Friday, February 22, 2013

Elder's Meditation of the Day February 22

Elder's Meditation of the Day February 22
"In the Indian way, we are connected to that flower if we understand its spirit, the essence of its life."
--Larry P. Aitken, CHIPPEWA
Everything on our Earth is alive. Every rock, every plant, every animal, every tree, every bird, every thought is alive. This is true because everything is made by the Great Spirit and the Great Spirit is alive. We need to slow our lives down each day and realize, consciously, that this is true. First we need to realize it, second, we need to acknowledge it, third, we need to appreciate it and, finally, we need to go on.
Great Spirit, let me see life through Your eyes. Today let me be alive.

Elder's Meditation of the Day February 22

Elder's Meditation of the Day February 22
"In the Indian way, we are connected to that flower if we understand its spirit, the essence of its life."
--Larry P. Aitken, CHIPPEWA
Everything on our Earth is alive. Every rock, every plant, every animal, every tree, every bird, every thought is alive. This is true because everything is made by the Great Spirit and the Great Spirit is alive. We need to slow our lives down each day and realize, consciously, that this is true. First we need to realize it, second, we need to acknowledge it, third, we need to appreciate it and, finally, we need to go on.
Great Spirit, let me see life through Your eyes. Today let me be alive.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Prayers & Idle No More

Call out for Sacred Fires, March 20 »

Idle No More preparing for next stages -

"We call upon our women, men, two-spirited people, keepers of ceremonies, lodge-keepers, carriers of pipes (as well as bundles and drums), spiritual leaders, communities, elders, youth and everyone to begin by lighting Sacred Fires at sunrise on March 20th.Throughout March 20th, our request for ceremonies is intended to:

Strengthen the Movement;
Acknowledge and Honour the spiritual foundation of our Nations and the Movement;
Nourish the fire of our commitment to our Nations, Sovereignty, Treaties, and the Land;
Re-Forge/Heal partnerships, relationships, and reconnect our young people and communities to their names and clans, responsibilities, teachings, elders, and
Feast Clans, Sacred Items, Bundles, and to seek direction from Ceremonies;
Raise the voice of the Spirit of the Drum;
Draw upon Spirit to help challenge Canada’s violations to Treaty, Land, and Sovereignty;
Acknowledge that Women are taking the lead by honouring and empowering women as we honour and empower Mother Earth.
This is also intended to embed a spiritual and cultural foundation for the March 21st Idle No More Day of Action taking place the next day, the March 22nd world-wide Water Day, and in all days ahead as we continue with our momentum – together." - NNL Staff, Thunder Bay. ᐰ

Elder's Meditation of the Day February 21

Elder's Meditation of the Day February 21
"Every thing or living being that exists in this world, be it trees, flowers, birds, grasses, rocks, soil of the earth, or human beings, has its unique manner of existence - its essence, its spirit that makes it what it is. That is what is meant by connectedness."
--Larry P. Aitken, CHIPPEWA
Scientists are finally realizing what the Elders have taught for thousands of years - everything is connected. Because everything is interconnected, whatever you do to any one thing, you do to everything. If you poison any part of the earth, the poison eventually affects everything else. If you poison the plants, the birds will eat the plants, which poisons the birds. The birds are eaten by humans which poisons the humans. The humans will have babies who could be deformed because the plants were poisoned. We must learn to live in harmony with the earth. We must learn to think good things. Every good thought is felt by everything, which causes everything to be happy.
Creator, let my thoughts only be good thoughts.

The Prophecy of the Reunion of the Condor and Eagle is Unfolding, as Promised !

The Prophecy of the Reunion of the Condor and Eagle is Unfolding, as Promised !

Prior to the arrival of the first European explorers an Indigenous kinship network based in spiritual and cultural relationships and protocols existed for centuries across the Western Hemisphere. Through this network of many networks, this Hoop of Many Hoops, Indigenous Peoples shared knowledge, capacity and resources for mutual aid, trade and development. This ancient network, based in life-preserving and life enhancing spiritual values and principles, known by many Indigenous Peoples across the Hemisphere as the Union of the Condor and Eagle, was broken apart by European colonization and the subsequent decimation of Indigenous Nations and Peoples across the Americas.

The prophecy of the Reunion of the Condor and the Eagle is retold by many Indigenous Nations and Peoples. The Q'ero People’s of Peru prophecies, for instance, say that when the Eagle of the North and the Condor of the South fly together, the Peoples of Mother Earth will awaken. They say that the Eagles of the North cannot be free without the Condors of the South.

All of these ancient prophecies predict, after a long and bitter spiritual wintertime, that the “Reunion of the Condor (Indigenous Peoples of the South), and the Eagle, (Indigenous Peoples of the North),” will be realized. It is promised that when the Reunion of the Condor and Eagle is fully realized, a great era of peace, well-being and prosperity will follow for all members of the Human Family.

The Reunion of the Condor and Eagle is intimately connected to other Indigenous prophecies across the Americas. These include the Time of the Eighth Council Fire, the Hopi Prophecies, the Slaying and Return of the White Buffalo, the Mayan 2012 Prophecy and the Emergence of the Fifth Sun, the Return of Quetzalcoatl, the Prophecies of Chilam-Balam, the Prophecies of Sweet Medicine, and the fulfillment of Black Elk’s Daybreak Star Prophesy.

So strong is the belief in this prophecy among some Indigenous Peoples, that the Otomi Peoples in the State of Mexico have built a vast ceremonial amphitheatre dedicated to the “Reunion of the Condor and the Eagle.” The focal point of this amazing construction is a gigantic stone carving of a Condor and an Eagle joined in a loving embrace. It was built largely by the volunteer labour of thousands of materially poor Indigenous Peoples out of love and faith in this prophecy.

It was at this location that the first Reunion of the Condor and Eagle, International Indigenous Trade and Social Development Agreement and Unity Pact was signed on May 5, 1999, between grassroots Indigenous leaders of more than 100,000 Indigenous Peoples from Mexico and representatives of First Nations from Canada and the U.S.A. The Movement of the Condor and the Eagle continues to gain strength and momentum through the dedicated action of many different Indigenous networks and their allies across the Americas despite on-going opposition from adverse political and economic forces, especially natural resource extraction interests.

This opposition is easy to understand. Collectively the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas have the social capital, land base, natural resources, including water, petroleum, natural gas, timber, rare minerals and gems, fishing and hunting rights and those rights and resources that are still to be justly acquired, that once the Reunion of the Condor and Eagle is fully realized, Indigenous Peoples and their allies will become a decisive and major economic and spiritual force not only in the Americas, but around the world. Indigenous Peoples will then be in a position to mandate the wise and harmonious ways Mother Earth's gifts should be safely and sustainability developed, as well as, when development is not appropriate, no matter how much profit is to be made.

Following the end of the long-count of the Mayan Calendar, December 21, 2012 and the beginning of the 5th Sun, the rising of Indigenous Peoples and their Allies is destined to accelerate everywhere on Mother Earth. Indigenous women are destined to play a great role in this global transformation process!

artist Steven Paul Judd

This piece of art was created by artist Steven Paul Judd. We were forwarded the artwork. Though Steven is not affiliated with Native Swagg, we would like to thank him for representing the highest standard of the definition of NAtive Swagg through his art. We will gladly make an album for him in the photos section and please contact him for further information about his artwork.
 — withSteven Paul Judd.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Chief Dan George

Great Spirit Prayer

Great Spirit Prayer
By Yellow Hawk, Sioux Chief

Oh, Great Spirit, whose voice I hear in the wind, whose breath gives life to all the world. Hear me; I need your strength and wisdom. Let me walk in beauty, and make my eyes ever behold the red and purple sunset. Make my hands respect the things you have made and my ears sharp to hear your voice make me wise so that I may understand the things you have taught my people.

Help me to remain calm and strong in the face of all that comes towards me. Let me learn the lessons you have hidden in every leaf and rock. Help me seek pure thoughts and act with the intention of helping others. Help me find compassion without empathy overwhelming me. I seek strength, not to be greater than my brother, but to fight my greatest enemy - Myself. Make me always ready to come to you with clean hands and straight eyes. So when life fades, as the fading sunset, my spirit may come to you without shame.

Elder's Meditation of the Day February 20

Elder's Meditation of the Day February 20
"When a community does something together, that community is very happy, jovial, connected, and unified."
--Larry P. Aitken, CHIPPEWA
The Indian People have always been able to adapt. If the hunting changed, we found new hunting grounds. If the earth changed, we moved to a better place. If the river changed course, we followed the river. But with every change, we kept our Indianness and spirituality. Our culture and spirituality have always been our strength. Our culture and spirituality taught us to live in harmony. We must change with the times, but we must maintain our culture and spirituality, always living in harmony.
Great Spirit, You have taught us to survive. Let me always maintain my Indianness.

Prayers for the Day

We must learn the lessons of life through all things, and then pass the gift's of life to those that follow in our footsteps. For they will need them even more, as Mother Earth, and Father Sky continues to be darkened by the progress of the Nothing 
Chief Dan George

Lord God, may we be grateful for our lot,
and compassionate toward all those who are
suffering every kind of distress at this
difficult time.
May we hold back nothing, and
hasten to be the ministers of prayer and mercy,
like the disciples of Him who went about doing
good in times of need.

O Lord, we call upon You in our time of sorrow,
That You give us the strength and will to bear our heavy
burdens, until we can again feel the warmth and love of
Your divine compassion. Be mindful of us and have mercy
on us while we struggle to comprehend life's hardships.

Keep us ever in Your watch, til we can walk again with
light hearts and renewed spirits.

Do not look forward to what may happen
tomorrow; the same everlasting Father who cares
for you today will take care of you tomorrow and
every day. Either He will shield you from suffering,
or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it.

Be at peace, then. Put aside all anxious thoughts and
imaginations, and say continually: "The Lord is my
strength and my shield. My heart has trusted in Him
and I am helped. He is not only with me but in me,
and I in Him."

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

O Great Spirit

O Great Spirit of our Ancestors, I raise my pipe to you, to your messengers the four winds, and to Mother Earth who provides for your children. Give us the wisdom to teach our children to love, to respect, and to be kind to each other so that they may grow with peace in mind. Let us learn to share all the good things that you provide for us on this Earth.

Tiny Horrors

Tiny Horrors: A Chilling Reminder of How Cruel Assimilation Was—And Is For such small objects, the child’s handcuffs are surprisingly heavy when cradled in the palms of one’s hand. Although now rusted from years of disuse, they still convey the horror of their brutal purpose, which was to restrain Native children who were being brought to boarding schools. “I felt the weight of their metal on my heart,” said Jessica Lackey of the Cherokee tribe as she described holding the handcuffs for the first time.

Lackey, an alumnus of Haskell Indian Nations University, was working at the school’s Cultural Center & Museum when the handcuffs were unwrapped last spring after being kept in storage for several years. I had heard rumors about the existence of the handcuffs during visits to Haskell over the years and had made numerous inquiries to school authorities about them, but people seemed very reluctant to discuss this touchy artifact. This past summer, however, Haskell agreed to allow a public viewing of the handcuffs. Andy Girty, one of the elders who first blessed the handcuffs when they were given to Haskell in 1989, helped unwrap them for me.

Known as the Haskell Institute in its early years, the school opened its doors in 1884. It was originally founded as an instrument of the final solution to this country’s “Indian problem”; Haskell Institute’s mission then was embodied in the now infamous motto of Captain Richard H. Pratt, founder of the Carlisle Indian Industrial School: “Kill the Indian, Save the Man.” This mind-set led to decades of forced acculturation through brutal military-style incarceration cloaked as education in U.S. Indian boarding schools.

Although begun as a model for assimilation, native students have, over the years, transformed Haskell into a model for self-determination. The school’s early curriculum featured training in domestic and farming skills but has since evolved into four-year university.

Haskell’s Cultural Center & Museum, located on campus, tells the full—and often cruel—story of Haskell’s painful past as well as providing a venue to showcase Native art, culture from the past and present. Opened in 2002, the center features the permanent exhibit Honoring Our Children Through Seasons of Sacrifice, Survival, Change and Celebration, featuring artifacts, photos and letters from the school’s early days.

Among the artifacts currently on display is

a heavy iron lock and key for the school jail, which held unruly students. Letters, photographs, copies of early school newspapers and daily menus are among the more commonplace artifacts of early daily life displayed at the museum. One display includes a heavy lock and key from the small on site jail used to punish unruly students. Soon, perhaps, the handcuffs will be included among these artifacts, adding its chilling testimony regarding the practices used by early educators to kill the Indian and save the child.

Not much is known about the diminutive handcuffs, which were donated to the Cultural Center in 1989 by a non-Indian man who described their use to Bobbi Rahder, former director of the Haskell Cultural Center & Museum. “He told us they were used to restrain captured Indian children who were being taken to boarding schools,” says Rahder. The middle-age white man said his father had the handcuffs for years but that he no longer wanted to have them in his possession. “He seemed relieved to get rid of them,” Rahder recalls.

I made many phone calls, but was unable to track down the man, who is said to have lived in Lawrence. According to Rahder, he failed to respond to messages they had left him over the years, and he has not been seen at Haskell since the day he brought the handcuffs to the Cultural Center. “It was all very vague. He didn’t tell us how his father came to have the handcuffs. He showed up one day and donated them to the Center,” she says.

Mysterious donations are common at the Cultural Center. Rahder has witnessed scores of non-Indian donors dropping off important—and often poignant—historical artifacts relating to Haskell. Last year, Roger Bollinger of Pennsylvania donated an 1880s leather-bound photo album containing photos and corresponding identifications of Haskell’s very first students in 1884. This album represents the only known identifiable photos from that inaugural class. Bollinger knew little of Haskell and had no idea how the album came to be in his family’s possession. A supporter of education and cultural understanding, he decided tom donate the album to Haskell.

The handcuffs, however, were different, notes Rahder, who took them from the man. “I was shocked and afraid to touch them,” she recalls.

She says she immediately contacted administrative and spiritual leaders at the school for guidance on handling the handcuffs. Leaders at Haskell were overwhelmed by the brutality of the tiny handcuffs, she noted.

Girty, of the Cherokee Nation, who is a Cherokee language instructor at Haskell and a number of other elders and leaders, conducted a modest ceremony the next day at the school’s medicine fire. His wife, Frances, of the Creek and Choctaw Nations, provided a tiny handmade quilt in which the handcuffs were reverently wrapped before being stored in the Cultural Center’s archives. The handcuffs remained in storage for more than 20 years.

Although the Cultural Center displays a number of artifacts related to the harsh treatment of early Indian students at Haskell, the handcuffs were simply too painful to be addressed, opined Rahder. She says elders blessed the handcuffs and instructed her to put them away. She did as she was told, trusting that students and faculty would one day decide on the appropriate treatment of this painful artifact. The handcuffs languished in the archives of the center until this past summer.

As word of the handcuffs began to leak out over the past few years, students and faculty began discussing the importance of acknowledging their existence and putting them on display. For whatever reason, no one at the school has been willing to take the lead in the handling of this powerful artifact, but with the approval of Haskell administration, Girty agreed to unwrap them for ICTMN.

For Lackey the handcuffs are a tangible example of the painful history between Native people and the U.S. “The history of our genocide has been so swept under the rug by the mainstream. People need to see the impact that these policies had on us,“ she says.

According to Girty, who was a student at Haskell in 1959, there are many stories of the brutal means used by authorities to bring and keep students at school in its early days. For instance, reservation authorities would hold back Native families’ food rations if they refused to allow children to be sent to early boarding schools, he noted. “If those handcuffs could talk, they would tell some terrible stories,” he says.

Steve Prue, spokesman for Haskell, says there are no immediate plans regarding how the handcuffs will be presented to the public, nor how they will be displayed. He agrees with students that the handcuffs are an appropriate item to be included in displays of other Haskell artifacts at the Cultural Center. “It’s good to have these sorts of things on display in the Cultural Center,” he says. “They tell the story of who paid the price for us to be here now.”
Read more at—and-146664

Forbidden to Speak

Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima is a historic photograph taken on February 23, 1945. There are six Flag Raisers on the famous Iwo Jima photo. Four in the front line and two in back. The front four are (left to right) Ira Hayes, Franklin Sousley, John Bradley and Harlon Block. The back two are Michael Strank (behind Sousley) and Rene Gagnon (behind Bradley). Strank, Block and Sousley would die shortly afterwards. Bradley, Hayes and Gagnon became national heroes.

Human Rights Violations committed by John McCain personally, over the course of 25 years in the state legislature and federal senate introduced and arranged for the enforcement of unethical and constitutionally unlawful legislations which brutally displaced thousands of Navajo farmers onto a Nuclear Waste Dump, Church's Rock, New Mexico to live after brutalizing them for two decades in peaceful resistance.

Marsha Monestersky for the UN Commission on Human Rights and Women Enacting Change at the UN "The forcible relocation of over 10,000 (Dineh) Navajo people is a tragedy of genocide and injustice that will be a blot on the conscience of this country for many generations."

Educated in government schools, Navajo children were forbidden to speak their native language and were taught English. Native Americans have served in the US Military since the American revolution, have the highest rate of military service of any other ethnic group in the US.

Ira Hayes was born January 12, 1923 in Sacaton, Arizona, and died January 24, 1955 in Bapchule, Arizona. Ira Hayes was a Pima Indian. When he enlisted in the Marine Corps, he had hardly ever been off the Reservation. His Chief told him to be an “Honorable Warrior” and bring honor upon his family. Ira was a dedicated Marine. Quiet and steady, he was admired by his fellow Marines who fought alongside him in three Pacific battles.

When Ira learned that President Roosevelt wanted him and the other survivors to come back to the US to raise money on the 7th Bond Tour, he was horrified.

To Ira, the heroes of Iwo Jima, those deserving honor, were his “good buddies” who died there. At the White House, President Truman told Ira, “You are an American hero.” But Ira didn’t feel pride. As he later lamented, “How could I feel like a hero when only five men in my platoon of 45 survived, when only 27 men in my company of 250 managed to escape death or injury?”

The Bond Tour was an ordeal for Ira. He couldn’t understand or accept the adulation . . . “It was supposed to be soft duty, but I couldn’t take it. Everywhere we went people shoved drinks in our hands and said ‘You’re a Hero!’ We knew we hadn’t done that much but you couldn’t tell them that.”

National media's failure to inform the public about the U.S.
government human rights violations against and forced relocation and systematic genocide of the Dine'h (Navajo) at Black Mesa, Arizona. Forcing any group of people from their homelands onto land that is contaminated by radiation as high as 100 times the maximum safe level can be called by no other name than genocide. The fact that the U.S. government knows that the land
is contaminated and STILL mandates that area as the only alternative for the Dine'h to live is a planned act. Therefore, the only proper term for this willful murder of First Americans is Systematic Genocide. The fact that the national media refuses to print a single word about these crimes against the Dine'h and
willfully remains silent is complicity in those crimes.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Elder's Meditation of the Day February 18

Elder's Meditation of the Day February 18
"Laughter is a necessity in life that does not cost much, and the Old Ones say that one of the greatest healing powers in our life is the ability to laugh."
--Larry P. Aitken, CHIPPEWA
Laughter is a good stress eliminator. Laughter causes healing powers to be distributed through our bodies. Laughter helps heal relationships that are having problems. Laughter can change other people. aughter can heal the sick. Laughter is spiritual. One of the greatest gifts among Indian people has been our ability to laugh. Humor is natural to Indian people. Sometimes the only thing left to do is laugh.
Great Spirit, allow me to laugh when times get tough.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Elder's Meditation of the Day February 17

Elder's Meditation of the Day February 17
"Silence and self-control permeate the entirety of our lives."
--Larry P. Aitken, CHIPPEWA
The Creator gave us all the Red Road and on this Red Road we are required to think and act in a spiritual way. To make sure I conduct myself according to the Red Road, I must make sure I develop my self discipline. Self control works best when we pray for the courage and power to do the will of the Great Spirit. We are here on the earth to do the will of the Great Spirit. Sometimes, we must battle ourselves to do this.
Great Spirit, help me to have my self- control guided by spiritual ways.