“It made me cry. A powerful moment. It was just a promise kept. I still get chills thinking about it.” said Jason Salsman following a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding Indigenous Treaty Rights. New York Times
“Where ever you are in the Americas, you are on Indian Land.” wrote Sakiestewa-Gilbert (Hopi) in his blog, Beyond The Mesas. I would like to play forward this truth and U.S. history that was upheld by the highest Court of “the Land”.
Look. What do you see – cars, houses, businesses, churches, casinos, skyscrapers, freeways and people of all races, coming and going.
Little reminds us that there were those who lived here before us since time immemorial.
Long ago, my ancestors, The People, walked this land, lived and built a civilization on the Colorado Plateau.
How do I know this? I know, because I see the petroglyphs, pictographs and ancestral sites that remind me of the long forgotten memory of The Land.
Here, among the Hopi mesas, springs, cottonwood trees and butterflies, the ancestors lived a life that gave them meaning and purpose.
When something special in our life is destroyed or taken away, we mourn the loss. Loss may be when we neglect or forget a special person, place or thing. It can return to us as a remembering. A re-membering of the memories.
This Land has a memory. Are you willing to listen to what the Land is saying to us now?
Many of you were born here on this sacred land and will pass on here. Some of you came from other places and now have a life here. Some of you are briefly stopping off here and will move on to other lands.
This place or space is a Shelter, a safe place to raise a family, to grow crops, to build a community, and to celebrate a spiritual center. The land is sacred. You, make it sacred with your memories.
Listen. It has been a mere blink of an eye that this continent was settled. As you walk this land you find an arrowhead, a pottery sherd, a rock cairn, a pictograph that tells you, Someone was here before you.
Where did they live. What did they eat. How did they travel. What did they fear. What dangers did they face. Who was this person who left this piece of the past.
Look. As you walk, you are not alone. You are moving with your twin brother or sister. You clearly see that this is so. Memories at your feet, in front of you, behind you.
As you walk, you drink in the fresh, cool air, the spring water, the songs of the bird people, see the tracks of the animal people, the shooting stars and maybe, hear absolute silence.
This is Harmony. Like an ancient yucca rope, the harmonization of The People to The Land are parallel narratives to be braided together for a continuous pathway, creating special memories on the land.
Whatever hat you wear today, we are only visitors to this special place. How can you do your part in the remembering. To preserve and protect the memory of The Land. To create new memories for your children, grandchildren and future generations.
Our Earth Mother.
SHE is under Our Watch now.
You are Her Caretaker.