There was a time in my life when I was ashamed of being refered to as "Indian" or "Native American". I attribute
this to the many years of mis-information from public schools,books,T.V.,and movies,but mainly due to my own ignorance and
not knowing my family history.
That was then.
It took a group of about 12-15 Native Americans to get me thinking. I had played an outreach concert at Chukawalla
State Penitentiary in Southern California during the winter of 1989 when it happened. After our set, a group of inmates walked
up to the band and began to thank us for the music.At this point,several of the inmates broke from the main group and approached
"Hey brother!What tribe are ya?"
"I'm not Indian."
"You're a skin aren't cha?"
"What nation,brother? You Apache,Navaho?"
"Na man! I'm Mexican..."
"Same thing brother!What tribe?"
"I'm not a skin,dude..."
"You are,you just don't know it!There's nothing to be ashamed of.Be proud.."
"Well, my grandfather is Yaqui,so I guess I am Yaqui too."
"See? That wasn't so hard!Don't be ashamed."
I haven't been ashamed since and I am forever grateful to those inmates,the imprisoned,for helping me escape my own prison
I am proud to say that I am Yaqui/Tarahumara/Mexican.The people of Mexico are commonly refered to as "Mexican"
(I was born in Ciudad Obregon,Sonora,Mexico).The true "mexicans" however are the people which are known as the Aztec or Aztecatl
(a person from Aztlan,the "place of the herons" or "place of pure white"). The Aztecs never referred to themselves as such,but
called themselves "mexicanos" (Pronounced "Meh-she-kah-noh".This is where the word "Chicano" comes from) after the valley
of Mexica were present day Mexico City is located. The Mexicas founded Mexico City several hundred years before the invasion
of Hernando Cortez and the Spanish into Central Mexico (The thrilling and insightful book "The Conquest of New Spain" by Bernal
Diaz Del Castillo,is a first hand account by a conquistador that was actually there,serving under Cortez,at the landing in
Mexico in 1520,the "discovery" of Tenochtitlan,and the eventual "fall" of the Aztec Empire).
The Yaqui refer to themselves as "Yoreme/Yoeme" which simply means "man" or "people". It was the Spanish who began
to call them Yaqui.The word may have come from the Yoeme word "Hiaki".Yaqui is also the name of the river where the Yaqui
people settled in Sonora,Mexico.The Sonoran Desert occupies land in Arizona,New Mexico,and the states of Sonora and Chihuahua,Mexico.The
language of the Yaqui is based upon the Uto-Aztecan,or Nahuatl,dialect,which is also in the same group of languages spoken
by the Pima,Hopi,Shoshone,Kiowas and other tribes.Please visit the Official Site of the Pasqua Yaqui Tribe and the Yaqui Wiki
pages listed below to learn more about the wonderful history,customs,and traditions.
I am Yoeme.I am Mexica.Tehuatzin
ti Mexicatl! I am not Hispanic,not Latin.To be Mexican is to be indigenous.Mexicans are from the American continent,Turtle
Island.Our blood,art,music,food,and life is indigenous to this continent.Please,note that there is a difference between Latinos,Hispanics,and
Mexicans.We may share a language,but our customs and history are vastly different.
Thank you for visiting the "Mexicatl" page and may the God of the Resurrected and Father of All Life bless you!!!
Mestizaje - The Big Lie
The following article was originally posted to the Azteca.net site.
What we have been taught...
Most people of Mexican descent have been taught from a young age that Mexico and its people are a product of Spanish
and Indigenous heritage. Chicanas point to la Malinche as the Mother of Modern Mexicans, but is that really the truth? Are
Mexicans and Chicanos the descendents of a country that is really mixed. This page is to dispel this myth of Mexicans being
a Mestizo people.
Mexico's people are not mestizo.
It is an indigenous nation. The great majority of its people are of indigenous descent. possibly in the 80% range. However,
Mexico is also a country with people of European, African, and Asian descent. At least 2% percent of Mexico's population is
of African descent. Mexico is home to many Chinese and Japanese people. Also Mexico received some immigration from Spain and
other European countries. However, Mexico and its people are predominately Indigenous and not Mestizo.
What is a Mestizo in Mexico?
I have spent a lifetime researching the racial breakdown of Mexicans. It has been difficult because Mexico does not determine
a mestizo person by his racial makeup. In Mexico, a person is only Indigenous if he lives in an Native Community. The moment
an Indigenous person leaves their community they are considered Mestizo. Mestizo in Mexico is not your racial makeup but instead
it is your culture. If you do not speak a native language and live in an Indigenous community you are not considered Indigenous.
This may seem strange to most people and it also seemed strange to me. Mexico takes great pains in avoiding the truth. I went
to many seminars regarding the Mexican Identity and I put the question to the experts. I asked them point blank, "We
know many Indigenous people died when the spanish came due to war, maltreatment, and disease. We know there were only so many
Indigenous people left after a time and at certain times during Mexico's history, but how many Spanish people came to Mexico?"
Never did I ever receive an answer to this question. It does not seem like such a hard question. I was trying to determine
the number of non Indigenous people that came to Mexico and any given time to get an idea of the Mestizo mix. The experts
never had that number. Seems kind of strange, but I finally figured it out. They did not want to tell me that Mexico never
had a great number of immigrants from Europe because the Mestizo Mexico was just a lie. So if Mestizaje was a lie then the
next thing I had to figure out was why did they lie? What reason would Mexico have to fabricate its identity?
Mestizaje - A Political Strategy?
In the early part of the 20th century, Mexico's most prominent archaeologist, sociologist & advisor to presidents,
Manuel Gamio, put forth his doctrine of the mestizaje as a way to unite the country & create a population that was inclusive
following the Revolución.
It was a carefully constructed world view that had been on the periphery of Mexican consciousness for centuries, i.e.,
White Spanish males and brown Indian females producing a mixed race. Gamio oversaw that this world view was institutionalized
through the mass education (however insubstantial) & definition of national character of the Mexico.
His game plan was to see that Spanish language & culture & religion & governmental nuance (as filtered through
Mexico) would unite the country &, therefore, dissipate the power of the indigenous people who, in sheer numbers, vastly
out numbered the white population of the country. The reward for the Indians was that they could now be White Europeans or
at least part White Europeans. In Mexico, everyone knows who the least powerful are no matter how the Aztecs are glorified
in the popular culture. Gamio's plan was a way of institutionalizing the Revolución without actual handing over power to the
vast majority of the people.
What is really interesting is the genetic studies that have been done on populations in Mexico with the result that,
overall, at a conservative guess, 80% or more of the population is Native American. When these studies are done in the American
Southwest, Texas & California (albeit smaller samples), the gene pool is, again conservatively, still in the range of
65 - 75% Native American gene pool. Given these numbers, it is obvious that Gamio's political concept of the mestizaje was
Some of the following links are provided to help educate people about Native culture,while some,I
hope, will help shed light on urgent issues for both Native and non-Native alike.Some of these links will present the alter-Native
history that should have been thaught in our schools.Some will thrill you,some will open your eyes,some will enrage you,some
will fill you with joy,all will leave an impression.
"To guide, coordinate, support, promote, monitor and evaluate programs, projects, strategies and actions to achieve the
public integrated and sustainable development and the full exercise of the rights of indigenous peoples and communities in
accordance with article 2 of the Constitution of the United Mexican States.
Purchase "The Conquest of New Spain" by Bernal Diaz Del Castillo.Click the image.
American Indian Movement:Things will never be same again and that is what the American Indian Movement is about...
Native American Political Prisoner...here in the United States
“Mr. Peltier’s unjust incarceration remains a festering sore that impedes better race relations in America. Surely
the time has come to promote healing and a spirit of trust and genuine goodwill toward the Indian peoples of America with
an act that serves both compassion and justice.”
–The Late Coretta Scott King
Join with these and other Peltier supporters to secure the freedom of an innocent man.
*Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians
*American Indian Law Alliance
*Assembly of First Nations
*Chairman Fred Hampton Jr.
*The Late Mother Teresa
*Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell
*Geronimo Ji Pratt
*Tenzin Gyatso (the 14th Dalai Lama)
*Sen. Daniel Inouye
*The Late Coretta Scott King
*Martin Luther King III
*National Congress of American Indians
*The Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center
*U.S. Commission on Civil Rights
*The Italian Parliament
*Former U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights,
Click here to view petition signatures.
*Esthics of Resistance
*Zach De La Rocha
*AMERICAN FRIENDS SERVICE COMMITTEE
*DAKOTA YOUTH PROJECT
*FOR MOTHER EARTH
*INDIAN JUSTICE COUNCIL
*AMERICAN INDIAN MOVEMENT
*INDIGENOUS PEOPLES RENAISSANCE ORGANIZATION
*Dr. Michael Koch for LPSG RheinMain
*KOLA Great Britain
*KWIA / LPSG België
*LEW GURWITZ STICHTING
*MASHPEE COALITION for NATIVE ACTION
*140 worldwide Leonard Peltier Support Groups
*NATIVE NATIONS NETWORK >
*POLSKA GRUPA POPARCIA LEONARDA PELTIERA
Directed by Peter Christopherson. The video combines live performance footage with scenes from documentary Incident At Oglala:
The Leonard Peltier Story and text from Peter Matthiessen's In The Spirit Of Crazy Horse.
I don't agree with everything at Raise the Fist,but there are some compelling issues addressed there that people should
The First Nations Composer Initiative is dedicated to the encouragement and propagation of American Indian,* First Nations,
Alaska Natives, Indigenous music and musical traditions in all of its forms, and in the appreciation, understanding, and facilitation
of all Indigenous music for future generations of Indigenous Peoples and for the enjoyment of audiences everywhere and in
"...silent genocide is the destruction of a people by destroying pride and knowledge in their cultural heritage..."
Warning! This site contains graphic and disturbing images and language!If you can handle it,I highly recommend this reading.An
excellent study in America's own "Red Holocaust".The American History they should have thaught in school...
"My goal is to facilitate communication among Native peoples and between Indians and non-Indians by providing access
to home pages of Native American Nations and organizations, and to other sites that provide solid information about American