1890: Remember The Massacre At Wounded Knee

by Peter Cole written for Jacobinmag. On this day in 1890, the US Army murdered as many as 300 Native American men, women, and children. As dawn appeared on December 29, 1890, about 350 Lakota Indians awoke, having been forced by the US Army to camp the night before alongside the Wounded Knee Creek in South Dakota. The US Cavalry’s 7th Regiment had “escorted” them there the day prior and, now, surrounded the Indians with the intent to arrest Chief Big Foot (also called Spotted Elk) and disarm the warriors. When a disagreement erupted, army soldiers opened fire, including with Hotchkiss machine guns. Within minutes, hundreds of children, men, and women were shot down. Perhaps as many as three hundred killed and scores wounded that morning. Few Americans now know that the deadliest shootings in US history were massacres of native peoples. Today is the anniversary of the largest such massacre. […] Read More

WISDOM SAYINGS

“When it comes time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home.” (Aupumut) “All of this Creation is Sacred… And so do not forget. Every Dawn as it comes is a holy event and every day is holy, for the light comes from Wakan-Tanka… you must remember that the Two-leggeds and All other peoples who stand upon this Earth are Sacred and should be treated as such…” (White Buffalo Woman) “How smooth must be the language of the whites when they can make right look like wrong, and wrong like right.” (BlackHawk) “Our wise men are called Fathers, and they truly sustain that character. Do you call yourselves […] Read More

The White Buffalo Called Miracle

***Miracle Died 2003*** Contents: Update On Miracle It’s A Miracle! Fulfilling The Prophesy Story of the White Buffalo Calf Woman UPDATE ON MIRACLE It was said by some that in “the time of the White Buffalo” sunbows, or whirling rainbows, would begin to appear more frequently as a sign to the people. As most readers of this journal will know, we are in the time of the White Buffalo. The long-awaited White Buffalo Calf was born August 20, 1994 on a Wisconsin farm owned by Dave and Valerie Hieder. Jay Pierce is Valerie Hieder’s dad, and he is the person who greets most of the over 65,000 people who have come out to the farm to visit Miracle since her birth just over a year ago. “Miracle is in great shape,” he reports. “She started out white alright, but then turned jet black for all of the Winter. Right […] Read More

1995: Teaching Native American Religions

Updated May 1, 1995 The following is a series of discussions concerning the teaching of Indian religions outside of their own cultural context. From: Ron Grimes, U Colorado Boulder (at the time) MX%”nn.chat@gnosys.svle.ma.us” 6-MAY-1993 18:51:48.40 Subj: Teach. Nat. Am. Rel. I am submitting this query simultaneously to two electronic discussion groups–one on religious studies, the other on Native American issues–to invite reflection on three questions: 1. Should or should not European Americans be teaching courses on Native American religions? 2. If we should not, why not, and what would be the results of our deferral? 3. If we should, how best can we proceed? I am giving much thought these days to the question of cultural imperialism, especially in two of its forms, namely, religious and academic imperialism. While on leave, I have been asked by the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder, to teach […] Read More

1911: The Soul of the Indian

THE SOUL OF THE INDIAN An Interpretation BY CHARLES ALEXANDER EASTMAN (OHIYESA) UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA PRESS Lincoln London Copyright, 1911, by Charles Alexander Eastman All rights reserved First Bison Book Printing: 1980 Most recent printing indicated by first digit below: 7 8 9 10 Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data Eastman, Charles Alexander, 1858-1939. The soul of the Indian. Reprint of the ed. published by Houghton Mifflin, Boston. I. Indians of North America — Religion and mythology. I. Title. [E98.R3E15 1980] 299′.7 79-26355 ISBN 0-8032-1802-8 ISBN 0-8032-6701-0 pbk. Published by arrangement with Eleanor Eastman Mensel and Virginia Eastman Whitbeck Manufactured in the United States of America TO MY WIFE ELAINE GOODALE EASTMAN IN GRATEFUL RECOGNITION OF HER EVER-INSPIRING COMPANIONSHIP IN THOUGHT AND WORK AND IN LOVE OF HER MOST INDIAN-LIKE VIRTUES I DEDICATE THIS BOOK I speak for each no-tongued tree That, spring by spring, doth nobler be, And […] Read More

SACREDNESS AMONG NATIVE AMERICANS

Vine Deloria, Jr. Religious sentiment and experience are foremost among the characteristics which distinguish our species from the rest of the organic beings in the world. Over the course of humanity’s historical journey, religious experiences have formed the basis of social, political and economic institutions of both a formal and informal nature. American Indians, and many other tribal peoples, represent a long historical tradition in which religious experiences and knowledge, and the requirement of ceremonial participation, are spread more or less evenly throughout a small reasonably homogeneous society. Although American Indians participate in a large variety of religious traditions our concern here will be with that portion of the Indian nation that continues to follow traditional religious practices. The United States Constitution guarantees, in the Bill of Rights, that the Federal government will not intervene in human social processes to establish a state religion nor will it place burdens […] Read More

The PEACEMAKER

There once came from the north country, to what is now the upper western portion of New York state, a young man of Huron birth. He was called Deganaweda. Even as a child he talked of a peaceful way of existence and of harmony among the tribes. He spoke of the importance of the heart and called for an end to war- like ways and sacrifices of blood. But he found only deaf ears amongst his own Huron people, for they were war-like and not given to the ways of peace.  Hiawatha by Thomas Eakins (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Our story begins when Deganaweda began a pilgrimage that would eventually bring his teachings to the five tribes of the Haudenosaunee and later, six when they were joined by the Seneca peoples. He helped them create a confederation of tribes, under a form of self-ruling government, in which there would be […] Read More

NATIVE AMERICAN QUOTES

“The American Indian is of the soil, whether it be the region of the forests, plains, pueblos, or mesas. He fits into the landscape, for the land that fashioned the continent also fashioned the man for his surroundings. He once grew as naturally as the wild sunflowers; he belongs just as the buffalo belongs… —Luther Standing Bear (1868?-1939) Oglala Sioux chief “If you talk to the animals they will talk with you and you will know each other. If you do not talk to them you will not know them and what you do not know, you will fear. What one fears, one destroys.” —Chief Dan George I hope the Great Heavenly Father, who will look down upon us, will give all the tribes His blessing, that we may go forth in peace, and live in peace all our days, and that He will look down upon our children […] Read More

1997: Ghost Dance

We are being called to gather at the Ghost Dance…To let our hearts be heard! There can be little denial by those who walk the Earth at this time that whatever it is that we are all experiencing emotionally, physically, or with the climatic changes, economic changes, as well as changes in Consciousness……it is an inescapable fact that we are in the beginning throws of great changes on almost every level of life’s expression. The Quickening is upon us. There are dreams that seem to spontaneously come alive within our being that have no face, yet leave a feeling of memory of a life that overlays this life. It is the process of awakening. We have been given to opportunity to remember on this side of the veil so that we could effect the changing of our destiny… That we could choose the outcome of this dream. We are […] Read More