Chief Leon Shenandoah says of the Peacemaker's teachings:
"The most important thing is that each individual must treat all others, all the people who walk on Mother Earth, including every nationality, with kindness...When people turn their thoughts to the Creator, they give the Creator the power to enter their minds and to bring good thoughts."
from The Iroquois Book of LIfe, White Roots of Peace, assembled by Paul Wallace, illustrated by John Kahionhes Fadden with foreward by Chief Leon Shenandoah.
These are some wise words, and I need them. The theme of the last few day, from accummulated stories from family, friends and others is:" traditionalists acting like strict, and unforgiving bureaucrats." For me, a traditionalist is one who acts respectfully to all s/he encounters. Doesn't make you a wuss, in fact, you hold your power steady and bright.( And by the way, it isn't Your power. It's a gift for you to use to help out a little around here.) I've had several models: Bill Dalton, Pat Jojola, George Coser, Jr, his parents, a Maori from New Zealand whose name I do not remember; I met him in Quito in 1990, Kawila Clark...
My cousin reported a tribal member attacking him in the hallway at the tribal complex: "What are you doing here? You're an "Outlander". (Meaning he doesn't live in the boundaries of the Creek Nation in Oklahoma.) She is trying to force through a law that would limit tribal voting rights to those within the boundaries. This would leave out tribal members in other parts of Oklahoma, and anyone else. "What about your children? he asked. "They couldn't vote either" she snapped. No wonder her family moved away. Apparently she has a narrow definition of tribal membership.
Yesterday I was present at a family gathering. Most of them were headed up to ceremonies at their father/grandfather's pueblo today. We expressed concern about a light-skinned grandchild. We did not want her to be hurt by negativity thrown in her direction. Their tribe is very strict around ceremonies, and there are historical reasons for this, but their rigidity is legendary and they have hurt many of their own tribal/family members by their suspicious questioning and outright rejection of their own, especially if they have European, Navajo, or Oklahoma Indian blood. I didn't want this beloved child hurt. I haven't heard from my daughter so it must be okay.
Funny how in our tribal stories we tell how we came through such devastating treatment by the overtakers. And we still encounter racism and culturalism in the system. We have learned it very very well. We are doing the same thing to our own people.
Think about it.
Where is the Peacemaker?
We need the Peacemaker now.
from the Albuquerque Airport, on their free internet