Monday, October 24, 2011

Broken dreams and determination

Peace

This week is an exciting one for me, because on Thursday I begin classes to become a foster parent. I will be privileged enough to welcome some beautiful child into my home for a moment in time and share my love. For some reason though, I am plagued by this feeling...I can't explain what it is, almost a longing, an ache, something bittersweet. Almost like I will be able to hold something for a moment, only to have it torn away.

I had a dream last night that a beautiful baby boy needed a home and I had one to offer. He was so beautiful, he even looked like me. He had my eyes and my smile and he was a lovely shade of golden brown with the blackest hair and those little perfect fingers and toes that babies have. I put him on my breast to see if I could make milk for him (keep in mind, its a dream) and I could, I did. He became our family. I taught him to walk and talk and the children were overjoyed with their new brother. Then...his real mother wanted him back. In my mind, I was trying to think of any way to keep him because he was my son. And I was broken, because I had to let him go. I woke up, still broken.

Very few people know that I carried a 3rd baby in my body. I was 5 months pregnant when someone else's cruelty stole him from me and further ensured that I would never carry another child. Every time I think about it, it feels like yesterday and it hurts the same even though it has actually been over 5 years. So, I don't think about it, and I tell myself that I should be over it and it wasn't my fault and all that other stuff that we do to make our feelings seem irrational so that we can get over them. But last night, I dreamt of my baby. And he was perfect. When I woke up, I just knew that he was mine.

The other problem with waking up from that dream, is that I really WOKE up. I realized a lot of things about myself that have to change. I've spent 5 years of my life blaming myself for something that I felt I could've prevented had I made better decisions. Yet, the cruelty and sickness that dwells in other people is beyond our control. Yes, we can avoid certain situations but at times, the 'right thing' to do is coated in this cloud of haze that no one can see through. It wasn't my fault. I've been telling myself that all day. It. Wasn't. My. Fault. I also realized that I've spent 5 years feeling like I don't deserve a 'good' man or a 'good' husband because I can't give him babies, I can't do the one thing that makes me feel like a woman. How fucked up I have been all these years... I deserve what I put out there. I deserve the very best of everything because that is what I offer to those I love and oftentimes to those I don't even like. It wasn't my fault. I have two perfect children who receive the very best of me at all times and make my heart smile. It wasn't my fault. I have a lovely home filled with love and laughter. It wasn't my fault. I love harder than anyone I know. It wasn't my fault. People throw their babies away everyday and I can't have one...still, it wasn't my fault.

When I decided I wanted to foster, I said to myself 'no babies'. Everyone wants the little babies, and the older children need homes...plus, what if I can't let go? But, it doesn't matter how old a child is...when you love them, they are yours. Last night frightened me, because I started to think I may be making a bad decision again and setting myself up for terrible heartbreak. But I'm not. I can do anything. I have too much love to offer to keep it to myself. And poor Bailey & Elijah feel smothered at times. Lol. Not really, they revel in my love and share theirs so freely as well. Those are truly MY children. Their personalities make me feel like I have done something wonderful with my life. And I have. I still have an overflowing cup of love to offer to others and I need to share that. So even though I don't think I will ever 'get over' my baby, we have room in our family for more. And more we shall have.

Last night I dreamt of my baby, and he was beautiful. I miss him even though I never knew him and my heart aches for him and my broken womb. And...it wasn't my fault. It's time to move on, though I will never forget him, never let go of him, never get over him and never stop loving him. It's time to take that love, blanket my children with it and open our home to someone who needs us. Not me, US.

Last night I dreamt of my baby, and he was perfect. He wants me to move on.

Peace

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The seven clans


Peace

I wanted to post some info on the seven clans of our tribe because this is vital info that not many people are aware of and is, in fact, a good civilization model where each person plays a role and equally shares the burden. Cherokee culture is matrilineal, meaning your designated clan comes from your mothers bloodline, however, this serves another purpose...men were often times warriors, it was vital that land and other resources were able to be retained by a woman in order to guarantee your children's future. The people in your clan are your family, your brothers and sisters, thus you can not marry and reproduce within your own clan, this shows an ancient awareness that in order to preserve something change must be introduced...or at least that's how I see it. Clan designation also determined seating arrangements at ceremonial gatherings and was used in medicine...makes sense, don't they always get a medical history for yourself and your fam when you go to the dr?
The clans are as follows:

Anigilohi/Longhair (which is the clan I come from)
These are the peace keepers...the peace chief came from this clan when that type of government was used. Prisoners of war, orphans and those with no Cherokee clan were adopted into this tribe.

Anisahoni/Blue
This is the oldest clan and those from this clan hold a high responsibility as they are the healers of children and produce remedies for ailments affecting the babies.

Aniwaya/Wolf
These are the protectors...the war chief came from this clan.

Anigotegewi/Wild Potato
These are the land keepers, the gatherers, or as we could call it one, the farmers

Aniawi/Deer
These are the hunters, yet they are also charged with the care of animals, insuring that animals are not abused or mistreated. They are also messengers, a sort of mail man...

Anitsisqua/Bird
These are the messengers, yet in a different sense. They could communicate between the mundane and esoteric...sort of a messenger from heaven to earth.

Aniwodi/Paint
These are the medicine people...remedies were often mixed and then 'painted' onto someone for healing purposes.

Those are the seven...together, they form a perfect balance, a harmony, life sustaining EQUALITY.

Peace

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Magnetic Fields

What attracts us to other people? I have a friend that absolutely radiates an aura of peace, so much so that it seems he doesn't give a damn about anybody because he is at peace with everything and everything he needs is within him. Yet, that isn't the ENTIRE truth...I think perhaps he simply knows his own limits and respects himself enough to stay within them. What attracts us to other people is seeing something in them, that we admire, that we want to possess or be...I see him and I want peace...I long for his shelter and protection, because stability is a major indication of my level of happiness.  I see him as peace. 

Attraction is a beautiful thing, it gives us a glimpse into what we want for ourselves, but what repels us? I do think that at times, the things that repel us from others, are qualities in our self that we don't like or want to change but haven't quite figured out how. 

So...what makes us stop flipping poles like mars and get into a homeostatic state that shows and proves our equality? What seeds we plant determines what will grow...but it isn't that simple. It also has to be taken into account where those seeds are planted, the nutrients in the soil, how much sun shines on the land. Just wanting something doesn't make it so.  It takes a LOT of work and discipline. Sometimes it takes some major introspection and humbling of your self and the realization that sometimes you are gonna fuck up a little bit.  I tend to overextend myself in certain areas of my life and what ends up happening, is I lose balance. However, I'm learning that I must respect myself enough to stay within my comfort
zone so that my axial tilt remains stable.  I must maintain what I want by being what it is I want. Until I learn more, that's all I have to go on...sometimes I figure things out as I go along. I just have to maintain a healthy reality at the same time because sometimes in life, we see the most glorious, beautiful possibilities all around us when in fact, everything is located within self.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Sacajawea


'Sacajawea is most well known for accompanying Meriwether Lewis and William Clark during their Corps of Discovery of the Western United States in 1806. She was born in a Shoshone tribe as Agaidika, or “Salmon Eater” in 1788. In February of 1805, just after meeting Lewis and Clark, Lewis assisted in the birth of her son, Jean Baptiste Charbonneau. Her face now appears in the dollar coin.'

Monday, June 13, 2011

Addictions...

I debated myself for a while about whether I would write about this or not. Whether I would open myself to such scrutiny and then I realized, this is MY damn blog and for all intents and purposes, it is my personal therapist and I write what I want. I don't give up. Anyone who has ever dealt with me when I'm trying to get my way can attest to that fully. I'm relentless. I'm not vicious or brutal but I want what I want and I usually want it right.at.that.moment. Folks can choose not to read it...or they can take the best part.

That's the beauty of free will, we have choices. Some of the choices we make are stupid as hell but hey, we all make mistakes right? It's up to us whether we grow from said mistakes.

I made a choice at the beginning of this year. I decided I was gonna forge ahead with my plan to do my part in saving our babies by focusing on healing our women so that they could be examples. So many women and girls are abused physically, sexually and emotionally. They are broken down to the point where they begin to believe they are nobody. They begin to forget who they are and hate who they've become. They are so broken that they stop being the victim and become the victimizer. The cycle continues with their children because  it's damn near impossible to love an extension of yourself when you don't love yourself first.

Notice I said 'near impossible'. I work on the theory that NOTHING is impossible, because I know we are divine and can accomplish what we will. At any rate, I decided that I wanted to focus on healing for the mothers and the mothers to be, so that the babies are treated with the highest level of understanding. It's mighty hard for a child to slip through the cracks when their mama is watching every step they take. Sometimes from a distance so as to allow freedom, yet still watching. Always. I wanted to aid in the healing process for those who had their identity all kinds of fucked up because it was beaten out of them or stolen from their womb or worse. And there is always worse. I know this. I know this because I lived it. I was abused by my ex. He had an alcohol problem, and he got very mean when drunk. He stole my ability to give birth to future offspring while he was simultaneously killing the baby inside me. He broke bones, left marks but worst of all...he made me forget who I was. And that kind of damage can last a lifetime. If you let it.

I made another choice recently, I decided to let aforementioned ex back into our lives, under the impression that he was sober and wanted to be a father, thinking I was doing the right thing for my babies. Remember I said some choices we make are stupid as hell? Yeah... He did exactly what I should've expected of him, showed up at my house, late one night, drunk, and ready to wage war on my face. And he did, my face is currently black & purple and my eardrum is ruptured. And I will heal. Again.

My point of sharing that is to say...not everyone deserves another chance. It doesn't make you or us or me a bad person. It's just that some people are so fucked up that they'll never get right. The best thing we can do for ourselves is to heal. So that when we encounter the people who will NEVER hurt us, we are ready for them. We are ready to love them without punishing them for anothers transgressions.

Sometimes, we miss out on beautiful experiences by being too afraid to lose that piece of ourselves that someone was allowed to take away with them. Fear is a hell of a drug. It can cripple us. It can also become an addiction. We become so used to living a certain type of way, that we are afraid to step away from what we know simply because it is different. If we want to live and love again, that fear has to be eliminated. That's no easy task.

It's important to me that women have alternatives. That they have support and a circle of understanding to encourage their growth and development. It's important to me because I know how I isolated myself and how it hindered me. I was embarrassed. And that's ok. But embarrassment is a symptom of that fear. There's no reason to be embarrassed. It wasn't and it never is the victims fault. However, if we don't heal, we continue to put our selves in situations where we are our own obstacle on the path to wellness. My hope is that I help women get out of their own way. And perhaps by giving some of my experience to them, I will in return take some of those pieces of myself back that were torn from me.

Peace

Friday, May 20, 2011

Maria TallChief

Born Elizabeth Marie Tall Chief to an Osage Nation father, she became an eventually well-known ballerina. She was the first American Prima Ballerina.  She was also the first American to dance at the Paris Opera and has danced with the Paris Opera Ballet, the Ballet Russe, and the Balanchine Ballet Society. In 1947 Maria began dancing with the New York City Ballet until her retirement in 1965. Soon after she founded the Chicago City Ballet and remained it’s artistic director for many years. Since 1997 she has been an adviser in the Chicago dance schools and continues to astound future dancers with her always-ahead-of-her-skill abilities and was featured in a PBS special from 2007-2010.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The (e)X Factor

Peace,

I was thinking today about acceptance.  Not just accepting others, or situations but accepting your self.  As you are, as a work in progress.  While pondering how difficult it is to love self, while being able to love so many others, I started thinking about the 'exes' in my life.  Ex-friend, ex-lover, ex-significant other, ex-ally, ex-associates, etc. 

What I started to realize is that I hate the term 'ex'.  I hate it because it makes it seem as if those people who are no longer in your life, are insignificant.  Like they never mattered.  It simply isn't true. 

The process of being Born takes time, and in that time we go through many changes.  We transition in stages and all of those 'exes' are important in this process.  We grow from others, we learn from others and we become who we are by the seasons we endure throughout our lifetime.  And sometimes, in order for a door to be open to the greatest, the latest has to leave it open on the way out.

I'm not big on having regrets in life, I feel like I have learned a great deal from the people who are no longer in my life.  I am better because of them and willfully, they are better as well.  The pain is intense when you lose someone you care for, yet that pain has a birth record.  And a death record.  The love is infinite and eternal.  The pain fades.  So although I have lost many (friends, significant others, lovers, family) in my life, I do not mourn for them because love doesn't mean unhappiness.  It remains with you and you are allowed to keep it as long as you like.  You are able to take that infinite, eternal energy and use it to your advantage.  You are able to BE whatever you want because of it...

Peace

Is Love so fragile?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Red Cloud

'Perhaps one of the most capable warriors from the Oglala Lakota (Sioux) tribesmen ever faced by the US Military, Makhpiya Luta, his Sioux name, led his people in what is known as Red Cloud’s War. This battle was for the rights to the area known as Powder River Country in Northern Wyoming and Southern Montana. Eventually he led his people during their time on reservation.'

Geronimo

'Geronimo (Chiricahua: “one who yawns”; often spelled Goyathlay or Goyahkla in English) was a prominent Native American leader of the Chiricahua Apache who defended his people against the encroachment of the US on their tribal lands for over 25 years. While Geronimo said he was never actually a chief, he was rather a military leader. As a Chiricahua Apache, this meant he was also a spiritual leader. He consistently urged raids and war upon many Mexican and later U.S. groups. Geronimo eventually went on to marry 6 wives, an Apache tradition. He staged what was to be the last great Native American uprising, and eventually moved to a reservation.'

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Crazy Horse

'With a name in his tribe, Lakota: Thasuka Witko, that literally means “His-Horse-is-Crazy”, this Native American was actually born with the name: Cha-O-Ha meaning in Lakotan, “In the Wilderness”, and he was often called Curly due to his hair. In the Great Sioux War of 1876, Crazy Horse led a combined group of nearly 1,500 Lakota and Cheyenne in a surprise attack against General George Crook’s force of 1,000 English men and 300 Crow and Shoshone warriors. The battle, though not substantial in terms of lives lost, nearly prevented Crook from joining up with General Custer, ensuring Custer’s subsequent defeat at the Battle of Little Bighorn. Crazy Horse went on to oppose the US Government in their various decisions on how to handle Indian affairs.'

Monday, May 2, 2011

Axial Tilt

"I am amazed at this spring,
this conflagration of green fires lit on the soil of the earth,
this blaze of growing,
these sparks that puff in wild gyration,
Faces of people streaming across my gaze."

Peace,
Because it is my b-day, I decided to reflect on the last year...the ups, downs, in betweens...the cycle, the balance, the life.  I started to consider what I had gained, what I had lost and where I had grown.  I'm happy to say that I'm good with the past year, I'm good with myself.  In some ways I have made great progress and in some, I have regressed.  I continue to evolve and in that never ending cycle, I find perfection...I become whole.
 My past year:

The fire inside me was ignited and I began to love myself
I fell in love
I had my heart broken
I survived chemo
I became a better mom
I learned
I loved a lot
I almost lost everything
I finally saw life's true worth
I hurt someone
I was hurt
I was loved for long enough to know I deserve that
I struggled
I was victorious
I grew
I discovered what I'm made of
I affected a child positively
I was affected by others
I lost some friends
I gained some family
I found my backbone
I revealed my vulnerability to a couple of folks
I listened to my children
I trusted
I honored myself
I took less than I deserved
I trusted my instinct
I doubted myself
I was a loyal friend, lover, sister
I buried a brother
I made myself proud
I felt ashamed
I had no regrets...

"In this life we cannot always do great things, but we can do small things with great love"

Monday, April 25, 2011

Why does the devil call our people African?

Peace,

So...I awoke this morning in the same state I fell to rest last night...anxious, upset, torn, heartbroken and angry.  As I write this, I know there was no planning behind what I want to say, what I'm going to say.  This is just me, raw and exposed.  All emotions included.  I'm not ashamed of my emotions, nor do I fear them.  I embrace and celebrate them and know that they are what makes me who and what I am.  And NO ONE knows me, better than me.

All I could think of today was Why does the devil call our people African?  And we're all familiar with the degree, the answer is already there.  The last line though is what I focus on...He wants to make us think that we are all different.  Let me repeat that, He wants to make us think that we are all different.  But...WHY?  It's obvious right, old strategy, divide and conquer.  Yet, who made the devil?  An Original man.  And he discovered certain sciences yet he did not create them.  There is nothing new under the sun, so disatisfaction is not new either...right?  And he was not the father of science but simply a scientist. 

So, that leads me to where I'm really taking this...why the fuck are we as righteous, civilized people calling our own people Africans?  Or Indians?  Or whatever?  Why are we playing into Yacub's world manifest instead of Allah's world manifest?  Recently, I felt the heat of a thousand suns as I watched people who called themselves my family attempt to seperate me and scrutinize me because of ONE reason...the shade of my skin.  Wow!  That's how we get down?  Forget the fact that I resurrected the seed ciphers in this cipher, forget that I have fed and loved and mothered and nurtured.  Forget that I've done all this out of love for my nation.  Fuck all that right?  Because some devilish ass people still wanna call our people by any name that causes division.  And for what?  The Earth spins at 1037 1/3 miles per hour and DOES NOT STOP, I will not be removed from my square and truth can NEVER be concealed, so what exactly was this going to accomplish?  Nothing.

I have learned that people put into positions of power who are neither qualified nor righteous will do what Yacub intended for them to do, cause trouble amongst the righteous.  By any means necessary they will attempt to cage the freedom of those who refuse to buy into their system of devilishment OR for those they are jealous of or simply do not like.  But mostly for those that know the truth.  In the name of Righteousness... That's not righteousness.  That's someone who wants fame and glory for doing absolutely nothing.  I mean, they wouldn't even go get their own people if they knew they were lost so of course they promote division.  Is it because they are blind, deaf and dumb?  Nah...I really don't think so.  I think their vision is crystal clear, I just think they belong to a double digit percentage.

At any rate, despite all that, I am who I say I am.  Always have been.  And there's no one who can take my SELF from me.  If you want to know about me, ask me.  You wonder why I'm so light, ask me.  I don't fear questions, I'll gladly build with you because I'm proud of who I am.  And I have nothing to gain from lying, I deal in righteousness because I am a mother, I want the best for my babies and the best is for me to set an example of positivity and of truth.  Don't ask about me because you're still dealing in that self hate, color struck nonsense.  Leave that for the dead world.  We are not savages in pursuit of happiness so don't attempt to take anyone's happiness to ensure your own.  Learn to love yourself. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

There were other words...

 So...I have to admit, I have a few personal issues.  One of these is people disrespecting others for no good reason other than to be ugly.  Another one of these is a strong distaste for women being referred to as 'bitch'.  Yet, of all my 'issues', I have the biggest problem of all with the 'N' word.  Y'all know what word I mean, and no, I won't say it because I don't, and neither do my children.  I cringe at that word. 

 My issue is, when did this shit become socially acceptable?  Not only for African people but for all people.  I don't use the word because it was never used to degrade my ancestors...there were other words but THAT wasn't one of them.  I've never been called that but my children have, my sisters and brothers have, my father has and my grandmother has.  However, I find it completely unacceptable for anyone to say and ESPECIALLY anyone who isn't African.  Why?  Because, there were other words. There were words for Original people of all backgrounds.  Degrading words.  Weak and Wicked words meant to seperate and cause pain.  These words are unacceptable.  These words are especially unacceptable when people who were never affected by them, use them.  I'm not simply referring to white folks.  I mean Indians or Puerto Ricans or Chinese peoples who refer to others or THEMSELVES by that particular word.  You never were scarred by that word, you never were branded with that word, and you don't fully understand the pain behind that word.  Also, by using that particular word, you show a lack of understanding or compassion for our brothers and sisters that have been scarred by it.  There were other words used to degrade other shades.  Use them...or better yet, use none of them.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Who you calling a bitch???

Seriously...who you calling a bitch?

The word bitch, in its factual meaning refers to a female dog. Around the 14th century, it became a derogatory word for women. However, it wasn't simply calling a woman a dog, it was calling a woman a dog in heat, an overly sexual dog. Oh, and by the way...you think the word originated in Original peoples? You're wrong, that's some white folks shit.

What concerns me, as a woman, is that we are so enraged when a man calls us a bitch yet call eachother the same on a regular. That shit ain't cool, why bother telling a man not to call you bitch when your homegirl calls you bitch and you find it endearing.

I read a debate of sorts where basically a woman found it hysterical that a man referred to Black women as 'bitches', 'hairy bitches' and all sorts of vile, vulgar, ignorant names. What was especially disturbing was that this particular woman was black!!! She was one of the lighter shades of black, yet found it hilarious for 'african' women to be called bitches. Maybe it's just me, but if the statement was 'light black women are bitches' or 'latina women are bitches' or 'Indian women are bitches', would she have felt differently? I think so.

Personally, if someone said 'Indian women are bitches', I would be pissed...however, it also highly pisses me off for someone to say 'Black women are bitches' as well. Why? Because I'm Indian, and for those that know history of Original people, I'm a shade of Black. And I'm not a dog in heat, nor am I overly aggressive or ignorant. I am strong and powerful yet I know my position in this universe and I stay in rotation accordingly. And again, I'm not a dog, I am a woman and I have many wonderful, beautiful sisters who are most definitely not that.

Why are women so hateful to eachother? Is jealousy so strong that we become savage in the sense that we constantly 'hate' what we do not possess? And just where do you think that hate comes from to begin with? We are meant to love eachother, uplift and support eachother. Women, stop degrading one another. Stop hating eachother. We are all beautiful, all wonderful, and (unless you are somehow incomplete within self) perfect as well...just as we are.

So, for real...Who you calling a bitch? Your sisters? Your friends? Your Earth? Your mama? Do you call her a bitch to her face or say it behind her back? Are you, yourself, a bitch?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Freedom or Death...Hero with the Horned Snakes

In ancient times, there lived some very large snakes that glittered nearly as bright as the sun. They had two horns on their heads, and they possessed a magic power of attraction. To see one of these snakes was always a bad omen. Whoever tried to escape from one instead ran directly toward the snake and was devoured.

Only a highly skilled medicine man or hunter could kill a two- horned snake. It required a very special medicine or power. The hunter had to shoot his arrow into the seventh stripe of the snake's skin.
 
One day a Shawnee Indian youth was held captive by the Cherokees. He was promised his freedom if he could find and kill a horned snake. He hunted for many, many days in caves, over wild mountains, and at last found one high in the Tennessee Mountains.
 
The Shawnee youth made a large circle of fire by burning pine cones. Then he walked toward the two-horned snake. When it saw the hunter, the snake slowly raised its head. The Shawnee youth shouted, "Freedom or death!"
 
He then aimed carefully and shot his arrow through the seventh stripe of the horned snake's skin. Turning quickly, he jumped into the centre of the ring of fire, where he felt safe from the snake.
 
A stream of poison flowed from the snake, but was stopped by the fire. Because of the Shawnee youth's bravery, the grateful Cherokees granted him his freedom as they had promised.
 
Four days later, some of the Cherokees went to the spot where the youth had killed the horned snake. They gathered fragments of snake bones and skin, tying them into a sacred bundle. These they kept carefully for their children and grandchildren, because they believed the sacred bundle would bring good fortune to their tribe.
 
Also on the same spot, a small lake formed containing black water. Into this water the Cherokee women dipped their twigs used in their basket making. This is how they learned to dye their baskets black, along with other colours.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Wishes and Would Haves

I wish I
could go back to that night
could un-fight the fight
could somehow un-see

I wish I
never knew lies or betrayal

I wish I never would've looked for them

I wish I
would've laid back, enjoyed your presence
would've told you I was sorry for prior transgressions
would've loved you and not been...me

I wish I
would've cherished my love, my heart

I wish I would've not taken advantage of your calm...how I long for that stability now

I wish I
would've thanked you for all you've done
would've promised you would receive the same in turn 
would've given you the best part of me

I wish I
would've loved you how you needed me to...starting right then

I wish wishes were fulfilled...I would've still been whole

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Cherokees feel they are to be sacrifices...

Published in Cherokee Phoenix and Indians' Advocate Wednesday, March 17, 1830 , Vol. II, no. 48. Page 2, col. 5a-Page 3, col. 2b

The Indian Committees in both houses of Congress have reported, recommending as we anticipated, the removal of the Indians to the west of the Mississippi.  The question is therefore now open for discussion, and soon we shall hear what is to become of us.  The crisis is at hand.  Will justice prevail?  Will honor and plighted faith be regarded, and the poor Indians be shielded from oppression?  These are momentous questions which must in a very short time receive a practical answer.   If justice prevails, the Indians will assuredly be protected.  But if treaties are disregarded and declared of no validity, as many high in office have already done, then indeed shall we be delivered over to our enemies-it matters not whether we hide ourselves in the western prairies-our enemies will have no difficulty in finding us there.  If therefore we are to be sacrificed, let the bloody tragedy be accomplished here on our own native soil around the graves of our fathers & in the view of the people of these United States.  The good people of this boasting republic may stand and gaze on the oppressive acts of Georgia, consenting or not, as they please, to our destruction.  It will not require their aid to destroy us-they need only stand still-Georgia can accomplish her design easily--But there will be a reckoning hereafter.

 It is said, however, that the general Government and the state of Georgia, do not contemplate using force.  We have never intimated that open force will be resorted to--this would be too barefaced.  But measures are in operation whose effects upon us are the same as those of compulsion.  The object is our removal, and if it is ever accomplished, it must be done contrary to our wishes and inclinations, by means which honor and justice must forever reprobate.   It makes no difference whether we are ousted at the point of the bayonet, or by indirect and oppressive measures--it is the same thing with us, and we wish the public to know it.  People of the U. S. our appeal is to you---will you, with a relentless hand, extinguish all our rising expectations?
 
 The leading men of this nation have been charged with a studied attention to mislead their people in regard to the nature of the country allotted by the government for the future residence of the Indians.  They have said, and repeated a hundred times, that the country was not fit for the Cherokees---it is poor and unhealthy---it is deficient in wood and water.  On the other hand, the agents of the government have extolled it, as being unexceptionable in every respect.  We can answer these men by a retort.  It is their studied attempt to beguile and mislead the Indians and not only the Indians, but the public.  We hope they will never succeed.  We have frequently said that the good land, if any there be in the west, was not sufficient for the support of the Indians proposed to be colonized there.  In this opinion we are not alone.
 
 We invite our Cherokee readers to whom the deceptive promises have been held out, to peruse the remarks which follow.  They are taken from an article in the Arkansas Gazette, headed " On the purchase of Texas." The writer must be considered a good witness in the case, so far as the nature and extent of the country is concerned.
 
 The whole country west of Missouri and Arkansas, (including the forth miles severed from the latter,) is already parcelled out to the different tribes who now occupy it.  The Cherokees and Creeks are already murmuring on account of their restricted limits and complain that the Government has assigned to both the same tract of country.  The productions of the habitable parts of the country under the careless culture of the Indians, will be found not more than sufficient to supply the wants of its present population.  And it should be recollected, that, tinctured as the Indians are, with some of the characteristics of civilization, the force of their original habits is broker, which readers [sic] them as little qualified to subsist on the sterile prairies towards the Rocky Mountains, as many of our own citizens.  In meliorating the condition of the Indians, humanity needs no subterfuge; its principles are plain, direct, and unconditional.  The Government is bound to protect the Indians as a separate and distinct people, so long as that protection does not interfere with the rights and interests of its own citizens; but when this sacrifice becomes necessary to keep up the semblance of independence among the Indian tribes, humanity can go no farther.
 
 The language usually held out to the Indians, by the agents of the Government, to induce them to remove, is, that they are to remain uncontrolled in their habits; that an extensive country will be assigned them, abounding with game and every other advantage suited to their pristine habits.  Without an extended country in the south, the Government cannot comply with those engagements.  It is a mere mockery of humanity to hold such language to the Indians, when under existing circumstances, the promises contained can never be realized. It is like adorning the victim with flowers and fillets, when you are leading it to the altar.  In our transactions with the Indians, as well as others, the scale of justice should never preponderate or the language of humanity be disguised.  In placing them west of the civilization, they must have a country in extent suitable to their roving habits.  It they are all to be crowded into the territory now at the disposition of the Government in the west, the consequence will be, war, starvation, and a total extermination of the race.  If this is to be the case, the cause of humanity would be aided, by compelling them to stay where they are, and submit to the restraints of civilization.
 
 If the proposition respecting the formation of our Indian colony, without the range of the States and Territories, contained in the report of the Secretary of War, should be adopted by the Government, we will have according to the Secretary's calculation, seventy-five thousand at one litter in addition to those already in the country.  We must acknowledge that the Secretary would be extremely productive in people for his colony, but will he tell us where he will put them? and how he will subsist them, under existing circumstances.  I believe his plan rational and practicable, if the Texas country belonged to the government, but otherwise the restricted limits in which he would have to plant his colony would render it a perfect Indian slaughter  house.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Selu Isa Uganasda (Cornmeal Cookies)

Peace y'all...I've been seriously slacking on the posting...I've had to take care of myself, I'm sure that's understandable.  True to my form I will post the traditional recipe...and then my modifications.  These are so yummy, but should be eaten in moderation.  Enjoy!!!

Ingredients:
     3/4 cup margarine* 
     3/4 cup sugar* 
     1 egg* 
     1 tsp. vanilla 

     1 1/2 cup flour 
     1/2 cup cornmeal 
     1 tsp. baking powder
     1/4 tsp. salt*

     
*My modifications -
Margarine = Earth Balance
Sugar = Raw Turbinado
Egg = Ener-G egg replacer
Salt = Sea Salt, 3/4ths amount listed
Cream together margarine and sugar.  Add egg and vanilla until smooth.  Add the rest of ingredients and drop dough from tablespoon onto a greased cookie sheet. 
Bake at 150 degrees about 15 minutes until lightly browned.
Makes about 1 1/2 dozen.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Removal Act of 1830

The Removal Act
May 28, 1830

An Act to provide for an exchange of lands with the Indians residing in any of the states or territories, and for their removal west of the river Mississippi.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That it shall and may be lawful for the President of the United States to cause so much of any territory belonging to the United States, west of the river Mississippi, not included in any state or organized territory, and to which the Indian title has been extinguished, as he may judge necessary, to be divided into a suitable number of districts, for the reception of such tribes or nations of Indians as may choose to exchange the lands where they now reside, and remove there; and to cause each of said districts to be so described by natural or artificial marks, as to be easily distinguished from every other.

And be it further enacted, That it shall and may be lawful for the President to exchange any or all of such districts, so to be laid off and described, with any tribe or nation of Indians now residing within the limits of any of the states or territories, and with which the United States have existing treaties, for the whole or any part or portion of the territory claimed and occupied by such tribe or nation, within the bounds of any one or more of the states or territories, where the land claimed and occupied by the Indians, is owned by the United States, or the United States are bound to the state within which it lies to extinguish the Indian claim thereto.

And be it further enacted, That in the making of any such exchange or exchanges, it shall and may be lawful for the President solemnly to assure the tribe or nation with which the exchange is made, that the United States will forever secure and guaranty to them, and their heirs or successors, the country so exchanged with them; and if they prefer it, that the United States will cause a patent or grant to be made and executed to them for the same: Provided always, That such lands shall revert to the United States, if the Indians become extinct, or abandon the same.

And be it further enacted, That if, upon any of the lands now occupied by the Indians, and to be exchanged for, there should be such improvements as add value to the land claimed by any individual or individuals of such tribes or nations, it shall and may be lawful for the President to cause such value to be ascertained by appraisement or otherwise, and to cause such ascertained value to be paid to the person or persons rightfully claiming such improvements. And upon the payment of such valuation, the improvements so valued and paid for, shall pass to the United States, and possession shall not afterwards be permitted to any of the same tribe.

And be it further enacted, That upon the making of any such exchange as is contemplated by this act, it shall and may be lawful for the President to cause such aid and assistance to be furnished to the emigrants as may be necessary and proper to enable them to remove to, and settle in, the country for which they may have exchanged; and also, to give them such aid and assistance as may be necessary for their support and subsistence for the first year after their removal.
And be it further enacted, That it shall and may be lawful for the President to cause such tribe or nation to be protected, at their new residence, against all interruption or disturbance from any other tribe or nation of Indians, or from any other person or persons whatever.

And be it further enacted, That it shall and may be lawful for the President to have the same superintendence and care over any tribe or nation in the country to which they may remove, as contemplated by this act, that he is now authorized to have over them at their present places of residence: Provided, That nothing in this act contained shall be construed as authorizing or directing the violation of any existing treaty between the United States and any of the Indian tribes.

And be it further enacted, That for the purpose of giving effect to the Provisions of this act, the sum of five hundred thousand dollars is hereby appropriated, to be paid out of any money in the treasury, not otherwise appropriated

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Trail of Tears

  • Peace...this is BRIEF history of the 'Trail of Tears' yet I wanted to share it.  One of my goals this year, is to post history of my people on a monthly basis, and though we did not begin with this period in time, it is a good place to start to show the strength of who we are.

Migration from the original Cherokee Nation began in the early 1800’s as Cherokees, wary of white encroachment, moved west and settled in other areas of the country. White resentment of the Cherokees had been building and reached a pinnacle after gold was discovered in Georgia, and immediately following the passage of the Cherokee Nation constitution, and establishment of a Cherokee Supreme Court. Possessed with ‘gold fever,’ and a thirst for expansion, the white communities turned on their Cherokee neighbors and the U.S. government decided it was time for the Cherokees to leave behind their farms, their land and their homes.

A group known as the Old Settlers had moved in 1817 to lands given them in Arkansas where again they established a government and a peaceful way of life. Later, they too, were forced into Indian Territory.
President Andrew Jackson, whose command and life was saved due to 500 Cherokee allies at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814, unbelievably authorized the Indian Removal Act of 1830. In following the recommendation of President James Monroe in his final address to Congress in 1825, Jackson sanctioned an attitude that had persisted for many years among many white immigrants. Even Thomas Jefferson, who often cited the Great Law of Peace of the Iroquois Confederacy as the model for the U.S. Constitution, supported Indian Removal as early as 1802.

The displacement of Native People was not wanting for eloquent opposition. Senators Daniel Webster and Henry Clay spoke out against removal. Reverend Samuel Worcester, missionary to the Cherokees, challenged Georgia’s attempt to extinguish Indian title to land in the state, winning the case before the Supreme Court.

Worcester vs. Georgia, 1832, and Cherokee Nation vs. Georgia, 1831, are considered the two most influential decisions in Indian law. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled for Georgia in the 1831 case, but in Worcester vs. Georgia, the court affirmed Cherokee sovereignty. President Andrew Jackson defied the decision of the court and ordered the removal, an act of defiance that established the U.S. government’s precedent for the removal of many Native Americans from the ancestral homelands.

The U.S. government used the Treaty of New Echota in 1835 to justify the removal. The treaty, illegally signed by about 100 Cherokees known as the Treaty Party, relinquished all lands east of the Mississippi River in exchange for land in Indian Territory and the promise of money, livestock, various provisions and tools, and other benefits.

When the pro-removal Cherokee leaders signed the Treaty of New Echota, they also signed their own death warrants. The Cherokee Nation Council earlier had passed a law that called for the death penalty for anyone who agreed to give up tribal land. The signing and the removal led to bitter factionalism and the deaths of most of the Treaty Party leaders once in Indian Territory.

Opposition to the removal was led by Chief John Ross, a mixed-blood of Scottish and one-eighth Cherokee descent. The Ross party and most Cherokees opposed the New Echota Treaty, but Georgia and the U.S. government prevailed and used it as justification to force almost all of the 17,000 Cherokees from their southeastern homeland.

Under orders from President Jackson and in defiance of the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Army began enforcement of the Removal Act. More than 3,000 Cherokees were rounded up in the summer of 1838 and loaded onto boats that traveled the Tennessee, Ohio, Mississippi and Arkansas Rivers into Indian Territory. Many were held in prison camps awaiting their fate.

An estimated 4,000 died from hunger, exposure and disease. The journey became an eternal memory as the "trail where they cried" for the Cherokees and other removed tribes. Today, it is remembered as the "Trail of Tears." The Oklahoma Chapter of the Trail of Tears Association has begun the task of marking the graves of Trail survivors with bronze memorials.

Info provided by the Cherokee Nation Cultural Resource Center.