Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Elder's Meditation of the Day December 31

Elder's Meditation of the Day December 31
"They must give themselves to Wakan' Tanka and live a spiritual life. They will have the peace that frees them from fear."
--Frank Fools Crow, LAKOTA
There are two wills available for us: self will and God's will. Our choice is: figure it out ourselves, or have the Creator involved in our lives. If we are honest with ourselves and look at past experiences, what are our lives like when we try to figure it out ourselves? Is there fear, confusion, frustration, anger, attacking others, conflict, fault finding, manipulation, teasing others, belittling others or devaluation? If these things are present, they indicate that we are choosing self will. What is it like if we turn our will over to the Creator? What are the results if we ask the Great Spirit to guide our life? Examples are: freedom, choices, consequences, love, forgiveness, helping others, happiness, joy, solutions, and peace. Which will I choose today, self will or God's will?
Creator, I know what my choice is. I want You to direct my life. I want You to direct my thinking. You are the Grandfather. You know what I need even before I do. Today I ask You to tell me what I can do for You today. Tell me in a way I can understand and I will be happy to do it.

Monday, December 30, 2013


Once again I am thinking about writing a book. More for the story, not for the money. Though of course selling it would be nice.
But at the rate my brain is turning to mush, I won't remember any of it.

Boston 1901

1890: Dakota doctor witnesses Wounded Knee aftermath

1890: Dakota doctor witnesses Wounded Knee aftermath

Dr. Charles Eastman, a Dakota, hears reports of a battle. Despite a blizzard and Army efforts to delay him, three days later he arrives with 85 Lakotas and 10 to 15 white civilians who plan to bury the dead at Wounded Knee. Although he had been told that the incident was a battle, Eastman writes that it was massacre, in which those who fled were “relentlessly hunted down”. Amid the destruction he finds a baby girl, named Zinkala Nuni by Lakota survivors, who is adopted by an Army officer.
“Fully three miles from the scene of the massacre we found the body of a woman completely covered with a blanket of snow, and from this point on we found them scattered along as they had been relentlessly hunted down and slaughtered, while fleeing for their lives. Some of our people discovered relatives or friends among the dead, and there was much wailing and mourning. When we reached the spot where the Indian camp had stood, among the fragments of burned tents and other belongings, we saw frozen bodies lying close together or piled one upon another,” Charles Eastman wrote. “It took all my nerve to keep my composure in the face of this spectacle, and of the grief of my Indian companions, nearly everyone of whom was crying aloud or singing his death song.”

A Massacre Survivor Speaks...

A Massacre Survivor Speaks...

postcard courtesy of john smith: "...an odd coincidence that I should be looking at this postcard today,
December 29 [2007], which I did not know is the date of the infamy. I read the survivor's account
and I send this photograph of Beard and his brothers to you."

portrait of dewey beard

portraits of wounded knee warriors 

He liked to talk about the past...In Lakota, he was called Wasee Maza - Iron Tail - and years after the massacre, General Nelson Miles had invited him to Washington and introduced Beard to a number of military officials. Among those he met was Admiral George Dewey, naval hero of Manila Bay and the Spanish-American War. Later, he formed his own name by taking an old Sioux nickname -Beard - and adding it to the admiral's surname.
"At eighteen, Beard [born in 1857] had been among a group of warriors who had crossed the Little Bighorn in the final moments of the battle. [Now] at thirty-three, he and his family were camped in Big Foot's village. Years later, the last Lakota survivor of both Custer and Wounded Knee talked at length about the fight inside the council grounds, about the flight from the Miniconju village into the ravine. Beard spoke through an interpreter, who both summarized and quoted him directly:"The struggle for the gun was short, the muzzle pointed upward toward the east and the gun discharged. In an instant a volley followed as one shot, and the people began falling. He saw everybody was rolling and kicking on the ground. He looked southeastward and he did not know what he was going to do. He had only one knife. He looked eastward and saw the soldiers were firing on Indians and stepping backwards and firing. His thought was to rush on the soldiers and take a gun from one of them. He rushed toward on the west to get a gun. While he was running, he could see nothing for the smoke; through the rifts he could see the brass buttons of the uniforms; he rushed up to a soldier whose gun rested over Dewey's shoulder and was discharged when the muzzle was near his ear, and it deafened him for a while. Then he grabbed the gun and wrenched it away from the soldier. When he got the gun, he drew his knife and stabbed the soldier in the breast...While Dewey was on this soldier, some other soldiers were shooting at him, but missed him and killed soldiers on the other side. When he got up he ran right through the soldiers toward the ravine, and he was the last Indian to go into the ravine. The soldiers were shooting at him from nearly all directions, and they shot him down...Dewey tried to get to the ravine and succeeded in getting on his feet...Right on the edge of the ravine on the south side were soldiers shooting at the Indians who were running down into the ravine, the soldiers' shots sounded like fire crackers and hail in a storm; a great many Indians were killed and wounded down there...
"When he went to the bottom of the ravine, he saw many little children lying dead in the ravine. He was now pretty weak from his wounds. Now when he saw all those little infants lying there dead in their blood, his feeling was that even if he ate one of the soldiers, it would not appease his anger...The Indians all knew that Dewy was wounded, but those in the ravine wanted him to help them. So he fought with his life to defend his own people. He took his courage to do that - "I was pretty weak and now fell down.' A man with a gunshot wound through the lower jaw had a belt of cartridges, which he offered Beard and asked to try and help them again.
"'When he gave me the cartridges, I told him I was badly wounded and pretty weak, too. While I was lying on my back, I looked down the ravine and saw these women, girls and little girls and boys coming up, I saw soldiers on both sides of the ravine shoot at them until they had killed every one of them."
"He saw a young woman among them coming and crying and calling, "Mother! Mother!' She was wounded under her chin, close to her throat, and the bullet had passed through a braid of her hair and carried some of it into the wound, and then the bullet had entered from the front side of the shoulder and passed out the back side. Her Mother had been shot behind her. Dewey was sitting up and he called to her to come to him. When she came close to him, she fell to the ground. He caught her by the dress and drew her to him across his legs. When the women who the soldiers were shooting at got a little past him, he told this girl to follow them on the run, and she went up the ravine.
"He got himself up and followed up the ravine. He saw many dead men, women, and children lying in the ravine. When he went a little way up, he heard singing; going a little way farther, he came upon his mother who was moving slowly, being very badly wounded. She had a soldier's revolver in her hand, swinging it as she went. Dewey does not know how she got it. When he caught up to her she said, 'My son, pass by me; I am going to fall down now.' As she went up, soldiers on both sides of the ravine shot at her and killed her. 'I returned fire upon them, defending my mother. When I shot at the soldiers in a northern direction, I looked back at my mother and she had already fallen down. I passed right on from my dead mother and met a man coming down the ravine who was wounded in the knee...
"Dewey was wounded so that his right arm was disabled; he placed the thumb of his right hand between his teeth and carried his Winchester on his left shoulder, and then he ran towards where he has heard that White Lance [his brother] was killed. As he ran, he saw lots of women and children lying along the ravine, some alive and some dead. He saw some young men just above, and these he addressed, saying to them to take courage and do all they could to defend the women. 'I have,' he said, 'a bad wound and am not able to defend them; I could not aim the gun,' and so he told the young men this way. It was now in the ravine just like prairie fire when it reaches brush and grass...; it was like hail coming down; an awful fire was concentrated on them now and nothing could be seen for the smoke. In the bottom of the ravine, the bullets raised more dust than there was smoke, so that they could not see one another.
"When Dewy came up into the 'pit,' he saw White Lance upon top of the bank, and was rolling on down towards the brink to get down into the ravine. He was badly wounded and at first was half dead, but later revived from his injuries. When Dewey went into the 'pit,' he found his brother William Horn Cloud lying or sitting against the bank shot through the breast, but yet alive; but he died that night. 'Just when I saw my wounded brother William, I saw White Lance slide down the bank and stand by William. Then William said to White Lance, "Shake hands with me, I am dizzy now"' While they had this conversation, Dewey said, 'My dear brothers, be men and take courage. A few minutes ago, our father told us this way, and you heard it. Our father told us that the all people of the world born of the same father and mother, when any great tragedy comes, it is better that all of them should die together than that they should die separately at different times, one by one...'
"White Lance and William shook hands. Then White Lance and Dewey lifted their brother up and stood him on his feet; then they placed him on White Lances's shoulder. White Lance was wounded in several places and weak from loss of blood, but he succeeded in bearing William to the bottom of the ravine...Dewey said they now heard the Hotchkiss or Gatling guns shooting at them along the bank. Now there went up from these dying people a medley of death songs...Each one sings a different death song if he chooses. The death song is expressive of their wish to die. It is also a requiem for the dead...'At this time, I was unable to do anything more and I took a rest, telling my brothers to keep up their courage.' The cannon were pouring in their shots and breaking down the banks which were giving protection to the fighting Indians...The Hotchkiss had been shooting rapidly and one Indian had gotten killed by it. His body was penetrated in the pit of the stomach by a Hotchkiss shell, which tore a hole through his body six inches in diameter. The man was insensible, but breathed for an hour before he died... "In this same place there was a young woman with a pole in hand and a black blanket on it. When she would raise it up, the soldiers would whistle and yell and pour volleys into it. One woman here spoke to Beard and told him to come in among them and help them. He answered that he would stay where he was and make a fight for them; and that he did not care if he got killed, for the infants were all dead now, and he would like to die among the infants. When he was saying this, the soldiers were all shooting furiously... "Dewey laid down again in the same little hollow and reloaded his gun. The soldiers across from him were shooting at him while he was reloading. While he was reloading, he heard a horseman coming along the brink of the ravine - could hear the foot falls. This man as he came along gave orders to the men which he supposed were to fire on the women in the pit for a fusillade was instantly opened on them...
"The sun was going down; it was pretty near sundown...He saw five Oglala Sioux on horseback. He called them, but they were afraid and ran away, but he kept on calling and going till they all stood still and he came upon them. He went on with them a little way and soon he met his brother Joseph coming toward them on horseback. Dewey asked, 'Where are you going?' Joe answered, 'All my brothers and parents are dead, and I have to go in and be killed, too; therefore I have come back.' Dewey said, "You better come with us; don't go there; they are all killed there,' and the five Oglalas joined with Beard in the same appeal. Now the Oglalas left these two brothers. The Joe got off his horse and told Dewey to get on. Dewey was covered with blood. He mounted the horse and Joe walked along slowly. After a little, a mounted Indian relation came up behind them. The three went together over to White Clay Creek...
"Dewey's little infant, Wet Feet, died afterwards in the next March. This child was nursing its dead mother who was shot in the breast. It swallowed blood and from this vomited and was never well, was always sick till it died."


Elder's Meditation of the Day December 30

Elder's Meditation of the Day December 30
"Always remember that the Great Mystery is good; evil can come only from ourselves!"
--Grandmother of Charles Eastman. SANTEE SIOUX
The Great Mystery is love, good, and principle. He is a guiding Father. He doesn't play games. He knows only how to love. Sometimes, when things go wrong, we blame Him or others. Usually, if we are honest, we can see how decisions or things done in the past put us in a position to be hurt. It comes back to us. When this happens, it is not something the Creator caused, but something we, ourselves caused. Most of our problems are of our own making. When this happens, we should correct what we've done, ask the Great Spirit for forgiveness, and pray for guidance in the future.
My Creator, bless me with Your good.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Help Save the Bees

“The Holy Land is everywhere” ― Black Elk —

Wounded Knee

On This Day: In 1890 the Wounded Knee Massacre happened near Wounded Knee Creek (Lakota: Cankpe Opi Wakpala) on the Lakota Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, USA. The day before, the 7th Cavalry had intercepted Spotted Elk’s band of Miniconjou Lakota and 38 Hunkpapa Lakota near Porcupine Butte and escorted them five miles westward to Wounded Knee Creek, where they made camp. On the morning of December 29, the troops went into the Lakota camp to disarm them. A scuffle ensued, resulting in the 7th Cavalry opening fire indiscriminately from all sides, killing men, women, and children, as well as some of their own fellow troopers. By the time it was over, at least 300 men, women, and children of the Lakota Sioux had been killed and 51 wounded. Later 20 soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor for their slaughter and participation in the massacre. The Lakota were initially left in the field, but three days later they were buried in a mass grave on a nearby hill.

Wounded Knee

One hundred and twenty-three winters ago, on December 29, 1890, some 150 Lakota men, women and children were massacred by the US 7th Calvary Regiment near Wounded Knee Creek on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Some estimate the actual number closer to 300.

Snowfall was heavy that December week. The Lakota ancestors killed that day were left in brutal frigid wintry plains of the reservation before a burial party came to bury them in one mass grave. The photograph of Big Foot’s frozen and contorted body is a symbol for all American Indians of what happened to our ancestors.

Some of those who survived were eventually taken to the Episcopal mission in Pine Ridge. Eventually, some of them were able to give an oral history of what happened. One poignant fact of the massacre has remained in my mind since first reading it, and every time I think about Wounded Knee, I remember this:


writes Dee Brown in “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.”

We Are One.

December 29, 1890 Wounded Knee

Christina Rose
Wounded Knee is the site of the mass grave where hundreds were buried after the massacre of December 28, 1890.

Native History: Wounded Knee Descendent Remembers Family’s Past

This Date in Native History: On December 29, 1890, a band of Miniconjou Lakota led by Chief Spotted Elk—called Big Foot by the government—were massacred at Wounded Knee. After the death of Sitting Bull, the band decided to head towards the Pine Ridge Agency to ask Red Cloud for help.
Clementine “Debbie” Day is a descendent of the Makes It Long - High Hawk families, who were among those who survived Wounded Knee. The family’s story was recorded in a ledger book still held by the family. “When Spotted Elk came back from Washington, he and his followers packed up during that night, and they took off for the Pine Ridge Reservation,” Day said. “On the way, the snow was so deep. My other grandfather was an Army scout, John Makes It Long-High Hawk.”
Keeping a low profile, the band hid from the scouts as they made their way. “They were afraid the scouts were looking for them,” Day said. “The band followed the Cheyenne River and went to a ranch called Two Rivers, 16 miles west of my place,” which is near present day Bridger, South Dakota, on the western side of the Cheyenne River Reservation.
Leaving some of their belongings there, they crossed the Badlands. “It was hard, snowy, and cold,” Day said, noting that the story had been told by her grandfather, Alec High Hawk to her father, Isaac Makes It Long-High Hawk. “They got as far as Wounded Knee. The soldiers finally found them and wanted their weapons.”
Paperless Archives, which maintains countless documents regarding Wounded Knee, reported that on December 28, 1890 Major Samuel Whitside and the 7th Cavalry intercepted Spotted Elk and his band, who surrendered peacefully. Documents state that the soldiers searched among the brush, calling out “How Kolah” (Hello friend) and assuring the women and children they would be safe. Yet, cannons were set up and aimed at the Lakota camp. Spotted Elk, suffering from pneumonia and coughing up blood, was given a tent with heat.
The caption says: Famous Battery “E” of 1st Artillery. These brave men and the Hotchkiss gun that Big Foot’s Indians thought were toys, together with the fighting 7th what’s left of Gen. Custer’s boys, sent 200 Indians to that Heaven which the ghost dancer enjoys. This checked the Indian noise and Gen. Miles with staff returned to Illinois. (J.C.H. Grabill/Library of Congress)

The caption says: Famous Battery “E” of 1st Artillery. These brave men and the Hotchkiss gun that Big Foot’s Indians thought were toys, together with the fighting 7th what’s left of Gen. Custer’s boys, sent 200 Indians to that Heaven which the ghost dancer enjoys. This checked the Indian noise and Gen. Miles with staff returned to Illinois. (J.C.H. Grabill/Library of Congress)
The next day, December 29, 1890, the Army demanded the Lakota turn in their weapons. All did, except for a deaf man named Black Coyote, who it is assumed did not understand what was at stake. He refused to give up his weapon, insisting he had paid a lot for the gun.
“The old man couldn’t hear and he hid his rifle under a blanket,” Day recalled. “He wouldn’t give up his gun, so a soldier wrestled for it and a shot went off. They all scattered and ran.”
When the soldiers began to shoot, the Lakota grabbed whatever weapons they could. One soldier’s report reads, “Just at that moment I could indistinctly see through the brush the faint outlines of a person and raising my gun I quickly fired. We supposed we were hunting the party of Indians we had seen and were ready to fire at a flash as we did not propose to let any Indian get the first shot at us if we could help it. Immediately I fired, Kern fired a second time and I heard squealing in the brush. I then called to the captain that it was a squaw, and he replied, ‘Don’t kill the squaws.’ I said—it is too late, I am afraid they are already killed.”
Numbers vary, but some official reports numbered 90 warriors and close to 200 women and children killed. While some of the cavalry were also killed and wounded, most reports say the soldiers were killed by friendly fire.
The caption says: What’s left of Big Foot’s Band. Taken near Deadwood, South Dakota in 1891. (This was after the Massacre of Wounded Knee on December 29, 1890. This was all that remained of Big Foot’s Band.) (J.C.H. Grabill/Library of Congress)
The caption says: What’s left of Big Foot’s Band. Taken near Deadwood, South Dakota in 1891. (This was after the Massacre of Wounded Knee on December 29, 1890. This was all that remained of Big Foot’s Band.) (J.C.H. Grabill/Library of Congress)

It was late at night before wagons carrying wounded soldiers and 47 Lakota women and children arrived at the Episcopal Church in Pine Ridge. The church pews were removed and hay was spread on the floor for bedding.  Reports of the survivors include seeing the Christmas decorations still hanging from the rafters of the church.
A blizzard ensued and eventually a burial party returned to Wounded Knee where they found the frozen remains of Spotted Elk and the others. All were buried in a mass grave at Wounded Knee.
After the massacre, a government investigation was initiated, but the slaughter of even the most innocent was justified. Medals of Honor were awarded to the soldiers, which activists have sought to have rescinded ever since.
For Day’s family, her great-grandmother and two younger boys, who had lost their parents at Wounded Knee, returned to the Cheyenne River Reservation. The boys stayed with and helped Day’s great-grandmother until very soon after, they and other children were taken and sent to the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania. “It was a very sad situation,” she said.
“My great-grandfather John Makes it Long-High Hawk came back, and after the boys went to Carlisle, he stayed with my great-grandmother Buffalo Pretty Hair Woman.”  Day said she is happy to see that many still remember Wounded Knee. “They honor Spotted Elk—the Memorial Riders are coming to Bridger and going to Wounded Knee on horseback... In August, we have the Wounded Knee memorial motorcycle riders. So they really honor him, and I am so proud of the people who are doing these things to remember Wounded Knee.”
The Wounded Knee Monument, adorned with prayer ties, lists the names of those buried in the mass grave. (Christina Rose)
The Wounded Knee Monument, adorned with prayer ties, lists the names of those buried in the mass grave. (Christina Rose)

Elder's Meditation of the Day December 29

Elder's Meditation of the Day December 29
"What you see with your eyes shut is what counts."
--Lame Deer, LAKOTA
Another whole world opens up when we close our eyes and calm our mind. Be still and know; be still and hear; be still and see; be still and feel. Inside every person is a still, small voice. Sometimes it is necessary to close our eyes to shut down our perception in order to see. Try this occasionally when you are talking to your child or spouse, close your eyes and listen to them. Listen to the tone of their voice; listen to their excitement; listen to their pain-listen.
Great Spirit, today, let me hear only what really counts.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Elder's Meditation of the Day December 28

Elder's Meditation of the Day December 28
"I believe that being a medicine man, more than anything else, is a state of mind, a way of looking at and understanding this earth, a sense of what it is all about."
--Lame Deer, LAKOTA
The Medicine Wheel explains different ways of looking at the world. The four directions are the East, the South, the West, and the North. In the East is the view of the eagle. The eagle flies high and sees the earth from that point of view. The South is the direction of the mouse. Moving on the earth, the mouse will not see what the eagle sees. Both the eagle and the mouse see the truth. The West is the direction of the bear. The bear will see different from the mouse and the eagle. From the North comes the point of view of the bison. To be a Medicine Man you must journey through all points of view and develop the mind to see the interconnectedness of all four directions. This takes time, patience, and an open mind. Eventually, you understand there is only love.
Great Spirit, today, allow my mind to stay open

Friday, December 27, 2013

~ This Joyful Day

~ This Joyful Day

Eternal God, this joyful day is radiant with the brilliance of your one true light. May that light illuminate our hearts and shine in our words and deeds.

May the hope, the peace, the joy, and the love represented by the birth in Bethlehem fill our lives and become part of all that we say and do. 

May we share the divine life of your son Jesus Christ, even as he humbled himself to share our humanity. Bless us and the feast that You have provided for us, let us be thankful for the true gift of Christmas, your Son. Amen.

* God bless and keep sharing the Good News !!! ~ C4C

New Year's Eve Ride--By Rod Nichols

~ New Year's Eve Ride

I'll saddle the roan then ride out alone
'neath a clear moon with frost on the ground,
to a high ridge I know
through the dark pines and snow
far away from the dim lights of town.

In a short space of time a hillside I'll climb
to the top with my face to the wind,
and there I'll just wait
as the hour grows late
and a new year once more will begin.

I'll take a look then on where I have been
and the changes the old year has brought,
the good times and bad
some happy some sad
as the faces of time fill my thoughts.

In the silence of night from that small patch of white
I'll say "Adios" to lost friends,
with a small prayer at last
for the present and past
then I'll ride down that hill once again.

By, Rod Nichols

Elder's Meditation of the Day December 27

Elder's Meditation of the Day December 27
"When temptation comes, I don't say, `Yes," and I don't say, `No.' I say, `Later,' I just keep walking the Red Road - down the middle. When you're in the middle, you don't go to either extreme. You allow both sides to exist."
--Dr. A. C. Ross (Ehanamani), LAKOTA
We need to practice controlling our focus. Whatever we focus on we become. We also become whatever we practice. We need to focus on balance. Whenever something comes along to tilt us off balance, we need to be grateful, because it allows the opportunity to practice our focus. Sometimes this is called temptation. Temptation in itself is not bad. What really counts is what we do with it when it happens. We need to practice controlling our focus and keeping our thinking focused on the Red Road.
Great Spirit, today, guide me through my temptations and allow me to focus on the Red Road.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Where white men went wrong

Life is Too Short...

Elder's Meditation of the Day December 26

Elder's Meditation of the Day December 26
"The way of knowledge is like our old way of hunting. You begin with a mere trail - a footprint. If you follow that faithfully, it may lead you to a clearer train - a track - a road. Later on there will be many tracks, crossing and diverging one from the other. Then you must be careful, for success lies in the choice of the right road."
--Many Lightenings Eastman, SANTEE SIOUX
An entire apple tree is initially contained in the seed. Visions are initially contained in the idea. If you trace the path of a blooming flower backwards, it goes from the blooming flower back to a bud, back to a stem, back to a seed. So it is in the way of knowledge. Often we will experience a hunch or a feeling that we are supposed to do something. At first it may not make any sense. This is the seed stage. Once we start to investigate, more gets revealed. As more is revealed, the more knowledge we get. This is the way the Great Spirit guides us.
Great Spirit, help me to choose the right choices.



Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

Elder's Meditation of the Day December 25

Elder's Meditation of the Day December 25
"When you see a new trail, or a footprint that you do not know, follow it to the point of knowing."
--Grandmother of Charles Eastman, SANTEE SIOUX
We never gain new knowledge or new experience unless we are willing to take risks. It's good to be curious. Also, it pays to be cautious. Walk in balance. The path of the Warrior is filled with opportunities to seek new knowledge. As we travel down the Red Road, we will run into trails of opportunity. Down each of these trails are experiences from which we will learn. Experience plus action is the beginning of knowledge."
Great Spirit, help me to make good choices in choosing only the trails You would have me take.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Elder's Meditation of the Day December 24

Elder's Meditation of the Day December 24
"Believing people can soar beyond ordinary life."
--Fools Crow, LAKOTA
We are created by God to be vision people. First we set the goal and then we see. If we create within ourselves a picture or vision and we hold that picture or vision in our mind, whatever we picture will show up in our reality. If we can see ourselves being educated, then schools and teachers will show up in our lives. If we picture in our mind a positive, spiritual person to be in our lives, we will attract this type of person in our relationships. How big can our dreams be?
Great Spirit, let my visions today be Your vision. Put within me a vision of the being you would have me be. Then help me to keep the vision in my mind.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Share this Smudge

Elder's Meditation of the Day December 23

Elder's Meditation of the Day December 23
"It's not the package and the wrapping which counts but what is inside, underneath the clothes and the skin."
--Lame Deer, LAKOTA
Our eyes and ears gather information that is fed to the mind, and we tend to form judgements, opinions, and assumptions which determine our perception. We might see someone act a certain way, then label that person forever, not at all concentrating on what is inside the person. It matters not our height, our size, our facial features, or our gender. What matters is our thoughts. Good thoughts overcome all obstacles.
Great Spirit, let my inside contain Your qualities.

Sunday, December 22, 2013



Saturday, December 21, 2013

Native History: Indians Defeat Army to Protect Bozeman Trail

Native History: Indians Defeat Army to Protect Bozeman Trail

This Date in Native History: On December 21, 1866, the U.S. Army suffered its third largest defeat during the Indian Wars. Only the battle with George Armstrong Custer at Little Bighorn and the 1791 battle between Chief Little Turtle, Miami Tribe, and General St. Clair—where 600 Army men died—were larger. All 81 cavalrymen and infantrymen died in an intense fight that lasted just 40 minutes.
The history leading up to this fight started three years earlier, in the spring of 1863. The Bozeman Trail was constructed, leading north from Fort Laramie on the old Oregon Trail into the gold fields of Montana. This brought the trail and its hoard of immigrants right through what had once been the homeland of the Crow, later the Shoshone, and then the Teton Sioux. This is the Powder River country of what is now Wyoming. It was open land but good land as game was abundant and fruits and berries grew along the waterways.
Some chiefs were determined to close the Bozeman Trail. Indian attacks became more common and travel was risky. Then U.S. soldiers were brought in to guard the trail. Perhaps what really ended negotiations was the plan to build Fort Kearny with orders to guard the Bozeman Trail.
Two Sioux Indian leaders, highly regarded and remembered today, vowed to fight any white man using the Bozeman Trail—Red Cloud and Crazy Horse. The first raid on the fort occurred on July 16 resulting in two deaths. Attacks on wagon trains happened frequently, but work continued on the fort. Two more of the military died on December 6 and gave the Sioux the belief they could overpower any assignment from the fort.
This image by J.C.H. Grabill shows Red Cloud and American Horse. (J.C.H. Grabill/Library of Congress)
This image by J.C.H. Grabill shows Red Cloud and American Horse. (J.C.H. Grabill/Library of Congress)
Indian warriors were becoming increasingly confident in part due to a medicine man who had four visions of increasing numbers of dead soldiers. The fourth vision showed that 100 soldiers would die.
December 21, 1866: A wagon train was sent out from the fort to return with wood. Less than an hour later they were attacked by a decoy party of Indians. The regimental commander, Colonel Carrington, had warned his troops not to be fooled by a trap, something he had seen employed by the Indians before. The relief force to help the wood train was led by Captain Fetterman who had little respect for the Indians and had commented earlier that a company of regular soldiers could whip a thousand Indians, a big mistake as he was about to find out.
Captain Fetterman, who underestimated the fighting ability of Indians, disobeyed orders, and died in the battle. (Fort Phil Kearny/Bozeman Trail Association)
Captain Fetterman, who underestimated the fighting ability of Indians, disobeyed orders, and died in the battle. (Fort Phil Kearny/Bozeman Trail Association)
Fetterman wanted a fight, and the Indians were ready. There might have been as many as 2,000, mostly Sioux with some Cheyennes and Arapahos, waiting out of sight on the backside of Lodge Trail Ridge. Red Cloud is thought to have been in that huge group of warriors. A second decoy party approached the fort and drew artillery fire. Crazy Horse was part of that party. The man responsible for the plan was High-Back-Bone, a Minneconjou Sioux.
The initial decoy party retreated up Lodge Trail Ridge where decoys were standing, yelling and gesturing at the soldiers. When the soldiers reached the top of the ridge they likely only saw a few Indians near Peno Creek in the valley below. It was now about noon. As the troops approached the valley, the huge force of Indians stood in the high grass and firing commenced. Most of the Indians were shooting arrows, but that was more than enough. Just 40 minutes later all the military troops were dead, including Fetterman who had once said that a regiment could whip the whole array of hostile tribes.
As many as 40,000 arrows were released in that 40-minute span—it was an overwhelming victory, second only to Little Bighorn, but 60 Indian warriors also died.
Attacks along the Bozeman Trail continued and only heavily armed military trains were able to pass along the trail. In 1868 the three forts guarding the Bozeman Trail, including Fort Kearny, were abandoned and Indians burned them to the ground. On November 6 of that year Red Cloud signed a peace treaty, thus ending the Bozeman Trail War, part of which was the Fetterman Massacre but called by the Sioux as the Battle of the Hundred Slain.

Read more athttp://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2013/12/21/native-history-indians-defeat-army-protect-bozeman-trail-152741