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   As artist living among the Oglala on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, I stumbled across the nightmare, Kaufkaesque world that Native Americans have been thrust into.  After my son, Damon was killed  by a self-styled Rambo, my life was changed forever.  Just seventeen, Damon was lured to have a drink with some older kids.  They got into a political argument over "freedom fighters" in Central America.  Damon said that America had no right to kill Indians for their land and Ollie North was no hero.  That's when the self-styled Rambo stabbed my son to death.  
   This all happened in a small town near Minot, North Dakota, close to where I was born and raised.  I lived close to a reservation, but I never knew any Indians.  I believe I was drawn to live with the Indians in ways I do not have the words to tell you.  After nine years of living in the big city of Denver, one day I moved to the Pine Ridge, and made it my home for the past 15 years.
   Everyone goes to Pine Ridge, to Wounded Knee.  Tourists come from all over the world.  I know; I talked with them.  Everyone is looking for the "real" Indian.  Like my friend, the late, great Tony Black Feather, said when people asked him,  "Where are the real Indians?"  He said,  "You'll find them in the back alleys of Pine Ridge, and staggering in the streets of White Clay."
   This is the story of American apartheid, which has proven every bit as cruel and disgusting as apartheid in South Africa or the rubber slaves of the Congo under King Leopold, or any of the horrific abuses of indigenous people anywhere, but it has been ignored.
   The Indian is largely invisible to Americans because if they became something more than the Hollywood Indian, Americans would be forced to confront their abiding racism towards the red man.  They would be forced to admit that their shoot-from-the-hip solutions to their "Indian problem" has caused untold misery and suffering, and almost eliminated the Indian, along with the buffalo, from the face of the earth.
   I didn't live by or near the Indians; I lived with them.  I took up for them, told their stories, revealed their truths.  For my efforts, I was evicted, arrested, jailed and banned from the reservation.  But I returned, taken into the home of a full blood who considered me his wife.  I formed a civil rights organization for Indian rights, and took up the fight.  These are some of the stories.

How To Recovery From Market Driven Economy

There is no change.  We have more of the same old thing.  The Market still reigns supreme.  The investment banks have paid back their billion dollar loan so they can pay their CEO's millions of dollars as a Christmas bonas.  Oh?  And millions of Americans are now homeless and jobless for Christmas.

What is a person to do?  Rant and rail?  Go beserk?  

In my message on my website, I said I would tell you what to do.  I have been silent too long, because I have been fighting school administrators who feel they don't have to report rape and other abuse of Native American students.  Because I was the only one to oppose this insideous American Apartheid, I was fired and charged with misconduct.  What was my misconduct?  Talking to Indian kids about their Native American history and culture.

Yet it is these very long forgotten Indian ways that are the only thing that will rescue you from this Depression we all find ourselves in.  There is a way to survive.  But it is not the government way, also called the American way.  That is the wrong way.

If money were the answer, the problem would have been solved long ago.  Look at the billions of dollars thrown at the problem.  Why isn't it working?

The government gave billions of dollars to bankers, with no guidelines, no restrictions, on how they are to spend it;  so they spend millions of dollars on themselves, and foreclose on hundreds of thousands of homes.  At the same time, the poor are expected to write a 30 page application for food stamps, in which they must account for everything they own, and every dime in their pocket, in return for $50 to $120 a month for food stamps.  Instead of cutting the amount, government has upped the standard for amount received.  Who can survive on $120 groceries for a month?  And every month, the poor person has to verify his income, assets, possessions, even gifts, for godsakes!  Why doesn't the government regulate the rich bankers the same way they regulate the poor and downtrodden?  Do you know the answer to that?

Sitting Bull warned his warriors and people not to strip the white soldiers after the battle with Custer.  He warned if they took the white man possessions, that the people would lust after white man things, lose their culture, lose their identity, lose their way of life, become weak and helpless.
Sitting Bull knew what was truly valuable.  Do you know what is truly valuable?  Does the government know what is valuable?  Do our schools teach what is of value?

The answer to that question is that you don't know.  If your answer was money, you really don't know.  We must go back to the basics of nature if we are to survive.  What do you need to survive?  There are only 6 things.  Can you name them?

Then consider what a civilization needs to survive.  Again, it is simple, there are only 6 things a civilization needs to survive.  Do you know what those things are?

The government has spent trillions of dollars on war ever since World War II, never ending war.  Why?  Did you know that government has robbed the Social Security fund to pay for its war machinery?  All the dollars you paid into Social Security has gone to blow things up.  Is this insanity?

What is a person to do?  Carry a sign and lie down in traffic?  If the government really wanted to make a change, it would revalue the dollar, and declare the Stock Market an illegal, fraudulent racket.  Now, who has the balls to do that?  I don't see that happening in any near future.  But you can make a change in your own life, if you really want to.

What can you do to survive?  You, like the government, have to get rid of what is artificial in your life.  Then start to truly live.  First of all, you have to answer the question, what do you need to survive?  Can you list those things for me? 

If you wish to respond, go to My Blog.

   The ideal place for colonization was through education.  It still is today.  I have been forbidden to talk about Indian history and culture to Indian students because it "frightens them and makes them feel unsafe in the classroom."  For such an offense, I was terminated before the end of the school year, placed on permanent leave and told I had not been fired, just placed on administrative leave.  When I applied for Unemployment I discovered I had been charged with misconduct, and was not eligible for unemployment.  I also discovered I could not get another teaching job, with a misconduct label attached to my record.   I feel a little like Socrates, accused of corrupting the minds of the youth of Athens, especially by teaching that 4 values are important to live by:  respect, courage, generosity, and wisdom.

    White America is now using the criminal justice system to eliminate Indians.  Stories of Arlo Looking Cloud, Anna Mae Pictou Aquash, the investigation, and more....

 We live in incredibly dangerous times. No one trusts anyone. We are filled with fear, hatred, jealousy, revenge. We, the people, have no leaders we can trust, we have no privacy, we have no reliable news service. We are told to prepare for a vague impending doom, yet we don't know who the enemy is. Not only are we isolated and alienated from each other, we are encouraged to spy on our neighbor to see if he is behaving like a terrorist. 
   Our economy has failed. Our values have collapsed. Our faith has dwindled. Our education has become a distracting side show. People are out of work There is no welfare. Our Social Security is being ransomed so that our government can bomb Arabs, who, we are told, are the enemy. Do I need to tell you this is insanity? No, you know it. In the midst of all this insanity, we must do our part, no matter how small. We must create dangerously.    
   Before we pass into a totalitarian dark age, we must preserve our culture to keep it safe for future generations. Do not go gentle into that evil night. Rage for your freedom. Let it be said you didn't go like a dumb sheep to the slaughter. Let your voice be heard, before they snatch that freedom away, too.  We, who are still living, have a moral and intellectual duty to expose what is false and reveal what is true. This much we owe to all the innocent dead. 
   How do we stop this mad circus and get off the facist merry-go-round? You have to start standing up for your rights, and testify to the wrongdoing of the perpetrator, who is a bully and a coward. The most vulnerable are the Indians, the prisoners of the justice system and the school system, systems that would stamp out the virtues and values that were never surrendered by your ancesters. Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, and many others fought every inch of the way to try keep this land for you, so that you would have a home, so that you would remember them, and more importantly, remember who you are, that you would remember to practice respect, courage, generosity and wisdom. Give thanks every day for your life.  
    And, if ever I have the time, I will start writing the story of my incredible life, little chapters at a time. Peace, remember to make it count, your life, live it every day. Remember, nothing was ever created out of hate, but out of love. And remember, you count and so do your ideas. We must defang this monster together because he isn't going to just go away. That way, we can sleep better at night. 
   Your true friend, 
   Janis Schmidt
   418 Griffin St.
   Warwick, ND  58381

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