December 5, 2016, Prescott- Native Americans have always been deep in my heart. Even before I learned, at age ten, that my paternal grandmother had distant ties to the Penobscot people, of Maine, there was a closeness that I felt to those who have been here in the Americas, since the last Great Shaking.
I have always loved traditional drumming, the stories that get told at ceremonies around a communal fire and the concept of family being the core of one’s being. So, it has been a source of great comfort, to see the U.S. Government making more effort to address the legitimate concerns of those who have stood firm against the idea of running an oil pipeline under the Missouri River. If it’s that crucial, run it elsewhere, away from the river, and the Ogallala Aquifer, which serve not only the Standing Rock Lakota people, but all those downstream- and beyond St. Louis.
I know that many indigenous people have lost their way, and do not, as individuals, represent the spirit of their traditional beliefs. Neither do many of the descendants of those who came here from other parts of the world. The fact remains that there are core beliefs, as to how to address the stewardship of Mother Earth. Many people regard the northern three-quarters of the North American continent as Turtle Island, as there is a legend that the whole of the world’s landmass, and especially North America, are supported on the back of a turtle. It is said that the human race is like the turtle, in that we only make progress by sticking out our necks. Staying inside our collective shells, i.e. comfort zones, gets no one anywhere.
I am proud of all my distant relations for having stood so valiantly, and truthfully, for the good of all.