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Re: Cherokee Nation votes to expel 'freedmen'

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  • wintyreeve@aol.com
    Hello Friends, Lots to say on this topic! Its great hearing from everyone--and getting your thoughts. I went to see a Lakota medicine man speak on Saturday, he
    Message 1 of 19 , Mar 4, 2007
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      Hello Friends,

      Lots to say on this topic! Its great hearing
      from everyone--and getting your thoughts.

      I went to see a Lakota medicine man
      speak on Saturday, he is racially mixed.
      I think he said he was Scotch and Lakota.
      I listened to the medicine man speak,
      and was respectful ... but was rather
      offended by a remark he made.
      The medicine man was talking about
      how large some tribes are said,
      "Anyone can be a Cherokee these days."
      If that was true--then why don't we
      have a United States of Cherokee?
      And is it your business to judge someone else --
      to make the decision as an outsider, someone
      who has no idea what has happened in
      each person's individual life, their ancestry?

      My family is Cherokee--and I don't feel I have to
      "prove" it. I feel a much larger responsibility to
      teach my children of their heritage, and to teach
      them to remember all that has been lost.
      Family stories tell of a town in
      Alabama called "Bear Creek" where my
      grandmother, and her people came from.
      That town does not exist anymore--it is gone.
      The Cherokee were forced out of Alabama
      into reservations or hiding, it was even
      dangerous to speak the language.
      Those who married into African-American
      families and assimilated into their community
      often led very difficult, impoverished lives.
      They were once free and then became croppers
      --called the "n" word and worse--forced to
      give up the life they knew, and accept
      less than what a pig would be given ...

      To live in these kind of conditions takes a warrior spirit.

      To pass on knowledge, even the little that
      exists, is carrying on the fight--is raising a fist.

      Now is the time to embrace
      your heritage, whatever it is.

      To reclaim your stories and pass
      them on to the next generations.

      Fight for your ancestors to be remembered
      -- fight for your recognition.

      I think it's time to send the message:
      �We're not going away� ...

      We are a free and strong people, who already
      has been bestowed our heritage by the Creator.

      We don't need you to give that to us.

      We know who we are--and we
      will live and die by our true identity.

      We won't allow someone else to take from us, the basic
      right of our existence ... to recreate our stories, our lives.

      We will take up the fight, not against our brothers
      and sisters but against the racism, bigotry, hatred and
      intolerance that has diseased our people like a cancer.

      This is an old battle, we all bear its scars.

      Its a battle that can be won with understanding and
      compassion--with acceptance of our diverse history
      -- and with determination to fight like a warrior, to
      carry on the legacy our ancestors left, to grit our teeth
      and take the battle face to face with the ugliness and
      hatred that has penetrated even those among us.

      And to look that spirit of intolerance
      in the eye and be able to say:
      �I am Cherokee�.
      Or I am (your nationality).

      And then you live your truth, and keep our fight
      going strong--as long as it takes to overcome.

      We will not live in the struggle, we
      live in the proud spirit of our ancestors.

      We embrace each day as a way to honor our
      unique heritage, our traditions, our journeys.

      And even amid the struggle, we hold our head high--
      knowing that our freedom has been won by warriors like
      these, and if we continue to stand for who we are, and
      stand united, much greater will be bestowed to us.

      Blessings~ Lynn

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