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SUSAN JOHNSTON OWEN-JAZZ  /  SITE OWNER/MUSICIAN, WRITER,ARTIST, ELEMENTARY AND SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHER (RETIRED)

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 SEARCH IN THE BLUE BOXES BELOW OR LOOK AT THE TABLE OF CONTENTS IN THE 2ND BOX

NATIVE AMERICANS-NOW AND THEN

NATIVE AMERICANS NOW AND THEN


 

 

 

 

Native Americans within the boundaries of the present-day United States (including indigenous peoples of Alaska and Hawaii) are composed of numerous, distinct tribes and ethnic groups, many of which survive as intact political communities. The terms used to refer to Native Americans have been controversial. According to a 1995 U.S. Census Bureau set of home interviews, most of the respondents with an expressed preference refer to themselves as "American Indians" or simply "Indians"; this term has been adopted by major newspapers and some academic groups, but does not traditionally include Native Hawaiians or certain Alaskan Natives, such as Aleut, Yup'ik, or Inuit peoples.

Since the end of the 15th century, the migration of Europeans to the Americas has led to centuries of conflict and adjustment between Old and New World societies. Many Native Americans lived as hunter-gatherer societies and told their histories by oral traditions; Europeans therefore created almost all of the surviving historical record concerning the conflict.

The indigenous cultures were quite different from those of the proto-industrial and mostly Christian immigrants. Many native cultures were matrilineal and occupied hunting grounds and agricultural lands for use of the entire community. Europeans at that time had patriarchal cultures and had developed concepts of individual property rights with respect to land that were extremely different. The differences in cultures between the established Native Americans and immigrant Europeans, as well as shifting alliances among different nations of each culture through the centuries, caused extensive political tension, ethnic violence, and social disruption. Native Americans suffered high fatalities from contact with Eurasian diseases to which they had not acquired immunity. Smallpox epidemics are thought to have caused the greatest loss of life for indigenous populations, although estimates of the pre-Columbian population of what today constitutes the U.S. vary significantly, from 1 million to 18 million.

After the colonies revolted against Great Britain and established the United States of America, President George Washington and Henry Knox conceived of the idea of "civilizing" Native Americans in preparation for assimilation as U.S. citizens.Assimilation (whether voluntary, as with the Choctaw, or forced) became a consistent policy through American administrations. During the 19th century, the ideology of manifest destiny became integral to the American nationalist movement. Expansion of European-American populations to the west after the American Revolution resulted in increasing pressure on Native American lands, warfare between the groups, and rising tensions. In 1830, the U.S. Congress passed the Indian Removal Act, authorizing the government to relocate Native Americans from their homelands within established states to lands west of the Mississippi River, accommodating European-American expansion.

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NATIVE AMERICAN FAMILIES TODAY

Native American is proclaimed Catholic saint

PLEASE CLICK THE LINK FOR THIS STORY

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/religion/story/2011-12-19/native-american-saint/52082304/1

"War Mothers," is from Jackson’s "Native American Veterans" series. This photograph documents a 1995 honor dance performed for Howard Crow Flies High and Leroy Crow Flies High, military veterans from the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation.War mothers are women who have lost a relative in a war.

http://www.loc.gov/today/pr/2005/05-098.html

GREETINGS TO THE NATURAL WORLD!

The People

Today we have gathered and we see that the cycles of life continue. We have been given the duty to live in balance and harmony with each other and all living things. So now, we bring our minds together as one as we give greetings and thanks to each other as People.

Now our minds are one.

The Earth Mother

We are all thankful to our Mother, the Earth, for she gives us all that we need for life. She supports our feet as we walk about upon her. It gives us joy that she continues to care for us as she has from the beginning of time. To our Mother, we send greetings and thanks.

Now our minds are one.

The Waters

We give thanks to all the Waters of the world for quenching our thirst and providing us with strength. Water is life. We know its power in many forms - waterfalls and rain, mists and streams, rivers and oceans. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to the spirit of water.

Now our minds are one.

The Fish

We turn our minds to all the Fish life in the water. They were instructed to cleanse and purify the water. They also give themselves to us as food. We are grateful that we can still find pure water. So, we turn now to the Fish and send our greetings and thanks.

Now our minds are one.

The Plants

Now we turn toward the vast fields of Plant life. As far as the eye can see, the Plants grow, working many wonders. They sustain many life forms. With our minds gathered together, we give thanks and look forward to seeing Plant life for many generations to come.

Now our minds are one.

The Food Plants

With one mind, we turn to honor and thank all the Food Plants we harvest from the garden. Since the beginning of time, the grains, vegetables, beans and berries have helped the people survive. Many other living things draw strength from them too. We gather all the Plant Foods together as one and send them a greeting and thanks.

Now our minds are one.

The Medicine Herbs

Now we turn to all the Medicine herbs of the world. From the beginning, they were instructed to take away sickness. They are always waiting and ready to heal us. We are happy there are still among us those special few who remember how to use these plants for healing. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to the Medicines and to the keepers of the Medicines.

Now our minds are one.

The Animals

We gather our minds together to send greetings and thanks to all the Animal life in the world. They have many things to teach us as people. We see them near our homes and in the deep forests. We are glad they are still here and we hope that it will always be so.

Now our minds are one.

The Trees

We now turn our thoughts to the Trees. The Earth has many families of Trees who have their own instructions and uses. Some provide us with shelter and shade, others with fruit, beauty and other useful things. Many peoples of the world use a Tree as a symbol of peace and strength. With one mind, we greet and thank the Tree life.

Now our minds are one.

The Birds

We put our minds together as one and thank all the Birds who move and fly about over our heads. The Creator gave them beautiful songs. Each day they remind us to enjoy and appreciate life. The Eagle was chosen to be their leader. To all the Birds - from the smallest to the largest - we send our joyful greetings and thanks.

Now our minds are one.

The Four Winds

We are all thankful to the powers we know as the Four Winds. We hear their voices in the moving air as they refresh us and purify the air we breathe. They help to bring the change of seasons. From the four directions they come, bringing us messages and giving us strength. With one mind, we send our greetings and thanks to the Four Winds.

Now our minds are one.

The Thunderers

Now we turn to the west where our Grandfathers, the Thunder Beings, live. With lightning and thundering voices, they bring with them the water that renews life. We bring our minds together as one to send greetings and thanks to our Grandfathers, the Thunderers.

Now our minds are one.

The Sun

We now send greetings and thanks to our eldest Brother, the Sun. Each day without fail he travels the sky from east to west, bringing the light of a new day. He is the source of all the fires of life. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to our Brother, the Sun.

Now our minds are one.

Grandmother Moon

We put our minds together and give thanks to our oldest grandmother, the Moon, who lights the night-time sky. She is the leader of women all over the world, and she governs the movement of the ocean tides. By her changing face we measure time, and it is the Moon who watches over the arrival of children here on Earth. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to our Grandmother, the Moon.

Now our minds are one.

The Stars

We give thanks to the Stars who are spread across the sky like jewelry. We see them in the night, helping the Moon to light the darkness and bringing dew to the gardens and growing things. When we travel at night, they guide us home. With our minds gathered together as one, we send greetings and thanks to all the Stars.

Now our minds are one.

The Enlightened Teachers

We gather our minds to greet and thank the enlightened Teachers who have come to help throughout the ages. When we forget how to live in harmony, they remind us of the way we were instructed to live as people. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to these caring Teachers.

Now our minds are one.

The Creator

Now we turn our thoughts to the Creator, or Great Spirit, and send greetings and thanks for the gifts of Creation. Everything we need to live a good life is here on this Mother Earth. For all the love that is still around us, we gather our minds together as one and send our choicest words of greetings and thanks to the Creator.

Now our minds are one.

Closing Words

We have now arrived at the place where we end our words. Of all the things we have named, it was not our intention to leave anything out. If something was forgotten, we leave it to each individual to send such greetings and thanks in their own way.

Now our minds are one.

http://www.firstpeople.us/html/A-Haudenosaunee-Thanksgiving-Prayer.html#start

 


 


http://beccas-corner.tripod.com/id22.html
Aztec-American Indian
Indian Blessing
Let us walk softly on the Earth
with all living beings great and small
remembering as we go, that one God
kind and wise created all.

 

An Indian Prayer

O' Great Spirit
Whose voice I hear in the winds
And whose breath gives life to all the world
Hear me! I am small and weak, 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

Let me learn the lessons you have hidden
in every leaf and rock

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

This prayer is from the Sioux Indian children of Red Cloud Indian School

 

MY AMERICAN INDIAN POEMS!!!   BURY ME AT WOUNDED KNEE  

Bury me at wounded knee, for my heart grows faint and my body grows old. The grounds too soft for my feet to tread, and the nights are cold; too cold.   Bury me at wounded knee, where the warriors died young and bold. The white man comes to steal our land, for the gold; pure gold.   Bury me at wounded knee, for we won't do as we're told. The women die from lack of food, and our children are sold; all sold.   And soon our footprints in the snow, will blow away with the wind. And only silence lingers on, where once laughter had been!  

ODE OF THE LOST INDIAN NATION  

You came to our land of milk and honey fair, and trampled through our woods, as if we were not there. You ignored all our pleas for peace, and marched us to and fro, and now we are scattered here and there with no place else to go.   You beat us like dogs, and expect us to bow down, you made us hungry and weak, til we fall to the ground. You took our daughters for wives,  and made our nation weak, you made cowards out of most, and now we are afraid to speak.   So now I humbly ask you, was it worth the fight, to scourge our village, and raid us through the night? You thinned out our bloodlines; you thought you were smart, you may take the Indian from our blood, but never from our heart.    

THE VOICE OF THE INDIAN NATION  

They came with picks and axes and guns in tow, and told the Indian Nation, you will have to go. They cared little about nature, and less for the land, now left with no place to go, we must make our stand.   They let us starve in winter, and put many warriors to rest. They walk around like kings of the earth; like they're the only blest. But now I say to the white man, conquers of old and new, many diasterous events, will soon come to you!   Because God, our might creator, and his blessed son, will not let you trample mother earth, and walk as if you have won. So come on brothers and sisters, lets dance and sing our song, and come together once again, and make our nation strong!  

  A WARRIOR'S CONFESSION TO HIS FAIR MAIDEN   Oh, my love how fair you are. You are brighter than a night time star. The wind sweeps your silky raven hair, your eyes like drops of amber rare.   We climb upon a mountain high, and watch the sunset in the sky. Together we watch the stars above, vowing our eternal love.     WHITE BUFFALO CALF WOMAN   Many natives speak of her, she came from up above. She came upon the earth, to unite the rainbow love. She came as a white calf, but it soon was clear to see, that she was so much more, than a mystery.   So long ago she came, and spoke of brotherhood. And sent each one their separate ways, to live a life of good. So when you see a white calf, born pure and true, remember to unite in love, for she is watching you!    

SOULS OF YESTERDAY   They still walk the plains, when the moon is high. Their ghostly figures upon their horse, as they go riding by. The wolves upon a high rock, with their frosted breath of air, look out upon the poor souls, with their amber stare.   The cold plains full of snow, the weary band draws near, silent is the night, but for the wailing cries you here. Marching onward they go, moving far away, soon they disappear; the souls of yesterday.  

  THE MEDICINE MAN (CALL OF THE WOLF)   On a cold moonlit night, with snow upon the ground, majestic mountains standing tall, where no soul is found, only the medicine man, with his palette round.   In the distance, a hooting owl, as he takes to flight, or the faint bobcat growl, as he vanishes from sight, then silence, as the medicine man chants long into the night.   Suddenly a heart-felt cry; a wolf stands by the tree, with his amber soulful eyes, appearing magically, like a spirit, roaming wild and free.     THE WAY THINGS WERE   Once upon a time there was a free land,
beauty rested upon it everywhere. There
were rivers of fresh clear water, where
Bears of every kind would fish and play.
There were Wolves with their mystic howl,
telling of ancient times and singing to the
moon. The trees would talk and whisper,
laughing with every breeze. The flowers in
the meadow lands were happy to peek their
heads to each fresh new day. And they would
be star struck every night with the moon's gentle
bright glow! The Buffalo would graze in the meadow
and laze around on a sunny day and listen to the songs
of the Meadow Lark as he happily cut across the grass
lands. The rains had their time to pour and the fruits and
nuts of every kind would grow. It was a vast and beautiful
place, where harmony abound. The ancient people there
would give thanks and prayers for their bountiful harvest.
They payed homage to all of nature just taking where they
should and leaving where they could. Nothing out of place.
The kids would play in the fields and leap with the gentle
Deer. For there wasn't yet that kind of fear between these
people and their brothers and sisters in nature. All of nature
had a gift and a message to send. From the wise old owl, the
snake that slithered along to every rock, tree and blade of grass.
Their ceremonies would make all the woodland creatures in awe.
Hearing the gentle yet deep beat of the drum to the chanting and
dancing of the two-legged kind. Then in the breath of time there
were those that came. They didn't pay homage to nature, they
polluted her rivers and creeks. They killed more of the four-legged
than was necessary and sometimes they did it just because.
Nature didn't understand and so she reacted by giving stings to
the Insects and Scorpions. And killer instincts to the four-legged
to surrive. She gave droughts and sometimes downpours when it
should not be. She wanted to gently scold. But they didn't listen.
Then things changed and fear was begotten into this beautiful land.
Beauty still exists within her. You just have to dig deeper to find it!
We must never give up hope and always love and remember in the
far reaches of our hearts, the way things were....And only can we
change it back again!
             


http://www.firstpeople.us/FP-Html-Legends/Legends-AB.html

The Story of the Drum

An Abenaki Legend

It is said that when Creator was giving a place for all the spirits to dwell who would be taking part in the inhabitance of Mother Earth, there came a sound, a loud BOOM, from off in the distance.

As Creator listened, the sound kept coming closer and closer until it finally it was right in front of Creator. "Who are you?" asked Creator. "I am the spirit of the drum" was the reply. I have come here to ask you to allow me to take part in this wonderful thing." "How will you take part?" Creator questioned." I would like to accompany the singing of the people. When they sing from their hearts, I will to sing as though I was the heartbeat of Mother Earth. In that way, all creation will sing in harmony. "Creator granted the request, and from then on, the drum accompanied the people's voices.

Throughout all of the indigenous peoples of the world, the drum is the center of all songs. It is the catalyst for the spirit of the songs to rise up to the Creator so that the prayers in those songs reach where they were meant to go. At all times, the sound of the drum brings completeness, awe, excitement, solemnity, strength, courage, and the fulfillment to the songs. It is Mother's heartbeat giving her approval to those living upon her. It draws the eagle to it, who carries the message to Creator.

It changes people's lives!

 

Gift to the Hummingbird

A Mayan Legend

Tzunuum, the hummingbird, was created by the Great Spirit as a tiny, delicate bird with extraordinary flying ability. She was the only bird in the kingdom who could fly backwards and who could hover in one spot for several seconds. The hummingbird was very plain. Her feathers had no bright colors, yet she didn't mind. Tzunuum took pride in her flying skill and was happy with her life despite her looks.

When it came time to be married, Tzunuum found that she had neither a wedding gown nor a necklace. She was so disappointed and sad that some of her best friends decided to create a wedding dress and jewelry as a surprise.

Ya, the vermilion-crowned flycatcher wore a gay crimson ring of feathers around his throat in those days. He decided to use it as his gift. So he tucked a few red plumes in his crown and gave the rest to the hummingbird for her necklace. Uchilchil, the bluebird, generously donated several blue feathers for her gown. The vain motmot, not to be outdone, offered more turquoise blue and emerald green. The cardinal, likewise, gave some red ones.

Then, Yuyum, the oriole, who was an excellent tailor as well as an engineer, sewed up all the plumage into an exquisite wedding gown for the little hummingbird. Ah-leum, the spider, crept up with a fragile web woven of shiny gossamer threads for her veil. She helped Mrs. Yuyum weave intricate designs into the dress. Canac, the honeybee, heard about the wedding and told all his friends who knew and liked the hummingbird. They brought much honey and nectar for the reception and hundreds of blossoms that were Tzunuum's favorites.

Then the Azar tree dropped a carpet of petals over the ground where the ceremony would take place. She offered to let Tzunuum and her groom spend their honeymoon in her branches. Pakal, the orange tree, put out sweet-smelling blossoms, as did Nicte, the plumeria vine. Haaz (the banana bush), Op the custard apple tree) and Pichi and Put (the guava and papaya bushes) made certain that their fruits were ripe so the wedding guests would find delicious refreshments. And, finally, a large band of butterflies in all colors arrived to dance and flutter gaily around the hummingbird's wedding site.

When the wedding day arrived, Tzunuum was so surprised, happy and grateful that she could barely twitter her vows. The Great Spirit so admired her humble, honest soul that he sent word down with his messenger, Cozumel, the swallow, that the hummingbird could wear her wedding gown for the rest of her life. And, to this day, she has. How did the humility of one long-ago hummingbird cause its descendants to sport brilliant colors?

carol-grigg-daughters-of-the-earth


The Bear and the Rabbit hunt Buffalo

A Sioux Legend

Once upon a time there lived as neighbors a bear and a rabbit. The rabbit was a good shot, and the bear being very clumsy could not use the arrow to good advantage.

The bear was very unkind to the rabbit. Every morning, the bear would call over to the rabbit and say, "Take your bow and arrows and come with me to the other side of the hill. A large herd of buffalo are grazing there, and I want you to shoot some of them for me, as my children are crying for meat."

The rabbit, fearing to arouse the bear's anger by refusing, consented, and went with the bear, and shot enough buffalo to satisfy the hungry family. Indeed, he shot and killed so many that there was lots of meat left after the bear and his family had loaded themselves, and packed all they could carry home.

The bear being very gluttonous, and not wanting the rabbit to get any of the meat, said, "Rabbit, you come along home with us and we will return and get the remainder of the meat."

The poor rabbit could not even taste the blood from the butchering, as the bear would throw earth on the blood and dry it up. Poor Rabbit would have to go home hungry after his hard day's work.

The bear was the father of five children. The youngest boy was very kind to the rabbit. The mother bear, knowing that her youngest was a very hearty eater, always gave him an extra large piece of meat. What the baby bear did not eat, he would take outside with him and pretend to play ball with it, kicking it toward the rabbit's house, and when he got close to the door he would give the meat such a great kick, that it would fly into the rabbit's house, and in this way poor Rabbit would get his meal unknown to the papa bear.

Baby bear never forgot his friend Rabbit. Papa bear often wondered why his baby would go outside after each meal. He grew suspicious and asked the baby where he had been.

"Oh, I always play ball outside, around the house, and when I get tired playing I eat up my meat ball and then come in."

The baby bear was too cunning to let papa bear know that he was keeping his friend rabbit from starving to death. Nevertheless, papa bear suspected baby and said: "Baby, I think you go over to the rabbit's after every meal."

The four older brothers were very handsome, but baby bear was a little puny fellow, whose coat couldn't keep out much cold, as it was short and shaggy, and of a dirty brown color. The three older brothers were very unkind to baby bear, but the fourth one always took baby's part, and was always kind to his baby brother.

Rabbit was getting tired of being ordered and bullied around by papa bear. He puzzled his brain to scheme some way of getting even with Mr. Bear for abusing him so much. He studied all night long, but no scheme worth trying presented itself. Early one morning Mr. Bear presented himself at Rabbit's door.

"Say, Rabbit, my meat is all used up, and there is a fine herd of buffalo grazing on the hillside. Get your bow and arrows and come with me. I want you to shoot some of them for me."

"Very well," said Rabbit, and he went and killed six buffalo for Bear. Bear got busy butchering and poor Rabbit, thinking he would get a chance to lick up one mouthful of blood, stayed very close to the bear while he was cutting up the meat.

The bear was very watchful lest the rabbit get something to eat. Despite bear's watchfulness, a small clot of blood rolled past and behind the bear's feet. At once Rabbit seized the clot and hid it in his bosom. By the time Rabbit got home, the blood clot was hardened from the warmth of his body, so, being hungry, it put Mr. Rabbit out of sorts to think that after all his trouble he could not eat the blood.

Very badly disappointed, he lay down on his floor and gazed up into the chimney hole. Disgusted with the way things had turned out, he grabbed up the blood clot and threw it up through the hole.

Scarcely had it hit the ground when he heard the voice of a baby crying, "Ate! Ate!" (father, father). He went outside and there he found a big baby boy. He took the baby into his house and threw him out through the hole again. This time the boy was large enough to say "Ate, Ate, he-cun-sin-lo." (Father, father, don't do that).

But nevertheless, he threw him up and out again. On going out the third time, there stood a handsome youth smiling at him. Rabbit at once adopted the youth and took him into his house, seating him in the seat of honor (which is directly opposite the entrance), and saying: "My son, I want you to be a good, honest, straightforward man. Now, I have in my possession a fine outfit, and you, my son, shall wear it."

Suiting his action to his words, he drew out a bag from a hollow tree and on opening it, drew out a fine buckskin shirt (tanned white as snow), worked with porcupine quills. Also a pair of red leggings worked with beads. Moccasins worked with colored hair. A fine otter skin robe. White weasel skins to intertwine with his beautiful long black locks. A magnificent center eagle feather. A rawhide covered bow, accompanied by a quiver full of flint arrowheads.

The rabbit, having dressed his son in all the latest finery, sat back and gazed long and lovingly at his handsome son. Instinctively Rabbit felt that his son had been sent him for the purpose of being instrumental in the downfall of Mr. Bear, as events will show.

The morning following the arrival of Rabbit's son, Mr. Bear again presents himself at the door, crying out: "You lazy, ugly rabbit, get up and come out here. I want you to shoot some more buffalo for me."

"Who is this, who speaks so insultingly to you, father?" asked the son.

"It is a bear who lives near here, and makes me kill buffalo for his family, and he won't let me take even one little drop of blood from the killing, and consequently, my son, I have nothing in my house for you to eat."

The young man was anxious to meet Mr. Bear but Rabbit advised him to wait a little until he and Bear had gone to the hunt. So the son obeyed, and when he thought it time that the killing was done, he started out and arrived on the scene just as Mr. Bear was about to proceed with his butchering.

Seeing a strange shadow on the ground beside him, Mr. Bear looked up and gazed into the fearless eyes of rabbit's handsome son.

"Who is this?" asked Mr. Bear of poor little Rabbit.

"I don't know," answered Rabbit.

"Who are you?" asked the bear of Rabbit's son. "Where did you come from?"

The rabbit's son not replying, the bear spoke thus to him: "Get out of here, and get out quick, too."

At this speech the rabbit's son became angered, and fastened an arrow to his bow and drove the arrow through the bear's heart. Then he turned on Mrs. Bear and served her likewise. During the melee, Rabbit shouted: "My son, my son, don't kill the two youngest. The baby has kept me from starving and the other one is good and kind to his baby brother."

So the three older brothers who were unkind to their baby brother met a similar fate to that of their selfish parents.

This is the reason that bears travel only in pairs.

betty-albert-three-sisters


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