(📸 Teko Photo)
I am a descendant of Uttapoingasinem, the last pre-contact Tayac of the Piscataway Nation, by way of Big Beaver Chitomachen Kittamaquund, and his daughter Mary Kittamaquund…
To all my relations… 4 nations..
I pray we find better dayz. Aho
I am also a descendant of the Brent’s, Beavens, and Dorset‘s – some of the Nation’s first Catholic and founding colonial families.
According to historical records, my great great great great great great great great great great grandfather Big Beaver Kittamaquund killed his brother Wannas – who was Tayac of the Piscataway at time of contact. Legend says there was 13 hereditary generations of “Tayac’s” before the white man came.. There was a dispute that grew between Wannas and Kittamaquund as to whether or not to grant the European settlers a pass to stay on Piscataway lands.
History tells us Kittamaquund killed his brother Wannas- committing an act of fratricide, and then assumed the role of Tayac. A portion of the tribe was loyal to Kittamaquund and a portion to Wannas.. when Chitomachen Kittamaquund became sick, the Jesuit priest Andrew White is said to have cured him with a concoction of some sorts, prompting Kittamaquund to convert to Catholicism and change his name from Chitomachen to “Charles”. He was the first Piscataway to be baptized by the Jesuit Priest Father Andrew White.
Stain glass at St Ignatius Catholic Church depicting the Baptism of Kittamaquund
This happened on July 5th, 1640, a 136 years before the constitution of the United States was formed – in what has became the oldest continuously active Parish in the United States – St Ignatius Church in St Mary’s county. It seems as though the Piscataway Nation has been divided in different factions and bands since that time, and has had to fight ever since, for land, recognition, and respect. Right in the heart of what was to become a “New Rome” (Washington, D.C.), situated on a tributary of the Potomac once called Tiber by early Catholics.. between the states of Virginia and Maryland (“Virgin Mary”). There actually is a Jesuit conspiracy theory the White house namesake is Father Andrew White.
In the artist rendition above Chitomachen Kittamaquund kneels at his baptism in front of Father Andrew White. On his left you see my ancestor from the English side, Giles Brent Sr. The young woman on the left, is Chitomachen’s daughter “Mary”, who was at the time 7 years old. After Kittamaquund’s conversion, he sent his daughter to live amongst the Catholics in St Mary’s city, in order to learn the English ways. Kittamaquund hoped his daughter would someday communicate between the two nations.
Something entirely different happened.. Kittamaquund then mysteriously died and in 1644, Giles Brent, in his 30’s, was granted permission to wed the young Mary Kittamaquund who was 11 or 12 at the time. Brent asserted a claim to Piscataway lands, contrary to both tribal custom and Governor Calvert’s own claims... [Carr]. Some of this land would eventually become part of George Washington’s Plantation at “Mt Vernon“, which sits directly across the Potomac from the Piscataway Ancestral burial grounds of Moyaone, Piscataway State Park.
View from Piscataway State Park, Maryland, looking across the Potomac to Mt Vernon, Virginia. In the video below, Sebi Medina-Tayac, of the Piscataway Nation, speaks about the historical and cultural significance of the first Piscataway- Catholics and St Ignatius Church.
I stand with Nathan Phillips and the Indigenous People’s march.
I’m not concerned whether or not Omaha elder Nathan Phillips has an arrest record or that he went AWOL during the Vietnam era- I would have done the same thing. No matter how you interpret his military service (or your perception thereof), Nathan Phillips put his life and liberty on the front lines as an elder and Water Protector at Standing Rock. Nathan Phillips is not an armchair revolutionary- but a decades-long Veteran of the American Indian Movement.
I have watched the longer video that shows Nathan approaching the Covington group, and I have listened to the Hebrew Israelites’ commentary, which is for another conversation. Rather, I am interested with the setting and context of which the events took place on Friday, January 18th, 2019, in Washington D.C.:
“The confrontation unfolded at the feet of President Abraham Lincoln, who ordered the mass hanging of 38 Dakota men days before he signed the Emancipation Proclamation. It took place in a city that sits atop Piscataway land and whose NFL team name is a dictionary-defined racial slur celebrating the scalping of Native people. The students’ tomahawk chops reinforced that sort of all-too-casual pervasive bigotry, a familiar gesture for sports fans of Indian mascots. All of it taking place in the heart of American empire.” – Nick Estes
(📸 Teko Photo)
My orientation is a non partisan by any means necessary advocacy for Indigenous People: survival, rights, sovereignty, cultural preservation, land repatriation, green economics, and Awareness of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
I have not drank the kool-aid of Mainstream media, corporate news, Democratic Party, or any representatives thereof. My view is not a product of the Russians, Hillary Clinton, or any Hollywood “Trump-hatin’ so-called Liberals”. Although I do appreciate Michael Rapaport’s public triggers, such as his response to the Covington video and his ongoing Trump rants – the real message and voice needs to come from indigenous people. Tara Houska, Couchiching First Nation, tribal rights attorney, and a organizer of the indigenous peoples march, makes it clear the Media’s use of this ordeal has not helped the cause:
“this incident is distracting from issues that really matter to native people.”
I will step out on a limb and say that while the Covington Boy’s signature red MAGA hats have become synonymous to many as trademark-code-speak for “white supremacy”, it’s a material reality and theoretical conundrum that a contingent of people, from all shades and nations (many who good people), shut down faster than the government when you call them “racist” or place them into a political box, “just because they voted-Trump” or wear a MAGA hat. Im not going to fall in that trap and for the sake of challenge – avoid that pitfall altogether. I think journalist Rachel Blevins had a point when she tweeted:
“No matter what your take on the incident is, one thing is clear… the MSM showed more concern for indigenous people when it looked like they were being harassed by MAGA-hat wearing kids than it ever did when they were being targeted and harassed by police at Standing Rock.”
(📸 Teko Photo)
The Mind Unleashed writer Matt Agorist is asking valid questions when he says:
“But where was this same media when Native American Jorden Stevens, a member of the Cocopah Indian Tribe in Yuma, Arizona was beaten to death by ten cops—on video—and no one was charged? …. [and] where was the mainstream media when multiple Native American women were being kidnapped in North Dakota and sex trafficked? Where was the media when police were ignoring these horrifying cases that were well documented? They were nowhere to be found, that’s where.“
(📸 Teko Photo)
While I don’t judge the Covington School boy’s actions or presume their motives solely based on their donning of the MAGA hats, I do think Lexington, Kentucky Catholic Bishop John Stowe’s op-ed to the Lexington-Herald captured the sentiment of many when writing:
“it astonishes me that any students participating in a pro-life activity on behalf of their school and their Catholic faith could be wearing apparel sporting the slogans of a president who denigrates the lives of immigrants, refugees and people from countries that he describes with indecent words and haphazardly endangers with life-threatening policies.”
(📸 Teko Photo)
It is understandable why Indigenous People’s would be offended by the incident… as moments like these bring back generations of ancestral pains and memories. Navajo Nation Kolton Nephew expressed what many felt about the apparent lack of respect or appreciation for indigenous culture:
“It made me question if Mr. Nathan Phillips, the Omaha man and Vietnam veteran drumming and singing in the video seemed like a delusional “Indian” to the high school students? ” – Kolton Nephew (Navajo)
When the first video went viral- I actually seen Trump supporters in social media condemning the boys’ actions and attitudes. A relative (who happens to be a Trump supporter), with both Piscataway and Cherokee roots, and this to say:
“I think the stupid kids in the MAGA hats harassing the Native Man in DC owes all Native people’s an apology and President Trump should address this!!!”
Native American Man and Trump Supporter came together at a rally in Covington, Kentucky… guy in MAGA hat says “Donald Trump would love to talk to you. He would love to sit down.”
The question here is a matter of respect and intent. Did the Covington Boys respect, know the words, and understand the cultural significance of the Haka? -or- is it just something they do at sporting events to turn up? Do they know anything about the history of the Maori Death rates and life expectancy due to the effects of colonization , the introduction of diseases post contact, musket warfare, loss of land, or mortality rates of children and girls?
(📸video by Marcus Frejo aka Quese IMC)
In Nathan Phillip’s words, speaking on the moment he realized Sandmann was in front of him blocking his path:
Marcus Frejo aka “Quese IMC” is the one of the second drummers who was drumming right next to Nathan Phillips… This was what he had to say about the moments leading up and during the encounter:
Courtesy of Ncai.org