Friday, September 25, 2015

Equinox : September : Power of the Old Dog

23 September 2015 : 10:20 am CET

gathering near my finger tips
dream songs
carry me in my sleep
my friends
the mysteries are all around us
close by

I am sitting with memories, the shadows of my wisdom, distant ring of my experience, my elusive powers. 

Wishing I could do something to help the Waiting World. Retirement is upon me. Nothing. I don’t like it. Tears run down my cheeks as I read and watch the Troubles. Trouble. Everywhere.

I have been reading. A lot. More than ever. Like when I was a young boy. I stayed holed up in my room and read books. And comics. But lots of books. Thoreau. Julius Ceaser. Mark Twain. Marvel. Alexander Dumas. The Count of Monte Cristo is probably my favorite book. Also Talbut Munday. Robert E Howard. Lord Dunsanay. Books. Printed on paper. Today the books are on my iPad. Electronic books. They have lots of typos and bad formatting. Even the best sellers. Ebooks are kind of tacky and poorly edited. This seems so strange to me. Right from the start, and now eve years later, ebooks are kind of retrograde, poor quality, yet just as expensive.

Reading is frustrating. It helps with the restless, the frustration. The longing for action that sucks the vitality out of retired old dogs like me.

Last night  dreamed of a great ceremony, with thousands of Indians. I was standing on the earth singing with all my power. It was great. I awakened. Alone in my bed. I could still feel the rush of energy that came from the song. The feeling of my feet on the earth. Just a dream. O. Yeah.

I am a kind of priest. A keeper of tribal sacred ceremonies. I have made thosands of ceremonies. Prayers. Rituals. They have changed lives. Sometimes. I used to love doing that. A correct tribal ceremony is filled with all sorts of energies and revelations. It was easy to love work like that.

Some time ago I lost that Feeling. The modern people over here in Italy don’t seem to get it. The work started seeming like a waste of time. Modern people have no faith. There is no root to tap into. There is no history to continue. There is no magic in their blood. No mystery in their expectations. Modern people seem bored. Boredom is a formidable obstacle. I don’t want to compete with their boredom. I retired rather than compete. After 30 years of praying on the belly of the sacred earth, I looked up and saw strangers. Ghosts. Boredom.

So I had a heart attack. It lasted 12 hours. Then I retired. Started collecting my social security check. $327 every month. Usually on the 2nd day of the month. Direct deposit into my Italian bank account. They charge me $25 to do that.

So I started reading. History. Biographies. Fiction. Fantasies. Mysteries. And watching The News. The Donald Trump News Network. And missing Jon Stewart. What a terrible moment to loose Jon Stewart, just when we need him the most. Loosing Jon Stewart has contributed to my Bad Feeling.

I fit in well with the online universe. Not so much with the real life universe. I never really belonged anywhere in particular. My parents were from diverse origins. I was/am part one thing, part something else. Not belonging anywhere really. A child of the cracks between the worlds. Not really accepted by either side. On my own. I chose my own side. The Old Indians. I grooved on the dignity and personal power they cultivate as they sit at the edge of the world in home made houses not shown on maps or listed in the phone book. My people.

The Pop is here. I watched him on Rachel Maddow’s show. It brought tears to my eyes. Watching him hug and kiss people. Watching him ask young people to pray for him. “I really need it”, he said. It breaks my heart that earlier in the day he made a Saint of a Spanish Priest who murdered 80,000 American Indians. I don’t understand why American Indians are at the bottom of every list in the world. The American Indians do not matter to the world, to anyone. The American press does not even cover this story or report on the opposition and heartbreak of the American Indians of the United States who all oppose this absurd act. This great Pope has love for everyone, except the American Indians. Yet I had tears of humility for the loving way he treats people when he is on the street…and his courage for his upcoming address to the United States government, in a rare joint session of the Congress and Senate on Thursday. Later, after he made his historic speech, we learned that he wants us to listen to the Radical Voice inside our souls…to travel to the edges and the margins and embrace what is different and think more clearly about our choices. He made John Boehner cry. Me to. He held up two notorious radicals as Best Examples of Good Catholics. Radicals like me, an Old Dog panting in the Crevices of Time wondering what to do next. I was disappointed at the civility of his speech…in that he treated the combined House and Senate as if they are in fact a reasonable body when clearly they are not….here in the “Land of Dreams”. I am a kind of Priest, like the Pope. I understand how a good one thinks. Always the message is simple. Practical. Have the courage to do the right thing while respecting the dignity of all life and all people. The Old Indians have always said exactly this. I say exactly this to the face in the mirror that greets me every morning.

Yesterday (Wednesday) my wife and I found a little creek and made a little fire and had a little ceremony to welcome in the Equinox, say goodbye to Summer. It was sweet and nice. Simple. There were wild tomatoes growing all over the place. Beautiful tress filled with little birds singing. A light rain fell as we finished the ceremony. Just before the ceremony I composed and emailed my Equinox Poem. I have composed a poem for every equinox and solstice at least since 1975.

Earlier this year I composed and published a collection of these poems into a little book, “Under The Drum”. You can find out more about that at this link. 

The Moon’s Sacred Light. This weekend will be a great, bright, dramatic full moon. Aside from its drama, human beings no longer pay much attention to the Moon. Ancient peoples used the Moon as their calendar much more than they did the Sun. This great Moon will be the first of the new season. A gathering Moon. It is likely we will be up in Milano and making a nice ceremony with friends to gather up some of this energy. We have a ceremonial fire in Milan that has been going 12 years now. It will be a perfect place and moment to reflect on what has gone before and what might happen next.

Update: RE: The Pope

Yes. Papa Francis is doing a fine bit of work. His energy, endurance, strength and consistency is truly impressive. He has done a solid days work every day. Under the sacred rules of order and method he has created a series of true ceremonies, true elements of the mystery life have been invoked. Yet through it all the question of his contempt and disregard of every issue related to the treatment and policy of the church to American Indians is nearly of a criminal nature. The whole affair is not in balance. This is after all the real problem with the Wa of the Dog.

Equinox Twenty Fifteen

Bologna Italy

Monday, September 07, 2015

Hilary Rodham Clinton : The American Indian Vote

©2015 Turtle Heart: Bubble Dance

I have preferred Mrs Clinton over Obama. All along. I have come to truly admire Barack Obama. He seems a geniunely good and intelligent man. His humanity on the stage of the world is truly beautiful. There remains a timidity about him that has disappointed me all along. I voted for him because of course voting for the manic and rather unstable John McCain was not reasonable. I am a registered Democrat, but I have voted in the past for a few Republican elected offices. I voted for Richard Nixon on the strength of his incredible, noble, and largely ignored and unsuspected support for and actions taken for American Indians. When Nixon died, American Indian drummers came from all over the USA to drum him over. Nixon was the only US President for whom the American Indians did this. President Obama was, in fact, adopted by the Crow Nation and given a ceremonial name. Yet what he has done for American Indians is timid, modest, and important but also inadequate. I am not sure Mrs Clinton will do much for the American Indians, thus, that fact alone has never been the deciding factor about whom I might vote.

Now is her time. There is no question. She should be and I suspect will be elected President of the United States in twenty sixteen.

The political right, at this moment, is organising to spend, perhaps billions of dollars to stop that from happening. The only amusing part of that sad reality is that the last election cycle showed that the dark, unnamed money put up by the right in the last election cycle accomplished very little. The Clinton’s are the most investigated people perhaps in the history of the world. And they have found what? Essentially nothing, ever. The “average voter”, a creature of pavlovian reflex who appears to have no memory, forgets this salient truth. Everyone should relax and have confidence that this exhaustively investigated woman is OK, plain and simple.


Every little quirk has been magnified, amplified, spun, twisted, hyped and pumped up by the great noise machine to the point where the millions of people with no time or inclination to think the facts through, believe she has done “bad things”. This is a true magician’s trick. Even the most responsible, so-called intelligent and professional journalists hype the talking points manufactured from shadows and smoke by the political right, implying these clown bullets are some form of truth simply because they are spoken. The fractured, essentially sad truth of this “dark coup” by the political right has become the daily talking points spun out by the national press. These negative talking points cost billions of dollars and thousands of operatives and hours of hype to become the solid toxic waste they now occupy in the talking head class.

She is not a really great public speaker. She makes all her points with logic and skill, but she has the typical lawyerly slipperiness. She speaks to an audience that could be better educated, patient and perceptive…but usually is not. She is a far better speaker that George Bush, any of tthe “Bushes” in fact, who are mumbling, stumbling GOP one percenters whose entire natures are dedicated to the aspirations and desires of the oil industry to the exclusion of all other concerns. They are shells of men, not men directly or truly. They are Thoreau’s “men of wood”. The perfect GOP operative. The Democrats rarely have good speakers. Bill Clinton wasn't a good speaker until he stopped being a President.

I consider myself educated, informed, present in real time with a reasonable level of common sense…and some patience to think through what I am told to reach my own conclusions.

The “sins” of Hilary Clinton are trivial. They are far less than mine and probably far less than yours.

Stop drinking the poisoned kool-aid of the national media. Pay attention. Think through what you are hearing. Remember the professional money, professional liars, infiltrated into every network and public institution.

Remember the GOP and their fanatical determination to always say NO to Barack Obama. These are the same people who tell you not to “trust” Mrs. Clinton. You know that, right? Keep it in mind. Always. Pay Attention.

Calm down. Gather yourself. Do not fear the mist, the fog, the noise. Stay in your body and go ahead and vote for Hilary Rodham Clinton. No. She is not perfect. She does not need to be. Yes. She is brave. She is experienced. She is smart enough. She is prepared. Ready. Let It Happen.

As to policy. Take The Money. There is always money laying about to kill people. When it comes to money for helping people? Not so much. Clearly the GOP believes spending any money at all on helping people with education, with food, with health care, with work is forbidden, a grave sin and something to be stopped as harshly as possible. And. They do it with a straight face. But money for drones and spies and bullets is easy to find. They will print more or go to the credit card if it dies up. Always money for killing? Yes. You Betcha.

Clinton will find money to help people. Democrats, at least, normally, are willing to do that. For that reason alone, at this particular time, we need her.

As to legacy, of the United States? The Supreme Court. Again Pay Attention. The next president will almost certainly need to replace at least one of the Justices. Really. Do we ant another Thomas or Scalia? This is really important. This alone is probably reason enough to elect Hilary Clinton. Look at what the Robert’s Court has given us and tell me you are not worried about who will replace Justice Ginsberg?

When I look at the proposed field of GOP candidates for President of this United States of America…..I just want to vomit.

Clinton will have the American Indian Vote. No question.

William Fredric Posey
(Turtle Heart)
Vote From Abroad dot Com via Taos County New Mexico

Pantelleria Italy

Monday, August 03, 2015

Every Animal on Mother Earth Is In Danger : Dead World Chronicles

 The long historical disgrace of our treatment, abuse, exploitation and murder of animals….


All of them, from the highest to the lowest. From the microscopic to the leviathans.

I liked every kind of animal right from the very beginning. My mother told me I used to walk around with insects parked on my arm or in my hand; talking to them. Telling them stories, Singing them songs. Even “Flys”, she said.

The betrayal and destruction of so many animals; the exploitation and brutality of the commercial and medical use of animals…all of it. There are billions, billions I say again, billions of animals used up one way or another. The absolute magnitude of the assault on the animal population of the earth is, to me, utterly unspeakable.

As a kid, I started out as a kid; I feel really let down. Every animal on earth is either in danger directly, or living in nervous fear of every human being around it in anticipation of danger. When I was a kid, the very idea that this portfolio of information about the fate and condition of our animals, was unthinkable. As an old man, I still remember the feelings that kid had for the animals.

Even as we continue to discover new species, animals all over the world are on the run from civilisation, from corporations, from poachers, from the indifference of idiots. Some countries have placed entire categories of animals under armed guards.

Spider killing tourist: A woman, middle-aged, short and a little stocky. She was accompanied by a man. They were walking up to the well-greened entrance to my art gallery in the PNW  and I was coming up to meet them just at the first stair to the gallery entrance; the woman stops, stomps on a spider, just as I catch up with them. I was quite agitated..immediately asked her why she was killing spiders on my land? She had nothing to say, she and the man. I told them directly off the land and watched as they walked back to their automobile. That was so long ago, but I will never forget it. I was never the kind of person to stomp on or smack insects or lizards or ants as they go about. Yet, this kind of behaviour is so common, no one thinks anything about it at all. Even now, if an insect gets into the house, I take a few moments and just carry it or direct it out the door. That feels a lot better than slamming them into a smear.

I don’t like dogs so much. All that unrestrained barking. But I don’t want to hurt them. There is nothing so sad as the face of an abused and neglected doggie. It is complicated. Our attitude towards the animals. Or it seems to be.

What about Cecile the Lion? A beloved and “protected”, majestic animal, with a large family depending upon him, shot with an arrow…in terror and pain, running for his life for hours…bleeding, filled with fear and rage: finally murdered with a bullet from a high powered “sport rifle”…skinned, his head cut off. All done by a coward with money, an ignorant white man, a medical professional (dentist)…from what was once the heartland of Ojibwe lands.

There appears to be some outrage. Is there enough outrage to change anything? Maybe. Just a little. Some 600 lions are “legally” hunted each year. That needs to fucking stop.

Some time ago a man world famous for his life long work with Elephants passed away in Africa. For days Elephants from all over Africa made their way to his home base to say goodbye. !!!! A teaching moment for all human beings. How did they know? Why did they care? This is one of the most incredible events I have seen in my entire life. No one is paying attention.

For centuries human beings have dismissed, ignored, abused and denied that the animals have souls, feeling, memories, intelligence, awareness: all lies…cowardly, ignorant, arrogant and deeply disturbing.

We have all heard stories about dogs or cats separated from their adopted families, sometimes by thousands of miles, finding their way home again…somehow, some way. The consequence: humanity has learned nothing. We ignore and refuse to take into our comprehension these lessons, these revelations, these absolute proofs.

Dead Eagles in New Mexico: years ago there was a federal agency who set up an operation where they would buy animal bodies, Eagles in particular. In that area Eagles had made a great recovery after years and years of being rare. This part of New Mexico is very poor. Very few jobs for anyone. The word went out that this little group was paying cash for Eagles, up to $10,000 for a single Eagle. That is a lot of money in an area where there are no jobs. Up until that moment, no one was bothering the Eagles and they had made a strong recovery. However, as the word got around about this cash being available, people who had never broken the law started killing Eagles. Dozens were killed and sold to these undercover agents. Eventually the buy operation was closed and police closed in and arrested all those poor people who had sold them dead Eagles. Once the cases came to court, however, something strange happened. The judge hearing the case was outraged. He felt that the cops had set everyone up. He felt that until the cops showed up, there was in fact not a problem. In his outrage he actually dismissed all the cases against the so-called poachers…AND brought charges against the agents who initiated this stupid program. To bad there are not more courageous judges like this one. I have been poor. In my life I have even been homeless, without food also. Yet I never would kill an Eagle to get money. I am not sympathetic to poor people who loose their souls and feel they should kill an Eagle to feed themselves…BUT I do understand the pressure, the desperation. It is this same sorry pressure that leads poor Africans to murder endangered animals for their body parts. Like the stupid cops in New Mexico, really, it is the BUYER, the people willing to buy endangered animals and their parts that create these problems. IF no one would buy Rhino horn, the Rhino would be safe.

The old Indians lived in great harmony and respect for the animals and the plants around them. These facts are well known and well documented. YET it is these humble and intelligent people who were called savages and condemned by the Europeans who swarmed over the “new world” like a vicious virus, killing every animal in sight, harvesting the ancient forests, creating massive, farms dependant upon toxic chemicals and insane ecological devastation to make their money. 

Modern people are still doing this…it has in fact become elevated to a high art with huge factories processing thousands of chickens, cows, pigs, corn, tobacco, vegetables at unimaginable scales. Plants feed on chemicals in dead soil in arid deserts. Pigs and cows spend their entire short lives standing in pens where they cannot even turn around.

That kid who walked around the house with a bug on his arm, discussing the merits of affection and friendship, wanted to change the world. He thought all the animals would help him, would believe him, even if he never really said this to anyone else, to the adults. Sixty years later everything has changed. But not in the way I imagined. Not in the way that I hoped. 

As a boy I thought education was the root and the key. In my regular classes in pre-college schools, the balance of nature, the value of animals, the ethics of responsible behaviour was “taught” to us almost daily. As an adult I have watched the GOP gut and decimate schools, teachers, curriculums. I have watched how even so-called religious organisations have forbidden and repressed honest science…and politicians fuelled by corporate profits fight, resist and destroy common sense regulations and laws that would protect and preserve nature…every fucking day I see this.

It is like watching the inmates of the asylum become the overlords. The criminals become the law givers. The cowards become the protectors. In the America this disaster is fuelled entirely by the political right, whose God is Ronald Reagan. 

How can this be changed? Hundreds of millions of animals tortured for science and for cosmetics…majestic, ancient species murdered for some small body part…ancient species murdered for the sport of despicable, bored, men and women with money…I know absolutely no one right now who has any idea how to stop this terrible momentum.

I did learn some important lessons from the old Indians who were my teachers in this life. Those lessons are humble lessons. Lessons about the power of the individual. Lessons about individuals learning to take responsibility for their lives, for their choices. YOU. ME. I. That is our only hope. You and I have powers of choice. Power to choose what we buy, whom we vote for, what we do with our feet and hands. Saying this feels almost, but not completely, hopeless. There is so much apathy, indifference; so little courage. I have not in fact changed the world, but I have changed little things…one by one, day by day, in small groups, in private conversations, in small ceremonies.

Each individual who struggles to Wake Up can help one other person Wake Up. The Power of the One. Of you. That is, today, our only hope. That is our most sacred resource. You.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

South Carolina : I Am A Child of the South

©2015 WF Posey || My Mother Mary Christine Hutto and her bothers and sister.
2 brothers and one sister not shown. Uncle Fred (Butch) Hutto on the lower right.

Child of the South || The Shattered Myth, A New Southern Strategy

I am, perhaps not uniquely, a child of complex history. While in my adult life, my professional and spiritual life identifies with and works and lives within my American Indian ancestry, I was born in the south. I am a child of the southern culture in as many ways as I am or am not a worthy child of those Ojibwe ancestors.

I was born, in fact, in South Carolina; in Bamberg County, in Bamberg itself. Much of what is my nature, honestly both good and bad, is from my nuture experience as a child in a southern culture. My life-long work within the American Indian culture, also a part of my heritage, has often eclipsed that Southern part...but it is always there, some operational part of my attitudes and passions.

I remember, in these later years, so many sweet circumstances and adventures very precious to recall. Southern Hospitality was once legendary. Welcome everyone. Food was often used to bring everyone together. As a child I attended beyond counting BBQ, Socials, Holiday diners and other feasts that instilled in me that, in a southern home, the center of the home and family and community, was the Kitchen Table.

When I was a child, we had relatives who lived deep in the forest in Bamberg County. We had to park the car, my father always favored Chrysler products, and walk down long and narrow foot paths to the house. For a kid, this was a great experience. Of course these days, all those old deep forest farms are gone and everyone has a driveway…yet even today, many of them are red dirt.

It was a childhood swmming in the new great lake at the border with georgie; old Xlark Hill resevoir. I had several Uncles who helped build that lake, heavy euipment operators. My oldest Uncle, Fred (we called him “Butch”) was  a forman on the building for many years, his wife the Administrator/Manger of the lake for many years. I floated and payed and fished and lived on that lake every summer from the time I was 8 or 9 until I was 18.

My Uncle Fred, in the summer months, always held and hosted at least one major BBQ and Fish Fry. There was always a full pig barbequed in the old way. Uncle Fred had a “black man”, a local man he knew for years and years, cook this pig all night the day before. Quite often the 4th of July was when this scene came together. I don’t recall this man’s name. Last time I saw him I was 16 years old. My two coinsins, Fred’s sons, and I always stayed up all night with this man and “helped” him cook that pig. Those nights with that man are some of my most precious memories. My cousins and I had our first sip of Moonshine on those sultry summer nights. Moonshine and cigarettes. And ghost stories. We would stay up all night: it takes about 14 hours to pit cook a fully grown pig. As far as eating meat goes, it does not get any better than this. The "black man" of course did not eat with the family and was invisible to everyone but Uncle Fred and my cousins and I.

Today, and in recent years I spend some time observing, and lamenting, the political scene in South Carolina. In the daily debacle that has become the absurdity of the United States congress and the United States Senate, South Carolina unfortunately is to often at the center of that sorry situation:

Take the senior US Senator of South Carolina: Lindsay Graham. Political posturing of the bat shit crazy variety. 

 Over and over. For. years. 

 Yet, since opening a candidacy for the US Presidency, has said some quite reasonable and charming things…showing us with unfortunate clarity that his US Senator hob is driven by posturing alone. That seems unforgiveable to me. Trusting someone who so easly becomes a song and dance man for the lunatics to the right of reason in the US Senate. I feel only shame every day that Graham is the senator of South Carolina….what does it say about the people of that state that this is their man? That is perhaps the most surprising part…not that Graham has the ambitions that he does, but that the good people of South Carolina agree with him.

On the other hand, I learned all my lessons about the importance and value of respecting women from my mother, herself a child of South Carolina. Southern manners and courtesy towards women is itself, once upon a time, quite legendary. Then came Governor Nikki Haley, demonstrating yet another dimension to the tragedy of consciousness dominating the politics of that state. And. Contributing to the severe bullshit overload dominating American politics right now. Haley, like lunatic fringe, ugly bag of mostly water, Gov. "Bobby" Jindal, is an "immigrant" from India. Both of these two strange people posture as children of the south, putting in the trash every clue, symptom and trace of their actual heritage (which seems perverse to me). There are a lot of these transplanted, "trans-Southern" actors in South carolina politics at this moment.

It stretches my inborn instinct of support for women, this Gov. Haley. She is to bizarre to talk about. When she lifts her voice to get rid, at last, of the confederate flag that floats over the state capital, the vote in the South Carolina senate agress, as it should…but this is a smokescreen. As the bill to advance the removal of the flag, a single white South Carolina senator has added more than two dozen amendments to this simple bill. This behavior is designed to kill the bill to remove the flag…all while keeping a pretty low profile. To protect the racist flag. A message to the Governor, a message to the klan.

South Carolina has now several expensive, exquisite public monuments, the best ones with enclosures, landscaping and enclosed in the manner of shrines. The founder of the klu klux klan. A celebrated hero from North Carolina to Louisiana.

Hundreds of bridges, public buildings, highways, schools and parks are named after the most notorious protectors of the slave trade. Without being loud about it, this particular face of South Carolina eclipses all other possible ways to look at that state and its people.

Posturing. The New Modified Southern Strategy, Part Two. I grew up knowing boys like Lindsay Graham. Boys who never had a date with the girls. There is a type of man in South Carolina that is androgynous. Graham is probably not gay, he is probably not even heterosexual like a normal manly man. I had several relatives, males, who showed the exact inflection, style, “wa” as the Japanese describe the manner…boys with lonely childhoods and subjected to multi-generational rumors and gossip (but quietly).

We have an aggressive leadership that has one unforgivable flaw: they do not believe the words that come out of their own mouths. This is political machine politics at its most desperately determined. A formidable force. In fact.

It is fascinating that the African American community stayed so calm in the face of the recent massacre of some great citizens, beloved citizens, by a skinny, deficient nothing of a confused white boy. No riots. No swat police out in tanks. Quiet. Dignified. Suspicious perhaps.

Finally, early in the morning, 1 AM, on the 9th of July, 2015, the vote was passed to remove this damned flag. At least on the lawn of the South Carolina State House grounds. There was an embarrassing amount of posturing from the white GOP, nearly fatal posturing...but it was finally burst by the emotional and moving outburst of passion and sufferance by Rep. Jenny Horne...and she really laid it on the line; a really great little speech. 10 AM, 10 June, 2015. The "flag" will come down. At least from in front of the South Carolina State House.

an editorial muse
Turtle Heart, aka William Fredric Posey, aka "Skipper" in SC.

Sunday, July 05, 2015

An American Indian Fourth of July : Not So Much

Herein, an editorial sampling of American indian ideas of the 4th of July. Like many other "holidays" on the American calendar, American Indian communities participate, because really everyone loves a holiday, especially the children. Yet we view them with some consternation, some suspicion, some dread.

Rezinate is an interesting blog narrative, often controversial, and clearly, like many of us, not enamoured of the myths, crimes, and corrupted plastic heroes of "AIM", the so-called American Indian is his latest post on 4th of July, for your editorial consideration:

HarrietNahanee 2
“What I would like to see is people with [traditional] knowledge to teach the small, little people how to grow up with pride. This generation is lost. My generation is lost − they’re  assimilated. They don’t think like an Indian. What I’d like to see is our five-year-olds being taught their language, their songs, their games, their spirituality, their Indian, eh, their Indian-ness. I’d like to ask all the people out there to reclaim their culture − practice it, teach the children, and let’s reclaim our backbone, our culture and put some pride in our children.”
The above words were spoken by Harriet Nahanee who passed away in 2007 – the loss of another tradition based grandmother/elder the nations can ill afford.
It isn’t just the little ones who no longer think like an Indian, but a great many who were little ones when the AIM era of destruction and corruption began.
Pride….can be misplaced, manipulated, ego centric, inflated, and entirely unwarranted – but it is also an integral part of any culture.
An essential ingredient that contributes to communal well being and standing in opposition to assimilation blunting it’s advance – this is the pride Harriet spoke of.
Not tats proclaiming it, not alcoholism, substance abuse, dependency, gangs, or the likes of cultural genocidists such as the AIM leadership.
Not the selling and corruption of ceremonies that characterizes shaimsters like Leonard Crow Dog, Dennis Banks, Clyde Bellecourt, or the great bunko artist Russell Means.
Harriet was a diminutive grandmother, but more than that a true woman of the nations and proof that women can be as much a warrior as any man, and more than some, when the need arises.
We are more than sheep or cattle to be confined to pastures, we are the land.
Which brings me to this day, The 4th of July, and it’s significance for the nations:
People will be celebrating and watching the fireworks displays.
The children of our nations are no exception, no different than other children when it comes to such things, they too are captivated by the thunderous display of fireworks and I have no issue with that, but at some point they should also understand that as nations our Independence Day has yet to come, that the fireworks only represent bright lights in the night sky for us, for them….and for those who know and understand the history something entirely different.
Hopefully one day we as nations will have a comparable reason to celebrate, and in doing so will not have enslaved or oppressed anyone. 
In the interim our little ones may watch and marvel if the opportunity presents itself while they too wait as do all within the nations.
©2015 Rezinate

This, from the Museum of the American Indian:

Do American Indians Celebrate the 4th of July?
The following was originally posted on July 3, 2013 by the National Museum of American Indian and has been updated with more readers’ comments and descriptions. Follow the discussion on the museum's Facebook page.

How do Indians observe the 4th of July? Do we celebrate? To answer, let’s turn back the pages of time. A reasonable chapter to begin in is July 1776, when the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence and 13 colonies became the United States of America. With the emergence of a nation interested in expanding its territory came the issue of what to do with American Indians. History tells us that as the American non-Indian population increased, the indigenous population greatly decreased, along with their homelands and cultural freedoms.
From the beginning, U.S. government policy contributed to culture and land loss. Keeping our focus on the 4th of July, however, let’s jump to the early 1880s, when Secretary of the Interior Henry Teller developed what has come to be called the Religious Crimes Code—regulations at the heart of the Department of Interior, Office of Indian Affairs, Code of Indian Offenses that prohibited American Indian ceremonial life.
Teller's general guidelines to all Indian agents were to end tribal dances and feasts. Enforced on reservations, the code banned Indian ceremonies, disrupted religious practices, and destroyed or confiscated sacred objects. Indian ceremonial activities were prohibited under threat of imprisonment and/or the withholding of treaty rations.
The Secretary of the Interior issued this Code of Regulations in 1884, 1894, and 1904 through Indian Affairs Commissioner's circulars and Indian agent directives. Indian superintendents and agents implemented the code until the mid-1930s. During this 50-year period, Indian spiritual ceremonies such as the Sun Dance and Ghost Dance were held in secret or ceased to exist. Some have since been revived or reintroduced by Indian tribes.
In response to this policy of cultural and religious suppression, some tribes saw in the 4th of July and the commemoration of American independence a chance to continue their own important ceremonies. Superintendents and agents justified allowing reservations to conduct ceremonies on the 4th of July as a way for Indians to learn patriotism to the United States and to celebrate its ideals. That history is why a disproportionate number of American Indian tribal gatherings take place on or near the 4th of July and are often the social highlights of the year. Over time these cultural ceremonies became tribal homecomings. American Indian veterans in particular were welcomed home as modern-day warriors. The Navajo Tribe of Arizona and Pawnee of Oklahoma are two examples of tribes that use the 4th of July as an occasion to honor their tribal veterans.
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During these celebrations, tribal flag songs and veterans’ songs are sung. More than 12,000 American Indians served during World War I, and after the war, the American flag began to be given a prominent position at American Indian gatherings, especially those held on the 4th of July. This symbol of patriotism and national unity is carried into powwow and rodeo arenas today. It is extremely important to note that before the Reservation Era, when most Indians saw the American flag coming toward their villages and camps, it symbolized conflict, death, and destruction.
Today tribes hold ceremonies and celebrations on or near Independence Day for different reasons. The Lumbee of North Carolina and Mattaponi of Virginia use this time as a homecoming for tribal members to renew cultural and family ties. The Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma holds Gourd Clan ceremonies on the 4th of July because the holiday coincides with their Sun Dance, which once took place during the hottest part of the year. The Lakota of South Dakota and Cheyenne of Oklahoma continue to have some of their annual Sun Dances on the weekends closest to the 4th of July to coincide with the celebration of their New Year. Some American Indians do not celebrate the 4th of July because of the negative consequences to Indian people throughout history, while others simply get together with family and have cookouts, like many non-Native American citizens.
Jumping ahead to the present: To find out how American Indians across the country spend their 4th of July, we went to Facebook. This handful of replies represents both the diversity of responses we received and the direction of the discussion:
Carnegie, Oklahoma: We celebrate every 4th Gourd Dancing, camping, and visiting my Kiowa people while we’re here, listening to the beautiful Kiowa songs. For three days we are just in Kiowa heaven. Been doing this for years. Now my parents have gone on, but we will continue to attend the Kiowa Gourd Dance Celebration.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: Do American Indians celebrate the 4th of July? Answer: Yes, it represents freedom in the United States of America. Freedom to continue to worship Creator, freedom to dance my prayers, freedom to sweat, freedom to rise early and pray the day in and be up late to pray the day out. We, the Host People, celebrate the 4th of July every day!
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Prewitt, New Mexico, and the Navajo Nation: No, I do not celebrate. Because I as a Diné will never relinquish my belief or understanding that we as a people and a nation have the right to be loyal to the Holy Ones before all others, including the United States of America, since we as a people existed long before there was ever a United States.
Taos, New Mexico: Taos is a very close knit community, and even more so at Taos Pueblo nearby. Both have had many citizens serve in America's military in the heartfelt belief that they are protecting our nation. One of our honored tribal elders is Tony Reyna, 97, who survived the Bataan Death March in World War II. I have been told many times that, for us, the idea of protection goes deeper than for most Americans, because this land is where our people emerged, and that any threat to it is met from a place of deep, deep meaning. People here celebrate Independence Day pretty much as they do everywhere. It's a day off, and there are parades and fireworks displays. But for many we remember WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, and the sacrifices our people made. I wish all people could remember that, especially those who allow blind bigotry and hate to cloud their judgment.
Parshall, North Dakota, and the Three Affiliated Tribes: The 4th is the celebration of independence, which Native people have practiced as sovereign nations for generations.
Shawnee, Oklahoma: No, I do not celebrate Independence Day, simply because the Declaration of Independence labels my people "our enemies, the merciless savages of our frontiers." You notice they were already calling the frontiers "ours" when the land was not theirs. Because I do not celebrate Independence Day does not mean I am not proud of our Native American veterans and soldiers. I am very proud of them and of the fact almost all Native American families have a family member who is a veteran and/or an active member in the Armed Forces.
Anadarko, Oklahoma: I am Kiowa/Delaware/Absentee Shawnee, my mom is a Kiowa/Comanche, my uncle is a vet, as many of my other relatives are, as well as my stepdad (Comanche/Caddo). My Delaware grandma always said, “This is not our holiday. Out of respect we will honor their day, because our people helped them.” She said, “I will mourn on this day.” She would wear a black dress that day.
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Laguna, New Mexico, and the Pueblos of Acoma and Laguna: I celebrate the 4th of July and I do so proudly. … When you have been lucky enough to travel and see life in other places, you come to appreciate the home and land you live on. Maybe I'm not as bitter as some of my other Indigenous brothers and sisters because my tribes were not relocated and have been lucky to remain on ancestral lands. Our Pueblo people … fought against the Spanish in the Pueblo Revolt, but also learned to harmonize with the Catholic Church. Many years—even centuries—of healing have taken place to get us to this point. And I think by celebrating the 4th of July, I feel I am honoring that healing my Pueblo ancestors have prayed for. …
Sawmill, Arizona, and the Navajo Nation: I recognize Independence Day as a day off, as time with family. I recognize that the United States declared its independence on that day, but Native people weren't a part of their envisioned emancipation. As Native people, we recognized our independence through our prayers and practicing our traditions. We didn't need a special day to mark our freedom, we just were. So on the 4th of July, I will practice my American heritage and celebrate this country's Independence Day. But my heart knows I don't need a day to recognize my autonomy.
Oklahoma City and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma: I think of the 4th of July as American Ideals Day. If only America would live up to its own stated ideals, none of what happened to American Indian people would have happened. Today, if those ideals were finally acted upon, American Indian sovereignty would be fully recognized and the treaties would be kept intact. The fireworks celebrate the great ideals that could be America, if only greed were not allowed to pervert them.
Norman, Oklahoma: My 13-year-old son (Comanche/Cherokee) is currently reading the U.S. Constitution (just because). When I asked him about the 4th the other day, he kind of shook his head and said that most people just don't get it. Reading the comment above on American Ideals Day made me think of how true it is—how little we know about America's ideals of the past and where we hold them now.
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Wichita, Kansas: My people, Kiowas, have always held this time of the year as a gathering of all our bands. They would celebrate for a week, indulging in each society’s dances, renewing friendships, visiting relatives, and so on. As we progressed into this modern society we are a part of, we recognized the importance of this celebration even more so. To honor our freedoms and the men and women who sacrificed for us today is truly a reason to celebrate the 4th of July. Does it mean we are to forget our struggles and the plight of our people? NO, but it commemorates the beauty of our land and the resolve of this nation we call America.
Pawnee, Oklahoma: [It's a day] to celebrate all our Native men and women who served in the Armed Forces of the United States of America, our Native men [the Codetalkers] without whose tribal language, [World War II] might have been lost. To honor our fallen ones, who sacrificed their lives for us, and the veterans who are buried in our tribal cemeteries… and overseas. To honor my daughter … in the U.S. Army, a proud Native American woman who is serving our country.
Waikoloa, Hawai'i, via the Red Cloud Indian School, Pine Ridge, South Dakota: It is a sad time, … thinking of all the treaties never honored. I try to hold my children and grandcubs near and invite others who are alone or ill or elderly to eat lots of food that I cook until I am very tired and thank the Creator for another wonderful day.
As Americans everywhere celebrate the 4th of July, I think about how many American Indians are taking their yearly vacations back to their reservations and home communities. All across Indian country, tribes hold modern celebrations— including powwows, rodeos, and homecomings—that coincide with the United States’ Independence Day celebrations.
As for me, I’ll be with my two daughters, and we'll watch a huge fireworks display!
Dennis Zotigh (Kiowa/San Juan Pueblo/Santee Dakota Indian) is a writer and cultural specialist at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.

...and THIS, from 1854 by John Quinney, a Mahican American Indian:

Fourth of July Address at Reidsville, New York

by John Quinney (Mahican, 1854)

From Great Documents in American Indian History, Edited by Moquin, Wayne and Charles Van Doren (1973). 
It may appear to those whom I have the honor to address a singular taste for me, an Indian, to take an interest in the triumphal days of a people who occupy, by conquest or have usurped, the possessions of my fathers and have laid and carefully preserved a train of terrible miseries to end when my race ceased to exist. 
But thanks to the fortunate circumstances of my life I have been taught in the schools and been able to read your histories and accounts of Europeans, yourselves and the Red Man; which instruct me that while your rejoicings today are commemorative of the free birth of this giant nation, they simply convey to my mind the recollection of a transfer of the miserable weakness and dependence, of my race from one great power to another.
My friends, I am getting old and have witnessed for many years your increase in wealth and power while the steady consuming decline of my tribe admonishes me that their extinction is inevitable. They know it themselves and the reflection teaches them humility and resignation, directing their attention to the existence of those happy hunting grounds which the Great Father has prepared for all his red children. 
In this spirit, my friends, as a Muh-he-con-new, and now standing upon the soil which once was and now ought to be the property of this tribe, I have thought for once and certainly the last time I would shake you by the hand and ask you to listen for a little while to what I have to say.
About the year 1645, when King Ben the last of the hereditary chiefs of the Muh-he-con-new nation was in his prime, grand council was convened of the Muh-he-con-new tribe for the purpose of conveying from the old to the young men a knowledge of the past.
Councils for this object especially had been held. Here for the space of two moons, the stores of memory were dispensed; corrections and comparisons made and the results committed to faithful breasts to be transmitted again to succeeding posterity.
Many years after, another and last council of this kind was held; and the traditions reduced to writing, by two of our young men who had been taught to read and write in the school of the Rev. John Sargent of Stockbridge, Mass. They were obtained in some way by a white man for publication, who soon after dying, all trace of them became lost. The traditions of the tribe, however, have mainly been preserved, of which I give you substantially, the following:
A great people from the northwest crossed over the salt water, and after long and weary pilgrimage, planting many colonies on their track, took possession of and built their fires upon the Atlantic coast, extending from the Delaware on the south to the Penobscott on the north. They became in process of time different tribes and interests; all, however, speaking one common dialect. 
This great Confederacy, Pequots, Penobscot, and many others (Delawares, Mohegans, Manses, Narragansetts) held its councilfires once a year to deliberate on the general welfare.
Patriarchal delegates from each tribe attended, assisted by the priests and the wise men, who communicated the will and invoked the blessing of the Great and Good Spirit. The policies and decisions of this council were everywhere respected, and inviolably observed. Thus contentment smiled upon their existence and they were happy. 
Their religion communicated by priest and prophet, was simple and true.The manner of worship is imperfectly transmitted; but their reverence for a Great Spirit, the observance of feasts each fear, the offering of beasts in thanksgiving and atonement is clearly expressed. 
They believed the soul to be immortal—in the existence of a happy land beyond the view, inhabited by those whose lives had been blameless. While for the wicked had been reserved a region of misery covered with thorns and thistles, where comfort and pleasure were unknown. Time was divided into years and seasons; twelve moons for a year, a number of years by so many winters.
The tribe to which your speaker belongs and of which there were many bands, occupied and possessed the country from the seashore at Manhattan to Lake Champlain. Having found the ebb and flow of the tide, they said: "This is Muh-he-con-new," "Like our waters which are never still.” From this expression and by this name they were afterwards known, until the removal to Stockbridge in the year 1630. 
Housatonic River Indians, Mohegans, Manhattans, were all names of bands in different localities, but bound together as one family by blood and descent. 
At a remote period, before the advent of the European their wise men foretold the coming of a strange race from the sunrise, as numerous as the leaves upon the trees, who would eventually crowd them from their fair land possessions. But apprehension was mitigated by the knowledge and belief at that time entertained, that they originally were not there, and after a period of years they would return to the west from which they had come. And they moreover said all Red Men are sprung from a common ancestor, made by the Great Spirit from red clay, who will unite their strength to avert a common calamity. This tradition is confirmed by the common belief, which prevails in our day with all the Indian tribes; for they recognize one another by their color, as brothers and acknowledge one Great Creator. 
Two hundred and fifty winters ago, this prophecy was verified and the Muh-he-con-new for the first time beheld the paleface. Their number was small, but their canoes were big. 
In the select and exclusive circles of your rich men of the present day I should encounter the gaze of curiosity, but not such as overwhelmed the senses of the Aborigines, my ancestors. Our visitors were white and must be sick. They asked for rest and kindness; we gave them both. They were strangers, and we took them in; naked and we clothed them. 
The first impression of astonishment and pity was succeeded by awe and admiration of superior intelligence and address.
A passion for information and improvement possessed the Indians. A residence was given—territory offered—and covenants of friendship exchanged. 
Your written accounts of events at this period are familiar to you, my friends. Your children read them every day in their school books; but they do not read—no mind at this time can conceive, and no pen record, the terrible story of recompense for kindness, which for two hundred years has been paid the simple, guileless Muh-he-con-new. 
I have seen much myself—1 have been connected with more—and I tell you I know all. The tradition of the wise men is figuratively true that our home at last will be found in the west; for another tradition informs us that far beyond the setting sun, upon the smiling happy lands, we shall be gathered with our fathers, and be at rest.
Promises and professions were freely given and ruthlessly and intentionally broken. To kindle your fires was sought as a privilege; and yet at that moment you were transmitting to your kings intelligence of our possessions, "by right of discovery," and demanding assistance to assert your hold.
Where are the 25,000 in number, and the 4,000 warriors, who constituted the power and population of the great Muh-he-con'new nation in 1604? 
They have been victims to vice and disease, which the white men imported. Smallpox, measles and firewater have done the work of annihilation. Divisions and feuds were insidiously promoted between the several bands. They were induced to thin each others ranks without just cause; and subsequently were defeated and disorganized in detail. 
It is curious, the history of my tribe, in its decline, in the last two centuries and a half. Nothing that deserved the name of purchase was made. From various causes, they were induced to abandon their territory at intervals and retire farther inland. Deeds were given indifferently to the government by individuals, for which little or no compensation was paid. 
The Indians were informed, in many instances, that they were selling one piece of land when they were conveying another and much larger limits. Should a particular band, for purposes of hunting or fishing, for a time leave its usual place of residence, the land was said to be abandoned,and the Indian claim extinguished. To legalize and confirm titles thus acquired, laws and edicts were subsequently passed, and these laws were said then to be, and are now called, justice. 
Oh, what mockery to confound justice with law! Will you look steadily at the intrigues, bargains, corruptions and log rollings of your present legislatures, and see any trace of justice? And by what test shall be tried the acts of the colonial courts and councils? 
Let it not surprise you, my friends, when I say that the spot upon which I stand has never been rightly purchased or obtained. And by justice, human and Divine, is the property of the remnant of the great people from whom I am descended. They left it in the tortures of starvation and to improve their miserable existence; but a cession was never made, and their title was never extinguished.
The Indian is said to be the ward of the white man, and the negro his slave. Has it ever occurred to you, my friend, that while the negro is increasing and increased by every appliance, the Indian is left to rot and die before the inhumanities of this model republic?
You have your tears and groans and mobs and riots for the individuals of the former, while your indifference of purpose and vacillation of policy is hurrying to extinction whole communities of the latter. 
What are the treaties of the general government? How often and when has its plighted faith been kept? Indian occupation is forever next year, or one removal follows another, or by the next commissioner, more wise than his predecessor, repurchased, and thus your sympathies and justice are evinced in speedily fulfilling the terrible destinies of our race.
My friends, your Holy Book, the Bible, teaches us that individual offenses are punished in an existence—when time shall be no more—and the annals of the earth are equally instructive that national wrongs are avenged, and national crimes atoned for in this world to which alone the conformation of existence adapts them. These events are above our comprehension, and for a wise purpose; for myself and for my tribe i ask for justice—I believe it will sooner or later occur, and may the Great Spirit enable me to die in hope 
Back To History Is A Weapon's Front Page
'Each generation must, out of its relative obscurity, discover its mission, fulfill it or betray it.' 
—Franz Fanon

As for The World Journey's feelings on 4th of July...a feeling of "not so much". Yet, who does not really like fireworks, or BBQ, or a chance to take a day off from work? On a personal level, American Indians like everyone else, looks at holidays as free time with family and friends and a chance to share good feelings. You don't have to be for an American Holiday to be against it.

So much is being lost...and even more has entered into a great maze of confusion, indifference and redirection. Everywhere, not just with American Indians. Perhaps this is just the normal movement of society, the inevitability of time.

We are loosing animals species at unprecedented rates. This sad statistic mirrors the loss of languages, ideas, insights and actual direct and beautiful knowledge itself; also at an unprecedented rate.

So, pass the baked beans.

Editor. July 2105.........

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Summer Solstice : Summer Dream 2015

doors open
my heart pounds the earth
like an ancient drum
fast and free
I am awake, I am alive
I may be on fire
even as I become like water
even as I weep in lonlieness
even as my life becomes short
even as I fall into a dream
I have followed my hopes
I have followed even my fear
I have spoken with the silence
I have forgotten
my shadows
even as I pass through
the open sky
and breathing
even as I pass from there to here
a song in an open sky

(solstice of summer twenty fifteen)

turtle heart ©2015

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