Greetings, Asiba here
My name is Asiba Tupahache indigenous to what is now called Long Island, New York. My people are called Matinecoc which means 'hilly land' and anyone knowing anything about the northwest part of this area knows how hilly it is on the north shore.
I grew up on Sewanhaki (Long Island) and left for the first time when I went away to attend Howard University in Washington, DC. From there I would live in a variety of places returning to New York at different points.
I was a teacher for a few years after graduating from Howard but would eventually leave teaching in institutions altogether. That's a great big area to get into but suffice it to say, I never stopped being an educator as a calling. Teaching as a job is not the same thing.
One of the turning points in my life was a do-or-die confrontation with the reality that the Matinecoc Nation, my people were not extinct as we were misrepresented. Another turning point was learning what happened to us collectively, not as a hobby - but as blood relatives brought many of us to accept extinction even if the words were never said, the behavior reflected it. That combined with taking power over childhood trauma I endured directed me toward taking a very close look at what I would come to understand as chronic oppression. Thus this website, thus my book.
Actually, Spirit of January itself is not new. It was started in 1985 by the same name focusing on normalized oppression. In that period of time, I had been invited to participate in discussions on the topic through radio, television, print media and personal appearances. One of the things that resulted from this was running for Vice President with Presidential Candidate, Ron Daniels in 1992. I was motivated by what I felt was a need for independent political parties supported by an independent electorate. A national candidacy for President and Vice President on the ballot would also support independent candidates for local political positions get on the ballot throughout the country.
I wrote a book titled Taking Another Look and then recorded it into an audio cassette tape, A Beginning to an End in 1989. In 1990, The Spirit of January was launched as a monthly newsletter. Fast forward some decades later, I had started working on updating Taking Another Look which was self published - and I mean SELF published, having the pages I typed on an electric typewriter printed at a local printing store. Unfortunately, writing a new version of the book proved to be too daunting. What I decided to do instead was to provide the outline free of charge to anyone who requests with the understanding it cannot be resold. My goal is to support individual as well as group efforts to explore oppression as it relates to self, organizations and society. I do hope to one day be available for presentations for live discussions. In the meantime while I finish preparing the outline, SOJ is now launched as a web site featuring four areas:
The sovereign learner - education
Presence - Culture and history
Reflection - Confronting oppression and its toxic process
Coexistence - Rebuilding
The Spirit of January web site is a work in progress. If you have any questions or feedback, please email me at: email@example.com. You are invited to visit periodically for updates. I am a simple operation of one and I do not have the bandwidth to maintain mailing lists (and you likely can do without any extra mailing list emails anyway) but I will respond if you contact me.
Please feel free to share
Matinecoc Nation is alive and well
Our identity is real
It is intelligent
It is ours forever until the last breath is blown
Wampum bead maker handmade by Mekwun Hawk, Nunuwiti of our Longhouse joining our ancestors in 2005.
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