Voices of The First Nations Peoples

Gratitude is strong my heart that this website comes into being. The period of intense research, finding Native women and men willing to offer their time reading my manuscript and provide me with sincere feedback--sharing with me their unique perspectives; as well as my good fortune in having the time and the resources to create this work. I also feel deeply fortunate for Laurel as my web designer--and her willingness to satisfy my heart’s desire as best she could in the technical building of this site. May I provide you with a sense of who I am and how how my passion for creating the website came into being.

My sense of curiosity about the world around me has existed since my early beginnings. I grew up in the Northeast portion of the United States in the early 1950's. By age 12, I inquired of my grandmothers about their origins. My parents are first-generation American born. My grandparents immigrated to this country in the early 1900’s; leaving their birth places--and not under the happiest conditions--due to persecution for their cultural and religious beliefs. Each one of my grandparents changed their last name when arriving to this country at a young age in the hopes of avoiding the familiar prejudice from which they were seeking escape and gaining sense of anonymity--a painful decision to leave family members behind.

As a young child I fell in love with fairy tales and later I learned about the solar system and exploring connection with mythology and the meaning behind the days of the week by 6th grade. My world-view incorporates Eastern wisdom and family constellations--spirit of our ancestors perspective in understanding life purpose and challenges--a fluid, evolving perspective as I continue experiencing life and learning.

I knew nothing about Indians except for what I’d learned from media (with cowboys & Indians on television in the ’50’s). I recall when traveling alone in my car across Utah or Montana (?) in the 80’s - when I looked up at the high buttes above along otherwise seemingly empty, expansive stretches of road; I did see, in my minds-eye--a row of Indians silently seated on horseback. Was I feeling their presence, then?

Campsite by a river In the beginning of this new millennium, in 2001, solitary camping occupied many of my summer weekends, reflective journaling, and photographing images in nature. Being in Nature in a solitary and quiet way, something was becoming activated within me, that, at the time, I was unaware of. The cumulative effects of summer weekends spent reflectively in the woods, I found myself drawn to an undefined, nature-based spirituality.

In 2004, following through on a vision during a camping experience, I was guided in the creation of a goddess website for the purpose of empowering women by identifying their predominant archetypes.

In 2006, after receiving several shamanic treatments, I was drawn to readings on Native American spirituality and concern for our environment. Natures Way: Native Wisdom for Living in Balance with the Earth, by Ed McGaa was the first book that came to me. For the next one and one-half years I read, exclusively, books written by Native peoples or anthologies telling their stories. I learned about things I had never known, previously. I had never known or heard the TRUTH, through Government controlled media--and absence of Native American perspective--of the extent of the historical trauma experienced by the First Peoples of this land. I was completely unaware of the depth and intentional efforts by Dominant Culture toward genocide of a people indigenous to North America. Book after book echoed the same story after story--of a People experiencing the the same types of atrocities all across this land at the hands of white immigrants.

After initially feeling shocked and appalled, I, then, felt compelled--a deep sense of responsibility--to bring this awareness to others who, like me, were unaware of the depth of the real truth--of the horror, the despair and utter lack of justice. Similar to the Nazi Germany genocide of the Jewish people, it is essential that these accounts are made public knowledge, and must never be forgotten or minimized, but discussed, and written about--often. My intention is that these occurrences become part of our social consciousness to insure that--like child sexual abuse at the hands of Church priests--Genocide, and oppressive behaviors used for centuries against all non-white races --will be intolerable in our Dominant Culture social conscience.

It is not my intention to offend anyone in the producing of this material; and, if, along the way I offend someone due to my own limitations, I apologize in advance.

It is my belief that we as human beings need to look as young children do--prior to being taught otherwise--beyond skin color, or cultural differences, to learn from Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, for the purpose of understanding the past - healing All our Relations, and for healing our planet. Photo of N. Bennet “I realize that Euro-Americans--as the dominant ruling race--has no land-based sacred origin mythos - rooted in the Americas. . . The conquerors and immigrants had no ancestral lineage that had loved, valued, protected, and cared for on this land base, these homelands to hundreds of Native Tribes." --Carol Lee Sanchez

I wish to see an end to the marginalization of First Nations Peoples--that the Voices of the many tribes be heard: their requests for social justice be heard, their wisdom and foresight in living on the land in a Good Way, their recommendations for living in relation to wildlife and to each other... Imagine a First Nations Public Broadcasting station on local televisions along side with Discovery Channel. I wish to see the numerous tribes across this country increasingly join forces in solidarity with each other. I wish increasing awareness of their presence in the consciousness of the Dominant culture.

I hope that Indigenous, and non Indigenous people may increasingly work toward mutual understanding and respect and healing in our cross-cultural relationships. Through understanding each other, may non-Indigenous people feel drawn to find meaningful ways in learning about and supporting the goals of Indigenous tribes.

I welcome your feedback, sharing your experiences with me, visiting firstpeoplesvoices site. May you care to visit many times and share with friends and family. Together, we can change the world--one transformed idea at a time. Email me: nancy@firstpeoplesvoices.com . . . and I have a new blog, come visit: http://wesearch4meaning.blogspot.com


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