Indigenous Masculinity and Warriorism

by December 29, 2012

The warrior spirit is a vastly misunderstood and misconstrued calling. As the voice of the protector, its authenticity is distorted by militarists and pacifists alike. Those who heed the call in today's world of warped values and political illiteracy must be prepared to deal with both ignorance and ingratitude.

In the absence of functional protector societies, warriors -- whether protecting cultures, environments or economies -- must often find camaraderie, nurture and sustenance in virtual worlds of global communications networks. While it is less than ideal, the breakdown of modern states and the reemergence of Indigenous nations place demands on authentic warriors that is unique in the history of humankind: where tribal societies once supported and integrated warriors into the fabric of extended kinship communities, the dysfunction of modern capitalist civilizations has left humankind unprepared to deal with anything of substance in meeting our means of survival.

As authentic leadership reemerges among Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, the role of the warrior in protecting them is perhaps the most essential calling of all time. Understanding that calling is the subject of a February 2011 interview with Taiaiake Alfred, professor of Indigenous Governance at the University of Victoria, British Columbia.

  • Micheal McEvoy
    December 30, 2012 at 7:50 am

    As a pacifist, I fully understand the calling of the warrior. And I agree that that calling has been warped by "modern" society through Hollywood fantasies and mass-media, to the benefit of a corporate government monoculture. Warriors do not require violence or coercion, the Cheyenne Peace Chief Black Kettle comes readily to mind.


  • December 30, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    Thanks, Michael. One of the challenges peaceful warriors face is from those who believe everything can be resolved through negotiation without confrontation, which is patently nonsensical. If one is unwilling to confront evil, then one might as well surrender and get out of the way.

    Negotiating with someone who is out to destroy you or your people or deny your right to exist as fully human beings signals weakness, not strength. What we need is leaders willing to be strong in the face of adversity.

    Interestingly, when I was facing down militias in the US twenty years ago, it was Quakers and Catholic Workers who stood by me--a lesson in civic courage I will long remember.


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