He lacks understanding


An elder once said to me, “The white man is clever but he is not wise.”

Mr. Casperson, R-Escanaba, is clever – he first introduced a copycat bill to legislate Michigan wolf hunting, and now because of a petition in this state that has gathered more than 250,000 signatures opposing his bill, he puts forth another, S.B. 288 to circumvent the petition. It seems then for some, there are speaks of and about democracy as opposed to living its ideal.

Apparently Mr. Casperson shares a certain opinion with a few rather than a majority. It is also obvious he lacks understanding concerning wildlife with who we share life in the U.P.

There have been repeat anti-wolf letters in the Daily News containing Chicken Little myths and untruths posted recently by two same minded area persons, which hardly represents a majority. They, as everyone else, are entitled to their opinion, but opinion does not represent fact.

A fact is truth in so far as we know it. An understanding of truths is put forth here. On this land, my people considered all things kindred were made and brought together by the same sacred hand and then filled with essence of mystery. This belief brought together an understanding between feathered and furred ones with humans from time beginning.

To wit, the Indian looks at a hill and says, “Hill, how can I live with you?” The white man looks at the same hill and says, “Hill, how can I move you?”

The European brought his ideology, stories and strange ways to this land, and now to this very day, one can easily see his manifest does not sit comfortably. It is true, as you read this in the very moment, because of this manifest, tons of poisons, pollution, and waste, continue to be added to the environment every day and this is affecting you, me, and all of us.

Furthermore, what is there to say of increasingly invasive species all beginning with the first appearance of the rat in the western hemisphere in the year 1942 – compliments of Columbus.

The same manifest if affecting our forest animals; they speak but the white man seems not able to understand their language. That is why I speak out for the forest animals. The European has never understood this land and with the continuing trend, it seems unlikely he ever will. When he first came here, in his eyes, all he saw was what he described as wilderness. To the European, all seemed wild and untamed including the native people.

Even today, there is talk of wilderness areas to describe parts of this land. To the native people, it was not wilderness; it was and is yet home, it was not wild. The European was afraid of this so-called wilderness and all that was in it, and he still is. That is why he is afraid of the wolf.

It is true; the Indian has been on this land since the beginning of time. You have your stories, but yes, I have my stories and my people told me that we have been here since the beginning. By comparison, since 1492, the European has been here which in time is like the blink of an eye, and look now, what he has done to this land and to all who have lived here since time beginning. Further truth, most all of this change and considerable irreversible damage has been done in less than 300 years.

There are those who say, that the white man’s manifest is right no matter what, that their science knows best regarding the forest animals including the wolf.

The Indian values and wisdom are never considered but reality and proof are witness to the contrary. Reflect on just these two examples: Indian elders used to say that Passenger Pigeons were so numerous when flying in flocks it would cause the sun to be lost for days. A conservative estimate puts the Passenger Pigeon at more than 5 billion in the year 1800. The European by his manifest caused them to be extinct within a human’s life span.

The bison, both woodland and prairie bison were so plentiful that the landscape itself seemed to be moving. They became nearly extinct not only because of wanton sport killing but additional truth is found in the official policy of this country of a scheme for deliberate slaughter of bison to defeat the plains Indian by starvation.

It is a must understanding that the wolf is a central protagonist in our stories. We gave him respect and he flourished. In turn he became our brother in the faith and imparted wisdom upon us. This all encompassing relationship was extended to every living being.

There are those who are intent on legislation for a Michigan wolf hunt want to desensitize the public by euphemistic language listing the wolf as a “game” animal. Shouldn’t the word “game” refer to football, basketball or perhaps a game of cribbage?

Game implies enjoyment or a pleasurable contest between individuals. Makadegekek, an eminent Sauk Indian of the early 1800s is known to have said, “How smooth must be the language of the whites, when they make right look like wrong, and wrong look like right?”

One suggested solution for those who live in the U.P. and who do not like the wolf, move elsewhere, if that is not far enough away, perhaps the old country will welcome you back.

A most respected hero in Indian country and beyond is one Thasunjke Witko, and Ogalla Indian assassinated in 1877, now being sculptured in stone by white people on a South Dakota mountain and surprisingly, was eventually honored by the U.S. Postal Service on a stamp in its “Great Americans Postage Stamp Series.” – he once said and is quoted here: “We did not ask you white people to come here. The Great Mystery gave us this land as our home. You had yours. We did not interfere with you.”

Wiizon Wayaaseshkang

Chicaugon Lake