- federal Indian law
- May 22, 2020
Steven T. Newcomb, (Shawneee/Lenape) overlooking Kumeyaay Nation territory
Original Nations Anthem
by Steven T. Newcomb & WB Pila Laronal
This “Original Free Nations Anthem”
is dedicated to Standing Rock and their supporters,
as well as our ancestors and “All Our Relations.”
Our video “Original Free Nations” (two minutes and forty-five seconds) is a tribute to Standing Rock and the Oceti Ṡakowin (Seven Council Fires of the Great Sioux Nation). It is intended as poignant opposition to the domination and dehumanization that’s been happening for more than five hundred years as a result of the doctrine of Christian discovery, and as opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline. (read more)
Welcome to OriginalFreeNations.com. This is where you’ll find cutting edge thinking designed to assist you on a path of liberation. Decolonization begins in the mind. The content found on this website is based on my more than three decades of research and writing. During that time I’ve been gathering information and developing ideas and arguments designed to respond in the strongest possible manner to the dominating society to advocate on behalf of our Original Free Nations.
Our starting point is the original free and independent existence of our ancestors and our nations traced back to the beginning of time through our oral histories and traditions. We think through the issues that our nations are facing by reflecting on a time before Christian colonizers sailed to our part of the planet from Western Europe, which was then known as Christendom.
Our nations have been under assault for centuries, subjected to wave after wave of genocidal intentions and behaviors. We are currently living with the trauma of that legacy. However, we cannot stay fixated on the trauma. We need to heal by orienting ourselves toward the initial state of health experienced by our Original Nations. We need to realize that the span of our original free and independent existence is much longer than the span of time from 1492 until today. My friend and mentor Birgil Kills Straight (Oglala Lakota Nation) has explained the point in this manner: “When we calculate the amount of time we have been here in terms of the number of seconds in a twenty-four hour period, Columbus first made landfall on the Taino Island of Guanahani at three seconds before midnight.”
An Aboriginal leader in Australia has another way of explaining this point. When that leader hires non-Aboriginal consultant he calls that person over to his desk where he is holding a very long tape measure. “Here, grab hold of the end of this tape,” he’ll say. “Now walk over there.” Once the person has walked about 10 feet he’ll say, “Okay, that’s far enough.” Then he’ll continue: “You see that length of tape?” “Yes,” comes the response.” “That’s how long our people have been here.” “Now you see that three inches in front of you?” “Yes,” comes the response. “That’s how long your people have been here, never forget that.” That insistence that our nations be honored and respected is an important part of what it means to decolonize our minds, and a significant part of what OriginalFreeNations.com is all about.
Book & Film
Steven Newcomb is a Shawnee-Lenape scholar and author. He has been studying and writing about U.S. federal Indian law and policy since the early 1980s, particularly the application of international law to Indigenous nations and peoples. Mr. Newcomb is the Director of the Indigenous Law Institute, which he co-founded with Birgil Kills Straight, a Traditional Headman and Elder of the Oglala Lakota Nation. Together they have carried on a global campaign challenging imperial Vatican documents from the fifteenth century. Those documents resulted in the decimation of Original Nations and Peoples of Mother Earth and thereby deprived the planet of life-ways, sustainable ecosystems, and Sacred Teachings. In May 2016, Mr. Newcomb recently met Pope Francis at St. Peter’s Square…(Read More)