Monday, August 18, 2008




Generosity among our people is revered. Greed strangles the soul.

These seeds of destruction come as a set. You let one in your heart and the others are right behind. It’s hard to separate them.

Greed is many things. It is wanting what someone else has. It is wanting more than anyone else. It is stinginess.

We see greed in our elected officials. They are tempted by money. It is not only Native politicians but our senators and representatives.

A presidential candidate started out working for adequate health care for all citizens and ended up working to make money for insurance companies. That person threatened to take insurance money out of the poors paycheck to pay for health insurance. That threat was made because the poor said they couldn’t afford it.

We see Tribal employees and Tribal councils using programs and money to buy votes. Only certain Tribal members will get services and goodies. In our greed we may accept favoritism at the expense of Tribal members who really need help.

Our becoming lost on the wrong path happened when our thinking changed from we to me. We stopped thinking of ourselves as part of a greater whole. We bettered our position as the expense of someone else.

The Creator doesn’t ask us to be better than anyone else. He asks us to do the best we can.

In our prophecies we knew that somewhere on Mother Earth there was a white race. We were told that if they ever became lost they would be sent to us. We were supposed to help them get back on the right path.

The right path is praying, talking with and listening to the Creator. The right path is maintaining balance in our lives and therefore in the world.

We were also told what could possibly happen when and if those lost ones showed up. It was impossible to our Ancestors to understand the possibility of genocide. They took precautions just in case.

Young boys and girls were selected from each Tribe. They were sent to other Tribes for fostering. This was to keep Tribes from becoming extinct. If all the people died then the children would be returned to repopulate the Tribe.

The white man was crazier than our Ancestors could imagine. The greed that drove the white race from their own lands to conquer the world was impossible to comprehend.

The white race did not see the sacredness of our land or our people. They saw our land in terms of personal wealth though it belonged to another. They saw us as being in the way of that wealth.

Our Ancestors would not put children in danger. Those destined to save their Tribes were absorbed into their foster families. We think that some Tribes are extinct. We may carry in our blood the seeds to save that Tribe.

Our cedar trees which covered us from birth to death were stripped from Mother Earth. Lumber mills powered the economy of the Pacific Northwest for generations.
We had recognized the life and intelligence within the cedar tree. We asked permission before we took it’s life. We recognized the sovereignty of the cedar.

We prayed and blessed it. The cedar was then cut to make homes or a canoe. We did the same when we took it’s cedar bark for our clothing or ceremonial use.

We prayed and purified ourselves before hunting or fishing. We readied ourselves in honor of the one that would give up it's life to feed us. We told the hunted one why we needed help, we needed to feed our families, or perform a ceremony or to feed guests at a feast.

We didn’t take more than we needed.

That kind of honor isn’t always seen today. We have people who have adopted the white ambition. We see money not life.

Money is paper, it burns then it is gone. Life is eternal.

Greed has separated us into individuals. We no longer see ourselves as part of a greater whole.

Chiefs were trained to think of the whole Tribe. They did what was best for everyone. We lived as one.

We can see that the other seeds of destruction contribute to greed. Lust for power can make us step all over our people and abandon them. Jealousy of another can cause us to take from them in many ways.

Greed is different from healthy ambition. It rots the desire to do good. It is selfish.

When we banish greed from our soul we will work for the good of all.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thank You for your insight in this matter. are you a member of Lower Elwha Klallam,Jamestown or Port Gamble tribes?