Published in Issue 509 of The Black Commentator on March 21, 2013
Republished in on March 21, 2013

By Larry Pinkney

“Today is a good day to die. Follow me!”
–Crazy Horse, at the battle of Little Big Horn

“To die for the…racists…is lighter than a feather. But to die for the people…is heavier than any mountain and deeper than any sea.”
–Huey P. Newton

Words seem so inadequate when our freedom fighters transition and pass on from this mortal existence.

My Sisters and Brothers, yet another freedom fighter and people’s warrior has passed on. We must bid our farewell to the renowned, committed, outspoken, and courageous Mohawk nation’s Dacajeweiah, Splitting-the-Sky; who passed on from us a few short days ago in British Columbia, Canada. Dacajeweiah, was also fondly and respectfully known to many by the name, Splitting-the-Sky.

I can give no better or more fitting and appropriate tribute to Splitting-the-Sky than did the Mohawk Nation News which wrote about him, in relevant part,

On March 13th, Dacajeweiah, Splitting-the-Sky, 61, left us forever when he passed away in his home in Adams Lake, British Columbia. Dac’s colonial name was John Boncore Hill, from Six Nations. “From Attica to Gustafsen Lake,” and thereafter, he was a warrior, a comrade, a brother, a father, a grandfather, a friend. – We deeply mourn his loss.

(Reference the March 13, 2013, Mohawk Nation News article entitled, SPLITTING-THE-SKY: Mohawk Warrior and Champion of the People Dies

Splitting-the-Sky was, nationally and internationally, a critically thinking person in both word and deed. He pulled no punches as to exposing the thievery, genocide, brainwashing, and ongoing pillage & disenfranchisement by the U.S. and Canadian governments against Indigenous Native peoples. He made it crystal clear that every major treaty (at least 371 such treaties) that had been made with Indigenous Native peoples has been broken and ignored – as if they never existed. Moreover, Splitting-the-Sky was also a former political prisoner (and a de facto prisoner of war) who, upon his release from prison, never ceased sounding the alarm in this urgent and continuing struggle, to politically educate all people irrespective of color or ethnicity. He minced no words in describing the multinational “corporations” for what they are – bloodsuckers of humanity. He constantly warned everyday people of the very real and active conspiracies on the part of their own respective governments against them. He was truly, in the words of the Mohawk Nation News, “a Champion of the people.”

In the uncompromising tradition of Crazy Horse, Geronimo, Harriet Tubman, Rosa Luxemburg, Joe Hill, Malcolm X, Fred Hampton, and so very many others, Splitting-the-Sky stood tall and unrelenting. For this, ALL people of goodwill and consciousness honor him and remain determined to carry on and intensify in the everyday people’s struggle for political, economic, and social justice.

Perhaps, the selected words from his February 5, 2013 note to me were, in a sense somewhat prophetic, when he wrote, “I’m short on time but would like to engage this issue.” Splitting-the-Sky, as it turned out, was indeed “short on time,” but he was always ready and willing to “engage” in the people’s struggle. And that’s the point – he never shirked his responsibility and demonstrated an enduring love for the everyday people. We, whom he has left behind, can do no less.

It is with good reason that Splitting-the-Sky was thought of by many of us as the ‘Che Guevara of the America’s,’ for he was a relentless everyday people’s warrior in every sense of the word; and it is his example that must and will be emulated. Now, he has departed and is a part of our memories and the peoples collective history. We must keep him and his example as an important part of the everyday people’s narrativenot the corporate-stream narrative of deception, greed, and perpetual wars of conquest and exploitation.

Be at peace now, my dear Brother Dacajeweiah-Splitting-the-Sky, for you have been a good and faithful steward and servant of the everyday people of Mother Earth. Take your rightful place among the ancestors, and know that we, whom you have left behind, honor and cherish you now and forever!

We will remember: Each one, reach one. Each one, teach one. Onward, then, my sisters and brothers, for there is much work that remains to be done!

Larry Pinkney is a veteran of the Black Panther Party, the former Minister of Interior of the Republic of New Africa, a former political prisoner and the only American to have successfully self-authored his civil/political rights case to the United Nations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In connection with his political organizing activities, Pinkney was interviewed in 1988 on the nationally televised PBS News Hour, formerly known as The MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour, and more recently on the nationally syndicated Alex Jones Show. Pinkney is a former university instructor of political science and international relations, and his writings have been published in various places, including The Boston Globe, San Francisco BayView newspaper, Black Commentator, Intrepid Report, Global Research (Canada), LINKE ZEITUNG (Germany), 107 Cowgate (Ireland and Scotland), and Mayihlome News (Azania/South Africa). He is in the archives of Dr. Huey P. Newton (Stanford University, CA), cofounder of the Black Panther Party. For more about Larry Pinkney see the book, Saying No to Power: Autobiography of a 20th Century Activist and Thinker, by William Mandel [Introduction by Howard Zinn]. (Click here to read excerpts from the book.)


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