Basic Call to Consciousness
History & Imagery
In the Beginning
First Nations Governance
Trail of Tears
Impact of European Immigrants
Called ‘Indian’ or....
Cultural Genocide - Boarding schools
Native Values &
Way of Life
Living Two Lives
Leaders or Rulers
Written or Oral
A tragedy has taken place on our land, and even though it did not take place on our watch, we are its inheritors, and the earth remembers.
The People Native to this land known to a number of tribes as Turtle Island - in what is now called America - tell their own experiences of the events that occurred on this land upon which they love and revere.
What do we really know about these sons and daughters of the Natural World? The Ancestors, living prior to the ‘take-over’ by the white man, all over the continent live in a level of harmony with the environment that we can barely imagine now--true conservationists. Their’s is a rich cultural history, with stories and ceremonies of reverence for the land upon which they lived and prayed in gratitude for the natural resources that sustained them for thousands of years. What we may know of their cultural roots and philosophies of life is tainted by commercial romanticism, often exploited and twisted beyond recognition for novelty value and negative stereotyping. Examine the faces of the People in their photo images, below; you will notice poised individuals exhibiting a sense of inner presence. This site will trace back their stories exploring The People’s experiences at their source. Discover for ourselves their experiences--the way they were treated by exploitative hunters, trappers, politicians and the Bureau of Indian Affairs--causes these ancient people to walk the now alien soil of their native land with their heads held high and how we may learn from their reverence of Life to live more wisely together on our planet.
The intention of this material is in no way to speak for The First Nations Peoples--The Peoples indigenous to the North American continent for centuries prior to the arrival of the first European immigrants. Rather, here will be found a compilation of statements expressed or written by First Peoples. The themes expressed are repeated by speakers and authors from the many tribes all across this country and throughout the decades and centuries who lived on this land. Stories exemplifying the ways traditional First Peoples lived in accordance with their values--inwardly reflective and outwardly honoring great Nature and Mother Earth as central to their way of life. This site also reviews the true nature of the battles fought between First Nations and the white man--rather than battle-stories, we explore the reasons behind the battles. We, in this country are at a tipping point in our present relationship to Mother Earth. Rather than honoring Her as a sentient being who provides for her children, She is seen as a resource to be conquered and exploited. The true nature of these battles illustrates the oppression of other sovereign nations and exploitation of nature in our government’s history.
Living in a society that suffers from historical amnesia, how do we preserve the memory of a People Native to this land who have resisted and struggled over time for the ideas of freedom, democracy and equality as well as the conservation of Great Nature and her natural resources.Invented media images and negative stereotyping prevent millions of Americans from obtaining knowledge of critical events in American history and of current authentic human experience of First Nations People. We are called to unearth, piece together and interpret the experiences that can, then, come alive revealing what it has always been--a part of our present. In this way, we gain an expanded understanding the present, enabling us to move forward in a responsible way to the future. Otherwise, we remain trapped in beliefs of derisive stereotypes of the American frontier past, freeze dried and recycled as modern cultural myths - all of which were mostly established by white inventors of pejorative Indian images.
My intention for this site is offering information leading to correction in thinking and perception regarding a host of false assumptions concluded about First People by dominant society--perhaps unwittingly, and, leading to a re-evaluation of our own values that inform our choices in our way of living together a human beings and caring for this planet.
“Mitakuye Oyasin”, Lakota language expressing: All My Relations - humans, animals, plants and the earth - we are all related.
Research and creation of this site is a labor-of-Love. My motivation is simple--citizens of North American continent, with the increased consciousness in this new millennium, may come to a growing realization of our responsibility for our historical treatment of First People and exploitation of our planet. This information is offering a change of mind rather than blame. We will also observe how history continues to be repeated when we do not address the past and take corrective action in the present.
We live in a time when Mother Earth and her many children are struggling to survive. Our oldest custodians of the planet, the indigenous cultures of healing traditions, face the danger of extinction. We cannot afford a future without them. We cannot wait any longer to act. Quoting Bradford Keeney in Shaking Out the Spirits.
Chief Fools Crow, 1890-1989, Ceremonial Chief/Healer of the Teton Lakota band: “Survival of the world depends on our sharing what we have, and working together. If we don’t the whole world will die. First the planet, and next the people.” He continues, “The ones who complain and talk the most about giving away Medicine Secrets, are always those who know the least.”
Fools Crow was one of the last of The People born at the end of the 18 hundreds who never attended any of the white man’s institutions. A living expression of peace of mind that comes from innate wisdom of his ancestors, he had some powerful advice on how to become a positive force for change: Become a hollow bone--“To become a clean hollow bone [clean vessel] you must first live as I have...or begin to do it. You must love everyone, put others first, be moral, keep your life in order, not do anything criminal, and have good character. The visions and the ceremonies had only made me like a hole through which the power could come. If I thought that I was doing it myself, the hole would close up and no power could come through.”
Due to our modern world view many have lost touch with the natural world and its many wonders and gifts. By contrast, have you known a person who lives close to Nature--how they exhibit a spiritual grace and sense of peace. Many do not recognize that our Earth is a living organism. As a result, too many corporations with their focus on profit at any cost are allowed, through deregulation, continued destruction of our life-support system--our Earth: damaging Her lungs--the rain forests; killing off her children for profit--the wildlife across the continents; unhinging the delicate balance of our eco-system. Our elected officials stand idly by as the notion of ‘living organism’ is no more than a mere concept in their minds. However, increasing numbers of us sense that something is not right on our planet as strange weather, storms and fires create increasing devastation.
Lame Deer, Lakota Elder--1903-1976, speaks: “Our circle is timeless, flowing, it is a new life emerging from death-life winning out over death. When we look at the world in the manner which the Great Spirit designed it, we can see why it makes sense to live in harmony with Great Nature: the trees grow and bear fruit, the fruit has seeds, the seeds fall to the ground, the ground grows new trees, old trees die to make way for the young. Any time we think we can interrupt this cycle or change it we will experience turmoil and confusion. The Human Cycle exists as the baby becomes the youth, the youth becomes the adult, the adult has children, the adult becomes the Elder, and the Elder teaches the youth. Elders go on to the Spirit World. Spirit comes into babies to produce new life.”
Rolling Thunder, Cherokee Healer--“A very fundamental symbol in traditional Indian belief: the Circle. This figure, with its ultimate simplicity, was revered in many aboriginal religions--including ours--and its long been used as a symbol of the continuity of the Indian nation. Most so-called primitive peoples have dances that follow circles, and many of our important ceremonies and rituals are held in a circle formation. In fact, the circle is found everywhere in the natural world...the earth itself is a sphere...The continuity of that giant ring of life teaches us that the spirit of cooperation can start with us and loop around to include all living beings...we have no right to dirty up the planet with our trash. Therefore, the cleansing of the earth starts with the cleansing of our minds. We’ll have to clean up our own spirits before we can start cleaning up this land.” 1981
In our daily life, living in the wants of immediate gratification, too many are thinking only of satisfying ‘my need, now’--or, ‘how much money can I make?’ The media instructs what is new to buy--what we must have. Who is thinking of their great-grand children’s existence on this planet and the impact our lifestyle will have on these children? Who is thinking, today, of sufferings of the Generations Unborn will be exposed to as Great Nature expresses her corrective powers on the planet as we are already witnessing? First People reflected on the impact of their decisions seven generations into the future. Our government, however, supports UNconsciousness of such impact of our choices. There are others, however, being drawn to earth-based values and spirituality known to First People.
Click on the rug to return to the top of the page.