The Old Ways

Every new generation faces the job of raising children. Though we may live in a time very different from our grandparents, we have the same responsibilities as parents as they did. We must nurture and protect our children, help them learn society’s beliefs and values, and the skills they will need to survive as adults.

For hundreds of years, Indian parents were guided by traditions that never left parenting to chance. These traditions were passed from one generation to the next. The traditions may have varied from one tribe to the next, but they all have the same purpose – to ensure the tribe’s future through its children. Unfortunately, many of these traditions have declined in our families because of the influence of the dominant society. While we cannot go back to the world as it once was, we can still find great value in the child-rearing traditions. They can make our job as modern parents a richer experience. Here are some of the child-rearing practices from our heritage.

Many tribes believed that children were special gifts from the Creator. The tribal elders used praise and reassurance to encourage positive and loving relationships between parents and their children. Prophecies were often made about the worth of a child and his or her future. The whole community recognized a child’s growth and development through rites of passage ceremonies. These ceremonies were important for the child, too. The naming ceremony, for example, helped a child establish his or her identity in the tribe.

Nurturing was an important part of traditional child rearing. The use of cradle-boards, for example meant that infants were rarely separated from their mothers. However, no one person carried the whole burden of raising a child. Grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins were always nearby to help when parents had other responsibilities. Sometimes extended family members had specific roles to play (i.e. grandfather, the storyteller, uncle, the disciplinarian).

Through the telling of stories and legends, children learned about proper relationships with other people and the environment. They were taught to be good listeners and to regard words as sacred. Children were also taught to be good observers and to understand the meaning of non-verbal communication.

We can see the important elements of positive parenting in our old ways. Children were respected and understood. Parent and child relationships were important, and communication was well developed. Moral development received constant and careful attention.

Now we live in a world much different from our elders. It is very complex, with many outside influences. Yet our child-rearing practices from the past provide strong models for parenting today. (Reprinted from Northwest Indian Child Welfare Institute, Positive Indian Parenting, 1988)


A Note from Cheryl: I believe that children must be shown respect in order for them to know how to give respect. Teaching them values, respect for others and helping them acquire a strong sense of who they are and who they come from helps give them a strong foundation to build on.

Share with your children the old ways. Teach them to value their elders and their teachings. Instill a solid sense of identity in your children to assure that they have a solid core. Be aware that it is natural for a child to constantly seek love, security and affirmation. It is vital that this comes from their family. If they don’t find it at home, they will always seek it elsewhere. When strong, loving relationships between parents (or, in the event there are no parents, family) and children are created, children naturally desire to please their parents and do not want to disappoint them. The bond that is formed and the love that is established will transcend most external obstacles.

Simply speaking, children who are loved, valued, respected and gently guided along the red road will grow up feeling loved, valued, respected and will most likely continue their journey on the red road. Children exactly mirror their parents. In raising up your children, see that you carefully reflect the type of person you desire your children to be.

“Strength in Tradition”

We have a wider, clearer vision. . .

and a surer step.

Each of us must reach inside, and

in our children. . . invest.

Give of ourselves, guide their steps and

lay a solid foundation.

By connection. . . they will choose their path,

May it be richly blessed in… inner strength & tradition.

By Cheryl Davis © 1998

Published in: on March 18, 2008 at 6:11 pm  Leave a Comment  

Plains Madonna by Charles Banks Wilson

While attending the Annual Quapaw Tribal Pow Wow the weekend of July 4, 5, 6 & 7th in 1984, I purchased this program. Mary Beth Skye was the Head Lady Dancer at this event. The portrait on the front of the program was the beautiful and well-known portrait by Charles Banks Wilson of Mary Beth Skye, titled Plains Madonna. After the great honor of meeting both of them, they graciously signed my program.

Plains Madonna by Charles Banks Wilson
Plains Madonna by Charles Banks Wilson

Written on the inside cover:

Within the great Oklahoma Capitol Murals which crown the vaulted rotunda, is a buckskin dressed figure visitors have singled out for special attention and given the title the “Plains Madonna.” In the mural panel, Indian Immigration, the Oklahoma Artist, Charles Banks Wilson, has shown her in an attitude protective of her baby, however, others have seen more than this in the figure. She has become a symbol of motherhood through the ages.

In researching his murals among Oklahoma’s 63 Indian tribes, the artist considered many young women as possible models for the Indian mother. He finally selected Mary Beth Skye as having the most ideal features he had seen in his travels. Coincidentally, this full blood girl lived only a few miles from the artist’s home in Miami, Oklahoma. Her expressive dignity and ethnic beauty as captured in his art, will be an inspiration to millions in the years to come.

Indian Profile by Charles Banks Wilson
The Young Chief (…or sometimes called Indian Profile)
By Charles Banks Wilson

For a fun little flashback into the past, here is what was written on the back inside cover (in 1984) along with a list of the Head People.

Surprisingly few Oklahomans know the historical fact that this land, which became the State of Oklahoma, was originally owned by the Quapaw Indians. This tribe, the southern-most of the Sioux, also owned all of Arkansas, (a fact most Arkansans are aware of) and the rich western edge of Louisiana. Today only four pureblood Quapaw remain alive as survivors of this great tribe which was here first and was known and respected by explorers DeSoto and Marquette. The purebloods of all the tribes, who are fortunate to have any, represent the Indian heritage as does nothing else.

The four drawings of the Quapaw purebloods (featured in his “Search of the Purebloods” book) are a part of an ongoing project begun by Charles Banks Wilson in 1937. He began by drawing Indians of the tri-state area, later enlarging this phase of his varied art career to include drawings of over 200 representatives of American Indian tribes. Not since George Catlin in 1828 has any artist drawn so many tribes. An exhibition of 60 of the original sketches, drawn from life, “Search for the Purebloods”, has been touring Oklahoma and neighboring states under the sponsorship of the Stovall Museum, University of Oklahoma, and the Kerr Foundation. The current exhibition is to be expanded this year to include an additional 25 tribes and will be seen in other sections of the country.  (…as written in 1984)

Charles’ daughter, Carrie is a former Miss Indian Oklahoma. Her son, now nearing two, was the first Quapaw baby born in Arkansas in over 200 years. His wife, Edna, is a historian of the Quapaw tribe.


Head Lady Dancer: Mary Bootsie Skye Alexander of Norman, OK; Head Northern Dancer: Delilah Conner Whitaker, Sapulpa, OK, Quapaw-Seneca-Cayuga; Head Gourd Dancer: Rufus Squirrel, Wichita, KS; Head Singer: Troy Littleaxe, Bartlesville, OK, Shawnee; Head Man Dancer: Tony Shawnee, Tulsa, OK, Quapaw-Shawnee; Masters of Ceremonies: Charles Dawes, Ft. Smith, AR, Ottawa and Jake Whitecrow, Denver, CO, Quapaw-Seneca; Arena Directors were Charlie Blaylock and Bill Griffin.

Published in: on March 12, 2008 at 10:51 pm  Comments (3)  

Values… as for what you believe in…

Your values are not so much

what you say…

as what you do.

Alan Alda

Published in: on February 5, 2008 at 1:37 am  Leave a Comment  

Qualities of a Great Dancer

Strength in Tradition by Cheryl Davis

Strength in Tradition by Cheryl Davis © 1998

What qualities make up a great dancer? From what sources do they draw from? I enjoyed reading the following internet posts on this subject & hope that you will enjoy them as well.

Gledanh Zhinga – Blacksmith wrote: A “great” straight style can’t be described with words, but I can put forth opinions, ideas, and suggestions.

All of your joints should be “unlocked” (the Chinese say this about tai chi chuan). With the feet, you can “glide“, toe-flat, or flat-flat, but fairly smoothly and with equilibrium. On the accent beat, the foot can be moved forward and suspended in air, what horsemen call “dwelling” in a horse’s gait, but the dancer must be “hot” to make this look good. Abe Conklin could do it. The body can be low, bent, and angular, especially after the “goshga beats”, but not necessarily just then. You can come off the bench low. The old Kaw dancers were good at that. When they got near the drum, they would then turn to go sun-wise. Bill Wahnee and Gary Begay have that angular style. After all, “straight” does not mean to be like a telephone pole. Unfortunately, many judges nowadays think that straight means upright. Duh! Hullo!

George “Woogie” Watchetaker, Comanche, dressed fancy feather when he “came out of retirement” in the 1950’s, but he had a wonderful angular, straight style, even while in a fancy contest. I’ve never seen the beat of it.

Straight dancers move sun-wise, unless maybe you’re heading for the drum before you turn to go sun-wise. While circling the drum of course, you can zig-zag, follow curves and arcs, go low, and go semi-high.

Many dancers don’t use their head and furthermore, their shoulders are stiff. Smokey Lookout, when dancing, looked as though his neck was hinged…lots of movement. I enjoyed watching that. The great head movement comes toward the end of a kind of bodily whiplash. It is a subtle body ripple, hard to explain. It is NOT just bobbing and nodding your head.

The Historian gave us words to some songs above, and you’ll notice that he wrote them in phrases, so to speak, line by line. Generally, the songs are sung that way; the songs are sung with “phrasing”, and the good or great dancer will dance to the phrasing. This is difficult to explain, and is not always easy to do, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the song. However, a “great” dancer will rapidly “catch” a song’s phrasing, even without knowing the song. An example of this would be to slightly “duck and dive” or change direction at the end of certain phrases (pardon the Northern expression). If the dancer knows the song’s meaning, as the Historian mentioned, then this adds a psychological dimension, which may aid the dancer’s style. This is subtle stuff, and many judges wouldn’t know a phrased dance statement from apple butter.

I personally don’t care to see the tail stick touch the ground, nor do I dance in small circles. I like to keep things moving sunwise, similar to a war party on the move (Bill Wahnee’s ideas on straight dancing).

I think to kick off the last beat looks OK for a proper tail dancer, because he continues that statement by turning and going to the bench. I don’t think it looks too good in a contest. To me, it appears ungainly.

One of the awful things a dancer can do is to put the first of his two foot beats (same leg) on the unaccented beat of the song. George Flying Eagle, Taos/Navajo, calls this ha ha “dancing on the wrong side of the drum”. Now, sometimes the drum will screw up, and perhaps a singer will start the song on the wrong beat, say the intro on the second push-up. A good or great dancer will pause, and get on the beat again.

This sometimes happens with a drum of young men who are still learning. I was present a couple of years ago, when a traditional lady dancer verbally chewed out a contest drum for changing the beat over and over again. The boys looked confused. I think what she told them might have just collectively parted their hair.

Finally, I met a female flamenco dancer recently, and she asked me whether, when I straight danced, was it “from the heart”, as in flamenco dancing. I replied, “Yes, I certainly don’t want to dance from the head!”

Travelingmocs wrote: A person needs to be smooth and light footed. Like all over dance styles you need to know the songs. You have to love to dance. Man when you see tape of the late greats like Abe Conklin, Johnny Hughes, and for the people who were around back in the day to see the old dancers. When you would see them dance you would know what its all about. Its hard to sit here and say what the style is all about. To really understand it you need to spend time out where it comes from, “Oklahoma,” and spend time with (the) elders…

Cherosage wrote: A sense of a smoothness in your step. An understanding of the style and what it represents. Knowing the songs and the different steps to go with the right song. The willingness to learn the right way of dancing, and knowing the the difference. Imitation is an honor to the one being imitated. Dance in the dances that the best dance and do what is correct.

Beth said… “Dance it from you heart. It is the same with singing. you have to feel the song from inside.”

Trudanny wrote… ladies that dance on beat, fringe that “snaps”, poise, graceful movement… outfits that are well done: beadwork is a slow process and takes much dedication. All dancers have a reason behind the designs they pick… traditional or the newer “intertribal” designs… it’s all good…. as for off the arena floor, there are ladies that carry themselves well, and dance for the love of it. those qualities shine through when they’re dancing….”

It is never too late to be what you might have been. ~ George Eliot

Beautifully said.

And what about knowing a song’s meaning?

Historian posted the following: “…when a dancer knows the words of a song (both the literal translation and the story implied behind the words), then that can affect the dancer’s style as he interprets the song’s meaning in a way that he feels it. Below are some examples of a couple song translations as I understand them.Ponca Hethuska Song:
A-wa-ki noN-shko-na la
A-wa-ki noN-shko-na la
A-wa-ki noN-shko-na la
A-wa-ki noN-shko-na la
“SiN-te Gle-shka,” ha noN-cu-le-ga zhu-wa-gla igla
Da-ha-wa-ge ga-ma zha-ma no-i, ha ya hi ya
MaN-zi u-wa-la ge shko-na shoN-zhiN-ga la la
ShoN-zhiN-ga da-ha-wa-ge gli-za-ga
English Translation:
Do you want to fight me?
Do you want to fight me?
Do you want to fight me?
Do you want to fight me?
“Spotted Tail,” hurry and come with your group.
Get your shield, I’m not afraid of you.
Over these yellow cliffs, to fight me, young Lakota.
Young Lakota get your shield and prepare.
Commentary by Sylvester Warrior, Headman of the Ponca Hethuska from 1958 to 1973:
“Awaki nonshokona, ‘do you want to fight me’? Sinte Gleshka, we happen to know that word. It’s the name of a Siouan war leader. It means, ‘Spotted Tail,’ Sinte Gleshka. Nonculega zhuwagla igla, ‘hurry and come with your group’ to fight. ‘I’m not afraid of you’. Manzi uwala ge shkona shonzhinga dahawage glizaga, ‘do you want to fight over these yellow cliffs’? Shonzhinga, ‘young Sioux,’ dahawagle glizaga, ‘get your shield, prepare’ to fight. Of course it doesn’t actually say all that, but that’s what it means.”
Commentary by a member of the Ponca Hethuska Society:
“My favorite translation is one that concerns a Ponca war party and a group of Lakota led by Spotted Tail. The meaning of this particular song says this: The two groups encounter each other and begin preparations to fight. The Poncas call out to Spotted Tail, who had obviously been calling insults, ‘Hurry! And come with your group Spotted Tail, we’re not afraid of you.’ Then it seems one of the Ponca men spots a young Sioux warrior and wants to test his courage. The Ponca taunts the boy by calling out, ‘Young Sioux! Get your shield and prepare to fight.’ The song mentions the ‘yellow cliffs’ which are located in the northeastern part of Nebraska near the South Dakota border. It seems that whoever controlled these cliffs used them as a sentinel post and could maintain control of a vast area by executing surprise attacks on any intruders.”
Omaha Hethushka Song:
(vocables in first part of song)
She-thiN the thiN, doN-ba ge, tho he
She-thiN the thiN, doN-ba ga
Ha doN-ba ga, ha doN-ba ge, tho he the
“A-ga-ha-moN-thiN,” doN-ba ge, tho he tho-e
English Translation:
(vocables in first part of song)
Yonder that one going, behold him.
Yonder that one going, behold him.
Really behold him, really behold him.
“Walks Outside,” behold him.
Commentary by A. Fletcher and Francis LaFlesche:
“The words are few, an exclamation bidding the people to behold, to look on A’gahamoNthiN, and would be quite unintelligible but for the story which gave rise to the song. A’gahamoNthiN died in the early part of the last century (early 1800s). He was a man of great valor. He had won and received all the public war honors but he was not satisfied. At each meeting of the Hethu’shka Society all through one Fall and Winter he would rise and declare: ‘During the next battle in which I take part I will drag an enemy from his horse or die in the attempt!’ The following Summer, when the Omaha were on the buffalo hunt, the tribe was attacked by the Yankton and a fierce encounter took place. True to his word, A’gahamoNthiN charged the line, dragged a Yankton from his horse, and slew him. Almost immediately A’gahamoNthiN was killed. In emulation of his courage the Omaha made a desperate charge on the Yankton and defeated them. This song was composed to commemorate the warrior who made good his promise and in so doing saved his people. Of A’gahamoNthiN it was said, ‘He spoke a word and chased it to his death’.”

“Be good, be kind, help each other.”
“Respect the ground, respect the drum, respect each other.”
(Abe Conklin, Ponca/Osage, 1926-1995)

Source of Postings can be found @:
Published in: on January 27, 2008 at 9:26 pm  Comments (1)  

The Eye of God

Photo above taken with the Hubble Telescope. NASA calls it “The Eye of God.”

Photo above taken with the Hubble Telescope.

NASA calls it The Eye of God.”

Published in: on January 7, 2008 at 10:18 pm  Comments (2)  

New Years Resolution

Make a New Year resolution to ‘spend time with a Native Elder.’   There can be no value placed on the teachings of our elders.  It will feed your mind, your soul, your creativity, your very being and what they pass on to you will multiply.   The wisdom of great teachers is that they let those who seek knowledge find them.  Native Elders do not need to seek pupils.  It is our task –and our duty– to seek out and find our teacher(s), and the journey in search of our teacher(s) is most times part of the lesson.  How can we know what we need to learn if we continually allow others to determine our lessons and our gifts for us.  Elders add such texture and richness to our lives.  And regardless of where we may be, there are always Elders to be found.

Nature teaches us simultaneously through all of our senses and we can learn much from nature.  But it would be of  great benefit to also seek out the deep knowledge and wisdom we could acquire from our Elders, who are solidly rooted in the old ways and can teach us how to live in better harmony with nature.  Our Elders have wisdom that spans so much living.  We lose perspective by limiting ourselves to one or two generational living.  If we do not seek out their teachings, the teachings are lost forever.  Seek and preserve what must be passed on for the good of all.  Absorb all you can while the option is yours.  What you learn and do in your life (or do not learn or do…) will affect a minimum of three generations.  The wisdom we gain on our journey will be mulipled many times over when we assume our role as Elder and share the teachings that were shared with us.  This is why they call it a ‘living heritage.’

I challenge you… find your teacher(s) in the new year.

Woogee & Eva

“A warrior who had more than he needed would make a feast.
He went around and invited the old and needy. . .
The man who could thank the food—some worthy old medicine man or warrior
—said, “. . . . look to the old, they are worthy of old age;
they have seen their days and proven themselves.
With the help of the Great Spirit, they have attained a ripe old age.
At this age the old can predict or give knowledge or wisdom,
whatever it is; it is so.” 
Black Elk, Oglala Sioux holy man
Published in: on December 29, 2007 at 10:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

Native American ‘Give-Away’ Tradition

In the spirit of Christmas, I thought it would be nice to post something on the Native American custom of the ‘give-away’ which is practiced at honor dances, weddings, and on many other occasions. It is a beautiful practice. For example, when an honor dance is held for a particular person, that person (or the family of that person) is the gift-giver and the gifts are given to the guests. In most other societies, it is the exact opposite, in that the honored one is the person who ‘expects the gifts from the guests.’

In the Native culture, many times ‘the most valuable’ is saved to give away and ‘storing or hording things’ is not understood. There is a high value placed on giving away and sharing what is ours. Once something is given away, all strings to that gift are broken. The gift is given with no expectations. Native people believe that what is given always comes back to the giver in one way or another in another form of good. Native people also believe that bad (intentions, actions, etc.) results in bad returning to the doer. I believe that one of the greatest gift is when you give your time to others, in whatever form it is given. Although it is now the season for giving, it is good and healthy to be generous in spirit throughout the year. It is always the giver who receives the greatest blessing.

I found a post, which puts it beautifully: Enjoy.

The following post can be found at:
Posted by Sizzle –on 18-12-2007 @ 05:12 PM

Give-aways can be traced back to the tribes/nations of the mid-western and high plains. As with fry-bread, we don’t know the specific tribal tradition of origin. In the broad sense, a give-away is nearly the reverse of the majority culture’s understanding of gift giving. In the majority culture, the expectation is to receive gifts when being honored, recognized, or celebrated on special occasions, such as birthdays, graduations, retirements, political elections, or special appointments. Historically, in the Native American tradition, many nations/tribes have conducted a give-away when being honored. One gives to strangers, not simply hoping to make friends, but because it is the honorable thing to do. One gives to honor a relative, and this in turn honors that person in the eyes of the community. One gives when one seemingly has nothing to give.

Today the give-away practice continues in the communities and gatherings of many tribes and nations. It is being practiced more and more as Native Americans reclaim their traditions.
Ray Buckley, who is a Lakota/Tlingit, said that in many Native American cultures, what matters is not what someone has but what the person is able to give away to others.

“It is not the value of the gift, but the giving itself that is culturally relevant,” he said. “Giving a gift that may not have significant monetary worth, but significant spiritual or personal value is a sign of a giving heart.”
In the Lakota tradition, he said, all living things created by God are often referred to as “people.” The Lakotas have a phrase, “mitaque oyasin,” which means “all my relations” and refers to all human beings, four-legged animals, and those that can fly, swim and crawl. “In The Give-Away, the four-legged and those that can fly gather for council to discuss the needs of the two-legged (human beings). In an attempt to meet the needs of humanity, they offer the most precious parts of themselves. In the end, it is the Creator who chooses to give away the greatest gift for humankind — the Son of God,” Buckley said.

Because of a love for Christ that defied persecution, Native Christians survived “the cultural dismemberment that the church often brought,” he said. Native Christians have existed for more than 500 years and have left a legacy of music, testimony and art, he said.
Most of the Native cultures found the message of Jesus to be consistent with the “truth that God had given their ancestors,” he said. Some Native people found that the story of Christ’s birth fulfilled tribal prophecies. Some of those who chose Christianity also wanted to maintain their culture and worship God with expressions that were relevant to their traditions.“In many ways, Native people are beginning to gain confidence that the work of God within Native people has cultural significance not only to the church, but to the world at large,” Buckley said. “Native people, including Native Christians have much, and the desire to give away to the world.”

O’ Great Spirit

O’ Great Spirit by Cheryl Davis ©1989

Native American Prayer
by Emilia Walking

Oh Great Spirit
May we cherish the gifts of our creator
May we hold the beauty of the world close to our hearts
May we embrace the spirit of peace on earth.
May there come to all people during this sacred
season an abundance of the earths greatest gifts:
health, happiness and enduring friendships.

End of Post

Very nice, Ms. Walking…

Another Interesting Post Relating to ‘Give-Aways’:


News Archives

Giving ’Til It Heals

By Ray Buckley

If he hadn’t mentioned it, no one would have noticed that Bishop Bruce Blake was wearing moccasins. No one really looks at the feet of a bishop. Standing in front of the 2004 General Conference of the United Methodist Church in Pittsburgh, Pa., was a bishop wearing moccasins. They were not for show, but the honoring of a gift, demonstrated by the wearing.

With the moccasins came a story. It was a story that would change those listening.

“Many of you knew Tom Roughface, who was superintendent of the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference for many years and an insightful leader who stirred us to action,” Bishop Blake began. “His death left a gaping hole in the life of the church. His loss was apparent, but now I want to share with you the rest of the story.”

He described for the crowd the honoring, give-away traditions which accompany Ponca funerals and those of other Native cultures. He spoke of the Roughface family, who in their time of loss chose to give-away to the community, offering gifts in the name of their father and grandfather. He said, “We were accustomed to friends giving to a bereaved family. We experienced the family giving to us.”

A year later, as the Ponca period of mourning ended, family and friends again gathered in White Eagle to offer gifts in honor of Tom Roughface. There Bruce Blake, the friend and colleague of Tom Roughface, was given moccasins to help keep him on the journey. Holding those moccasins, Bishop Blake was struck by the theme, “Give until it heals!”

Speaking to the United Methodist audience gathered from around the world, Bishop Blake spoke of giving as a means of healing. He spoke of giving with joy and of raising the standard of giving. He spoke of organizing lives around the Good News. He spoke while wearing moccasins and a beaded cross.

Throughout the crowd, like woven beads, were those who had seen the moccasins. They were Ponca, Kiowa, Tlingit, Cherokee, Choctaw, Seminole, Creek, Lumbee and others. They had seen the moccasins and were quiet. Never in the history of the United Methodist Church had a bishop worn moccasins. Never had a bishop worn moccasins to honor his friend. It was a quiet moment, but it was not unnoticed.

There was a memory of those in the audience that morning. There was a memory that for a time in the United States and Canada, the tradition of “giving-away” was against the law. Churches had condemned it as “squandering resources” and “impoverishing oneself.” To Native people, the give-away was a means to redistribute wealth among the community. It was a way to honor the life or memory of a loved one, and share with those around them. As Bishop Blake recalled, “The sharing was not in the form of words, but in the form of giving. Thousands of dollars of gifts were given to members of the tribe and friends. If persons needed food, the Roughface family gave them a basket of food. Others needed household supplies. The family gave them a basket of supplies.” As the Roughface family prepared for the give-aways, members of their community who were able donated blankets, money, cooking skills and prayers, so that they might give-away. Giving-away is a means of circular giving.

Some who were in the crowd had survived Native American boarding schools operated by denominations and the U.S. government. There, their hair had been cut. They were not allowed to speak their languages. They were taught to read by reading the Bible, and those who taught them to read the Bible beat them with sticks if they spoke their language. Their clothing, jewelry and traditional names were taken away. They were told that if they were to be Christian, they could not be Native. Some believed what they said. Some would not teach their children. But others believed that God could use their culture and lives to refresh the church. They waited, living out their faith, as Native people, who loved God and their cultures.

The moccasins that morning had become a gift of healing. They had become an affirmation that Native culture could be an offering, a give-away to the world. They became an affirmation that what God said was good, was good.

It was a quiet moment. Many would not have singled it out. A bishop stepped up to a microphone wearing moccasins. They were a gift from the family of a friend, but the gift had been much more. It had been a gift of sharing, of giving from the heart. And one believer had responded to another, put on the moccasins and shared them with the church. They were soft footsteps, but they were heard.

*Buckley is director of the Native People Communications Office at United Methodist Communications.


Totem Poles were a way for Northwest Native Americans to share information. They were part of their oral tradition and helped to tell other people about themselves and their families. Memorial Poles were carved to celebrate special events such as births or weddings. Totem Poles that are actually part of a house are House Post Totems, a Mortuary Pole is carved for the dead and the most common Totem Pole is the Family Totem Pole.

The Family Totem Pole used symbols to represent the power, wealth and standing of a family within their community. Often these poles were erected during a potlatch ceremony. Potlatch means to give away. These ceremonies could last for several days and would take months to plan and prepare for. During the potlatch, a clan would give away gifts and property to show their wealth and status. Sometimes they would even destroy their own property to prove that they were wealthy enough to replace it. The more a clan gave away the higher their status would go. The Kwakiutl was the most extravagant version of the potlatch. A recipient of a Kwakiutl potlatch gift would have to give away twice as much at the next potlatch. If someone were given two goat hair blankets at a potlatch they would be expected to give away four at the next potlatch. Sometimes, in order to repay this debt of kindness, a man might be forced to give away all his belongings. The potlatch could be used to honor friends or ruin enemies.

Each Totem Pole tells a story using magical creatures that can transform from human to animal or animal to human. They live in the Sky Realm, the Realm or the Underwater Realm. Some can travel between the realms and some are stuck in just one realm.

Each mystical animal/human has special or unusual characteristics. Beavers hate humans, Wolves are good drummers, the Devilfish or Octopus is attracted to the color red, Bears hate Thunderbirds and Frogs are associated with bringing great fortune or wealth. If you insult Frog he will tattle to Copper Woman who lives in the Undersea Realm and she will cause volcanic eruptions.

Many Europeans had the wrong idea when they first saw Totem Poles. They thought that they were horrible monsters that the Native American Indians worshiped as gods. Many early missionaries helped to destroy Totem Poles and discouraged the people from carving more. The art of carving Totem Poles almost died out but is now flourishing again as many people are now recognizing the beauty and significance of them.

Village Totem Poles in Alaska

End of Related Post

Published in: on December 27, 2007 at 6:21 am  Comments (7)  

Christmas Blessing

The Creator gives us all so much…

…each and every moment of every day. How simple it is to celebrate life in everything we do! Don’t save celebration for “just the special occasions.” Live life by celebrating each breath, each gift, as it is given to you. Life is not a destination, but a journey.

This day I want to celebrate my gifts from the Creator & say I am thankful for each of you… and pray for showers of blessings upon your lives, as you travel your journey & begin this new year.

May the bounty of the earth be yours and peace come for us all.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Be Blessed!

Published in: on December 25, 2007 at 11:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

Native American Soldiers: Warriors for Freedom


Native American Soldier


Native Americans in WWII by Thomas D. Morgan

[Excerpted from Army History: The Professional Bulletin of Army History, No. 35 (Fall 1995), pp. 22-27]

In 1936, President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “This generation has a rendezvous with destiny.” When Roosevelt said that he had no idea of how much World War II would make his prophecy ring true. More than fifty years later, Americans are remembering the sacrifices of that generation, which took up arms in defense of the nation. Part of that generation was a neglected minority, Native American Indians, who flocked to the colors in defense of their country. No group that participated in World War II made a greater per capita contribution, and no group was changed more by the war. As part of the commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of World War II, it is fitting forth nation to recall the contributions of its own “first citizens.”

The Vanishing American
At the time of Christopher Columbus ‘ arrival in the New World, the Native American population living in what is now the United States was estimated at about one million. By 1880, only 250,000 Indians remained and this gave rise to the “Vanishing American” theory. By 1940, this population had risen to about 350,000.
During World War II more than 44,000 Native Americans saw military service. They served on all fronts in the conflict and were honored by receiving numerous Purple Hearts, Air Medals, Distinguished Flying Crosses, Bronze Stars, Silver Stars, Distinguished Service Crosses, and three Congressional Medals of Honor. Indian participation in World War II was so extensive that it later became part of American folklore and popular culture.

The Warrior Image
The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor seemed to waken an ancestral warrior spirit in many Native Americans. Thousands of young Indians went into the armed forces or to work in the war production plants that abruptly emerged during military and industrial mobilization. A 1942 survey indicated that 40 percent more Native Americans voluntarily enlisted than had been drafted. Lt. Ernest Childers (Creek), Lt. Jack Montgomery (Cherokee), and Lt. Van Barfoot (ChoctawW all of the famed 45th “Thunderbird” Infantry Division-won Medals of Honor in Europe. Childers had first distinguished himself in Sicily, where he received a battlefield commission. Later in Italy, unaided and despite severe wounds, he destroyed three German machine gun emplacements. During the Anzio Campaign in Italy, Montgomery attacked a German strong point single-handed, killing eleven of the enemy and taking thirty-three prisoners. During the breakout from Anzio to Rome, Barefoot knocked out two machine gun nests and captured seventeen prisoners. Subsequently, he defeated three German tanks and carried two wounded men to safety. All of these exploits reinforced the “warrior” image in the American mind. Maj. Gen. Clarence Tinker, an Osage and a career pilot, was the highest ranking Indian in the armed forces at the beginning of the war. He died leading a flight of bombers in the Pacific during the Battle of Midway. Joseph J. “Jocko” Clark, the first Indian (Cherokee) to graduate from Annapolis, participated in carrier battles in the Pacific and became an admiral. Brumett Echohawk (Pawnee), a renowned expert in hand-to-hand combat, trained commandos.

A Tradition as Fighters
The Iroquois Confederacy, having declared war on Germany in 1917, had never made peace and so automatically became party to World War II. The Navajo and other tribes were so eager to go to war that they stood for hours in bad weather to sign their draft cards, while others carried their own rifles so they would be ready for battle when they joined up. Unwilling to wait for their draft numbers, one-fourth of the Mescalero Apaches in New Mexico enlisted. Nearly all the able-bodied Chippewas at the Grand Portage Reservation enlisted. In a story that has been attributed to many other tribes as well, Blackfeet Indians mocked the need for a conscription bill. “Since when,” their members cried, “has it been necessary for Blackfeet to draw lots to fight?”
The annual enlistment for Native Americans jumped from 7,500 in the summer of 1942 to 22,000 at the beginning of 1945. According to the Selective Service in 1942, at least 99 percent of all eligible Indians, healthy males aged 21 to 44, had registered for the draft. War Department of officials maintained that if the entire population had enlisted in the same proportion as Indians, the response would have rendered Selective Service unnecessary. The overwhelming majority of Indians welcomed the opportunity to serve. On Pearl Harbor Day, there were 5,000 Indians in the military. By the end of the war, 24,521 reservation Indians, exclusive of officers, and another 20,000 off-reservation Indians had served. The combined figure of 44,500 was more than ten percent of the Native American population during the war years. This represented one-third of all able-bodied Indian men from 18 to 50 years of age. In some tribes, the percentage of men in the military reached as high as 70 percent. Also, several hundred Indian women served in the WACS, WAVES, and Army Nurse Corps.

The “Chiefs” Go to War
In spite of years of inefficient and often corrupt bureaucratic management of Indian affairs, Native Americans stood ready to fight the “white man’s war.” American Indians overcame past disappointment, resentment, and suspicion to respond to their nation’s need in World War II. It was a grand show of loyalty on the part of Native Americans and many Indian recruits were affectionately called “chiefs.” Native Americans responded to America’s call for soldiers because they understood the need to defend one’s own land, and they understood fundamental concepts of fighting for life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness.
Even the clannish Pueblo tribe, whose members exhibited a historical suspicion of the white world, contributed 213 men, 10 percent of their population of 2,205, to the armed forces. Wisconsin Chippewas at the Lac Oreilles Reservation contributed 100 men from a population of 1,700. Nearly all the able-bodied Chippewas at the Grand Portage Reservation enlisted. Blackfeet Indians enlisted in droves. Navajo Indians responded by sending 3,600 into military service; 300 lost their lives. Many volunteered from the Fort Peck Sioux-Assinibois Reservation in Montana, the descendants of the Indians that defeated Custer. The Iroquois took it as an insult to be called up under compulsion. They passed their own draft act and sent their young braves into National Guard units.
There were many disappointments as well-intentioned Indians were rejected for the draft. Years of poverty, illiteracy, ill- health, and general bureaucratic neglect had taken its toll. A Chippewa Indian was furious when rejected because he had no teeth. “I don’t want to bite ’em,” he said, “I just want to shoot ’em!” Another Indian, rejected for being too fat to run, said that he had not come to run, but to fight.

The Swastika Shadow Over Native Americans
World War II signaled a major break from the past and offered unparalleled opportunities for Indians to compete in the white man’s world. Because the Choctaw language had befuddled German code-breakers in World War I, the German government feared the likelihood of Indian communications specialists as World War II loomed. During the 1930s, Nazi agents posing as anthropologists and writers on reservations tried to subvert some Indian tribes and learn their language. Pan-Nazi agitators from the German-American Bund tried to persuade Indians not to register for the draft. Third Reich Propaganda Minister Josef Goebbels predicted Indians would revolt rather than fight Germany because the Swastika was similar to an Indian mystical bird symbol depicting good luck.
Goebbels went so far as to declare the Sioux to be “Aryans,” but the Indians knew that as a Mongoloid race, they would be enslaved by the Nazis. Fascist attempts to convert Indians to their cause not only met with failure, but it may have encouraged Indians to register for the draft in the large numbers they did. About 20 percent of the Indian population, 80,000 men and women, marched off to fight in the armed forces and at the home front against Adolph Hitler, a man they called, “he who smells his mustache.” Benito Mussolini fared little better, as the Indians called him “Gourd Chin.”
Indians saw the Axis Powers as a threat to their liberty, and the Indian tribes responded patriotically. The Chippewa and Sioux joined the Iroquois in declaring war on the Axis. Indians took extreme measures to get into the war. Illiterate Papago Indians memorized a few English phrases and learned to write their names when called to the induction centers. The Navajo, also rejected in large numbers for not speaking English, were extremely determined to serve. They organized remedial English training on their reservations to qualify for service in the armed forces.
The draft created a structure within which Indians and whites had to operate together for the defense of their country. The draft set Indians on a new course where they would be integrated into military life with their white counterparts . Their lives and their land-based society would never be the same. The Indians’ success in weakening racial barriers in the armed forces during World war II presaged the rise of the Civil Rights movement later.

The Home Front
Well-known American humorist Will Rogers, a Cherokee from Oklahoma, said, “The United States never broke a treaty with a foreign government and never kept one with the Indians.” Nevertheless, the government of the United States found no more loyal citizens than their own “first Americans.” When President Roosevelt mobilized the country and declared war on the Axis Powers, it seemed as if he spoke to each citizen individually. Therefore, according to the Indians’ way of perceiving, all must be allowed to participate. About 40,000 Indian men and women, aged 18 to 50, left reservations for the first time to find jobs in defense industries. This migration led to new vocational skills and increased cultural sophistication and awareness in dealings with non-Indians
The purchase of Treasury Stamps and Bonds by Indian tribes and individuals was considerable. By 1944, war bond sales to Indians had reached $50 million. Indians also made generous donations to the Red Cross and other organizations, giving what they had. All of this from a minority group at the bottom rung of the economic ladder.
Some 2,500 Navajos helped construct the Fort Wingate Ordnance Depot in New Mexico, and Pueblo Indians helped build the Naval Supply Depot in Utah. Because of their hunting, survival, and navigational skills in the harsh regions of the north, Alaskan Indians were involved in territorial defense. The entire football team at the Santa Fe Indian School volunteered for the armed forces after the 1942 homecoming game.
Women took over traditional men’ s duties on the reservation, manning fire lookout stations, and becoming mechanics, lumberjacks, farmers, and delivery personnel. Indian women, although reluctant to leave the reservation, worked as welders in aircraft plants. Many Indian women gave their time as volunteers for American Womens’ Volunteer Service, Red Cross, and Civil Defense. They also tended livestock, grew victory gardens, canned food, and sewed uniforms. A wealthy Kiowa woman in Oklahoma sent a $1,000 check to the Navy Relief signed with her thumb print. Alaskan women trapped animals to earn war bond money. By 1943, the YWCA (Young Women’s Christian Association) estimated that 12,000 young Indian women had left the reservation to work in defense industries. By 1945, an estimated 150,000 Native Americans had directly participated in industrial, agricultural, and military aspects of the American war effort.
The Indian Service sent 1,119 of its 7,000 employees into military service. Of these, 22 died, while 7 won Silver or Bronze Stars. In 1942, the Japanese captured 45 Aleuts on Attu. Only 24 returned from captivity in Japan, where they had worked in clay pits.
The federal government designated some Indian lands and even tribes themselves as essential natural resources, appropriating tribal minerals, lumber, and lands for the war effort. After the war, Native Americans discovered that their service forth war effort had depleted their resources without reward. Indian lands provided essential war materials such as oil, gas, lead, zinc, copper, vanadium, asbestos, gypsum, and coal. The Manhattan Project used Navajo helium in New Mexico to make the atomic bomb. The war effort depleted the Blackfoot’s tribal resources of oil.

Tell it to the Marines
German soldiers during World War I had been befuddled by Indians who transmitted messages over field phones in the Choctaw language. The 32d Infantry Division, Third Ammy, used Indians from Michigan and Wisconsin to work with microphones and to transmit messages in the Louisiana Maneuvers of 1940. During World War II, the U.S. Marine Corps recruited Navajo Indians for the same purpose. Navajo marines used their language as a battlefield code that the Japanese never broke. The Navajo Code Talkers became the most celebrated and publicized of the radio units.
Marines were “elite” fighters and welcomed Indians because of their warrior reputation. The Navajo marines ended their ceremonial chants by singing the Marine Corps Hymn in Navajo. Their eloquence came naturally to Indians because theirs is an oral culture. Navajos formed special all-Navajo Marine Corps signal units that encoded messages in their native tongue. Taking advantage of the flexibility and range of the Navajo language, they worked out translations of military and naval terms so that orders and instructions could be transmitted by voice over the radio in a code the Japanese were never able to break. They were used first in late 1942 on Guadalcanal. Special Code Talker units were eventually assigned to each of the Marine Corps’ six Pacific divisions. By war’s end, over 400 Navajo had served as Code Talkers. Untold numbers of Marines owe their lives to the Navajo Code Talkers.

Indians also excelled at basic training. Maj. Lee Gilstrop of Oklahoma, who trained 2 ,000 Native Americans at his post, said, “The Indian is the best damn soldier in the Army.” Their talents included bayonet fighting, marksmanship, scouting, and patrolling. Native Americans took to commando training; after all, their ancestors invented it. One Sioux soldier, Kenneth Scisson of South Dakota, became an American commando unit’s leading German-killer. On a single patrol, Scisson added ten notches to his Garand rifle. Native Americans endured thirst and lack of food better than the average soldier. They had an acute sense of perception and excellent endurance, along with superior physical coordination.
Indians first saw action in the Pacific theater. Over 300 Indians, including a descendant of the famed Apache chief Geronimo, took part in the defense of Bataan and Corregidor. Over 2,000 Indian farmers, workers, and businessmen in Oklahoma and New Mexico trained and fought as part of the 45th Infantry Division for 511 days of combat in Italy and Central Europe. The “Thunderbirds” had the highest proportion of Indian soldiers of any division, but Indians served conspicuously in the 4th and 88th Divisions, the l9thand 180thInfantryRegiments, and the 147thField Artillery Regiment, and in sundry Oklahoma National Guard units.
For Native Americans, World War II signaled a major break from the past. Many Indians inthe military made a decent living for the first time in their lives. By 1944, the average Indian’s annual income was $2,500, up two and one-half times since 1940. Military life provided a steady job, money, status, and a taste of the white man’s world. Indians learned assertiveness they could use in their fight for equal rights after the war.

The Warriors and War Workers Return
The war, therefore, provided new opportunities for American Indians, and these opportunities disrupted old patterns. The wartime economy and military service took thousands of Indians away from the reservations. Many of these Indians settled into the mainstream, adapting permanently to the cities and to a non-Indian way of life. Moreover, thousands returned to the reservation even after they had proved themselves capable of making the adjustment to white America. Those who left traditional cultures did not necessarily reject their heritage. Instead, they forged a new Pan-Indian identity to cope with the differences they perceived between themselves and whites.
World War II became a turning point for both Indians and Caucasians because its impact on each was so great and different. Whites believed that World War II had completed the process of Indian integration into mainstream American society. Large numbers of Indians, on the other hand, saw for the first time the non-Indian world at close range. It both attracted and repelled them. The positive aspects included a higher standard of living, with education, health care, and job opportunities. The negatives were the lessening of tribal influence and the threat of forfeiting the security of the reservation. Indians did not want equality with whites at the price of losing group identification. In sum, the war caused the greatest change in Indian life since the beginning of the reservation era and taught Native Americans they could aspire to walk successfully in two worlds.
A good deal of credit must go to the Native Americans for their outstanding part in America’s victory in World War II. They sacrificed more than most-both individually and as a group. They left the land they knew to travel to strange places, where people did not always understand their ways. They had to fore go the dances and rituals that were an important part of their life. They had to learn to work under non-Indian supervisors in situations that were wholly new to them. It was a tremendously difficult adjustment; more than for white America, which had known modem war and mobilization before. But in the process, Native Americans became Indian-Americans, not just American Indians.

Lt. Col. Thomas D. Morgan, USA (Ret.), is a military operations analyst at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, with a leading defense contractor. A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, he was commissioned in the Field Artillery, and served on active duty at various assignments in the United States, Germany, Viet Nam, Panama, and Belgium. He holds an M.P A. degree from the University of Missouri and an M A. degree in History from Pacific Lutheran University.


  • 1918 – Iroquois Indians declare war on Germany. Since they were not included in the 1919 Peace Treaty, they simply renewed their Declaration of War in 1941 and included Italy and Japan.
  • 1919 – Indian soldiers and sailors receive citizenship.
  • 1924 -The Snyder Act grants full citizenship to all American Indians.
  • 1938 -Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) estimates number of potential registrants for a draft in case of war.
  • 1939 – BIA updates male Indian age groups.
  • Jun 1940-The Navajo tribe announces that any un-American activity among its people will be dealt with severely.
  • Aug 1940- BIA Commissioner John Collier meets with Selective Service representatives to determine how to register Indians.
  • Sept. 1940- Congress passes Selective Service Act.
  • Oct 1940 – Congress passes Nationalities Act granting citizenship to all Native Americans without impairing tribal authority.
    • – For the first time, American Indians register for the draft.
  • Jan 1941- The Fourth Signal Company recruits thirty Oklahoma Comanche Indians to be part of a special Signal Corps Detachment.
  • Oct 1940- The armed forces have inducted 1,785 Native Americans.
  • Dec 1941- There are 5,000 Native Americans in the armed forces when Japanese forces attack Pearl Harbor.
  • Jan 1942 – According to Selective Service of ficals, 99 percent of all eligible Native Americans had registered for the draft. This ration set the national standard for the nation.
  • Jan 1942 – The Navajo Tribal Council calls a special convention to dramatize their support for the war effort; 50,000 attend.
  • Jul 1 942 – The Six Nations (Mohawks, Oneida, Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, 1942 and Iroquois) declare war on the Axis Powers.
  • 1942-1943- The Amy Air Corps runs a literacy program in Atlantic City, N.J., for native Americans who could not meet military literacy standards.
  • Apr 1943- Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes announces that Indians have bought $12.6 million in war bonds.
  • 1944 – Over 46,000 Indian men and women have left their reservations for defense-related jobs.
  • Nov 1944- Fifty tribes establish the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) in Denver, Colorado.
  • Jan 1945- John Collier resigns as Indian Commissioner after years of political controversy.
  • 1946- The Truman Commission Civil Right surges more humanitarian consideration for Native Americans.
    • -Indian Claims Commission Act created by Congress to adjudicate Indian land claims in the aftermath of WWII.
  • 1947 – Army Indian Scouts discontinued as a separate element of the U.S. armed forces.
    • They had last been used on border patrol duties.
  • 1957 – Utah becomes the last state to permit Indians to vote.

Sources Billard, Jules B ., ed. The World of the American Indian (Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society, 1974).Bernstein, Alison Ricky. “Walking in Two Worlds: American Indians and World War Two,” Ph.D. diss., Columbia University, 1986.Debo, Angie. A History of the Indians of the United States (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1970).Dennis, Henry C., ed. The American Indian, 1492-1970 (Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.: Oceana Publications, Inc., 1971).Franco, Jere. “Native Americans in World War II,” Ph.D. diss., University of Arizona, 1990.—————. “Loyal and Heroic Service: The Navajo and World War II.” The Journal of Arizona History 27(1986):391406.—————. “Bringing Them Back Alive: Selective Service and Native Americans.” The Journal of Ethnic Studies 18 (1990):1-27.Holm, Tom. “Fighting a White Man’s War: The Extent and Legacy of American Indian Participation in World War II.” The Journal of Ethnic Studies 9(2) (1981):69-81.La Farge, Oliver. The American Indian (N.Y.: Golden Press, 1956).—————-. ‘They Were Good Enough for the Army.” Harper’s (November 1947): 22-27.McCoy, Ron. “Navajo Code Talkers of World War II.” American West 18(6) (1981): 67-73,75.Murray, Paul T. “Who is an Indian? Who is a Negro?” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 95(2) (April 1987): 215-31.Nelson, Guy. Thunderbird: A History of the 45th Infantry Division (Oklahoma City, OK: 45th Infantry Division Association, 1970).The following was posted @: WarriorsThe American Indian’s role with the military began in January 1790 and lasted until January of 1891. Their role was as an enemy of the United States. They fought fourteen campaigns against the United States Military during the 101-year-old war called the Indian Wars . The Miami Campaign was the first; the Pine Ridge Campaign was the last. The second longest campaign in US military history was the Comanche Campaign that lasted from 1867 to 1875.After the conclusion of the Comanche Campaign, the Kiowas, Comanches and Apaches (once known as Kiowa-Apaches), role with the military began in 1875 as Scouts, a detachment of Indian Scouts was maintained at Fort Sill. These scouts were used to carry messages from the post to detachments of troops at other outposts, they also helped to guard the paymaster, searched for outlaws and deserters and the like. In 1892 the United States War Department formed several Indian troops of Calvary, including one at Fort Sill. It was called Troop L, Seventh Cavalry. These scouts consisted of mostly Kiowas, however, the Comanches and Apaches also had tribal members enlisted with Troop L. In 1897 the War Department disbanded all the Indian troops. It was said that the Indians made good soldiers, within their limitations. Their average in marksmanship was high, their discipline good, and they were proud of the uniform.The Kiowas, Comanches and Apaches role with the military, in the 1900’s, started with them being drafted and volunteering into the Armed Forces of the United States during WWI despite not being citizens of the United States until passage of the Citizenship Act of 1924 . Since and after WWI they have fought in all military actions that the United States was involved with.On June 14, 1944 the first Comanche Killed In Action wile serving in the Armed Forces of the United States was SGT Melvin “Hawkeye” Myers, of Apache. The first known Kiowa killed in action was CPL Lyndreth Leon Palmer, from the Redstone area, on December 5, 1944. The first Apache killed in Action was CPL Austin Lewis Klinelole. He was killed during the Korean War on September 18, 1951, he was also from Apache. There have been eighteen men of Kiowa, Comanche and Apache descent who have been killed in action, died of wounds or have been declared dead as a result of hostile action against the United States while serving in the Armed Forces.In memory of and to honor these eighteen men this tribute is so written. Fourteen of these heroes are buried in the United States. Two are buried overseas and two of the bodies were never recovered. It didn’t matter that their skin was a different color or that their ways weren’t like others or that they wouldn’t look you in the eye or that their handshake was gentle, what mattered was these magnificent warriors fought side by side with other Americans until they could fight no more….President Franklin D. Roosevelt wrote the following, “He stands in the unbroken line of patriots who have dared to die that freedom might live, and grow, and increase its blessings. Freedom lives, and through it, he lives – in a way that humbles the undertakings of most men.”

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Post Relating to Native Americans in Korean War:

Source of Post below:

3dflagsdotcom_usa_2faws.gif Native Americans in the Korean War:

Nighthorse Campbell

Photo Caption: Nighthorse Campbell

Ben Nighthorse Campbell 3dflagsdotcom_usa_2faws.gif

One young recruit who joined the military during the Korean conflict was Ben Nighthorse Campbell, a Northern Cheyenne, who, in 1987, became the first American Indian to serve in Congress since 1929 (in more than 60 years). The 18-year-old Campbell joined the Air Force in 1951. He was transferred to an Air Force police unit and shipped to Korea. Campbell never saw combat first-hand, but he vividly remembers the horrors he saw there, especially the suffering of Korean children. But Campbell also recalls the benefits of service in the military, writing, “There was a camaraderie [in the Air Force] that transcends ethnicity when you serve your country overseas in wartime.”

Campbell was elected to the Colorado State Legislature in November 1982 and from there went to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served from 1987 through 1992. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1992.

NOTE: A leader in policy dealing with public lands and natural resources, Campbell is recognized for the passage of landmark legislation to settle Indian water rights. He fought and won to have the Custer Battlefield Monument changed to the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, and he initiated and passed legislation to establish the National Museum of the American Indian within the Smithsonian Institution. He’s also an all-American Judo champion and jewelry designer.

Native American Medal of Honor Recipients from the Korean War 3dflagsdotcom_usa_2faws.gif

The warrior tradition of overpowering the enemy and facing death head-on accurately describes the heroic actions of the three Native Americans awarded the Medal of Honor during the Korean War. These two soldiers and one officer faced the enemy bravely and through their heroism saved the lives of their fellow servicemen.

Red Cloud

Photo Caption: Red Cloud

Corporal Mitchell Red Cloud Jr. 3dflagsdotcom_usa_2faws.gif

“The son of a Winnebago chief and warriors who believe that when a man goes into battle, he expects to kill or be killed and if he dies he will live forever.” These are the words inscribed on the monument erected in Black River Falls, Wisconsin, and dedicated to the memory of Korean War hero Corporal Mitchell Red Cloud Jr., the first Winnebago to be awarded the Medal of Honor.

Corporal Red Cloud, a member of Company E, 19th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division, was awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery during an attack by communist forces near Chonghyon, South Korea, on Nov. 5, 1950. According to an eyewitness account, Company E was alerted to the surprise enemy attack by a shouted warning from Corporal Red Cloud, who was on a ridge guarding his company’s command post. He immediately opened fire with his automatic rifle on the advancing enemy troops. Despite being severely wounded, Red Cloud held his ground, using a tree to give himself the support needed to continue firing. He refused help and continued to fire until he was fatally wounded. His valiant actions checked the enemy assault and allowed his company to consolidate its position and evacuate the wounded.

Corporal Red Cloud received the Medal of Honor posthumously on July 2, 1951; the medal was presented to his mother, Nellie Red Cloud, by U.S. Army General Omar Bradley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Private First Class Charles George 3dflagsdotcom_usa_2faws.gif

Private First Class Charles George, a Cherokee from North Carolina, followed the ancient warrior tradition, when, on Nov. 30, 1952, he sacrificed his life to save the lives of his fellow soldiers. During the night of Nov. 30, George, a member of Company C, 179th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division, was with a raiding party operating near Songnae-dong, South Korea. The raiding party was charged with engaging the enemy and capturing a prisoner for interrogation. As they charged up a hill toward the enemy, the group faced intense mortar and machine-gun fire and suffered several casualties.

Throughout the charge, Private George fought valiantly, and once the crest of the hill had been reached, he jumped into the trench where the enemy soldiers were concealed and engaged them in hand-to-hand combat. When the troops were ordered to withdraw, George and two companions remained behind to cover the withdrawal. As they were leaving the trenches, an enemy soldier threw a grenade toward the Americans. Private George immediately threw himself upon the grenade, absorbing the full blast, thus saving the lives of his fellow soldiers. Although severely wounded, he kept silent so as not to reveal the position of the men with him. His companions evacuated him, but he died shortly thereafter.


Photo Caption: Harvey

Captain Raymond Harvey 3dflagsdotcom_usa_2faws.gif

Captain Raymond Harvey, a Chickasaw, was commanding officer of Company C, 17th Infantry, 7th Infantry Division. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for an action on March 9, 1951, near Taerni-dong, South Korea. When Harvey’s company was pinned down by automatic weapons fire from several well-entrenched emplacements, he braved bullets and grenades to advance to the first North Korean machine gun nest and killed its crew with grenades. Rushing to the edge of the next emplacement, he killed its crew with carbine fire. Captain Harvey then moved the 1st Platoon forward, but it was again stopped by automatic weapons. Disregarding the hail of fire, he charged and destroyed a third emplacement. Miraculously, Harvey continued to lead the assault through the intense crossfire. After spotting a well-camouflaged enemy pillbox, he moved close enough to sweep the emplacement with carbine fire and throw grenades through the openings, killing its five occupants.

Though wounded and in pain, he ordered his company forward and continued to direct the attack on the remaining hostile positions. Harvey refused evacuation until assured that the mission would be accomplished.


Autry, Otwa T. Brigadier General, Retired. The 189th Field Artillery, 1920–1988 (1988).

Bureau of Indian Affairs. Indian Record (1970).

Field, James A., Jr. History of United States Naval Operations Korea (1962).

45th Infantry Division Association. 45th Division News (1988).

Jordan, Kenneth N., Sr. Forgotten Heroes (1995).

Henry, Christopher. Ben Nighthorse Campbell: Cheyenne Chief and U.S. Senator (1994).

“Memories of Cpl. Mitchell Red Cloud Jr.,” Ho-Chunk Wo-Lduk, July 1994, p. 3.

“Museum Remembers Ho-Chunk Warriors,” Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune, November 1, 1997, pp. 1–2.

U.S. Congress, Senate, Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. Medal of Honor Recipients, 1863–1973 (1973).

United States 93d Congress. 1st Session. Senate. Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. Medal of Honor Recipients, 1863–1973 (1973).

United States. Department of Defense. Fact Sheet: Native Americans (n.d).

United States, Department of the Navy, Navy Historical Center. “Frequently Asked Questions: American Indian Medal of Honor Winners” (n.d.).

United States, Department of the Navy, Navy Historical Center. “Frequently Asked Questions: 20th Century Warriors: Native American Participation in the United States Military” (n.d.).

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attended by her best friend and former roommate Jessica Lynch
and Piestewa’s family.Lynch said she and Piestewa became fast friends despite different upbringings.
“We were so close that we felt like we were family,” Lynch was quoted as saying.Lynch is making her first visit to Arizona two years after her unit came
under fire in Iraq. The attack resulted in Piestewa’s death on March 23, 2003.Lynch will visit the Hopi and Navajo reservations.Get the Story:
Remembering Lori Piestewa: A soldier, a sister, a friend (The Arizona Republic 3/24)
Lynch honors fallen comrade (AP 3/24)

Related Stories:
Lynch says she thinks of Piestewa ‘all the time’ (3/23)
Piestewa’s parents welcome Lynch to Arizona (3/22)
Phoenix ceremony to honor Piestewa, Native vets (3/21)
Lynch, friend of Piestewa, to visit three reservations (3/15)
Lori Piestewa honored in New Mexico ceremony (11/05)
Piestewa family, Lynch guests at Crow Native Days (6/22)
Memorial honors Piestewa year after death in Iraq (03/24)
Column: ‘Squaw’ a racial slur against Native people (01/16)
Column: Republicans want to restore ‘Squaw Peak’ (01/14)
Debate rages over renaming of park at Piestewa Peak (01/09)
Piestewa family attends NCAI honoring ceremony (11/18)
Piestewa friend calls Hopi woman the real hero (11/12)
Piestewa family watched movie on Jessica Lynch (11/11)
Piestewa friend ‘hurt’ by military accounts (11/07)
Pvt. Lynch: ‘Most of all, I miss Lori Piestewa’ (07/23)
Army report describes attack on Piestewa’s unit (07/10)
Army to release report on Piestewa ambush in Iraq (7/9)
Ariz. board votes in favor of Piestewa Peak again (07/03)
Piestewa family honored at Bighorn ceremony (6/26)
Piestewa family honored guests for Crow Days (6/20)
Lori Piestewa: ‘Hell yeah, I’ve taken fire!’ (6/19)
Report: Piestewa died at Iraqi hospital (6/18)
Piestewa family honored on Memorial Day (5/27)
Military official says Piestewa fought with courage (05/27)
Military completes report on Piestewa death (5/23)
Piestewa to be featured in veterans exhibit (5/21)
Ariz. senate panel OKs Piestewa ‘pressure’ bill (05/14)
U.S. board won’t act on Piestewa Peak until 2008 (5/9)
First Lady meets Piestewa family on Navajo visit (5/9)
So how do you really pronounce Piestewa? (5/9)
Ariz. lawmakers respond to Piestewa Peak flap (5/8)
First Lady Laura Bush to visit Navajo Nation (5/7)
Tribal jail inmates reach out to Piestewa family (5/5)
Opinion: Show respect for Piestewa Peak (5/5)
Squaw Peak highway changed in honor of Piestewa (5/2)
Ariz. GOP still steamed over name change (5/2)
Renzi: Piestewa fought to save lives of others (5/1)
Ariz. board to vote on Squaw Peak Freeway (4/30)
Hopi Tribe holds ceremony in honor of Piestewa (4/28)
AICF creates scholarship fund in Piestewa’s honor (4/28)
Oneida Nation students raise money for Piestewa (4/28)
Column: Squaw Peak changed with little debate (4/28)
Piestewa remembered in Ariz. candlelight ceremony (4/25)
Navajo Nation council honors Lori Piestewa (4/25)
Editorial: Renaming Squaw Peak was right move (4/25)
Renzi also says Piestewa fought ‘to the death’ (4/24)
Concert to benefit Lori Piestewa’s children (4/24)
Column: Lori died because she had no options (4/24)
Column: Piestewa fought Iraqi attackers (4/23)
Editorial: Don’t throw rocks over Piestewa Peak (4/23)
Squaw Peak name change being contested (4/23)
Ariz. governor faces fallout for Piestewa Peak (4/22)
Jodi Rave: Don’t call Indian women ‘squaw’ (4/22)
Readers still want to talk about Squaw Peak (4/22)
Ariz. paper profiles Lori Piestewa’s short life (4/21)
Column: We wouldn’t rename peak for White man (4/21)
Readers praise, critique Squaw Peak name change (4/21)
Say goodbye to Squaw Peak in Ariz. (4/18)
Benson’s View: Piestewa Peak vs. Pipsqueak (4/18)
Ariz. panel votes to change ‘squaw’ names (4/18)
Republic Editorial: ‘They did the right thing’ (4/18)
Column: Lori Piestewa was not a warrior (4/18)
Column: Piestewa’s name deserves much more (4/18)
Piestewa Peak views continue to roll in (4/18)
Some Ariz. GOP unhappy with Piestewa plans (4/17)
Editorial: Don’t wait five years to change name (4/17)
Pequot tribe donates scholarship to family (4/17)
Column: What’s Better – Squaw Peak or Piestewa Peak? (4/17)
More support and opposition for Piestewa Peak (4/17)
Hopi Tribe to honor Piestewa in official ceremony (4/16)
Thousands remember Piestewa in memorial service (4/14)
Editorial: Stop making excuses for Squaw Peak (4/14)
Navajo lawmakers cite poor timing for name change (4/14)
More reaction to renaming peak for Piestewa (4/14)
Piestewa service to take place in Tuba City (4/11)
Piestewa, the Lady Warrior, honored at pow-wow (4/11)
More opinions on renaming peak for Piestewa (4/11)
Reaction: ‘One of the Fallen Heroes’ (4/10)
Piestewa story extends beyond Indian Country (4/10)
Don’t expect Piestewa Peak any time soon (4/10)
Column: Name change is more than just symbolism (4/10)
Footnotes to a war: What about Private Lori? (4/10)
How to Donate to Lori Piestewa Memorial Fund (4/9)
Editorial: Rename Ariz. peak in honor of Piestewa (4/8)
Column: Would anyone call Piestewa a ‘squaw’? (4/8)
Piestewa death investigated as war crime (4/8)
Memorial set for fallen soldiers from Ft. Bliss (4/8)
Snow in Hopiland heralds return of Piestewa (4/7)
DoD confirms Piestewa killed in action in Iraq (4/7)
Indian Country mourns loss of Native soldier (4/7)
Hopi Woman Confirmed Dead (4/5)
Readers react to Piestewa tragedy (4/5)
Letters of Support Lori Piestewa and Family(4/4)
Piestewa: ‘When is his mom coming home?’ (4/4)
Rescued soldier has no information on Piestewa (4/4)
Military begins difficult identification process (4/4)
Rescued soldier watched unit members die (4/3)
Fellow Piestewa unit member rescued in Iraq (4/2)
Vigil held in Ariz. for missing Hopi soldier (3/27)
Hopi Tribe prays for return of missing soldier (3/26)
Piestewa Family Letter: Thank you for prayers (3/26)
Ariz. soldier reported missing (3/25)


In American Holocaust, Standard estimates the total cost of the near-extermination of the American Indians as 100,000,000 (

Five for Fighting Video:




Published in: on November 23, 2007 at 4:30 am  Comments (1)  

A Father’s Song “No Tears” by Rick Wallace


I have posted this in Honor of the Sacrifices of:

Sgt. Brandon Wallace, who made the ultimate sacrifice; the special Gold Star families; my brother-in-law, Hugh Vertrees (U. S. Army, Viet Nam) & to all Viet Nam vets to whom I say, Welcome Home soldiers Thank you for your service; my courageous nephew, Richard Vertrees (Baghdad, Iraq, Army Military Police) & all our troops currently serving; my father, Dave Wilson (U.S. Navy-Guam; Air Borne, Early Warning Squadron One, Hawaii); Corporal J. D. Meadors (U.S. Army); my husband’s father, Norman Davis, Sr. (U.S. Air Force-Germany); my dear friends, James O’Leary (U.S.N., Purple Heart Recipient, Beirut) & Larry Henderson (U.S. Army); my dear uncle, J. N. Wright (U.S. Air Force-England); Thomas Clifford “Cliff” Bland, Jr., Captain (U.S. Air Force, Gulf War hero who made the ultimate sacrifice.) & Cliff’s father, Tom Bland, who is, and always will be, dear to my heart; John M. “Jack” Morgan (Gulf War hero who made the ultimate sacrifice) & Jack’s very special mother; the compassionate and dedicated Kiowa War Mothers & the warriors they’ve served – both past and present who hold a special place in my heart; the courageous World War II Code Talkers such as Woogie Watchetaker’s brother, Comanche Code Talker, Charles Chibitty (who, at the time of his passing, was the last of the Comanche Code Talkers); & all warriors of freedom who are currently serving or have previously served our nation in peace-time and war-time, along with their families & friends who have also personally sacrificed much for the honor & protection of our nation and its people.

Click on Music Player link below to hear “No Tears”:
music player at


Beginning of Post from:

ABOUT THEM: On April 14, 2007, Sgt. Brandon Wallace was killed in Fallujah, Iraq when a road-side bomb detinated near his humvee. While searching for a way to bring comfort and healing to those that knew him, miss him and loved him, on October 3rd, 2007, inspiration struck. “No Tears” came about in a moment of divine inspiration. It started with a couple of phrases penned on an envelope and quickly escalated into melody and lyrics that we believe will bring comfort, healing, and hope to the listener.

In that same week, Brandon’s uncle, Randall Wallace, while at work, wrote the words to “Always Felt Your Love”. These words, he felt, was inspired also, and soon turned into melody and song. We believe that this song also will bring comfort, healing, and hope to the listener.

The song “Hold On” was written by Rick Wallace for his son, Sgt. Brandon Wallace while he was still serving in Iraq. Although Brandon never got the chance to hear it, we believe these words will bring encouragement to other men and women all over the world.

This CD is in honor of “OUR HEROSgt. Brandon Wallace
In memory of all Fallen Heroes around the world
Dedicated to all Gold Star families & those still serving in Uniform

Posted @ on: 4-14-07
Sgt. Brandon Wallace

Brandon’s Great Grandfather – WWI

No Tears
I was watching from a window in Heaven
You seemed so close yet so far
I could see teardrops falling that you shed for me
I saw you crying, calling out my name
I wanted to hold you, tell you I’m OK
No tears will fall in Heaven
Teardrops aren’t welcome up here
No tears will fall in Heaven
There’s no sorrow, there’s no pain
God wiped my tears away
I was walking down the streets of Heaven
I was singing with the angels round the crystal sea
I was dancing on streets of gold when your memory came to me
I wanted to tell you, though you couldn’t see
All the shakels are broken now and I am free.

Lyrics-Rick and Lisa Wallace
ASCAP All rights reserved

Brandon, with his sisters Rachel (left) and Sarah
Always Felt Your Love

From the cradle to my first memory
When you felt my first hug
When I sat up on your knee
When you said “no”
And I said “why”
You said “just because”
Through the years, smiles, and tears
I always felt your love

I always felt your love
It helped me rise above
In troubled lands across the sea
Your love carried me Above
I always knew I never walked alone
Through dangers, snares, and trials
I knew this world was not my home
I shed that earthly vessel
That lies beneath that chiseled stone
Now this glorified new body
Dances round my Saviour’s throne.

Lyrics-Randall Wallace
ASCAP All rights reserved

Sgt. Brandon Wallace

Hold On

Hold on Just hold on
Be strong Just be strong
Hold on Just hold on
Be strong Just be strong
Hold on though the waves rage high
He will be your anchor
He will calm the storms of life
Be strong, though you’re growing weak
He is your strong tower He will be your strength
Hold on Just hold on
Be strong Just be strong
Hold on Just hold on
Be strong Just be strong
They may throw you in the fire
And bring you fear and doubt
He was the fourth man in the furnace
I know that he will bring you out
He is the Lion of Judah
See the battle is not yours
So shout with a voice of triumph
Come on and shout unto the Lord.

Lyrics-Rick Wallace
ASCAP All rights reserved
2007 – Rick wrote a song in memory of his son, Sgt. Brandon Wallace who died in the Middle East (April 14, 2007) called “No Tears”. Rick and Lisa have written two… _info.php?cPath=47&products_id=364

Parable Christian Store
1716 Missouri State Road, Arnold MO 63010

END of POST @:


“What a beautiful tribute to your son, Rick & Lisa.
May God bless & keep you all. And may the blessings
you have sent out to others come back to you 10-fold.


I will be posting more about Comanche Code Talker, Charles Chibitty
(brother of my dear friend, George Woogie Watchetaker).
I will also be writing more about the Kiowa War Mothers.
Please check back!

Vision of Victory… My Tribute By Cheryl Davis
Vision of Victory… My Tribute
by Cheryl Davis © 1991

Some Gave All – All Gave Some

In Honor they came, In Honor They Gave

In Valor, For Purity, For Justice.

Our Hero’s of Desert Storm

To every life, my life is true until victory. Until there is no enemy…
Only Peace.
Written by Cheryl Davis © 1991


“Greater love hath no man than this,
that he would lay down his life for another

John 15:13

Published in: on November 14, 2007 at 8:34 pm  Comments (4)  

Bridge To No Where!

I will be writing more along the subject of the Kiowa War Mothers, the WWII Code Talkers, my trips to Normandy, France and Luxembourg. Because of the impact these things have had on me, the recent issue of the bridge players’ making a political statement at an international non-political event caught my attention. I have a major problem with those who speak ill of our nation on foreign soil (which includes their written comment against the “Office of the Presidency”). On one of my trips to France, several artists were interviewed by a French reporter in Renne. It was an eye-opening experience. One I will never forget. We had just visited Normandy, the sacred “American” ground where so many gave their lives so the French could live in freedom (FYI: the French gave us this land to bury our fallen warriors. We hire them to cut the grass. American troops paid for that land with their blood and we pay to maintain it.). I had viewed the markers… endless rows of heroes (so many just boys) who never came home. They were someone’s son, daughter, husband, wife, father, mother, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, cousin, niece, nephew, grandparent or friend. I have since revisited Normandy two additional times, and have also visited the American Cemetery in Luxembourg where all the fallen warriors are buried facing their commander, Gen. George Patton. Because of the sacrifices of so many, I find the bridge players’ act heartbreaking. Say what you wish here at home. That is what our heroes lay their lives on the line for. Regardless of your views on the war, our government & its’ leaders… degrading the Office of the Presidency (regardless of who is in that position), or degrading our military… or degrading our country in general “ON FOREIGN SOIL” is a reckless & disrespectful act. Without the Freedom of Speech, I would not be able to have this Art Blog. I respect any citizen’s right to speak out and voice their opinions on any issue. Say what you want on American soil, BUT please don’t say it on foreign soil, in public or to foreign press. It is cowardice to take one’s political views overseas as opposed to speaking out at home.  It is a disgraceful act in my opinion… considering the enormous price that has been paid for our freedom. I don’t want to use my art blog as a political soapbox. But when I saw this in the news, I had to post an opinion on this issue. This is not about their political views. I do not care what their views are. If they had made that statement upon their return from Shanghai, that would have been their right to do so. The problem I have with what they did? It was not the time or place for them to make ANY political statements. The contract they signed forbid it. They were there on someone else’s nickle. My big issue with what they did was that if they wanted to make a political statement, they should have made it at home. Save your negative comments for when you are standing onour soil please! Negative comments have a far greater effect when made overseas and the extent of the damage it does, we may never know. Why would anyone want to contribute “to any degree” to the possible demise of their own country? You have to ask yourself for what purpose was their statement made. They said they wanted these foreigners (who most likely could care less about them or us…) to know that they sympathized with them in some way for all the things America has done or is now doing… (something along those lines). So, they plead, “Like me, please, please…even though I am American?”  What benefit would it be to have Shanghai’s “stamp of approval” on our politics in that setting?” I thought it was “about bridge” – NOT POLITICS. Who appointed these ladies to represent us as a country politically? Who asked them to apologize for anything? They do not represent me!  Such an act dishonors our people who have laid down their lives for us our troops, veterans “like our code-talkers,”  …all our fallen heroes.   Does it not desecrate the honor of our brave warriors?  These ladies were representing the Federation and the Federation is not a political organization. They signed an agreement with the Federation which outlined the guidelines and by signing it, agreed to comply with those guidelines. The actions of Jill Levin, Jill Meyers, Debbie Rosenberg & Irina Levitina of the Venice Cup championship team were extremely inappropriate and shameful, in my opinion.

PLEASE, if you don’t like this country or appreciate the abundant blessings we have here… there is a simple solution… you are free to move elsewhere (that’s free, as in freedom, bought with the blood of our troops)!  Hey, pick a country. I will commit to pay for the one-way ticket (…when you send me your passport, so you can’t come back after you realize your mistake & become homesick).  I know our country and its people are far from perfect.  Please show me a perfect country or government.  But if you don’t like something… work to change it. Speak out AT HOME! Vote who you don’t like out of office, go protest, petition or better yet, quit playing cards and run for office yourself!   But let’s please keep it IN-HOUSEladies, ok?

Below is source of article and article on the bridge players in question, accused of treason and sedition:
Progressive News Daily
By e-mail, angry bridge players have accused the women of “treason” and “sedition.”
Technorati Tags: anti-Bush statement, world bridge championships,

Anti-Bush Sign Has Bridge World in an Uproar

L to R: Jill Levin, Jill Meyers, Debbie Rosenberg & Irina Levitina of the Venice Cup championship team in Shanghai – By STEPHANIE STROM – Published: November 14, 2007

In the genteel world of bridge, disputes are usually handled quietly and rarely involve issues of national policy. But in a fight reminiscent of the brouhaha over an anti-Bush statement by Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks in 2003, a team of women who represented the United States at the world bridge championships in Shanghai last month is facing sanctions, including a yearlong ban from competition, for a spur-of-the-moment protest.

At issue is a crudely lettered sign, scribbled on the back of a menu, that was held up at an awards dinner and read, “We did not vote for Bush.”

By e-mail, angry bridge players have accused the women of “treason” and “sedition.”

“This isn’t a free-speech issue,” said Jan Martel, president of the United States Bridge Federation, the nonprofit group that selects teams for international tournaments. “There isn’t any question that private organizations can control the speech of people who represent them.”

Not so, said Danny Kleinman, a professional bridge player, teacher and columnist. “If the U.S.B.F. wants to impose conditions of membership that involve curtailment of free speech, then it cannot claim to represent our country in international competition,” he said by e-mail.

Ms. Martel said the action by the team, which had won the Venice Cup, the women’s title, at the Shanghai event, could cost the federation corporate sponsors. The players have been stunned by the reaction to what they saw as a spontaneous gesture, “a moment of levity,” said Gail Greenberg, the team’s nonplaying captain and winner of 11 world championships.

“What we were trying to say, not to Americans but to our friends from other countries, was that we understand that they are questioning and critical of what our country is doing these days, and we want you to know that we, too, are critical,” Ms. Greenberg said, stressing that she was speaking for herself and not her six teammates. The controversy has gone global, with the French team offering support for its American counterparts.

“By trying to address these issues in a nonviolent, nonthreatening and lighthearted manner,” the French team wrote in by e-mail to the federation’s board and others, “you were doing only what women of the world have always tried to do when opposing the folly of men who have lost their perspective of reality.” The proposed sanctions would hurt the team’s playing members financially. “I earn my living from bridge, and a substantial part of that from being hired to compete in high-level competitions,” Debbie Rosenberg, a team member, said. “So being barred would directly affect much of my ability to earn a living.”

A hearing is scheduled this month in San Francisco, where thousands of players will be gathered for the Fall North American Bridge Championships. It will determine whether displaying the sign constitutes conduct unbecoming a federation member.

Three players— Hansa Narasimhan, JoAnna Stansby and Jill Meyers — have expressed regret that the action offended some people. The federation has proposed a settlement to Ms. Greenberg and the three other players, Jill Levin, Irina Levitina and Ms. Rosenberg, who have not made any mollifying statements.

It calls for a one-year suspension from federation events, including the World Bridge Olympiad next year in Beijing; a one-year probation after that suspension; 200 hours of community service “that furthers the interests of organized bridge”; and an apology drafted by the federation’s lawyer. It would also require them to write a statement telling “who broached the idea of displaying the sign, when the idea was adopted, etc.”

Alan Falk, a lawyer for the federation, wrote the four team members on Nov. 6, “I am instructed to press for greater sanction against anyone who rejects this compromise offer.” Ms. Greenberg said she decided to put up the sign in response to questions from players from other countries about American interrogation techniques, the war in Iraq and other foreign policy issues. “There was a lot of anti-Bush feeling, questioning of our Iraq policy and about torture,” Ms. Greenberg said. “I can’t tell you it was an overwhelming amount, but there were several specific comments, and there wasn’t the same warmth you usually feel at these events.” Ms. Rosenberg said the team members intended the sign as a personal statement that demonstrated American values and noted that it was held up at the same time some team members were singing along to “The Star-Spangled Banner” and waving small American flags. (…that is supposed to make it OK? GEEZ! What a weak person she revealed herself to be.)

“Freedom to express dissent against our leaders has traditionally been a core American value,” she wrote by e-mail. “Unfortunately, the Bush brand of patriotism, where criticizing Bush means you are a traitor, seems to have penetrated a significant minority of U.S. bridge players.” Through a spokesman, the other team members declined to discuss the matter. Ms. Narasimhan, Ms. Stansby and Ms. Meyers have been offered a different settlement agreement, but Ms. Martel declined to discuss it in detail.

Many of those offended by the sign do not consider the expressions of regret sufficient. “I think an apology is kind of specious,” said Jim Kirkham, who has played in several bridge championships. “It’s not that I don’t forgive them, but I still think they should be punished.” Mr. Kirkham sits on the board of the American Contract Bridge League, which accounts for a substantial portion of the federation’s financing, Ms. Martel said, and has submitted a proposal that would cut the league’s support for the federation, one of two such proposals pending.

Robert S. Wolff, one of the country’s pre-eminent bridge players, who has served as an executive and board member of several bridge organizations, said that he understood that the women might have had a legal right to do what they did but that they had offended many people. “While I believe in the right to free speech, to me that doesn’t give anyone the right to criticize one’s leader at a foreign venue (the KEY to the whole outrage…) in a totally nonpolitical event,” he wrote by e-mail.

David L. Anderson, a bridge player who supports the team, said it was common to see players at international tournaments sporting buttons bearing the date “1-20-09,” when George W. Bush will hand off to a new president, as well as buttons reading “Support Our Troops.” “They don’t go after those people,” Mr. Anderson said.


Published in: on November 14, 2007 at 8:32 pm  Comments (2)  

Four Things…

“The world is supported by four things:
the learning of the wise, the justice of the great,
the prayers of the good, and the valor of the brave.”

Inscribed on a 15th century Spanish University.

Published in: on October 30, 2007 at 9:53 pm  Leave a Comment  


Your biggest obstacle is your greatest blessing!

Published in: on September 6, 2007 at 10:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

When Bad Things Happen

When negative things happen…

accept that there is a lesson to be learned!

You are at the place you should be at that moment in time.

And, with time, the purpose will be reveiled to you.

Unless you experience the valleys…

You can never totally appreciate the mountain tops.

Published in: on September 6, 2007 at 10:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

Nothing is as simple… or as complicated as it seems.

Strive to accept things as they are… and as they come to you.

Remember that life is simply for living.  And for living fully.

“Existing” is a gift.

Relax.  Breath.  Enjoy.  Embrace.  Love.

And know that the pleasure is not in “what you find at the end

but is in the journey itself.”

We are here for only a brief moment in time. 

Don’t miss your journey! 

Absorb each moment… each are a gift from the Creator.

Published in: on September 6, 2007 at 5:15 am  Leave a Comment  

The Gifts

We come into our own when we can “clearly” see

 the gifts our parents and elders have been for us.

Embrace It.

Published in: on August 31, 2007 at 11:09 pm  Leave a Comment  


When we respect and protect our levels of truth, the truth heals on many levels and to great depths.

Honor your truths!

Published in: on August 31, 2007 at 11:06 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Creator blesses me today…

The mountains circle their arms around me here.

The meadow provides a calm place through which a stream composes music.

The Creator blesses me today with a world that nourishes me.

I am thankful for the blessings.

Published in: on June 26, 2007 at 9:24 pm  Leave a Comment  

Allan Capron Hauser (1914 – 1994)


These are photos I took when I had the pleasure of hearing Allan Hauser speak at the Red Earth breakfast in 1988.  One of the finest artists of our times.


Mary Jo Watson (Center) sits with Allen Houser at the breakfast.

Source for the following biography:

Born on June 30, 1914, Allan C. Haozous was to become known as Allan Houser, one of the 20th Century’s most important artists. Allan’s parents, Sam and Blossom Haozous were members of the Chiricahua Apache tribe who were held as prisoner’s of war for 27 years. Allan’s father was with the small band of Warm Springs Chiricahuas when their leader, Geronimo, surrendered to the U.S. Army in 1886 in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua. In retribution for the Warm Springs Bands’ refusal to leave their lands in New Mexico and relocate to a reservation in Arizona, 1200 Chiricahuas were sent by cattle-car train to prisons in Florida.

allan-houser2.jpgAllan’s father was among the women and children jailed at the Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine, Florida, and Allan’s mother was born in the prison camp at the Mount Vernon Barracks, Alabama where surviving members of the tribe were sent in 1887. As a final solution, the last of the Chircahuas were sent to Fort Sill, Oklahoma where they remained captives for 23 years. Freed at last in 1914, a majority of the tribe returned to New Mexico to join with the Mescalero Apaches for whom a reservation had been created. Allan’s parents, however, were with a small group of families who chose to stay in Oklahoma and create farms in the Apache and Lawton communities. Allan was born just months after their release, the first child born out of captivity.

Growing up on the farm, Allan labored with crops of cotton and alfalfa and helped support the family growing vegetables and raising livestock and horses. At an early age he became interested in the images he saw in magazines and books. He soon began making his own drawings and carvings. In 1934 a notice for an art school in Santa Fe attracted his attention, and he enrolled in the Painting School at the Santa Fe Indian School. Commonly known as the Dorothy Dunn School after its prominent teacher, Allan became its most famous student and by 1939 his work was exhibited in San Francisco, Washington D. C., and Chicago. In the same year he received a commission to paint a mural in the Department of Interior building in Washington, and its success led to a second mural commission there in 1940.

allan-houser.jpgAllan married Anna Marie Gallegos in 1939, and together with three young sons they moved to Los Angeles in 1941 where Allan sought employment during the war effort. It was here that Allan would have the opportunity to visit museum exhibitions of European modernists such as Brancusi, Arp, Lipschitz, and Henry Moore, whose work would have a lasting influence on Allan as his own style evolved in the succeeding decades.

allan-houser3.jpgIn 1947 Allan was commissioned by the Haskell Institute in Lawrence, Kansas, to do a memorial sculpture honoring the Native American students from Haskell who had died in World War II. Completed in 1948, this work entitled “Comrade in Mourning” was his first major marble carving. In 1951 Allan moved to Brigham City, Utah, where he taught art at the Inter-Mountain Indian School for the next eleven years. He continued to paint and produce small wooden sculptures, and in 1954 he was honored by the French government with the Palmes d’Acadamique for his outstanding achievement as a teacher and artist.

In 1962 Allan was asked to join the faculty of the newly created Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. There he created the sculpture department and began focusing his own artistic output on three-dimensional work. As he taught and created sculpture he began integrating the aesthetics of the modernists with his narrative ideas. By the late 1960’s he began exhibiting this sculpture and recognition of his unique style grew. Museums and private collectors sought out examples, and his influence became apparent on hundreds of students and other artists. In 1975 Allan retired from teaching to devote himself full-time to his own work. In the two following decades he would produce close to 1,000 sculptures in stone, wood, and bronze, and emerged as a major figure on an international scale. He had nearly 50 solo exhibitions in museums and galleries in the United States, Europe, and Asia, and he continued working tirelessly until his death on August 22, 1994.

Published in: on June 26, 2007 at 1:55 am  Comments (2)  

Little Smoker

Me @ about 2 years old, smoking my little candy cigarette & reading the newspaper.



Remember those little sugar candy cigarettes? The tip was red like it was lit?  They came in a little cigarette pack with a flip lid, just like real cigarettes.  Pure sugar!  They were so good!  My parents never smoked cigarettes, but they would buy these for us.  Did they ban those things?   They most likely did, making them “illegal” to market to kids these days…  I wouldn’t buy them for my grandbabies!  Now… I know I look like a natural here but I’m a non-smoker & encourage everyone to please be kind to their bodies!   “Smoking cigarettes & healthy living just don’t mix.” 

By the way… notice the early artwork I am holding!  I can never remember not drawing!  One of my granddaughters’ is a little artist already.  This was a piece of art she did at age 2 yrs & 1mo old.  Notice the detail which is very unusual for a 2 year old.  You should also know that she drew it UPSIDE DOWN which she did quite often!  She also would draw the stuff on the left with her left hand and then draw the stuff on the right with her right hand.  She was born with a passion for drawing!


Published in: on June 20, 2007 at 9:30 pm  Leave a Comment