On October 6-7, 2016, the members of Stop Tribal Genocide and the community met on the steps of California's State Capitol and outside the Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs building and protested against the injustices of Tribal Disenrollment, Pipelines, Fracking, Dishonoring the treaties, Columbus Day, Federal Recognition, Mascots, Police Brutality, and Identity Theft. This piece was written in honor of the first Native Rights Matter March.
Ma Talas (We stand)
Ma ‘is ‘inniko talas (We the people stand)
Ma ‘is ‘inniko kennetto (We the people stand together)
Ma machchaw (We speak)
She shouts red into the microphone
“Stop the madness!”
Ma pottaar (We matter)
Her message stings like a slap
“Now is our time to speak!”
Tallepuhmi! Ma pottar (Wake up! We matter)
“Come back to your roots”
“Speak with them”
And “nurture them.”
Ma ‘is ‘inniko talas
Ma ‘is ‘inniko kennetto
We are ope (more)
Oye (Coyote-man) says as he stands on stolen sacred ground
We are ope
Oye rips out our submissive silences
And sheds a tear
Greed stealing our identities
Stripping us of our power,
Spreading like sickness
Bringing us to our knees.
Exposing our power hungry reality
Killing our spirits
Binding our children’s souls
We are ope
“’Utus” (Get up!)
Congregating on stolen sacred land
They stand together.
Listening to the blessing
He closes his eyes.
The sun rises high
Blanketing the earth in her warmth
Guiding the speaker’s words with her comfort.
Their pain comes out of their lips in gusts
Their pain sings to their ancestors
Their pain rings out like the excess beat from a drum,
Stomped out like poison
Counteracting an act of being stung.
towis hinak ‘is “inniiko (Restore the people)
“Win this war against colonialism.”
“Braid that hair,”
“Dance around the fire,”
“Respect the water,” and
“Always give love” because
We are ope.
Please watch the videos of our speakers at :
1. Former Chairwoman of the Hopland Band of Pomo Indians, Sandra Sigala: https://www.facebook.com/monster.davis/videos/vb.1482526325/10210423355448515/?type=2&theater
2. Michelle Hammock on Tribal Disenrollment: https://www.facebook.com/100001359921241/videos/o.291580114553117/1149110301810956/?type=2&theater
3. This video contains speeches from : Dayna Barrios (Ventureno Chumash) - Anthropologist, Jacqueline Keeler (Dineh/Yankton Dakota) - Journalist, YahNe Ndgo - Jill Stein Surrogate, Green Party, and Michelle Hammock (Hopland) - Stop Tribal Genocide: https://www.facebook.com/Maggieoneill29/videos/vb.53301005/767533520044/?type=2&theater
4. Yulu Ewis (Coast Miwok FIGR) - Stop Tribal Genocide: https://www.facebook.com/Maggieoneill29/videos/vb.53301005/767533520044/?type=2&theater
Published by Kristen Debler