Monday, August 16, 2010
"The honor of the people lies in the moccasin tracks of the woman. Walk the good road.... Be dutiful, respectful, gentle and modest my daughter... Be strong with the warm, strong heart of the earth. Be strong and sing the strength of the Great Powers within you, all around you." --Village Wise Man, SIOUX
The Elders say the Native American women will lead the healing among the tribes. We need to especially pray for our women, and ask the Creator to bless them and give them strength. Inside them are the powers of love and strength given by the Moon and the Earth. When everyone else gives up, it is the women who sings the songs of strength. She is the backbone of the people. So, to our women we say, sing your songs of strength; pray for your special powers; keep our people strong; be respectful, gentle and modest. Oh, Great One, bless our women. Make them strong today.
Famous Native Women
Rebecca Adamson (1950-) Native American Advocate
A member of the Cherokee nation, in 1980 Adamson founded the First Nations Development Institute. This group has established new standards of accountability regarding federal responsibility and reservation land reform and has an operating budget of about three million dollars. Adamson has aided indigenous peoples in Australia and Africa also and has received many awards for mobilizing and unifying people to solve common problems.
Ada Deer (1935-) American Indian and Civil Rights Activist
Deer was the first member of the Menominee tribe of Wisconsin to graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and earned an MS in Social Work from Columbia. Deer led her tribe in gaining passage of the Menominee Restoration Act, which restored their land and treaty rights as American Indians. At the national level, Deer became Deputy of Indian Affairs and is now the Director of the American Indian Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
La Donna Harris (1931-) Indian Rights and Civil Activist
Harris, member of the Comanche tribe, has served since 1970 as president of Americans for Indian Opportunity (AIO), a multi-tribal organization devoted to improving life for American Indians. She has served on the National Rural Housing Conference and the National Association of Mental Health. Harris has expanded the AIO to include the "American Indian Ambassadors" program, which provides one-year fellowships for Native American students.
Winona LaDuke (b.1960) Author and Environmentalist
Winona LaDuke has worked for nearly three decades on the land issues of the White Earth Reservation in Minnesota including litigation over land rights in the 1980's. She currently serves as the Director of Honor the Earth and Founding Director of White Earth Land Recovery Project.
Queen Lili'uokalani (1838–1917) Monarch
The last reigning monarch of Hawaii, Lili'uokalani inherited a difficult situation in 1891. Foreigners forced through a new constitution which took away voting rights from most Hawaiians. A revolution, encouraged by the American government, forced Lili'uokalani to abdicate in 1893 and in 1889, the Hawaiian Islands were annexed by the United States. Among her legacies are over 200 songs she composed, including the very popular Aloha Oe.
Belva Lockwood (1830-1917) Lawyer, Women's Rights Activist
Lockwood graduated from the National University Law School in Washington, D.C. in 1873. In 1879, she was the first woman admitted to practice before the Supreme Court where, in 1900, she argued and won $5 million for the Eastern Cherokee Indians. She ran for president in 1884 and 1888 as the National Equal Rights Party candidate. Lockwood joined the Universal Peace Union, and in 1889 was a delegate to the International Peace Congress.
Wilma Mankiller (1945-) American Indian, Civil Rights Activist
Mankiller lived in San Francisco in 1969 when she and friends from the Indian Center successfully occupied Alcatraz and brought national attention to the needs of Indians. She returned to Oklahoma and became deputy chief of the Cherokee Nation in 1983. She was elected principal chief of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma in 1985, the first woman to be elected to this position. Mankiller served for 10 years and in 1991, she won with 82% of the vote.
Maria Montoya Martinez (1887–1980) Artist, Potter
Martinez lived in the small, ancient Tewa Indian village of San Ildefonso, New Mexico, where she learned the traditional Pueblo way of making coiled pottery from her aunt, Tia Nicolasa. She and her husband rediscovered the ancient techniques of firing polychrome and black-on-black pottery. These fine designs are highly praised today, and this blend of the old and new has helped produce economic self-sufficiency for the Indian village.
Sacajawea (1784-1812) Frontier Guide
Sacajawea was a Shoshone woman sold to a fur trader, Charbonneau, when she was fourteen. Lewis and Clark hired Charbonneau as an interpreter; Sacajawea was a translator and guide. She traveled with her two-month old baby nicknamed "Pomp." She saved the expedition when she met her long-lost brother, a Shoshone, who prevented conflicts with unfriendly tribes. Lewis named a "handsome river" in Montana for Sacajawea, this trusted interpreter.
Buffy Sainte-Marie ( 1941-) Singer
A Cree Indian, Sainte-Marie has supported Native American rights through her songs. Her intense political songs in the folk style of the 1960’s, like Universal Soldier and Now That the Buffalo's Gone, established her solid reputation as a songwriter and vocalist. Her first album debuted in 1964, and her latest in 1991. Sainte-Marie has written over 300 songs which have been recorded by her and more than 100 artists in seven languages.
Susette La Flesche Tibbles (1854- 1903) Indian Rights Advocate, Author
Tibbles taught at an Indian school after being educated in the East. In 1887, her Indian tribe, Ponca, was forcibly removed from their land on the Dakota-Nebraska border. Tibbles lectured in the East and made many converts to the cause of Indian rights, including Helen Hunt Jackson. In addition to writing Indian stories, in 1881 Tibbles addressed the Association for the Advancement of Women on "The Position, Occupation and Culture of Indian Women."
Sarah Winnemucca (1844-1891) Indian Rights Activist
Winnemucca, a Paiute Indian, was a liaison between the Paiutes in Nevada and the army in the 1870s. After the Bannock Uprising in 1878, Winnemucca lectured to publicize the injustices suffered by the Paiutes. She wrote a book, Life Among the Paiutes: Their Wrongs and Claims, which won wide popular support. She took thousands of signatures on her petition to Congress that passed a law giving land grants to the Paiutes, but the Secretary of the Interior ignored its provisions.
border of flowers
"It is a paradox in the contemporary world that in our desire for peace we must willingly give ourselves to struggle." --Linda Hogan, CHICKASAW
The Grandfathers have taught us about sacrifice. We have been taught to pray for the people in a pitiful way. Struggle and conflict is neither good nor bad, it just is. Everything that grows experiences conflict. When the deer is born it is through conflict. When the seed first grows, it is through conflict. Conflict precedes clarity. Everything has the seasons of growth. Recognize - acknowledge - forgive and change. All of these things are done through conflict.
"Great Spirit, give me the courage today to see that struggle and conflict are here to teach me lessons that are a gift from you."