by Thomas Ivan Dahlheimer
Steven Newcomb (Shawnee, Lenape) is an Indian Country Today Media Network (ICTMN) columnist and he is an international renowned activist. He is at the forefront of the international Indigenous decolonization movement and he works closely with the United Nations. We occasionally correspond and he has helped me with some of my activist initiatives. An article of his was recently published in ICTMN, the world’s largest Indian news source. Three comments are posted on the article. The comments are mine.
The ICTMN article that I am referring to is titled Domination and the Northern Gateway Pipeline.
In the article Newcomb analyzes and makes statements about an article that he recently read.
He wrote: The subject matter of Ms. Tremonti’s article demonstrates the DOMINATION and SUBORDINATION patterning which best defines what it means to be defined as “indigenous.” Domination is accurately defined as “one nation or people exercising arbitrary control over another nation or people, and thereby making them subject to the will of those dominating them.”
Those being termed “First Nations” in Ms. Tremonti’s story are not the ones with the final decision-making with regard to their own lands and territories. Why? Because the final decision-making is characterized as being “up to” those who are termed “federal” decision makers in “Ottawa.”
“Ottawa,” is the name for the Canadian Capital—it is a name used for the Canadian system of government as a whole, which is considered to be the “ultimate” decision maker. The DOMINATION SYSTEM deems “First Nations” to be “subordinate to,” the decisions of those government officials in Ottawa, who are seated in the “dominating” position of power.
The First Nations are deeply concerned that the Northern Gateway pipeline will result in the poisoning and contamination of the waters and lives of the Original Nations of Great Turtle Island. But if the decision makers seated in Ottawa do not concur with the First Nations’ assessment, the DOMINATION SYSTEM deems the federal decision makers to possess the perfect right to ignore the Original Nations’ concerns by favoring corporate interests and the pipeline.
The system I am referring is designed so that the decisions and economic interests of those with the “superior decision making authority” always come out “on top.” That’s why they are called “dominant.” They consider themselves to be “the top dogs,” so to speak.
Answering the question about where the DOMINATION SYSTEM and its “rules” came from requires that we think back to the time when Christian Europeans first sailed across the Atlantic Ocean. They brought with them assumptions about their divine right to colonize (and dominate) any and all non-Christian lands and nations throughout “the Americas.” And we were all non-Christians back then.
If and when such a decision has been made, I can just hear some imperious ass saying: “Those are the rules. You might not like them, but there they are.” So, as an experiment, let’s say those are “the rules.” That being the case, a question arises: “How in the hell did those rules and their DOMINATION-SUBORDINATION assumptions get started to begin with?”
ICTMN posted three comments to Newcomb’s article. The comments are my comments, they are presented below.
Biblical scriptures describe the ancient Hebrew God, a God who would become the God of Christians, as a God of war, thievery, ethnic cleansing and slavery. The Bible says that “God” commanded his “chosen people” to invade and occupy the land of the First Nations of Palestine, and to also dominate/subjugate them. What the European Christians did to the First Nations of the Americas is similar to what the Hebrews did to the First Nations of Palestine. "This is how you will know that the living God is among you and that he will certainly drive out before you the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites and Jebusites." (Joshua 3:10) …While Joshua defeated many of the kings of these peoples, they were not entirely destroyed, as this reference from Solomon's time, three hundred years later, indicates: "All the people left from the Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, that is, their descendants remaining in the land, whom the Israelites had not destroyed -- these Solomon conscripted for his slave labor force, as it is to this day." (2 Chronicles 8:7-8)
The worldview that sanctioned people of a biblical-based religious persuasion [Christianity] to take the land, property, and very lives of other human beings because "it's God's will, and is therefore destined to occur" partially originated when "God told Abraham" that Palestine was to belong to him and his people and that they were to invade Palestine and use military force to take procession of the land that belonged to the area’s First Nations.
In the 1400s this ancient Hebrew biblical-based sanctioned, ethnic cleansing, belief was modified, and expanded to a worldview by the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church. It became known as the Doctrine of Christian Discovery worldview and it was used to establish the colonizing, international laws of Western Christendom, which were then used to dispossess First Nations’ lands around the world, and also subjugate them. During the American colonizing of the "Wild West" the biblical-based ethnic cleansing belief was called "Manifest Destiny", which can be understood as an American application of the Doctrine of Christian Discovery.
This Christian doctrine provides the legal foundation for the most important US Supreme Court decision ever decided affecting the Indian tribes of this land, Johnson v M'Intosh. This legal decision says America’s First Nations people have no legal title to the land they lived upon for hundreds or sometimes thousands of years, only a mere right of occupancy, and that the tribes were no longer independent indigenous sovereign nations, or that their sovereign nation rights had been diminished.
To understand the ancient-Hebrew religious-influential connection to the origin of the Doctrine of Christian Discovery is an essential understanding if an informed person wants to act to contribute to the effort of dismantling this Christian Doctrine's heinous effects in the world. [by Thomas Ivan Dahlheimer]
President George W. Bush told an audience of his: "When William Bradford stepped off the Mayflower in 1620, he quoted the words of [the Hebrew prophet] Jeremiah 51:10: 'Come let us declare in Zion the word of God.'" Bush also said: "The founders of my country saw a new promised land and bestowed upon their towns names like Bethlehem and New Canaan." …In a best-selling book about the history of the American West, Theodore Roosevelt wrote: "Many of the best of the backwoodsmen were Bible-readers. They looked at their foes as the Hebrew prophets looked at the enemies of Israel. What were the abominations because of which the Canaanites were destroyed before Joshua, when compared with the abominations of the red savages whose lands they, another chosen people, should in their turn inherit?" …Americans found the idea that they were God's new Israel so attractive because it helped justify their partial destruction and total subjugation of this land’s indigenous peoples.