Without Native Americans, would we still be here?
Excerpts to be published by Canandaigua Event Sponsor, Manhattan Magazine
On a sunny spiritual day, 11-11-99, 30 wind chilled Iroquois men, women and children in elegant regalia, led a parade of 400 well wishers in the same heroic “Wild East” spirit that folks must have felt 205 years ago. That’s when 58 Chiefs of the Iroquois Confederacy signed the Canandaigua Peace Treaty with President Washington. Despite recent death threats to the Oneida & Cayuga Tribes in the Syracuse area over this revered Treaty–one of two ever honored by the US Government! –Native Americans and Anglo-Americans from Canada to Arizona came to draw attention to its significance. It was a day of hope that “We the People” who elect our leaders, are waking up to come into integrity with ourselves, to heal the Spirit of America, as we enter the 21st!
The fading parchment was displayed by Sheldon Fisher, the 92 yr. old (Anglo) director of their Historical Society, who challenged the gathering, “Where are the next Peacemakers?” Smiling kids of both cultures, whom Seneca organizer Wayne Keemer called “my teachers” laid flowers on the rock honoring all those who paved the way to our democratic freedom. Overseeing that the Indians’ rights were upheld both then and now, was a “straight from the heart” Quaker couple in traditional dress. “You can’t give into such threats,” was the peace cry. Despite 34 “bad apples,” who call themselves “USA Freedom Fighters,” testing the crowd’s metal in standing up for the Fathers and Mothers of Democracy, the People came. They came to honor Washington’s intent of the Treaty, “In peace and friendship forever, we respect each others sovereignty”–each self ruling and not disturbing each other’s lands or people.
Back then, Washington, Jefferson and Franklin were the new kids on the block, and the 5 Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy had the power, and had already enjoyed 800 years of sovereignty–democratic self ruling, that by today’s standards, was way more civilized than the early Democracy of the “kids.” Despite their growing pains paid dearly by Indians, the 5 wise Nations of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois): the Mohawk, Onondaga, Oneida, Cayuga, and Seneca, (joined by Tuscarora in 1700’s), graciously put the youngsters under their wings and taught them how to fly in harmony. 205 Years later, in the face of this violent challenge to the Iroquois’ lawful rights, and “promised federal protection from interference by all,” the letter from White House, though more words than action, read by Seneca M.C. Peter Jemison, helped: “Warm greetings to everyone celebrating the Treaty of 1794 between the Iroquois Nations and the United States. In observing this special day, we honor the invaluable contributions of Native Americans throughout history. Tribal America has brought to this country important values and ideas that have become ingrained in the American spirit: the knowledge that humans can thrive and prosper without destroying the natural environment and the awareness that diversity can be a source of strength rather than division to build a stronger future for our children. Now more than two centuries later, we continue to build on this relationship, living side by side, learning from one another, appreciating one another’s culture, and celebrating the gift of democracy that we all cherish. As we continue to work toward common goals and to strengthen our lasting friendship, I extend best wishes to all for a memorable event.” –Bill Clinton
Empowering energy also came from hosting the Ceremony in front of the Ontario County Courthouse where Susan B. Anthony was sentenced for the “crime of (women) voting.” Her vision and boldness was thanks to her Suffragette friendship with the Iroquois Clan Mothers, who modeled the American Women’s Movement. Jemison carried that unity energy in his blood. His ancestor 7 generations back, was abducted by Senecas, yet she felt so appreciated as an equal in their Long House village, that she refused to return and ended up marrying two Chiefs.
“Top 100 Contributors of the Millennium”
A & E just aired the “Top 100 of the Millennium,” and “Conscious America” feels they left out the real No.1. Thanks to the belligerents in Syracuse, more are waking up to the awesome significance of Democracy and Ecology. If not for those contributions by our First Americans, would we still be here? The answer gives the Iroquois Confederacy a spot above No 1 French Louis Pasteur, who discovered that “disease is spread by microscopic bacteria.” In our hearts, sharing the accolades with the Iroquois, are all Native Americans–they elected Chiefs who represented all the people equally, compared to the Greeks (and the “Kids”) who had slaves and left out women.
Even with Democracy being adopted around the world, we’ve come within an hour by bomber of delivering a possible “nuclear winter”– a number of times! So imagine continuing to live in a world where we the People had to give away most of our talents, toil and blood to benefit Kings, Queens, Emperors and other Dictators and their families. We’d be one pissed off destructive People, without these tools of how to get along. Yet we need a refresher to fulfill that dream and promise of our Founding Fathers and Mothers of both cultures, so we don’t turn into a “Corporate Monarchy.”
Next, while Native Peoples appreciate the benefits of technology that are in harmony with Mother Earth, imagine if Euro Anglo technology hadn’t met up with the “Guardians of Mother Earth on Turtle Island” (Indian name for America). Fortunately, their wisdom & example put the breaks on using, abusing and depleting our Lands and Resources with no regard for future generations, in the name of the European God “Profit.” Said RFK; “We seem to have surrendered community excellence and values in the mere accumulation of material things.” Leading Earth scientists & Eco Conferences say we’re heading downhill fast, unless we make a huge leap in conscious-ness. If we are to survive in abundance into the next millennium, we best heed brother JFK’s plea:
“Before we can set out on the road to success, we have to know where we are going, and determine where we have been. It seems a basic requirement to study the history of our Indian people. We have so much to learn from their heritage. Our treatment of Indians still affects the national conscience. Only through this study can we as a nation do what must be done if our treatment of the American Indian is not to be marked down for all time as a national disgrace.”
“If the Indians had been our enemy instead of our friends, the Revolutionary War would not have ended in the Americans Independence,” said Washington. It was the Oneida women, organized by Chief Skenandoah, who risked their lives to save Washington’s sick troops from freezing and starving to death wintering at Valley Forge in 1777-78. One of them, Polly Cooper, stayed to teach them how to prepare the nutritional and medicinal food. Refusing to take money in payment, Cooper did accept a black shawl on behalf of her people, from Martha Washington and the soldiers in token of their appreciation– one of the Oneida’s greatest relics. Fighting beside New York soldiers against the British in 8 major battles that helped give birth to the American Nation, the Oneida lost perhaps a third or more of their people and the rest, their homes. The Iroquois also saved Lafayette, the French hero who later gave Washington the critical funding to win our Liberty.
While a small number of New Yorkers who have met them are respectful, if not a little awe struck, by these bright descendants of the Fathers and Mothers of Democracy, we need to stand up for them in the face of the group who are trying to make their lives miserable. Attend a community “social,” and you’ll see what sweet, fun, hot dancers and musicians they are. They warmly welcome outsiders, especially those who have respectfully done their homework about who they are. In fact, they always treat those who come to their annual Treaty Celebration with a feast and social dance–6,000 at their 200th Anniversary. That kind of hospitality is an ancient tradition!
The Iroquois Treaty is one of the few that the Supreme Court has ever upheld, and Judge McCurn has already ruled the Cayugas’ claim “valid.” So upset Freedom Fighters have resorted to last ditch tactics, like getting some unwitting press to spread misinformation and seeds of mistrust, animosity, jealousy and fear, that worked on citizens with little knowledge about native people. (NY Legislature may institute an Indian 101 Course). While local police have stood up for our First Americans, a few State Troopers enlisted in this racist cause have clubbed Iroquois women and children, mini “Wounded Knee” style, in hopes of intimidating them to give up their rights. They’ve even been harassed at grocery stores, but they stand firm and proud.
The case will be finally decided in Court in January. The only thing to be decided is what the Cayuga people will accept or be given back as restitution for the crimes that N.Y. State committed against them, (the treaty guarantees their lands not be disturbed). Because the Treaty is an agreement between Nations, the State had no legal jurisdiction. Each Iroquois tribal member still receives treaty cloth each year and those who travel abroad have their own Iroquois passports. Chiefs, like Oren Lyons of the Onondaga, (founded Green Cross with Gorby), are working with world leaders on the World Eco Crisis, having helped Sweden become the first country to convert from Nuclear energy, to wind and solar. Competing internationally as a Nation, the Iroquois just won a Bronze in the World Lacrosse Championships, a sport they invented.
While Iroquois blood pressure runs high, America’s unsung heroes have been models of passive resistance. Some Americans look at Gandhi and Tibetans as heroes; (Tibetans were warlike until 200yrs ago), not realizing that many of our Indian Nations were probably their inspiration. The Hopi of Arizona, the 100+ California Tribes and the “Tree of Peace” of the Iroquois have 1000-year track records of Peace. “The Great Law of the Iroquois Confederacy is the oldest, purest, and most continuous form of democracy for world peace on the planet.” “The Treaty of 1794 was modeled after their Dutch Wampum Treaty Belt that symbolized–you stay in your boat (culture, laws) and we’ll stay in ours as we travel along side by side as equals– respecting and allowing each other to be who we are–the basis of peace. Imagine the world if “the kids” had followed that! “Why do we pay so much attention to our Romans and Greeks when we have our Native Americans,” asked Henry David Thoreau.
Thanks also to the Clan Mothers who nurtured, mentored, chose the Chiefs (with ratification of Clan) and removed them if they didn’t represent the people, they evolved into the most sophisticated humane form of Democracy ever! It was a result of the yin yang balance of masculine weaponry and feminine nurturing, like the Egyptians. Not only do Iroquois men often express appreciation for the wisdom of the Clan Mothers, but Hillary Clinton met with a group of them to express that, as part of her “Save America’s Treasures” at the Long House Museum at Ganondagan near Rochester.
Most Americans are not aware of the Congressional Resolution passed by the House and Senate in 1988, which clarifies our debt to Native Americans. “Whereas the original framers of the Constitution, including, most notably, George Washington and Benjamin Franklin, are known to have greatly admired the concepts of the Six Nations of the Iroquois confederacy; Whereas the confederation of the original Thirteen Colonies into one republic was influenced by the political system developed by the Iroquois Confederacy, as were many of the democratic principles incorporated into the Constitution itself: “Be it resolved by the Senate (the House of Reps concurring), that the Congress, on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution, acknowledges the historical debt which the Republic of the USA owes to the Iroquois Confederacy and other Indian nations for their demonstration of enlightened, democratic principles of Government, and their example of a free association of independent Indian nations.” (For more info see “Forgotten Founders,” by Bruce Johansen, Harvard Common Press, 1982).
Note on our dollar bill how Washington and Franklin picked the symbolism of the 13 arrows, representing the 13 sovereign states, in the claw of the eagle. That was a copy of the 5 sacred arrows of the Iroquois. One arrow can break easily, but united it can not be broken. The protective Native American Eagle won over Franklin’s Turkey. The Stars represent many Native origin stories of their connection to Stars. (Pleiades…)
As we turn this Millennium, shouldn’t We the People not only stand up for them, but instead of taking all the credit for Democracy, honor the true creators. With one in five Americans having some Native blood, this is something for which so many Americans can be proud! Doing so will go a long way in turning around the following: When Richard Nixon was President he warned the American people that, “Russia is bad because she had not kept any treaty or agreement signed with her.
“You can trust the Communists to be Communists.” Native Americans laugh themselves sick when they hear these statements. Indian Nations, like the Haudenosaunee, as a sovereign Nation, have litigated treaties, as equals, with England, Canada, the United States, Holland and France. Despite their saving our butts a dozen times from Columbus and Thanksgiving, to Lewis and Clark, the Navajo Code Talkers in World War II, and General Schwarzkopf (has Native blood) in the Gulf War, more American Indians proportionately have given their blood to protect our lands than any other race. Yet the Government of We the People has kept but two Indian treaties and agreements out of over 400 –1/3 of peace, the rest land cessation.
That’s why this refresher, including the truer Indian side of history that we adults didn’t get in the schools, is so important. It may surprise Americans to learn that “more damage is being done to Indian People today by the US Government than was done in the last century. In the old days blankets infected with small pox were given to tribes in an effort to wipe them out. But during the past 20 years Federal medical services due them have been denied various tribes–resulting in tremendous increase in disease. (Native Americans are on the lowest economic and health rung, and highest unemployment and suicide rate.) Until America begins to build a moral record in her dealings with Indian People, she should not try to fool the rest of the world about her intentions on other continents. America has always been eagerly grasping for economic control over all nations.” (Vine Deloria’s “Custer Died for Your Sins”).
In comparison, the Government has done much to help African Americans, but could do better. Because the First Americans still own some lands (much uninhabitable) and resources, that our government and big business want, roadblocks surround them, treaty rights are forever being attacked, and Nations like the Utes are forced to use health monies for legal bills. Because a couple of Tribes are doing well from Casinos, the other 500 Nations should not be penalized. Those perks are nothing compared to the monies “lost” in accounting for the use of resources on Indian Lands.
The world knows: the Swedish Parliament gave two Shashone sisters the “Alternative Nobel Peace Prize for successfully protecting their Wyoming lands from the US Government for 20 years.” Our former enemy, Mikhail Gorbachev, who founded the Green Cross with Onondaga Chief Oren Lyons, honored our Native Americans by inviting them to open their Goodwill Games in 1992, 10 years ahead of America inviting them to open the 2002 Salt Lake Olympic Games. (Thanks to the Utes, Native American Olympic Team Foundation and Hillary Clinton.)
This is a good time to recognize the natural fear that comes up for every human when one’s home and land feels threatened. “Be ye Womblike (compassionate)” said Jesus, whom many Natives call “Morning Star.” A surprising number of Natives still walk that talk, not just in Church, (many are Christians), but in Nature’s Cathedral everywhere. Inadvertently, Anglos finally understand how these “spiritual billionaires” have felt these 500 years. And despite this unrelenting coveting of their remaining lands, they are still not doing to us as we did to them! The Iroquois are not asking for any homeowners to be removed, (like our Government’s illegal* “Trails of Tears” of so many Tribes), they’re negotiating for other forestlands & compensation.
Many Natives are still lost and many trying to recover from alcohol and drug abuse from broken hearts from our treatment, forced sterilization, and the sexual, physical, spiritual & self-esteem abuse from misguided missionaries and government boarding schools that tried to destroy their spirit and culture, starting with Columbus. They could use a hand in friendship now. In Canada, thanks to a team effort of Anglo lawyers and psychologists plus precedents set by the US Women’s Movement, in å98, the Government and Churches apologized to their “First Nations” (Native Peoples) with a $350 million healing fund. Their unique counseling programs are bringing families back together and cleaning up Tribal leadership integrity.”
Said RFK at Window Rock (Navajo headquarters); “We cannot blame the Indian child for lack of motivation. We forced Indian youth to go to boarding schools, often thousands of miles away from their parents when a child needs the love and role model of a parent –the ties that bind families across this nation–this is the strength, the fabric, that binds our country together, yet this moral fiber was torn apart. That’s unacceptable…. this is a disgrace and the blame belongs on our system. The Indian is our First Citizen. The nurturing and emboldening of the young Indian’s mind should be a priority to all of us here in America, and the Indian must have the power to shape his own education. The spirit of JFK and RFK lives on in Bobby Kennedy Jr., the “Riverkeeper.” Despite 500 years of this treatment, many Indians are spiritually stronger. The image of a modern American Indian is finally replacing the stereotype: This is what oil men, lawyers and casino people who work with them say: “Most Americans don’t realize that there’s a whole fascinating world next door. Natives treat everyone so well. Some have become my closest friends.” Though casinos have their drawbacks in preserving their culture, many are fulfilling President Reagan’s purpose of giving Natives a chance to lift themselves up. Some are not only responsibly enhancing the lives of all their people, but other Tribes and the Anglo communities as well.
Following the US Olympic Committee’s apology and restoration of medals for illegally taking them away, Jim Thorpe, the Sauk and Fox who was named by the King of Sweden, “The Greatest Athlete of the first half of the Century,” has no peer in becoming “the Greatest of the Millennium.” The Indigenous in turn influenced the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. (At Sakara, the sight of the first Egyptian pyramid, they already had an ancient rite, where the Pharaoh had to compete in a running race to keep his job, and Pharaohs & Queens did yoga as part of their training as Priests and Priestesses in their spiritual based society.)
Harvard’s JFK School of Native American Economic Development, headed by a Navajo skier, found that the reservation with the highest employment is the Apaches, who started 2 ski areas 25 years ago. The Chairman said, “skiing (invented by Indigenous Laplanders) motivates the kids the most.” The NFL and NBA’s “Native Visions Program” under the wing of Robert Redford and General Colin Powell, are doing wonders with their sports clinics and mentoring programs that’s giving Native boys their dreams back. Growing up in an “asphalt reservation,” NFL great Clark Gaines related to the Native youngsters challenges of reservation life. President of the Olympic Alumni Association (6,000 members), Gold Medal Swimmer John Nabor, himself wants to kick off “Olympic Exchanges at Reservations”– sports clinics for earth wisdom, to insure kids have healthy playgrounds in Nature, if a sponsor can be found.
“The Great Law”
The U.S. Constitution is a spin off of the 117 Articles of the “Great Law” of the Iroquois Confederacy. One is that all Council Meetings open expressing gratitude to each other, and to the Sun, Moon, water, forest trees, animal and plant life, the medicinal herbs, winged ones, creepy crawlers, winds, Thunderers, and the Great Creator– everything we need to have a happy healthy life. That is how the shining Seneca leader Clayton Logan opened the Treaty Ceremony in his native tongue. That sentiment was also the prediction by Trends Institute in 1994, (used by most newspapers) that “around the turn of the Millennium, the definition of patriotism would include the Nature honoring values of Native Americans, followed by an overarching love of our lands.” For the sake of all our children, let us make that so! Our beloved pets remind us that we’re connected to the loving Oneness of Mother Earth, Her personal Ambassadors! It’s their unconditional love that heals us, brings our blood pressure down, extends our lives, like being in Nature does. Just as babies need love to survive & thrive, so does our living loving Mother. We’re all born of Her elements.
If we let the tiny hearted continue to hurt those who gave us the founding principles of Democracy–sharing, respect for all races and sexes, respect for all life, are we not hacking down the very Foundation of America? If we stand up for them, and remember those principles, we strengthen Democracy in the whole World and their inspiring example. 40 countries, who are writing the “Earth Charter” for ratification by the UN, feel their principles are “critical for our sustainability into the 21st.” No 11. “Affirms the right of Indigenous People to their spirituality, knowledge, lands and re-sources, and related practice of traditional sustainable livelihoods.” It was founded by Christians and now headed by professor of religion, Steven Rockefeller!
How can we celebrate them? We each have a unique talent to share for the greater good of humanity. “That’s the key to being psychologically healthy, as well as needing the Arts, Nature and getting high’ through dance & sport–our urge to merge with Creator,” noted Carl Jung. He came to America looking for a model of “psychologically healthy people”–found it living with Pueblo Indians. AA is modeled after his findings. Our Indian Heroes have suffered too long from lack of give and take with our “kid” leaders. Earth needs mature leadership to survive & thrive. If our President won’t honor them at the White House, then “We the People” will at a Millennial Music & Dance Concert with the tops of the cultures doing the honors. Since Democracy came to France and the world through Franklin & Jefferson, in Fall of 2000, French Princess Carolina Murat, descendent of Napoleon, is putting together an Euro “Millennial Celebration of Democracy.” World leaders like Gorbachev are excited about honoring Native Americans, and in turn are honored for the contributions of the 4 races. Gary Farmer, a popular Iroquois actor spoke during Treaty weekend. Having started “Aboriginal Peoples Magazine” in Canada and the Aboriginal Network that will beam across North America, he’s a brilliant example of, “Fighting isn’t the answer, expressing yourself thru film & the arts works best.” He also noted that Anglo women are now great bridgemakers between the cultures,” thanks to Indian women.
Hunter to Host Historic Native Healing Ski Celebration Olympian Suzy Chaffee, co-chair of Native American Olympic Team Foundation with Colorado’s Unity leader, Ute Medicine man Alden Naranjo, are bridgemakers who helped create an amazing partnership between leaders of the Ute, Navajo & Lakota Nations and Ski Areas of Colorado through joyful exchanges of skiing and Native dancing. “A love affair is developing between the cultures, and it’s snowballing across America,” said Naranjo.
Thanks to being the first ski area to put on summer pow wows 12 years ago, Hunter Mountain Owner Orvil Slutsky had the vision to host New York’s “Millennial Native Ski Celebration” Feb 26-27. Their pow wows have been a win win for Hunter and the Tribes at his Catskill Resort, just as the “enchantment of pow wow dancing” helped make New Mexico Time Magazine’s “Coolest State.” “Our community has formed wonderful friendships and we’ve great appreciation for Native Wisdom,” said Jeff Friedman. Leaders and kids from the 15 NY Nations–from the Mohawk to the Montauks, and Manhattan Community Center, are excited being honored as Heroes of the Millennium by N.Y. leaders and stars and getting a chance to ski and dance.
Telluride’s Love Affair with the Utes
This historical event is modeled after Telluride’s “Welcome Home Ute Ski Celebration” in ’96, that started as a result of Chaffee & Telluride Ski & Golf C. sharing the joy of skiing with a Lakota, Rollingbears. Inspired by their giving back, he sang the “4 Directions Song” on the radio, that saved them from a snowless Christmas and made a believer out of Marketing Director Mike Hess. That encouraged Chaffee to ask the Utes who were removed from the valley, how they would like to do a healing. “We’d like a Celebration of unity for the benefit of all our children,” said S.Ute Eugene Naranjo. When Telly’s Judge, Mayor and Chief Marshal spoke from the heart, even “hardcores” had tears of hope Then they exchanged gifts and all friendship danced & skied, which inspired 3 years of bimonthly Native dance & ski exchanges, plus Mountain Honoring, Native Led School Eco hikes and Eco Tours, Angel Baskets for the Elders, and a heart melting “Kids Unity Teepee” honoring the Utes who kept the Rockies pristine for thousands of yrs, painted by JR High kids to symbolize a “New Beginning.” By the time 400 Native kids, leaders & families had learned how to “fly like eagles on skis,” and upstepped the valley’s ecology, Telluriders realized that the Utes should enjoy skiing anytime–first ski area to do so, backed by local Gen. Schwarzkopf. Other bridgemakers were Telski’s French Ski School Director, Annie Savath, who 15 yrs ago started annually inviting a group of Rez kids to ski there, and Ute Mt’s pow wow champ Tony Tallbirds, who became a hero to snowboarders (chanting his name) for his reassuring blessings for their safety. On global TV at Telly’s å99 World Championships, he said, “Telluride’s the nicest town to Native Americans & most beautiful place to live.” A hero to kids everywhere and Utes at Purgatory, where he pioneered a Native Ski Program, is NVF’s Ambassador Cheyenne Ross Anderson,”Fastest Native Amer-ican on skis”– 137mph!
Millennial Ski Gestures to Our Native American Heroes
Now the premier ski area towns of Colorado–Vail, Aspen, Steamboat, Purgatory plus Sunday River, Me. (March 4-5 Wabanakis) have also caught the wave and are joining Telluride in bold “Millennial Ski Gestures Honoring Native Americans” with skiing. On Dec 29, Telluride’s owner Ron Allred is unveiling a magnificent sculpture of a “Ute Peacemaker on his horse,” to kick off their complimentary Ski Gesture to the Utes, as “Heroes of the Millennium.” With all the ski areas announcing it in unison that day, the hope is to “wake up” the planet to take better care of their local Indigenous. Also honoring the Utes with a sculpture, Steamboat’s Billy Kidd is giving 25 Ute kids a chance to go for an Olympic dream–coaching by his staff who produced 43 Olympians–on “Cowboy Downhill” weekend, Jan 15-17. In February, Monaco’s Royal Family is joining the global healing celebration at their Ski Resort Auron, headed by Princess Carolina, after meeting charismatic N. Ute leader Roland McCook, (descendent of the Great Peacemakers, Chief Ouray & Chipeta), at an Aspen welcome party for him. On April 1, Telluride is hosting a “Millennial Ski Pow Wow”-a historical Cowboys & Indians, Buffalo Soldiers, Indian Princesses & Governor’s Healing Ski Race–former enemies on the same team rooting for each other! Said JFK, “When we neglect the heroic past of the American Indian, we weaken our own heritage. We need to remember the contributions our forefathers & mothers found here and from which they borrowed liberally. Indians have heard fine words and promises long enough. They’re right in asking for deeds.” Therefore, it’s hoped that politicos like N.Y.’s Gov Pataki & Colorado’s Owens might open their hearts to lead these healing celebrations. At Hunter, the unified kids will teach & celebrate Democracy-dressed as Iroquois Chiefs, Clan Mothers, Franklin, George & Martha Washington, they’ll reenact pivotal moments in history at a “Heroes Welcome Dinner, and then all dance!
In Gratitude to Native Women!
The World is also indebted to Native Women, especially Iroquois Clan Mothers, plus Scandinavian, African and Quaker (Suffragettes) Women, for liberating the hearts, minds & hands of Anglo women, reminding us of our harmonious ancient equal partnership roots. We’re again a force in protecting Life, taking responsibility for choosing quality of family life over population–5 billion too many for a healthy Planet! Not one major river in US or Europe is drinkable… Women carry strong Earth feelings since in creating a child out of Mother Earth’s elements, we feel emotionally involved in protecting it all. The “fairer” sex also glues family relationships together to provide a lovely nurturing environment for the child to grow. In that way, women’s creative peace, nurturing, healing and organizational skills, and so much more, have been the Foundation (unsung by Anglos in 2,000 yrs+) of Human Life in all Millenniums. The Earth Charter confirms that “Women’s respect & equality is essential for sustainability into the 21st.”
Hail to the 21st Century Male!
Men getting in touch with their feminine nurturing side, to rebalance Technology with Nurturing is also critical. JFK was a model of that charismatic balance. Many Indigenous and Swedish men, and more & more of all races, model that balance. They are sacred loving fathers who also express gratitude to Mother Earth and Women and in a humble way. In empowering partnerships with Women, they’re passionately planning for the well being of 7 Generations from now–that’s what maturity looks like! “It may take a Millennium to discover the contributions of Women and American Indians in the last,” said Gloria Steinem on the “Top 100 Show.” Thanks to these 21st Century beautiful compassionate Males and the up-coming ratification of the Earth Charter by the UN, for the Conscious World, it’s happening now!
A Window to Heal
With folks’ hearts minds open and searching for a better way at the “Turn,” its a magical time for all races to get in touch with why we need to inflict pain on ourselves or others–why we have the world’s biggest “penal” system, where none existed until Columbus. Thanks to Jung and American Indians, we know Psychology 101–we’re the result of genocide and abuses that keep generationally expanding from the Roman Empire, Inquisition, Columbus, Slavery, Hitler, the Cavalry and U.S. & State Governments–“the past continues” for Native Americans–why they’re on the bottom of our economic & health ladder. Because sexual abuse especially twists minds & hearts, 80% of women in jail are unhealed victims. Before that we were more peaceful earth honoring peoples. Jesus, Moses, Pythagoras, Buddha and the 3 Kings were Essenes, called “Athletes of Virtue” then, who opened their ceremonies with the same “Four Directions” Prayer honoring Mother Earth, like the Indigenous and Modern Essenes, like Dr. Gabriel Cousins. He eats organic because the poisons in pesticides & alcohol affect our auras and ability to get higher wisdom. Iroquois Prophet Handsome Lake, helped get the Confederacy back on the “Red Road”–from alcohol to clean spiritual living. Likewise, in Washington, it is the clean athletes who are kindred with Nature, who have been doing the most for the Ecology and Her Guardians.
Since all peoples were at one time genocided and abused, we have a window of opportunity to forgive each other and ourselves and start anew at the Dawn of the New Millennium. In healing Native Americans we are healing ourselves. Besides sports, especially in Nature, the most effective way is to follow in the moccasins of our Northern Neighbors. To preserve our “life preserving” Indigenous “Wisdom Cultures” worldwide and nationally, we must do more, as 2 Tribes a year are vanishing. After a half a century of Hopi door knocking, and near the end of their “Decade of the Indigenous,” the “Human Rights” Committee of the UN is finally close to including and enforcing indigenous protection rights, reinforced by the Earth Charter.
If like Sweden (highest standard of living), America provides free counseling for all, and more than “one hour average of sports in schools,” (proven prevention’s for violence & gangs), Native Led School Eco Hikes, Native Studies taught by Natives, and Arts that express the Soul & keep it healthy–we’ll give birth to a happier shining generation. That’s the First American’s formula of “Wisdom Based Education,” on which technology can finally safely rest. Cost? –Less than an aborted Apache Helicopter Program. Instead of reruns, we the People can choose joy, health & respect for all God’s Children. That’s the Lakota “White Buffalo Prophesy”–“the 4 Colors–all red-blooded Earth People–choosing to come together as One,” said revered Wisdomkeeper Wallace Black Elk, who is in demand worldwide. There’s teepee villages in Germany (Ute founded) and Russia enjoying their way of living. Chief Oren Lyons was invited to spend Millennial Eve with the King of Sweden and Corporate Eco Angels of Europe, after helping Sweden lead the way in replacing risky Nuclear energy with Earth loving technology. Visionary geniuses everywhere are teaming up with the visionary’s geniuses of Democracy and Ecology, and it’s a Whole New World!
“I wish I’d been born an Indian.” –RFK Archives
“We the People,” (what First Americans called themselves), of both cultures challenge our wounded racist brothers: If you take the time to know someone, you can’t hate them & might even learn to love them. Of all Presidents, FDR, took the time and did the most for Native Americans, (as Teddy did for the Environment) and was even adopted by a Tribe, as was Einstein and General Schwarzkopf. King of the Cowboys, Larry Mahan, does Ceremony with his Lakota heroes. He in turn is a hero to Ute and Navajo leaders. The Ultimate Coach, Phil Jackson, did Native ceremony with his team, like Michael Jordan, before Bulls Games. His “blood brother” from the Knicks, Bill Bradley, stood up for the Lakotas at Wounded Knee and their treaty. Taking the time will reconnect us with our long lost heroic American Indian brothers and sisters who have saved our butts over & over–that’s unconditional love! This growing love affair is saving the planet. Perhaps that’s why RFK said to Senator Fred Harris, whose wife is Comanche, “I wish I’d been born an Indian.” If our President won’t formally honor our Native American “Heroes of the Millennium,” then we the People must!
Strategy of Peace
The strategy of Peace is more complex and takes more courage, (assassinations of JFK & Martin Luther King), than the strategy of War, that begets more war and almost always benefits the wealthy—sale of Arms, rebuilding and Bank loans. Sure your children’s blood stimulates the economy, whereas solving problems humanely takes more creativity. To have Peace requires leaders to have inner harmony and value sustainability over economic growth and hoarding. Peace must be guided by a Higher Power, the Voices of the wisdom of the heart, used by the Ancients and Indigenous Peoples. That’s why Americans notice that the poor people of Bali, Nepal, Tibet and Native America seem happier than we are. To preserve Mother Earth for future generations, they take what they need, not what they want & share. Test it yourself–which is the greater high, giving a precious gift or receiving the same one, then compare that to giving back your unique gift for the greater good of all.
There’s Hope when “integrity” has finally become a issue in this Presidential Campaign, led by Senators Bradley and McCain. Political leaders like these are the Voice of our collective consciousness–and through all these lessons; we’re emerging healthier. Who can follow in the moccasins of the Iroquois Peacemakers and other Native Peoples asked the 92yr old at Canandaigua? We the People must! There’s also Hope when 60 Congressmen are part of a Native American Caucus, headed by passionate Patrick Kennedy, and 40 “Conscious” Countries are behind the “Earth Charter.” Assisi’s Franciscan Padre Mizzi has united the Catholic and Protestant Churches behind their “sustainable principles”–that you may be hearing about from the pulpits, like St John the Divine in Harlem. Last July, the Pope got headlines in Italy for standing up for the Environment during their Charter Meeting in the hometown of St. Francis, “the Great White Indian.”
The Best Hope are kids taking a more active role in their future, perhaps through the Internet. A breakthru happened at NVF’s “1st Ute Intercultural Camp” teepee village in Telluride, to help restore the traditions that our government schools nearly destroyed, funded by Jack Chrysler, who thinks as cool as his grandfather’s beloved skyscraper. Thanks to Eco Studies in the schools, 4th graders know more than adults do these days. For the first time in history, Native American, Telluride and “First Nations” Youth teamed up to plea “to corporate & world leaders to put their survival above money,” agreeing on Eco priorities. Reminded that fossil fuels are causing weather changes & pollution-related cancer, Chrysler pledged “to encourage the auto industry to step up converting to clean electric cars. It’s been a matter of greed. They’ve the resources to do it now.” Or at least do smart long term greed!
A Shining New World!
“A few years after the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, a different kind of pilgrim arrived in Massachusetts from England. Thomas Morton was a lawyer by trade but a dreamer by disposition; and though his initial motives for coming to the New World were commercial, he almost immediately fell under the spell of the great, raw, nascent landscape & its native people. Where the Pilgrims saw a hostile wilderness Hell teeming with savages, Morton recognized America as a Paradise, and its people as possessors of great wisdom and grace. He established his own colony out in the forests, Ma-re-mount, a peaceable commune where settlers and Indians lived side by side, working, building and playing together. They represented an on-going strain of European Philosophers who believed in the “Nobel Savage”–that we should emulate. (That fits with why Franklin was called the “Philosopher as Savage” for standing up for Native religion and expressing appreciation for their Democracy, in his newspaper.)
In the end the Pilgrims burned Ma-re-mount to the ground & shipped Morton back to England in chains. Who knows what path our nation might have traveled if Morton’s vision has been allowed to flourish. As it is, his story has been relegated to the back pages of American history, a heartbreaking lost chance at what could have been a true New World, shining and original.” (Telly’s Rob Schultheis of “Bone Games” & original screenplay “7 Years in Tibet.”)
Given what scientists call our “near irreversible destruction of our fragile planet in the last 100 yrs,” the Conscious World has come to the same conclusion about the need to prioritize preserving our Earth Mother for the sake of our children. Plus we are only as healthy as She is–only 1% of Americans are healthy according to the Bureau of Health. While the Conscious strain has vastly multiplied, so has the dark side.
Alcohol & Earth
Handsome Lake pointed out that the biggest threat to ourselves and Mother Earth is alcohol. Rick Bard, UN Eco Award winner and editor-publisher of Manhattan Magazine, who sponsored the Canandaigua event, agrees. “Alcohol numbs our hearts and poisons our decision making process. In abusing ourselves, we cannot be kind to each other or the environment. (Alcoholics’ natural survival instincts are altered so they think we won’t survive if we don’t get another drink–PBS.) The high percentage of American binge drinkers explains why our Congress (us) aren’t acknowledging that we are the biggest polluting nation in the world,’ sloughing it off on the Chinese. (A Colorado U Study found that approx. 70% of college frat students, our next leaders, are binge drinkers. A wake up call in these formative stages is a must!). A “NY Times” article just broke, that due to our global warming, the Antarctica Ice Cap is in serious danger of cracking in two spots, which could raise the ocean levels to cover Kansas. When asked about this, the mantra of even social drinkers is as long as my family and me are okay.'”
This “Denial is a River in Egypt” mentality, is why a few years ago Mother Mary appeared a few times in Capistrano with an urgent message, (Discovery Channel), that “we need to purify ourselves to see the God in everyone and everything, or face a purification.” Yet this year, both the A&E and Discovery Channels, respectively, chose spiritual based Bali and Bora Bora, as the “Most Exotic” & “Most Romantic” spots to visit on the planet. The resorts feature “daily earth honoring rituals that feed the soul.” A New Reverence for Life the “Light” and “Dark” (Darth Vadar syndrome) are neck and neck in what may be the final stretch. Star Wars was a rehearsal. The reality is here!
The question we each need to ask ourselves is have we learned the lessons from the “Kids,” to take responsibility with our unique gift? — In the face of potential Earth Changes can we grab this perhaps last chance to get it right? Thanks to our “Heroes,” we still have a choice.
The message of the Hopi Elders is “Who will be our leaders we must!” The Earth Charter Draft ends with: “Let our time be remembered for its awakening to a new reverence for life and a firm commitment to restoration of Earth’s integrity through cooperation and joyful celebration.” Watching us, the descendants of the “The Kids,” I bet our First American Foremothers & Fathers are taking a deep breath, smiling and praying. (The AMA even proved that “prayer,” what our First Americans have known all along, works!) On Millennial Eve, hold your Vision and Prayer for Mother Earth and our Earth Family, as we are one.” The word from our Star Friends through Native Americans is, “Please shine, for when you shine, your Great Divine Emerald Star, Mother Earth, shines!”
Note: Author Suzy “Chapstick” Chaffee, is a Foremother of Title 1X, (equal op for women in school sports) and the Olympic Reform of the 70’s with Bradley & Muhammad Ali, that restored the integrity of the Ancient Olympics to the Modern Rules. Olympic Downhill star, pioneer of ski ballet and World Freestyle Champ, she now also loves to host corporate ski outings and gives motivational talks. In å99, she was named one of the “Top 100 Athletes” and “Most Influential Skiers of the Century.” Hailing a new Era for Women & Wisdom, at 53 Snows, both “Ski and Skiing Magazines,” voted her “The Most Sex Appeal in the history of skiing.” Vermont born Chaffee found herself “hunting & gathering” this info perhaps because she’s a descendent of General Washington’s beloved Colonel Thomas Knowlton, who passed to the other side while defeating the British in the Battle of Harlem Heights 1787 (a statue in front of the Hartford Capitol honors him); Apache trained, anti-Imperialist Hero in Asia, General Adna Chaffee; and Secretary of the Navy-Senator John Chafee, head of Health & Environment Committees, was protector of Father Sky as author of Clean Air Act. In his last months, he joined Suzy is standing up for Native Americans, who’ve the best track record as Guardians of Mother Earth, to represent this country at the Earth Charter Meeting in Assisi! Given our National Health is at risk with “1% Americans are healthy,” he and Maine’s Senator Olympia Snow & Clinton’s asst. Chief of Staff, valiantly tried to implement Earth Charter’s converting military resources to peaceful purposes, by getting Native Eco leaders a military flight. Mission wasn’t accomplished, but Suzy and Maine’s Sarah Pletts, raised enough consciousness to merit a “Security Council Meeting.” Pletts’ film, “Phoenix Rises,” was shown in Assisi–“Native American Democracy and how we can get in touch with our Earth Roots.” (Film info: 970- 9257018.) Chief Lyons is looking for funding for their PBS Democracy Documentary, as is Native Voices, for editing its joyful conscious awakening Native Ski Documentary by PBS producer Chip Comins of American Sprit Productions.
In 1971, Chaffee did USO Shows in the remote bases of Viet Nam, “to be there for our Men & Women as Human Beings”–20 years before Nam Vets were discovered to be Human Beings here. If a couple of blonds could figure it out! Nam is consistent with “Columbus Discovering America,” underlining how much our twisted hearts need healing. Spain’s Queen Sofia had a ceremony with Native Americans about Columbus, to heal the past and start anew.
As a child, Suzy was imprinted with magical stories of her dad and grandfather hunting and fishing with the Mic-Macs in Canada. Some of her energy is from needing to balance her father’s Technology gifts with nurturing. For a dollar, Keen Chaffee worked on the Manhattan Project to help end World War II, plus building the nose cone of Von Braun’s first 2 stage missile, the Little Corporal.” At a “Reunion of Champions” at Pico, Vt, in å97, that also honored an inspiring Abenaki Storyteller named Wolfsong, the coach, Joe Jones, who birthed 5 Olympians, including Suzy and brother Rick, finally shared, “by the way, I’m part Abenaki!” Following 4 sun, snow and rain miracles in Telluride and Kansas related to honoring the Mts, Mother Earth and Her Native American Guardians, Suzy learned from Rollingbears the “Wisdom of the Mountains,” realizing that “Mother Earth really listens.” That’s why I dedicated my life to this,” said Suzy. “Living on less, I graduated from a NY & LA Millionaire to a Billionaire in spirit.”