Saturday, February 16, 2013

Elder's Meditation of the Day February 16



Elder's Meditation of the Day February 16
"Because woman lives so close to our first mother, the Earth, she emanates the strength and harmonious nature of all things."
--Larry P. Aitken, CHIPPEWA
At an Elders gathering, held in July 1991, we were told the Indian woman would play an instrumental part in leading the healing of Indian nations. The old people said we were to look up to her in a sacred manner. They said the Earth Mother would give the woman special gifts of love. The woman and the Earth Mother are connected in a special way. Women should pay attention to the lessons coming from the earth. Men should treat the women with respect, dignity and honor.
Grandfather, Grandmother, give the Indian woman Your strength to heal our earth.

Reckless on fb



OFFICIAL MONUMENT PICTURE! This is the last picture we'll see of Reckless full bodied. We probably won't see her again this way until we dedicate her! Jocelyn has to now take her apart and work on each piece separately like she did in the headless shots to get the detail work done on the canisters, saddle, the other side, etc. Do I hear an "OOOH RAH" for such an incredible job done?? So very exciting!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Elder's Meditation of the Day February 15



Elder's Meditation of the Day February 15
"One of the essential characteristics we need to learn as men was to be gentle, and to be gentle means to be serene, to enter meditation or a prayerful state in the morning and evening."
--Larry P. Aitken, CHIPPEWA
The most important talk we can do during any day, is to start the day with prayer and meditation. We need to ask the Creator to be in our lives. We ask Him to direct our thinking. We ask Him for the courage and the power to be gentle. In the morning quiet time, we make our request for guidance using our spiritual tools. We pray for the people and we pray for ourselves. In the evening we thank the Creator for the day, for the lessons and for the opportunity to be of service to others. Then we go to sleep.
Great Spirit, today, show me the power of being gentle.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Elder's Meditation of the Day February 14

Elder's Meditation of the Day February 14

"Sometimes, life is very simple, but it is we two-leggeds, we who are thought to be smart that make it complicated."
--Larry P. Aitkin, CHIPPEWA 

Sometimes it may take years for us to find out what we are really after - it is to be happy. The Elders say, lead a simple life. This doesn't necessarily mean poor, it means simple. There are some things that makes life complicated such as needing control, needing power or being resentful or angry. These things make complications happen. We need to walk in balance in every area of our lives.

Great Spirit, let me lead a simple life.

I open My heart to You

God,

I open my heart for you,
you can see my doubts, my ignorance, my fears,
you do not judge me, and I dare to be myself.

Thank you for filing my heart with Love, Peace and Joy,
so that I see the real value of things, people and situations,
so that I find Happiness in everything I do,
so that I feel peaceful throughout my day.

Thank you for manifesting my heart’s desires,
as your blessings enlighten my life and empower my faith.

Let me share the simplicity of your love and generosity with others
so that they finally know that your love transcends religions, races and differences.


Meaning of Feathers




Meaning of Feathers

The Meaning of Feathers plays an important role in the belief system of Native American Indians. Their beliefs are based on Animism which embodies the spiritual idea that all natural things within the universe, including birds, have souls or spirits. Animists believe that souls or spirits exist, not only in humans, but also in birds, their feathers and in animals, plants, rocks and natural phenomena. The doctrine of animism is that everything is alive, and possesses an inherent virtue, power and wisdom.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Elder's Meditation of the Day February 13



Elder's Meditation of the Day February 13
"I wanted to feel, smell, hear and see, but not see with my eyes and my mind only. I wanted to see with CANTE ISTA - the eye of the heart."
--Lame Deer, LAKOTA
Why is it that some people seem to have peace of mind every day? How do some people remain so darn positive? How do you stay positive if you work or live in a negative environment? How is it that two people can observe the same difficult situation, but one person is upset about it, and other isn't? Two people experiencing the same situation react entirely different. If each morning we ask the Creator to allow us to see with His understanding and with His love, we will open a new way of "seeing". This eye of the heart is a free gift given to us if we ask for it in prayer each day.
Grandfather, allow me to see the world and all things You have made through "the eye of my heart."

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

idle no more

Being Indian


‎"Being Indian is an attitude, a state of mind, a way of being in harmony with all things and all beings. It is allowing the heart to be the distributor of energy on this planet; to allow feelings and sensitivities to determine where energy goes; bringing aliveness up from the Earth and from the Sky, putting it in and giving it out from the heart."


 Anyone can follow the red road, but not anyone can be Native American. Red Road = attitude. Native American = Ethnicity

US Dakota War

‎150 years later, war wounds still cut deep, Minnesota is divided on how best to commemorate the US Dakota War, which left hundreds dead and ended in the largest mass execution in U.S. history ordered by President Abraham Lincoln. Article by: CURT BROWN
A 150-year-old loop of rope, knotted into a hangman's noose, sits in a climate-controlled case in the underground archives of the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul.

Some say it should be burned, buried or returned to the hands of the Dakota people.

Others argue it should be displayed, like piles of shoes at Holocaust museums, as a powerful artifact to help people confront the grim story of the U.S.-Dakota War, which erupted in Minnesota in 1862 and ended with the largest mass execution in U.S. history.

The noose, and just what to make of it, is one sign of the historical reckoning looming this year as Minnesotans wrestle with how to mark the 150th anniversary of one its ugliest, yet often overlooked, episodes.

"This will be a very challenging year -- the wounds are still deep," said Republican state Rep. Dean Urdahl, a longtime history teacher whose Grove City home is three miles from where the war broke out. His great-great-grandfather buried some of its first victims. "It was our state's greatest tragedy."

Dozens of commemorative events are planned, from a major exhibit at the Minnesota History Center to programs in classrooms across the state and cellphone tours along the Minnesota River, where the war raged for six weeks. Yet, in the shadow of it all are deep rifts over how to best observe the war's sesquicentennial.

Some Dakota believe artifacts should be returned to them, and that Historic Fort Snelling should be razed or portrayed as a concentration camp used to punish hundreds of their ancestors after the war. Meanwhile, some descendants of the more than 400 settlers and soldiers killed in the conflict complained when early brochures about commemorative cellphone tours of the area hinted that only Dakota elders' voices would be featured.

The concerns reflect debates evident across the country over how to provide a more complete rendition of the past at historic sites, even if that means confronting deeply disturbing events long written out of the historical narrative.

"You can't turn your head from what is not pretty in history and, whatever we do, it's not going to somehow heal things or settle it," said Stephen Elliott, who became the director of the Minnesota Historical Society last May after 28 years at Colonial Williamsburg.

He was among those who decided to give the role of African-Americans and slavery greater prominence at Williamsburg. Five years ago, a similar effort led to reconstruction of a slave cabin at Mount Vernon, the historic home of George Washington.

The U.S.-Dakota War was largely overshadowed by the Civil War raging to the south. But the bloody clash left a profound legacy on the then 4-year-old state of Minnesota.

"I would hope that average, mainstream Minnesotans would take this moment to pause and wake up a little bit to the truth that this country came out of Indian country," said Guy Lopez, a Dakota from Crow Creek, S.D., who now lives in Washington. "What happened 150 years ago wasn't out of the blue and was not without provocation."

The year 1862 started with broken promises and starvation for the Dakota, who had been pushed into a narrow strip of reservation land along the Minnesota River. It exploded when their despair and anger turned into deadly attacks on settlers in August and September. It ended with the December hanging of 38 Dakota warriors in Mankato.

An act of Congress then banished thousands of Dakota from Minnesota. The law, though now unobserved, remains on the books.

"In a situation where it's so contentious, part of what we're trying to address through this observance is how we can be a better institution in terms of our relationship with the Dakota," said Dan Spock, director of the history center museum. But, he added, "we know there will be people for whom we have to be a thing to be against."

For the first time, the history center is using a "truth recovery project" model developed in Northern Ireland, which Spock said features outreach to gather a fuller sense of what happened, "rather than assuming all we have to do is sit down, do some research and cook it up ourselves."

Emotions high in the valley

The Minnesota River valley, where the war unfolded, is dotted with living descendants of settlers whose family trees wind back to 1862. In that area, and among the Dakota, interest in the war is intense. But many Minnesotans remain largely unaware of the tragic story.

"You can get through the Minnesota school system and never hear about the Dakota conflict, and at a national level people are completely clueless," said Jessica Potter, the director of the Blue Earth County Historical Society in Mankato, where the hangings took place after President Abraham Lincoln signed the orders. "Even in this community, we have major community leaders who say: 'Lincoln was involved, really?' "

Blue Earth County's collection includes a wooden beam reputed to be part of the scaffolding from which the hanging ropes dangled. It remains out of view because of questions about its authenticity.

John LaBatte -- a New Ulm descendant of a Dakota warrior, a Dakota who opposed the war and a slain white trader -- will lead battleground tours this summer and is on the state historical society's descendants advisory panel. It surprises him how deeply the war still resonates, noting that it took only decades after World War II for the United States to develop friendly relations with Japan and Germany.

But that war involved a unified America fighting an enemy on foreign soil, noted Sasha Houston Brown, academic adviser for indigenous students at Minneapolis Community and Technical College and a Santee Sioux. The other was fought in occupied territory of the Dakota homeland. "All this goes against the great American myth of the land of the free and the home of the brave. That wasn't the reality, and it makes people uncomfortable," Brown said.

Among the most outspoken Dakota critics of the Minnesota Historical Society's practices is Waziyatawin, who lives in the Upper Sioux Community near Granite Falls and holds a Ph.D. in history. She insists the historical society "is totally callous to the concerns of Dakota people" and thinks Fort Snelling should be torn down or returned because it served as a concentration camp, imprisoning 1,600 starving and diseased Dakota nearby in the winter of 1862-63.

She is angry that the historical society's collection includes the noose, as well as dolls and other items soldiers collected during punitive raids following the war. "All these things need to be in Dakota hands; they have no right to them. It's just another atrocity that they even have these objects taken off the killing fields. ... The idea that they hold indigenous peoples' things and tell us it's for the public's good is outrageous," she said.

Spock insists state historians are trying to be sensitive to Dakota concerns and acknowledges problems in the historical society's past. The remains of Dakota leader Little Crow, in the collection for more than a century, were finally turned over in 1971 under pressure and buried in Flandreau, S.D.

"We're not in the habit of thinking of our activities as being anything other than virtuous, so when somebody says, 'You shouldn't have this, it doesn't belong to you,' it kind of cuts to the core or our values," Spock said.

The history center invited Dakota and settlers' descendants to join separate panels to respond to plans for the anniversary exhibit and events. They showed the groups the noose and other items this month, but refused a Star Tribune request to photograph or see it. They plan not to include it when the 1862 exhibit opens this summer.

"Partly out of sensitivity to the Dakota people, we feel strongly that the noose would tend to overwhelm the whole story and it would just become the noose exhibit," Spock said. "It would detract from what we really want people to understand, which is this whole chain of events that leads to this war, and if there's culpability people can see it."

Darla Gebhard, research librarian at the Brown County Museum in New Ulm, is the great-great-granddaughter of a man who defended New Ulm from Dakota attackers. The noose, she said, should be displayed because "it reminds us of what a horrible end there was to the war and to deny it and not show those pieces is like you're trying to erase the shame of what happened." She recalls the shoes and human hair at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington -- "tell me that wasn't a riveting experience" -- and thinks artifacts are vital to understanding history.

The noose that killed Chaska

After the war, brief trials led to more than 300 Dakota braves being sentenced to die. Lincoln cut the list to 39, writing to state leaders that he was "anxious to not act with so much clemency as to encourage another outbreak ... nor with so much severity as to be real cruelty."

A last-minute reprieve by the state left the list at 38. They were hanged the day after Christmas in Mankato. Among them was a man named Chaska, who experts now agree was mistakenly executed. The noose used to hang him is the one in the historical society's archives.

A doctor's wife, Sarah Wakefield, had testified that Chaska protected her and her children when they were taken captive. But Chaska wound up on the gallows anyway. A soldier named J.K. Arnold stole the noose right after the hanging and hid it for seven years, according to his letter in the archives, violating orders to ship all the nooses to Washington.

"It's sitting in there as a trophy and we want it returned along with the other 37 nooses that are somewhere in Washington," said Melvin Lee Houston, 59, of the Santee reservation in Lindy, Neb. His great-great-great-grandfather was among the 38 hanged and his ancestors were among thousands of Dakota forced out of Minnesota.

He hopes all the nooses will be found and given to Dakota elders this year for a Wiping of the Tears ceremony. History center officials resist giving up artifacts, saying it's their job to protect historical evidence, such as the noose, for future generations.

Rep. Urdahl has introduced resolutions to pardon Chaska and to urge Congress to repeal the Dakota Exclusion Act. Even those efforts have aroused controversy.

Waziyatawin and some other Dakota oppose the pardon as an attempt to "assuage white guilt" by clearing a Dakota who helped a white woman instead of the other 37 hanged warriors, who she says were patriotic Minnesotans protecting their homeland from intruders.

"There's so much division in the Dakota community," Brown said. "It's not about blaming or shaming or guilting. Right now, it's about allowing the truth through history to be acknowledged and recognized."



Elder's Meditation of the Day February 12

".the spirit still has something for us to discover - an herb, a sprig, a flower - a very small flower, maybe you can spend a long time in its contemplation, thinking about it."
--Lame Deer, LAKOTA

The world today is about hurry up! Get there faster! Work harder, produce more, hurry up, eat quickly, be on time, don't get stressed- headaches, conflict, drink to calm down, go to training on stress management, time management - STOP! STOP! STOP! STOP! STOP! STOP! STOP! Go spend 5 minutes with a flower or a plant. Look at it - think about it - look at its beauty, smell it, close your eyes and smell it again. Touch it; touch with your eyes closed. Listen to it; listen to it with your eyed closed. Slow your mind down. Think about the little things. Now close your eyes and pray.

Great Spirit, this feeling of calmness that I have, let me have it all day long.

Cherokee Blessing Prayer

~Whispers from the Soul~

Hold on to what is good,
Even if it's a handful of earth.

Hold on to what you believe,
Even if it's a tree that stands by itself.

Hold on to what you must do,
Even if it's a long way from here.

Hold on to your life,
Even if it's easier to let go.

Hold on to my hand,
Even if someday I'll be gone away from you.


Homeland Security-Plains Division

Shamanism is the oldest

Shamanism is the oldest documented spiritual belief system, dating back 40,000 years. It's practiced in every indigenous culture across the planet.
It is an open-source practice rooted in presence, gratitude and the inter-connectivity of all things.
As the modern world encroaches, tribal youth choose modern conveniences over learning traditional culture from their elders.
Within a single generation, much of this wisdom could be lost forever…

Elder's Meditation of the Day



Elder's Meditation of the Day February 11
"Oh God! Like the Thunderbird of old I shall rise again out of the sea; I shall grab the instruments of the white man's success - his education, his skills, and with these new tools I shall build my race into the proudest segment of your society."
--Chief Dan George, SALISH
One thing the Indian people do well is adapt. This is why we survive. We must learn to keep our culture, but also to learn the good things that other races have to offer. Education is the future weapon of Native people. We must learn the legal system, health, science and engineering. Indian people have great contributions to make to the world. We need to educate ourselves so we can better protect the land and our children. Otherwise, we will lose the things and the land that we have.
Great Spirit, make me teachable today.

Elder's Meditation of the Day February 12
".the spirit still has something for us to discover - an herb, a sprig, a flower - a very small flower, maybe you can spend a long time in its contemplation, thinking about it."
--Lame Deer, LAKOTA
The world today is about hurry up! Get there faster! Work harder, produce more, hurry up, eat quickly, be on time, don't get stressed- headaches, conflict, drink to calm down, go to training on stress management, time management - STOP! STOP! STOP! STOP! STOP! STOP! STOP! Go spend 5 minutes with a flower or a plant. Look at it - think about it - look at its beauty, smell it, close your eyes and smell it again. Touch it; touch with your eyes closed. Listen to it; listen to it with your eyed closed. Slow your mind down. Think about the little things. Now close your eyes and pray.
Great Spirit, this feeling of calmness that I have, let me have it all day long.

~Whispers from the Soul~

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Elder's Meditation of the Day February 11



Elder's Meditation of the Day February 11
"Oh God! Like the Thunderbird of old I shall rise again out of the sea; I shall grab the instruments of the white man's success - his education, his skills, and with these new tools I shall build my race into the proudest segment of your society."
--Chief Dan George, SALISH
One thing the Indian people do well is adapt. This is why we survive. We must learn to keep our culture, but also to learn the good things that other races have to offer. Education is the future weapon of Native people. We must learn the legal system, health, science and engineering. Indian people have great contributions to make to the world. We need to educate ourselves so we can better protect the land and our children. Otherwise, we will lose the things and the land that we have.
Great Spirit, make me teachable today.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Elder's Meditation of the Day February 9

Elder's Meditation of the Day February 9

"It can be 100 degrees in the shade one afternoon and suddenly there comes a storm with hailstones as big as golf balls, the prairie is all white and your teeth chatter. That's good - a reminder that you are just a small particle of nature, not so powerful as you think."
--Lame Deer, LAKOTA 

No event, no relationship, no joy, no sadness, no situation ever stays the same. Every setback is only temporary. Even setbacks change. Why? Because the Great Spirit designed the world to be constantly changing. We are not the center of the universe, we are but a small part. The whole is constantly changing, and we as humans are constantly participating in the change. We have two choices, to resist change or participate in the change. Every change can be resisted, and every change can be made in cooperation. What will I choose today, resistance or cooperation?

Great Spirit, teach me to make cooperative changes.

The Code

Those Who Hold this Country’s Highest Honor


Those Who Hold this Country’s Highest Honor Have No Honor by Dana Lone Hill

If you could rewrite history, what would you do? I would do many things, but the first thing I would take the medals of honor away from those who committed war crimes at Wounded Knee. If Germany honored the Nazis, those here and now in this country would be shocked and would be doing what they can to change that and take that honor away. However, over here it is ok because the truth was often hidden. Nobody heard of how the soldiers were still drunk from drinking a barrel of whiskey the night before, nobody knows they found four babies alive, under their dead mothers. Or that children were called out of the ravine, only to be shot. Nobody knows of the horrid truth. They don’t teach it in school. The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States. Generally presented to its recipient by the President of the United States of America in the name of Congress.
That is what it says on the website http://www.cmohs.org/
So I decided to look at a few of these American heroes who were awarded for being so brave.
wounded-knee
Sergeant William Austin from Texas was given the Medal of Honor on June 17, 1891 for for commanding troops “while the Indians were concealed in a ravine, assisted men on the skirmish line, directing their fire, etc., and using every effort to dislodge the enemy”.
What they didn’t state is that more than likely, those “Indians” were children. And what is up with using the word “dislodge.” The only survivors ran, or were babies that were found under their mother’s bodies. Dislodge is the term they used for cold blooded murder. William Austin lived to be 61 and was cremated, at his wishes.
John Clancy was given the medal for “twice voluntarily rescued wounded comrades under fire of the enemy.” What this doesn’t say is that most of the Lakota men at Wounded Knee were disarmed and most of the soldiers from the 7th were killed by “friendly fire”, so basically he rescued his wounded comrades from his other comrades.
Mosheim Feaster was only in the army for two years. He was awarded the medal of honor for gallantry. He advanced to an exposed position under heavy fire. Of course the heavy fire was from the 7th Cavalry, his own men. He lived to be 82 years old and is buried at the Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno, CA.
Ernest Garlington graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1876 and was commissioned to the 7th Cavalry on June 15th as a Second Lieutenant. He was quickly promoted to First Lieutenant ten days later when the whole 7th Cavalry was killed at the battle of Greasy Grass, or as they call it, Little Big Horn. He wasn’t present for the Battle of Greasy Grass, but he was the Lieutenant of a regiment that no longer existed. He went into Wounded Knee with this mindset fourteen years later. He was injured during the Massacre, most likely by friendly fire and received a medal for gallantry. He died at age 81 and is buried at the Arlington National Cemetery in a family plot.
John Gresham was actually from the 3rd Cavalry and was transferred to the 7th Cavalry as a replacement after they lost the Battle at Greasy Grass. From 1884 to 1887 he was a professor at Virginia Agricultural College. In 1887 he returned to the 7th to campaign against the Sioux, who had caused him to be transferred to the 7th in the first place. He ended up in Wounded Knee in 1890 and was awarded a medal for “leading a party into a ravine to attack a group of Indians hiding there.” What they don’t say is that this group of Indians hiding were women and children, because the men did not run. And he led a party in there to kill the group hiding there. He died at age 74 and is buried at the San Francisco National Cemetery.
Matthew Hamilton was a private from New York. He was awarded the medal for bravery in action, which is must be another term for murdering unarmed women and children.
Joshija B. Hartzog was a private who was given the medal because he “went to the rescue of the commanding officer who had fallen severely wounded, picked him up, and carried him out of range of the hostile guns.” Considering there were about 460 in the 7th Cavalry and maybe 100 unarmed Lakota men, you have to wonder how many of the guns were hostile guns and how many were their own.
Harry L. Hawthorne was from Minnesota. He distinguished his military career as a war hero with the medal he received for his actions at Wounded Knee that cold, cold winter morning. It is reported that he showed “distinguished conduct in battle with hostile Indians.” The meaning of the word distinguished is to show dignity, while the meaning of hostile is a military enemy. It is hard to think of how so many women and children were considered enemies. Harry Hawthorne died at age 88 and is buried at the Arlington National Cemetery.
There isn’t much information as to why Marvin Hillock was given a medal except for use of that word again, distinguished bravery. Showing dignity in the ethnic cleansing that was committed that day.
George Hobday was given the medal for “conspicuous and gallant conduct in battle.” That is the only information given. However the meaning of those two words together is to stand out and show bravery, which I imagine is not hard when you are armed and shooting women and children.
George Lloyd was given the medal for “bravery, especially after having been severely wounded through the lung.” So he was wounded, but so were many women and children. One of them being the grandmother of my children’s great grandmother. She was shot high up in her thigh and carried the wound for the rest of her life. She was around 12 or 13 at the time and ran as fast as she could with a bullet in her leg. She left behind three little brothers to die in the snow that day.
Albert W. McMillan was said to have been awarded a medal because “while engaged with Indians concealed in a ravine, he assisted the men on the skirmish line, directed their fire, encouraged them by example, and used every effort to dislodge the enemy.” The enemy again were the women and children who ran and hid, ran in the snow, ran hoping they will see the next day.
Thomas Sullivan was given a medal for “conspicuous bravery in action against Indians concealed in a ravine.” For finding the women holding onto their babies, tears freezing ,hiding in those ravines and praying to not be found. woundedkneescenedeadandhorsesFrederick E. Toy was from Buffalo, NY. He received his medal for “conspicuous bravery and coolness in action” however his own hometown newspaper questions his heroics and has supported the campaign to rescind his medal in the past. Frederick lived to be 67 and is buried at the Riverdale Cemetery in Lewiston, NY.
Jacob Trautman “killed a hostile Indian at close quarters, and, although entitled to retirement from service, remained to the close of the campaign.” He died 8 years later and is buried at South Side Cemetery in Pittsburgh, PA. trautman_jacobPic taken from the website Home of Heroeswhich includes pictures of the gravesite of Medal of Honor recipients.
James Ward was given a medal because he continued to fight after being severely wounded. Like the one woman who was said to have been “maddened by wounds, crawled from the edge of the village. With a butcher knife between her teeth, she made her painful way over a distance of ten yards to where a soldier lay on his back, wounded. She raised the knife over him and, as he screamed, plunged it into his breast. Another soldier, in the square, saw the act and sent a bullet into her head. She dropped next to her victim.”
Paul H. Weinert was in the unit that contained the four Hotchkiss guns. The revolving Hotchkiss cannon had five 37 mm barrels, and was capable of firing 43 rounds per minute with an accuracy range of 2,000 yards. His unit fired the rounds at the women and children “successfully clearing out a ravine” of children scared to move. He died at age 49 and is buried at Milton Cemetery in Milton, MA.
Hermann Ziegner was given the award for bravery by attacking those hidden in the ravines. He died at age 34 from malaria and is buried at Calvary Cemetery in Brooklyn, NY. the-wounded-knee-massacre
These are most of the recipients. Most of them went on to live for a long time. Many of them died old and were buried in nice cemeteries of their families choice. Unlike the 200 women and children who ran and hid for their lives that cold December morning. And the almost 100 men who were disarmed but died fighting back. Their grave is shared. A trench dug by the United States Government where their frozen bodies were thrown in. Colonel Forsyth was under house arrest for 18 months while the Army conducted an investigation of the massacre and was cleared of all charges.
Wounded Knee resulted in the most Medals of Honor ever awarded for one battle in the history of the U.S. Army. A hundred years after the massacre, the U.S. Congress finally acknowledged the mistake made at Wounded Knee with this apology: “It is proper and timely for the Congress of the United States to express its deep regret to the Sioux people for the massacre.” The attempt to rescind the medals has happened many times. At a congressional hearing on July 29, 1993, Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell suggested their medals be rescinded given the controversial nature of the battle. In 1996 Senator John McCain replied to an online petition to the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs :
The policies and decisions … that led to the Army’s being at Wounded Knee in 1890 doubtless can be characterized as unjust, unwise, or worse. Nevertheless, a retrospective judgment that the Government’s policies and actions were dishonorable does not warrant rescinding the medals awarded to individual soldiers for bravery in a brief, fierce fight in which 25 soldiers were killed and 45 others wounded.
In 2001, the National Congress of American Indians passed two resolutions condemning the Medals of Honor and calling on the U.S. government to rescind them. All efforts have been refused.
This country’s refusal to rescind the medals leads me to believe there is another reason. According to Senator McCain’s 1996 letter refusing the rescindment:
In part due to the efforts of the Medal of Honor Legion, President Wilson in 1916 signed a law that clarified the procedures and standards of proof for awarding the Medal of Honor. To receive the medal, one must demonstrate distinguished gallantry or intrepidity, at the risk of life, above and beyond the call of duty. The 1916 law also provided for a board of retired generals to review each of the 2,625 Army medals awarded for conduct during campaigns against Indian tribes between 1861 and 1890 , including Wounded Knee. As a result of this review, 911 medals were rescinded, all because the recipients were judged not to have distinguished themselves in combat and at the risk of their lives.
The fact that this country took back 911 medals in the Indian Wars and did not include Wounded Knee just tells me this country is still to this day hanging onto that old grudge from fourteen years earlier when the Lakota, Cheyenne, and Arapahoe kicked Custer and the 7th Cavalry’s ass in an ambush at Greasy Grass. On that day when the Lakota gave the 7th Cavalry it’s ultimate loss by taking their flags, proving they failed their nation. There are reports of soldiers hollering at Wounded Knee “This is for Custer!” as they would shoot the women and children.
It amazes me that people can look down on other countries who commit genocide on their own people, perform horrid acts of ethnic cleansing, and massacre their own people, yet only 122 years ago it happened here and they not only took a hundred years to even apologize, they gave them the highest honors for it.
So why should we care now? Other than rewriting history and moving on? Because we live here too. Because we were here first, and under their Declaration of Independence upon describing the tyranny the King of Britian held the colonies in, they are describing themselves and what they did to us. Especially when they describe us as “the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.” They are describing themselves and what they did at Wounded Knee, regardless of age, sex, and condition.
We live here too, we have rights too, and we have the right to ask for those medals to be taken away.
For those who were brutally killed that cold winter morning in December of 1890.

Elder's Meditation of the Day February 10



Elder's Meditation of the Day February 10
"The ground on which we stand is sacred ground. It is the dust and blood of our ancestors."
--Plenty Coups, CROW
Mother Earth is the source of life and the place all life returns to. She gives us life. She feeds us through our journey and she waits for us to return to her. The Indian way is to recognize the earth as the place of our ancestors. That is why certain places on earth are considered sacred areas and sacred land; this is the place of our ancestors. We all need to reflect upon the earth, the place where our ancestors lived. We need to have love and respect for the earth.
My Creator, let me honor the place of our ancestors, Mother Earth.

༺♥༻ Mohawk Indian Prayer

༺♥༻ Mohawk Indian Prayer

Oh Great Spirit, Creator of all things;
Human Beings, trees, grass, berries.
Help us, be kind to us.
Let us be happy on earth.
Let us lead our children
To a good life and old age.
These our people; give them good minds
To love one another.
Oh Great Spirit,
Be kind to us
Give these people the favor
To see green trees,
Green grass, flowers, and berries
This next spring;
So we all meet again
Oh Great Spirit,
We ask of you.