Rest in Power: Dacajeweiah, “Splitting the Sky”

It is with a heavy heart that Onkwehón:we Rising relates to you the news that John Dacajeweiah Hill, aka “Splitting the Sky”, rotiskenhrakete of the Kanien’kehá:ka nation has passed on from this world to be with Our ancestors. Dacajeweiah, which means “Splitting the Sky” in the colonizer’s tongue, like the overwhelming majority of colonial subjects, experienced great hardship and suffering under the boot of the North American settler-colonial capitalist system, especially in his youth. However following his experiences gained in the imperialist iron houses he fought for the freedom of Onkwehón:we for the rest of his adult life. He was a giant who walked among us. Truly his passing is one weightier than Mount Tai.

Dacajeweiah was a member of the original American Indian Movement, a founder of the League of Indigenous Sovereign Nations, a leader of the warriors of the Ts’peten Rebellion, a participant in the liberation of Ganienkeh from settler control and one of the leaders of the Attica Prison Revolt. In more recent years he again was in the news for his attempt to perform a citizen’s arrest of former president of the amerikan empire George W. Bush during a visit by that war criminal to kanada, an act which of course landed Dacajeweiah on the “wrong side” of imperialist law.

This editor has the personal pride of having had the opportunity to meet and speak with Dacajeweiah back in the summer of 2011 in Waterloo, Ontario. He was an incredible warrior who struggled for truth, justice and the liberation of not only all Onkwehón:we, but all colonized and exploited people around the world. His struggles on behalf of Onkwehón:we liberation earned him the nickname “the Che Guevara of North America”.

Rest in Power Comrad, You’ll be Missed.

So live your life that the fear of death 
can never enter your heart.
Trouble no one about their religion;
respect others in their view, and 
demand that they respect yours.
Love your life, perfect your life, 
beautify all things in your life.

Seek to make your life long and 
its purpose in the service of your people.
Prepare a noble death song for the day 
when you go over the great divide.

Always give a word or a sign of salute 
when meeting or passing a friend,
even a stranger, when in a lonely place.
Show respect to all people and grovel to none.

When you arise in the morning 
give thanks for the food and for the joy of living.
If you see no reason for giving thanks, 
the fault lies only in yourself.

Abuse no one and no thing, 
for abuse turns the wise ones to fools
and robs the spirit of its vision.

When it comes your time to die, 
be not like those whose hearts are filled
with the fear of death, 
so that when their time comes they weep
and pray for a little more time 
to live their lives over again in a different way.

Sing your death song and 
die like a hero going home.

– Chief Tecumseh, Shawnee Nation, 1768-1813

10 Comments Add yours

  1. DJBALL says:

    A great man, a real hero. Was lucky to know him. RIP Dac.

  2. Siusaidh says:

    Sad news – passing of an era. But thank you for the poem.

  3. Libya 360° says:

    This is tragic news. Can I ask what happened? He had been threatened and was followed and harassed by the RCMP. Many attempts were made on his life. Regardless of the risk, he never stopped being a voice tor truth and justice. He will be greatly missed.

  4. i am not entirely sure of the circumstances of his passing over. i heard today from a good Okijida Kwe comrade of mine from kanada, who herself is close with his family and she had heard. All OR can report right now is that he passed over to the ancestors two days ago.

  5. Carmen says:

    …and now he can oversee more than the limit of vision in earthly things. I was at EASTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY when his group battled an encroaching golf course threatening to build on NATIVE AMERICAN LANDS in MICHIGAN…. that’s when I 1st heard the name. It was an issue on our campus and at University of Michigan.

  6. Libya 360° says:

    I wonder if you might be able to tell me what happened to the League of Indigenous Sovereign Nations. I listened to Kenarahdiyoh and Dacajeweiah discuss the founding of the LISN with Harold Channer.

    League of Indigenous Sovereign Nations of the Western Hemisphere Draft Declaration of Principles

  7. While it would be impossible for me to give actual answers (as I just do not know) my suspicion is that the LISN is either no longer in existence or completely inactive. This is my suspicion given that beyond meeting Dacajeweiah himself I have never encountered one single person professing membership or allegiance to that organization, or even documents published and circulated by them from any kind of recent period. Is that actual proof? Of course not, but it does lead one to certain conclusions.

    My suspicion is that the LISN simply went quietly into the night, and it wouldn’t be the first post-AIM (American Indian Movement) organization to do that. Of the two organizations that came out of the split in AIM in the early 90s, one of them, the Russell Means-Ward Churchill faction (so-called International Confederation of Autonomous Chapters of AIM) has not operated its central website in years and seems to be no longer active beyond it’s Denver/Colorado chapter, which was always its base area.

    1. Libya 360° says:

      Enaemaehkiw Ó Conchobhair Keshena,

      I appreciate your response although I confess I had hoped it was not so and that they still had an active presence.

      The 2009 interview about the LISN is posted on Dacajeweiah’s website.

  8. Jasaga David Sawyer says:

    I believe that LISN, which I know only through some work with Daca and John Steinbaugh, should be reawakened as a continuity memorial to Daca’s legacy. It should have global chapters by now, and should be politically active to produce a Globally Authentic Indigenous Action (GAIA) Council, whereby a council of indigenous peoples from the world over would convene an annual conference to review threats to the well being of the planet and be available to provide counsel and consultative services to any and all businesses, governments, etc., that endeavor to impact our planetary livability.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s