as they refuse to open their eyes,
still pretending it does not exist.
but it does, over 500 years worth,
but who is counting?
to them it means nothing,
because they say
it does not involve them.
where to begin?
could it be the small pox
in the blankets?
the boarding schools
where punishment answered
the practice of ceremonies, or
the use of a home language,
destroying communication once at home?
before the Trail of Tears,
the Cherokee Nation had much land,
parts of West Virginia, Virginia,
Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina,
South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama,
reduced to what the Eastern Cherokee have today,
presently living on the Qualla Indian Reservation,
but their eyes still remain closed.
never mind this Trail of Tears,
900 grueling miles, forced from their homes,
dying from malnutrition, from pneumonia,
Chief John Ross lost his precious wife
because she put others before herself,
giving her blanket to a young, sick child,
then buried in an unmarked grave on route.
yes, 900 long miles to "Indian Territory,"
because of the greed for more land,
and the lust for gold rumored to be there,
the cost rumored to be 4,000 lives
of the approximately 13,000 forced to leave,
the result of the 1830 Indian Removal Act
signed by a president whose life was saved
by Chief Junaluska at the Battle of Horse Shoe.
but it did not stop there,
this only a beginning, one to make them disappear.
general carleton craftily concocted a plan.
move the Navajos and Apaches onto the same reservation,
make them become farmers, change their way of life,
make room for more settlers constantly moving west.
in Canyon de Chelly kit carson began this campaign.
the hogans were burning, the corn crops were burning,
-- their livestock were slaughtered
as this "experiment" continued; imprisonment followed,
much like the Trail of Tears before the removal.
then 8,000 men, women and children began the forced walk,
300 grueling miles to the Bosque Redondo on foot.
what happened if they couldn't keep up? they were shot.
death visited them as well at their destination,
some brought on by the cold, and the rest by starvation,
but there was one small difference here.
eventually the Navajo who survived
returned home after signing a treaty,
one of the many eventually to be broken,
something never experienced by the Cherokee.
and there were similarities as well,
both with a few who were able to escape.
yes, some escaped,
not to be found,
while their brothers and sisters
suffered these travesties,
a handful of Cherokee
hiding in the deepest forests
and in the most inaccessible places,
escaping the dragnet,
a small band of Kayenta Navajo
in a hidden canyon
behind the top of Navajo Mountain,
near fresh-water springs,
escaped the long walk.
still the doctrine of manifest destiny
changed the lives of many.
Sand Creek Massacre
should be called the MUTILATION,
all as a result of the evil ways of one man,
colonel chivington, who said
kill and scalp all Indians.
things were done that would horrify many
if only they knew or opened their eyes.
the lies were told still again,
general greenwood telling Black Kettle
as long as "old glory" flew at his camp,
no soldiers would shoot.
yet White Antelope was shot on his approach,
said to have sung his death song.
then there was this six year old girl,
who carried the white flag of truce,
but was soon gunned down,
and all forty women hiding in a hole
were murdered, disfigured, scalped,
one dead mother said to have
her unborn baby placed next to her
on the frozen ground.
all this on November 28, 1864,
most of the dead women and children,
one hundred and five of them,
and thirty-eight men.
most of the warriors gone,
off hunting buffalo
because of major anthony.
this was indiscriminate slaughter,
the mutilation following,
White Antelope's privates severed
to be used for a tobacco pouch by one soldier.
the privates of the women cut out
and that of little chidren,
some saved for exhibition on a stick.
all hopes for peace
held out for by Cheyenne and Arapaho Chiefs,
gone with this senseless slaughter.
but the eyes of those responsible
remain closed as do their ancestors.
they think -- but those involved
were nothing but indians.
still much more continued
because of this greed for more land,
and manifest destiny was alive and well.
what about Wounded Knee where many lives
were senselessly ended in the cold,
300 men, women, and children,
gunned down like animals?
like buffalo they were shot down,
in cold blood, one eyewitness said,
unarmed old men, women and children,
at Wounded Knee, December 29, 1890,
their blood dying the snow a deep red.
what was their crime? a ghost dance,
meant to stop the encroachment of the white man
what remains is the monument for all those
who perished on this day, a day
which is remembered every year
in deep sadness by all those Indigenous,
but a day where the eyes of others
remain closed, closed to this tragedy,
closed to the tragedies that continue.
these tragedies mean nothing
to those who say it doesn't concern them.
but still they allow these things
to continue, even in the twentieth century.
there was the IRA to force
different Native Nations
to adopt a constitution.
this was meant to force them
to further follow the ways
of the mainstream, those in control,
something that has caused more strife,
most of these tribal councils
comprised of members only concerned
about their own interests,
not those of the people they represent.
the greed for more green
is the driving force behind them.
still this monster, manifest destiny,
rose its ugly head once again,
forcing assimilation as always,
neglecting the Traditional's rights.
in the Second Long Walk
the danger still lurks in its many forms.
it is the BEAST who hungers,
always with the same end result in mind --
destroy all that is sacred.
it is found in the harassment
of the Dine'h at Big Mountain,
while it still tries to force relocation,
nothing more than colonialism, so the People
struggle to survive on their land,
while IT destroys all that they know,
building fences around sacred Sweat Lodges,
impounding livestock, their way of life,
stealing their precious water source,
destroying the Sun Dance grounds,
all of this done in the name of progress.
yes, the BEAST thinks IT will win this time,
thinking perhaps the center is now gone
with the passing of Grandmother Roberta.
a new attack is in the works,
more hardships to be visited
upon the People, the Traditionals --
those who value, who love this land.
heavily armed hopi rangers
step up their vigilence, their harassment,
the Elders constantly subject to surveillence
but they do nothing wrong,
just trying to live their lives in peace.
these hopi rangers working hard
to destroy the balance,
just another long arm of the htc.
THESE are the real terrorists,
violating basic human rights,
ignoring the Freedom of Religion Act,
seeking to destroy the innocent.
still many wear blinders,
those of the mainstream
only saying hateful things
that can make a child cry.
but these with the blinders
have no concern because they say
it is not their problem.
yet this problem would not exist
if they recognized these rights,
those of the First Peoples
who have more right to this land
than anyone or anything else.
no government anywhere has the right
to think it can surpass Creator's law.