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)  

Paying it Forward: The 2007 Persons of the Year

The news is always full of all the “bad stuff” happening in our world.  How about some of the “good stuff” that doesn’t get a whole lot of attention, if any at all, from most of the media!  I say BRAVO, guys!  And hey folks, as you read this, don’t just sit back and applaud them.  Please try to look around and find a situation or a life where YOU can do something to make a difference.  Pay it FORWARD!    Here’s the great article!  Thanks, Mr. Imrem!

It’s time to honor ‘The Other Athlete’
By Mike Imrem | Daily Herald Columnist
Published: 12/26/2007 4:55 AM

OK, it’s time to recognize my 2007 Person of the Year: “The Other Athlete.”  Too often we overlook him amid the rubble that is pro sports.

The media — including this space — tend to focus on the bad behavior that transforms the image of athletes from famous to infamous.

You know, the ones who become the deadbeat dads, drunk drivers, recreational drug abusers, gunslingers, barroom brawlers, promoters of dog fighting …

Baseball alone has the Mitchell Report, and the game’s best pitcher of our time issuing video denials on his Web site, and the best hitter of our time indicted on perjury and obstruction of justice charges.

Nearly every day last NFL off-season, Commissioner Roger Goodell felt he had to suspend a player for breaking rules or laws.

There are enough NHL goons and NBA loons and NFL louts and MLB losers to make it seem all athletes are creeps or criminals.

Ain’t so, folks.

While it’s tempting to judge the whole by the worst among them, no brush is wide enough to paint all athletes with one broad stroke.

As in society overall, the society of sports has more good people than bad despite what the bloody headlines indicate on most days.

Heck, sometimes the alleged evil-doer and alleged do-gooder co-exist within the same person.

ESPN aired a feature this week on San Diego Chargers all-pro linebacker Shawne Merriman, who was disgraced last season by being suspended for using performance enhancers.

Well, the ESPN piece centered on Merriman also being the man who helped a family rebuild after their home was destroyed in a Southern California wildfire.

Bad guy, good guy, same guy.

Athletes aren’t simple, one-dimensional, cardboard characters. Most are as complex as the rest of us, capable of performing both commendable and condemnable acts in and out of the workplace.

Yet we tend to emphasize the negative because it’s more sensational and, let’s face it, the decent, solid, law-abiding citizen is taken for granted.

Today, here, he isn’t because that “Other Athlete” is my 2007 Person of the Year.

Several times every week, e-mails arrive publicizing a local athlete who has done something positive in the community.

This being football season, recent messages have been mostly about the Bears: The entire franchise contributing to the USO, Tommie Harris and Devin Hester supporting the Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago, Charles Tillman being named the team’s nominee for the NFL’s “Walter Payton Man of the Year” service award.

I usually delete the messages without even opening them. I’m more inclined to open the sports pages to read about what athlete was arrested for what on that given day.

But many Bears, Cubs, White Sox, Bulls and Blackhawks give of themselves routinely. So do Fire, Wolves, Cougars and Flyers.

They donate money, devote time and lend names to worthy causes. They drop off Thanksgiving turkeys to underprivileged families, distribute Christmas gifts to needy children and collect winter coats for the homeless. They aid battered women, advocate literacy and speak to school classes.

These “Other Athletes” have forums the rest of us don’t have and many — maybe most — embrace the opportunity to serve.

These men don’t get enough credit for being the positive role models they are.

That alone is enough to make them my 2007 “Person of the Year” before they fade back into the background.

Published in: on December 27, 2007 at 5:41 am  Leave a Comment  

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.”

END OF POST (More Links to Related Articles Below)


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.).

END OF POST (More Links to Related Articles below)


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Native American Medal of Honor Recipients from the Korean War to advance to the first North Korean machine gun nest and killed its crew with grenades.



Piestewa honored two years after death in Iraq

Indianz.Com. In Print.
Piestewa honored two years after death in Iraq
Thursday, March 24, 2005Lori Piestewa, the Hopi woman killed in action in Iraq,
was remembered at a memorial in Phoenix
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)
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First Lady meets Piestewa family on Navajo visit (5/9)
So how do you really pronounce Piestewa? (5/9)
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First Lady Laura Bush to visit Navajo Nation (5/7)
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Piestewa remembered in Ariz. candlelight ceremony (4/25)
Navajo Nation council honors Lori Piestewa (4/25)
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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)
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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)
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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)  

Why Am I Posting Football Related Items on a Native American Art Blog?

1. I love Football. It exactly equals my love of Art.

2. Football is a necessity of life. Neither man, nor I, could exist without some of the basic necessities of life: water, food, faith and football.

3. Playing football IS an Art, so therefore qualifies as art related!”

4. Simply speaking – IN A NUTSHELL: Tommie Harris, a Defensive Tackle for the Chicago Bears is my favorite all-time player (…along with the very awesome godfather of NFL football, Brett Favre…). Tommie is also one of my favorite people in the entire world. He is the MASTER SACKMEISTER and therefore deserves this recognition for his contribution to the sport I love.

5. My football posts will mainly be related to Tommie Harris because he is “family,” adopted in the Indian way, and I want to share what a special person & player he is. I want you to know more about him and that there is much more to this guy than just football.

6. Most importantly, I want to share, support & promote the Tommie Harris Foundation which is an extremely worthwhile cause, dedicated to raising funds for the purpose of inspiring hope, enriching kids lives and building a better future for our children. The Tommie Harris Foundation supports worthwhile organizations such as Feed The Children, Boys & Girls Clubs, Prevent Child Abuse America and many more youth enrichment programs. You can learn more about Tommie’s foundation at

7. Because it is my blog and I get to talk about what I want to talk about. ;=)

8. And finally, because I know that the more you know about Tommie Harris, the more you will be blessed. And my goal with this Art Blog is for you to be blessed!

Boomer Sooner! GO BEARS! And thank God for good family, art and pow wows in the off-season summer months which help keep my mind busy and off the fact that there is NO FOOTBALL to watch.

TOMMIE HARRIS Defensive Tackle Chicago Bears #91





Published in: on November 5, 2007 at 11:29 pm  Leave a Comment  

Chicago Bears Tommie Harris Named Recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award

LAKE FOREST, Ill. – Defensive tackle Tommie Harris on Thursday was named the Bears’ recipient of the 2007 Ed Block Courage Award. The prestigious award is presented to one player on all 32 NFL teams who best exemplifies a commitment to sportsmanship and courage and serves as an inspiration in the locker room.The recipients of the award, who are voted on by their teammates, symbolize professionalism, great strength and dedication, and they are considered community role models.

“It’s good to announce Tommie Harris as the Ed Block Courage Award winner,” said coach Lovie Smith. “He does a lot in the community. It’s good to see how he came back from a major injury also and is having a good season for us right now.”

Harris has recovered from a hamstring injury that forced him to miss the last four games of the 2006 regular season and the playoffs to lead the team in sacks with a career-high seven in the first half of the 2007 season. Harris has 12 sacks dating back to last season, tied with Warren Sapp for most in the NFL by a defensive tackle during that time span.

“Tommie’s a very fine young man,” said Patrick McCaskey, Bears’ senior director of special projects. “He’s very deserving of the Ed Block Courage Award. He has worked very diligently and assiduously to recover from his injury from last season. He’s playing through injuries this season. He certainly is very courageous.”

Ed Block was a long-time head trainer with the Baltimore Colts who was a pioneer in his field. The Ed Block Courage Award Foundation promotes the prevention of child abuse by raising awareness of the epidemic and assisting agencies that provide for the care and treatment of abused children in communities throughout the NFL.

The Ed Block Courage Award has been given annually to a player on each team in the NFL since 1984. Current Bears who have won the award include quarterback Rex Grossman (2006), guard Ruben Brown (2005), guard Roberto Garza (2004 with Atlanta), wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad (2000 with Carolina), assistant defensive backs coach Gill Byrd (1988 with San Diego) and linebackers coach Hardy Nickerson (1992 with Pittsburgh and 1999 with Tampa Bay).



Published in: on November 5, 2007 at 10:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

Flow of Life

In this flow of life,

let us have a deep respect

for all its precious gifts.

Let us strive for balance & unity

and always give more than we take. 

Written By Cheryl Davis © 1992

Published in: on November 2, 2007 at 2:34 am  Comments (1)  

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  

Tommie Harris is a WARRIOR.

Tommie Harris Wants to Stop Gun Violence

NFL teams don’t usually take stands on controversial issues, so it was a little surprising to look at the Chicago Bears’ official web site today and see that the main headline is “Harris on a Mission to Stop Gun Violence.”

The accompanying article, about Bears defensive tackle Tommie Harris, says he was moved to act after watching TV news accounts of Chicago Public School students who were shot and killed:

“I have a love for children and that really hurt me to see,” Harris said. “It’s sad to know that a young person doesn’t get a chance to live his life out. I feel if more people can voice their opinions or get stuff done, then a change will come.”

Harris is encouraging those who live in neighborhoods that are plagued by gun violence to email his foundation at to offer their input about how he can help.

If none of that sounds to you like “taking a stand on a controversial issue,” you have to understand the extent to which the National Rifle Association opposes famous people who support common-sense measures to curb gun violence. Panthers quarterback Vinny Testaverde and former NFL players Keyshawn Johnson and Doug Flutie are all on the NRA’s list of anti-gun celebrities for no reason other than speaking out in support of efforts to prevent gun violence.

Harris can expect to be added to that list. Good for him.

Link to Article


A personal note from Cheryl: I will be writing more about Tommie. He is someone very dear to my heart. And just know this about Tommie. He’s the REAL DEAL!

If used for the right purpose, guns are not a bad thing. Native Americans and others have used firearms to provide food for their people for years. I grew up around guns because I belong to a family that hunts. My grandfather was a dog trader & trainer. He trained top-of-the-line hunting dogs and people traveled long distances to buy dogs from him for hunting. And my grandmother hunted more than my grandfather ever did. It put food on the table. Guns were common place in my life. So, having been raised around guns, I have always had a healthy respect for guns and knew their danger from an early age. I know how to use guns properly and have been through training. I believe in the right to bear arms. Our country was built on that right. So don’t even try to take my gun away from me… I want to maintain my right to have a gun, thank you very much. But I also believe in trying to keep guns out of the wrong hands. This may be naive of me, but I can see people in the public spotlight uniting in some way with the NRA, finding common ground and solutions to the violent world our kids are growing up in. Perhaps Tommie can help initiate this. Too many are dying too young. Let’s find the answers together, be it more extensive education, compromised regulation or alternative programs of engagement for our youth that help build character and open up their horizons… and hopefully “together” we can bring an end to all this unnecessary violence.

Please visit Tommie’s website at to find out more about how you can help support his foundation! Let’s all get engaged to help make this world a better place! Our kids are worth investing in!


Eyes of Hope by Cheryl Davis © 1988


When you look into the eyes of a child,

you see… the Creator.


See that you do not look down

on one of these little ones. For I tell you

that their angels in heaven always

see the face of my Father in heaven.

Matthew 18:10

Published in: on October 30, 2007 at 7:04 pm  Leave a Comment  


Thank you for visiting my site. 

Please visit often!

Yigaquv osaniyu adanvto adadoligi naqvv utlogasdi nihi

(May The Great Spirit’s Blessings always be with you.)

Published in: on October 30, 2007 at 6:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

All Things Come Full Circle


Within the Circle of Life by Cheryl Davis © 1992

Nothing is hidden.

All thought and actions are seen and heard.

All things effect those around us and our relationships with them.

Can one say they believe in the spirit world,

but then act as if it does not apply to them.


Published in: on October 30, 2007 at 6:05 pm  Leave a Comment  

Earth Teach Me

Earth teach me stillness

as the grasses are stilled with light.

Earth teach me suffering

as old stones suffer with memory.

Earth teach me caring

as parents who secure their young.

Earth teach me courage

as the tree which stands all alone.

Earth teach me limitation

as the ant which crawls on the ground.

Earth teach me freedom

as the eagle which soars in the sky.

Earth teach me resignation

as the leaves which die in the fall.

Earth teach me regeneration

as the seed which rises in the spring.

Earth teach me to forget myself

as melted snow forgets its life.

Earth teach me to remember

kindness as dry fields weep

with rain.

—– Ute Indians of
North America


For a Nice Mixture of Beautiful Photos with this Poem Visit:

Published in: on October 5, 2007 at 1:04 pm  Leave a Comment  

Jewelry Design


For a time, I enjoyed designing jewelry for GBK International Group. The collection carried the name “Santierra Jewelry” and was featured in the Coldwater Creek Catalog & Store (sample below of one of their issues). The above brochure  displays a sampling of the jewelry we marketed.


I had the pleasure of visiting Coldwater Creek in beautiful SandPoint, Idaho and was given a tour of their incredible headquarters.  They were very gracious and I enjoyed meeting them in person.  If you have never visited SandPoint, it is definately worth the trip and when you are there, make sure you go by and say hello to the nice folks at Coldwater Creek!  (

Some pieces are still available. If you are interested,

please inquire by emailing me @

or check out my catalog of items (not all designs are posted yet)


Published in: on September 11, 2007 at 5:46 am  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