and programs. We Hopi are an independent sovereign nation, by the law of the Great Spirit, but the United States Government does not want to recognize the aboriginal leaders of this land. Instead, he recognizes only what he himself has created out of today's children in order to carry out his scheme to claim all of our land.

Dominionism's threat against Indian Country is not merely external in terms of land theft, but also internal, striking at the very core the authentic self.

American Activism too Privileged & Bogged: Europeans Maintain Efforts for Big Mountain

"The BIA Indian police are intensifying their daily presence and intimidations. They have graded the main dirt roads that allows them to be on constant patrol.."I think that they will be rounding up Dineh-owned cattle and horses. It is pretty likely that there will be livestock impoundments or confiscation... Indian police operating out of the Hopi reservation do not have any real commanding-authority...

Three members from the Hopi Tribe arrived to give their testimonies as show support for their neighbors, The Dine. Their presence dispelled the public relations myth that the traditional Hopi and the Dine are involved in a Range War."

America's West Bank (Edited and New Info.)

John Boyden with his "several First Mesa Hopi who had been converted to Mormonism " wanted Peabody Coal to strip mine Black Mesa after the natural resources had been discovered. More than 10,000 Navajo and 100 Hopi did not want Black Mesa stripped.

Dominionism's threat against Indian Country is not merely external in terms of land theft, but also internal: striking at the very core the authentic self.


On Tuesday, May 20th, key traditional elder resister to the relocation laws, Pauline Whitesinger, was served a notice to halt new construction of an earth lodge commonly known as a hogan, and this notice was served by Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) agency deputized officers, Hopi Tribal Range Technicians. In addition to this warning about illegal construction activity, officers attempted to get personal information from a non-Indian volunteer helper and sheepherder. The issued notice also stated that elder Whitesinger is having an unauthorized guest and thus, she is violating laws of the Hopi Tribe.

I am not a psychologist and I have no major research study to cite in connection with the specifics contained herein, so this is my opinion. I offer the information to be considered. So too, consider why: Scott MacLeod of HEALING for the NATIVES MINISTRIES is convinced "dismantling of the cement tomb over the mass grave" at Wounded Knee is sound judgment; why Jay Swallow teaches "the prophetic act of smashing pottery (Native American) that depicted Baal and Leviathan;" why the drafters of the Genocide Convention severely weakened the prevention part of their goal when they cut out of their document the prohibition and punishability of acts of cultural genocide;" and why  "Charles Hanson suggested Black Elk regretted his Catholicism in 1948."

I think, that the greatest pain in this life is not being yourself, and the solution lies in helping our brothers and sisters be themselves.

"I searched for my brother and could not find him

I searched for my God and he was no where to be found

When I found myself; I found all three."

(author unknown)

Regular readers may recall a previous article on N.A.R. Apostle Jay Swallow and his work with Sen. Sam Brownback on the Senate resolution apologizing for treatment of Native Americans.

This sounds like a very positive step until you see that for the apostles who have played a role in the resolution, this is an evangelizing ploy and part of a  "strategic level spiritual warfare" agenda.  This includes claiming that Native Americans resist evangelization because of control over their communities by demonic principalities.  Apostles teach spiritual mapping of Native American sites and claim they have destroyed cultural artifacts in order to exorcise the demons.  

Apostle John Benefiel's Heartland Apostolic Network (HAPN) has apostolic authority over "prayer warrior" networks in a number of states.  On the HAPN website is a video about the Senate's Resolution of Apology.  Again, it starts well and appears sincere, but, at about 2:56 into the video, the slaughter of Native Americans is linked to abortion by Apostle Lou Engle. (Engle also hosted "The Call" event at which Sen. Brownback presented apologies to Apostles Swallow and Bigpond.)

The apostles teach a narrative in which they claim that demonic principalities control Native American communities because of the wrongs done to them.  They claim that if these demons can be exorcised, it will be possible not only to evangelize these communities but also to remove a demonic curse over America which is the cause of abortions, divorce, removal of bibles from schools, etc.
The historical parts of the video are compelling but this is a terrible abuse of the history and suffering of America's indigenous people. It's a twisted perversion of the concept of reconciliation since the purpose is proselytizing and a religious/political agenda that has little to do with the well being of Native Americans.  

If there is doubt that the apostles spiritual warfare efforts are meant literally, take a look at the "Divorce Decrees from Baal" on HAPN's website.

by Rachel Tabachnick on Tue Feb 08, 2011 at 11:30:33 PM EST

They also create ersatz ceremonies and try to hijack the real thing.  I've seen it, read about it, and heard about it.

They also have (in my hearing) tried to redefine being Indian to being members of a church instead of a family (but they claim the church is the new family/tribe).  You're not willing to be part of that church/denomination, you're not part of the tribe, no matter what family connections you have AND how much you value the traditions/heritage.  Being a "real Indian" is in their eyes about how pious you are, rather than about who you are and who your relatives are.

If you are American Indian and don't go along with their plans, you're ostracized or have problems.  (Some people who resist have been threatened and even injured.)  You may even find yourself cut off and your identity stripped from you or denied.

They belittle the heritage, claiming that people need to be willing to reject it as dung (actual quote from a sermon I suffered through) in order to "go to Heaven".  This was from a Native American preacher who tried to use a NA group as a captive audience and claim tribal status for his church - so he could get land for a new church.

They teach children and others to be ashamed of their heritage, because our ancestors were (according to them) demon-worshipping dirty heathens that went to hell.  The same NA preacher I mentioned above (and his brother) insisted that was the case.

I am deeply offended by their trying to hijack the reality of our existence.  I as much as anyone know the importance of identity - I didn't know my own real identity until I was in my mid to late 30s, although there were hints all along.  My own identity was denied me for a major portion of my life, and that too is because of assimilationist policies - it was such a shame and danger to be (even part) Indian that most of my own people (including family) hid the truth from their own.  People with connections to dominionist churches have either tried to deny my identity or use it (trophy Indian anyone?) until we stopped going to "mainstream" churches a few years ago (although I must say the UU church we started attending recently does not do that).  Imagine finding out that your identity for most of your life - even your name, was a lie and based on lies.  That's devastating.  At the same time, learning about my heritage explained a great many things about my person and my experiences.  I now self-identify only as American Indian/Native American because of the betrayal thrust on me and my family by the dominant culture.  

Reading things like this only makes me more determined and resistant.  How dare they try to steal our heritage and history!!!  How dare they offer that ersatz reconciliation and not the real thing (which would require that word they like to prattle - repentance)!!!  

The assimilated/steeplejacked people act like they have no kin!!!  The others - well, maybe I shouldn't be surprised.

Sorry for the rant, but this is a very sore subject with me.  My heritage is one of the few things I have that I'm proud of and feel good about (along with my degree and my marriage).  If they could, they'd take that from me like they have so many other things.

by ArchaeoBob on Wed Feb 09, 2011 at 12:44:42 AM EST
Parent od

Rant completely justified.

Before Oklahoma was a "state," (use of "white" is historical) white people would dress as American Indian, and American Indians were ashamed of their culture, because of "civilized" Christianity. Have to double check my book to see if it was before and not afterwords, but I packed it since I'm moving.

by winter rabbit on Wed Feb 09, 2011 at 05:41:57 PM EST

I knew the general idea and a few specifics of what you shared, but not this:

They claim that if these demons can be exorcised, it will be possible not only to evangelize these communities but also to remove a demonic curse over America which is the cause of abortions, divorce, removal of bibles from schools, etc.

Just thank you for the heightened clarity.

by winter rabbit on Wed Feb 09, 2011 at 05:17:06 PM EST
Parent unded-Knee-Medals-of-Dis-Honor

That is the only real reconciliation I ever heard of.

by winter rabbit on Wed Feb 09, 2011 at 07:07:47 PM EST

Greetings Winter Rabbit,

I am one of Bob's spiritual brothers. I am also a military historian and Vietnam Veteran. I have studied Wounded Knee and the Sand Creek Massacre. Here are some interesting facts that I found out.
1.) The commanding officer of the 7th Cavalry at Wounded Knee was the son of one of Custers officers that had been killed at Little Big Horn.
2.) The Medals of Honor that were awarded for Wounded Knee were, IMO, an attempt to rehabilitate the reputation of Custer and the 7th. There was no "massacre" at the Little Big Horn. Custer got his arse handed to him in a battle the he lost due to his own arrogance and flat out incompetence.
3.) In a great irony of history, Chivington, Colorado is a ghost town. It was originally built with the idea that the railroad would be coming through there. Interestingly, the railroad didn't because the water had too much alkaline for it to be used in the steam locomotives of the day. The town withered and died out.
Now we can talk about water tables and such and I'm sure there is plenty of scientific data abounding but still one does wonder if some of that was alkaline or the tears of Chivington's victims.
Another interesting point about Chivington is that he was a Methodist minister. He was also a murdering psychopath who had one of his own officers killed.
Some heroes!

by Frank Frey on Thu Feb 10, 2011 at 11:32:53 AM EST

and sorry I couldn't get back earlier. I was playing at a music festival a couple years ago and was 4 hours away from the Sand Creek Massacre  Historical Site, but couldn't go and get back in time. There weren't signs up then and last I heard from someone in the area last November, there still aren't. Don't even want people to find it easily, I had to call the ranger's office and get specific directions to even consider going. If it wasn't for the mountain roads that would've added a lot of time, I could've made it.

I didn't know this:

It was originally built with the idea that the railroad would be coming through there. Interestingly, the railroad didn't because the water had too much alkaline for it to be used in the steam locomotives of the day. The town withered and died out.

Thank you and isn't it eerily fascinating to contemplate how some fundamentalists might think Chivington isn't in hell?  

by winter rabbit on Fri Feb 11, 2011 at 06:17:26 PM EST

In 2003, Minnesota Public Radio produced an eight-part series on American Indian traditional spirituality and how it provides moral guidance, a sense of belonging, and a commitment to community among the Ojibwe. As indigenous societies worldwide struggle to heal from the impacts of religious colonization, for the Anishiinaabe, walking the Red Road has led to a renaissance of traditional medicine and healing that western medicine is at a loss to explain.

by Jay Taber on Wed Feb 09, 2011 at 12:31:33 PM EST
In my opinion, the reason "western medicine is at a loss to explain," is they don't realize that overall - the medicine is smarter than they are.

by winter rabbit on Wed Feb 09, 2011 at 05:48:24 PM EST

Here's the link: ond_spiritualityone/

by Jay Taber on Wed Feb 09, 2011 at 12:34:44 PM EST

Indigenous Resurgence and Traditional Ways of Being al-ways-of-being/ a talk by Professor Gerald Alfred, is a video introduction to this topic worthy of our attention.

by Jay Taber on Wed Feb 09, 2011 at 01:41:24 PM EST

Right Wing Watch has a report about Bryan Fischer of American Family Association (AFA) that should be of interest to those reading this article! o-far-afa

by Rachel Tabachnick on Thu Feb 10, 2011 at 03:06:32 PM EST

I'm following the National Congress of American Indian's lead and not dignifying that with a response.

by winter rabbit on Fri Feb 11, 2011 at 06:08:26 PM EST

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