Article Sacred Ecology

Indigenous Languages As Cures of the Earth

This article is part of the #CuraDaTerra essay series, focused on Indigenous perspectives and alternatives to industrial capitalism.

I’m going to step into the box for a minute rather than indulge the tired cliché of American innovation, “think outside the box”. This box is not one of metaphor or entertainment but one of already understanding that this place has no logic to explore; rather, its logical explanation is an illusion. We are asking questions as if there were answers to everything, and we are somehow entitled to know these answers. Think of this article as an exercise in wondering aloud, exploring the parameters of the political-media-corporate complex that attempts to define “modern reality”, as if such a thing can exist.

What if the nameless copper-tanned toupee’d man living in a house built by African slaves was to be the last president of the so-called United States of America? What if we have reached some kind of expiration date, as the Earth recalls and repossesses an unpaid debt, re-framing the initially callous idea that all life matters? Would we approach our politics or our identity as Americans differently? When we truly face the end of our current illusionary period, will we start entering into a deeper dialogue with the living planet that holds the wisdom we seek.

Some believe the orange man has been “sent by god” in a troubled time –– a savior of democracy ready to do what’s necessary. What the deluded New Age and their uncomfortable bedfellows in the Alt-Right don’t fully explicate is what is it that they believe is necessary? Rolling back environmental protections? Scapegoating immigrants and people of color for the failures of the alleged “free-market”? Concentrating wealth even further into the hands of a tiny, plutocratic elite? Assassinating black men in the streets without trial or due process? Savaging Indigenous lands for more oil and fracking extraction to feed a dying system? Make America Gag Again is a more apt statement of purpose than the official slogan of state fascism.

Perhaps this is the moment in our collective history where we move beyond jingoistic platitudes to expose the apologetic predators, and the predatory aggressiveness embalmed in Eurocentric, Western belief systems. Behind the apologies, excuses, finger-pointing and other victim-perpetrator behavior lays the desires of certain psychopathic power-elites waiting to resurrect themselves with the blood of peoples and of sacred lands such as Turtle Island (now called the USA) and Amazonia (which includes Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana). We know that the ‘isms’ of modern parlance are systems designed to mentally, physically, psychologically, religiously, scientifically, and politically weaken and break our intuitive spirits into a simple reactive biometric database thought process; a reaction of cause and effect that can be understood by the manipulators to further their purpose. From these formulas of non-thinking and belief come the related next steps of consumption, employment, entertainment and other forms of distraction that help adjust and acquiesce us to conform to the material comforts of an addictive, cannibalistic culture. These contours and conditionings help make us “normal” right-angled order takers.

Enter Jair Messias Bolsonaro, a physical and spiritual desert who holds many parallels to the copper-toned totalitarian of the north and has an equally lustful desire to wreak havoc and terror on the lands of the Original Nations of the Western Hemisphere. He too is the “best product” of his culture and the broader globalized culture of capitalist modernity. The selected president of Brazil and author of destruction, through his authority of dogma, has unleashed the brave hidden agenda of Nazi refugees in Latin America dating back to the mid 1940s. So those who see and call out conspiracies are the targets and inheritors of ad nauseam genocide and ecocide. There’s nothing to hide anymore. Sadistic satire in broad daylight is popular among populists.

While the masses are being fed the latest election results, the newest climate change denialism, the “trust science” data of epidemiology and a shake-up in racial tensions, the noble officers of the matrix vaccine (no proselytizing needed), will eventually mandate their “solution” for all good citizens.

We all rush in like fools to find more solutions, better remedies, fix-its from the profit makers, and fuzzy warm language to comfort the addicted aspects of ourselves. We make films, Facebook pages, petitions, we ask politicians to do our bidding, we cast votes virtually because we have to save our country, save the world, save the Earth, save the whales, save anything, but our own sanity.

What is the role of Indigenous peoples in all this saving, all this complexity, all this running away from the very forces that led us into this treacherous moment in the first place? Could it be that the current moment of late-stage capitalism and the collapse of “progress” are related to historical actions?

You kill Indians to save the man, you kill the man to save the citizen, you kill the citizen to save the slave, you kill the slave to save the master, you kill the master to save … the Indians?

The word “Indians” is a moniker embedded in the European languages detailing the very denial languages used by those in agnosia or acutely colonized. The history of ‘Indians’ began when Columbus arrived and refused to call us Human Beings and the history of the Western Hemisphere is a continuum written into every constitution influenced by the Papal Bulls of 1493. The use of the name Indians disassociates Original Nations from Being aspects and the Being aspect is in relationship with Earth, with Amazonia, and with the web of Life and Interbeingness.

The Amazon is a sacred place. Human Beings do not make sacred places, they acknowledge them, recognize them, and sustain them without developing them. We honor them with languages taught to us by the Earth herself. The Original Nations of the Western Hemisphere understand sacred places where Earth has directed their sensitivities to pure energy being in place. These multi-dimensional quantum physics of Earth languages of the Original Peoples are also a part of the sacred places. They are part of the Cura Da Terra, “Cure of the Earth”, to borrow a phrase from the First Peoples of the Amazon.

As Vine Deloria, Jr. stated in his seminal book, God is Red, “Unless the sacred places are discovered and protected and used as religious places, there is no possibility of a nation ever coming to grips with the land itself. Without this basic relationship, national psychic stability is impossible.”

Earth languages are not lies or manipulation to serve political, religious, economic or scientific rationalizations. They are not invoked, entrusted or gifted to be placed within linear boxes of data. They are spoken every moment as cures, where all praise goes to the Earth. Tokahe Makxa Ina (think of Earth nurturing first). Conscious languages do not require a logic of believing but rather, a trans-logic of knowing that the Earth does not lie and only speaks the truth with conscious respect for all Beings. It is up to us to learn how to listen as the Earth who listens to us has taught the Indigenous peoples.

About Tiokasin Ghosthorse

Tiokasin Ghosthorse is a member of the Cheyenne River Lakota Nation of South Dakota. Tiokasin has a long history of Indigenous activism and advocacy. He is a guest faculty member at Yale University’s School of Divinity, Ecology and Forestry focusing on the cosmology, diversity and international perspectives of reality. Tiokasin is the founder, host and executive producer of the twenty-eight-year-old “First Voices Radio” (formerly “First Voices Indigenous Radio”), a one-hour live program now syndicated to 100+ radio stations in the US and Canada.

Read more