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"The Spirit of the West."
Mural at the Sate House in South Dakota

From a Friend, Mark Mathison: "I thought you might find this mural (and the story that goes with it) interesting. I saw it myself in 1988 when I was doing some remodeling in the South Dakota Governor's office. Who really were the savages?"

Click to read more about the Mural

FIRST NATION PEOPLES

IN MEMORY OF THE SOULS OF THE COUNTLESS MILLIONS OF FIRST NATIONS PEOPLES THAT WERE THE VICTIMS OF EUROPEAN TERRORISM

Click the link to read a newspaper column about why the truth about barbarism must be taught In schools http://www.danielnpaul.com/Col/2005/TruthAboutBarbarismMustBeTaught.html  

The Following Memorial was written by an unknown author

Recently this country marked the second anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. I keep hearing that this was the worst terrorist attack to happen in this country, but while my heart goes out to the dead, their families and those who are forever scared by these events, there have been millions of people murdered in this country by terrorists.

It would be impossible for me to list all of the acts of terror our People have faced, but I want to mention a few of them because our People are also worthy of remembrance.

You won't find many monuments to these, the unquiet dead. But their bones and blood make up the soil where your shopping centers and highways now stand. Where is their memorial? It is in the hearts of those who remember.

Today I remember: The thousands of Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, Seminole & Chickasaw People who suffered untold agony during the forced removal from their homelands in the 1830's. Innocent men, women and little children perished in concentration camps or froze and starved to death on the Trail Where They Cried.

The 90 women and children who died in the Bear River Massacre in southeastern Idaho.

The 200 Cheyenne men, women and children who were slain at Sand Creek in eastern Colorado by the US Cavalry led by Col John Chivington, a Methodist minister who ordered his men to "Kill and scalp all, big and little; nits make lice."

The 200 murdered Blackfeet women and children who died at Maries River in northern Montana and the other 140 People who were left to freeze to death in the January cold.

The 103 Cheyenne women and children who were butchered on the Washita River in western Oklahoma.

The 200 to 300 Sioux who were slaughtered under a flag of truce at Wounded Knee, South Dakota.

The 500 Sauk and Fox Indians led by Black Hawk who were massacred by militia forces while trying to negotiate a surrender.

The Yuki's and other tribes of Indians in California whose populations declined from 11,000 to less than 1000 because white men wanted the land to search for gold. Organized Indian hunts were held on Sundays and our People were killed for sport.

The little children who were kidnapped from their homes and forced to attend BIA schools. Many of them died alone and lie in unmarked graves.

From the small pox, measles, typhoid, cholera, diphtheria, TB, and VD epidemics brought to us by the white invaders to the continued genocide still being waged against us, we know about terrorism.

And I remember.

All My Relations

Ulali

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To our elders who teach us of our Creator and our past so that we may preserve Mother Earth for ancestors yet to come. We are the land. This is dedicated to our relations before us thousands of years ago and the 10 million who were exterminated across the Western hemisphere in the first 400 years starting in 1492. To those who kept their homeland and the Nations extinct due to mass slaughter, slavery, deportation and diseases unknown to them and to the ones who are subjected to the same treatment today. To the ones who survived relocation and the ones who died along the way. To those who carried on the traditions and lived strong among their people.

To those who left their communities by force or by choice and for generations who no longer know who they are. To those who search and never find. To those who turn away the so called "unaccepted."

To those who bring us together and those living outside keeping in touch....the voice of many. To those who make it back to live and fight the struggles of their people.

To those who give up and to those who do not care. To those who abuse themselves or others and to those who revive again.

To those who are physically, mentally, or spiritually incapable by accident or by birth.

To those who see strength in our spirit and ways of life. And those who exploit it... even our own. To those who fall for the lies and join the dividing lines that keep us fighting among each other.

To the outsiders who step in, good or bad and those who don't know better.

To the leaders and prisoners of war, politics, crime, race and religion...innocent or guilty...

To the young, the old, the living and the dead. To our brothers and sisters and all living things across Mother Earth and her beauty we've destroyed and denied the honor the Creator has given each individual...The Truth lies in our hearts.

All My Relations

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Notes from Indian Country
By Tim Giago (Nanwica Kciji)
2003 Lakota Media, Inc.
February 24, 2003

Indians have Lived with Terrorism for 500 Years

There is a terrible fear sweeping across America. Since 9/11 the American people have had to face their own vulnerability.

The threat of terrorism hangs in the air. Sudden death can strike anywhere at anytime. There is no timetable nor is there a country America can strike in the event of another horrible attack by the terrorists.

After 9/11 the question was asked; why do they hate us? Perhaps that question should be rephrased to ask, "What have we done to them to make them hate us?"

America is now experiencing the fear American Indians have felt for more than 500 years. Our ancestors never knew what act of violence or terror would befall them from the American invaders. But death did come. It came in the form of biological warfare when small pox tainted blankets were distributed to the unsuspecting victims.

It came to them from the muzzles of guns that did not distinguish between warriors, women, elders or children. It came to them in the ruthless name of Manifest Destiny, the American edict that proclaimed God as the purveyor of expansion Westward.

Indian people were often slaughtered like animals often under a flag of truce and often while waving the American flag in pitiful efforts to convince their killers that they were not bad people.

At Wounded Knee in 1890, a slaughter took place that the white man often called the last great battle between Indians and the United States Army. It was not a battle. It was the last heinous action against innocent men, women and children. Their bodies were strewn across the valley known as Wounded Knee under the barrage set down by the Seventh Cavalry.

They died not knowing why. They died in fear. They died in the frozen snow of that bitterly cold December day while fleeing to find safe harbor amongst the Oglala Lakota. These Lakota experienced terrorism heaped upon them by a government that did not consider them to be human beings.

When human beings can be publicly acknowledged as less than human, their deaths become meaningless. By portraying all Indians as murdering savages, rapists, kidnappers and worse, the national media of the day laid the groundwork for Wounded Knee. The media laid the groundwork for the expansion West that would claim thousands of lives. Horace Greeley wrote, "Go West, Young Man, Go West."

And they did. By the thousands they came seeking land, gold and all of the natural resources that were out there for the taking. The only thing standing in their way was the Indian people. It was their land and it was their natural resources.

Just as the Christian Crusaders believed it was their Manifest Destiny to conquer and kill those Arabs they considered as sub-humans and heathens, so did the American Army duplicate their horrible actions. The difference is the Arabs defeated the Crusading invaders.

Oftentimes Missionaries were sent out to soften up the resistance of the Indians by converting them to Christianity. Many of the Indians slaughtered in the massacres that followed were converted Christians. And right behind the missionaries followed the treaty makers. They used the treaties as temporary documents of appeasement. A treaty would gain them a firm foothold on Indian land and more control over the people. The treaties were quickly broken and the United States then took total control over the land and the people. The people were herded on to small reservations and treated like caged animals.

The Indian people fought back as best they could, but having been portrayed as savages without human thought or feelings, they were slaughtered by the thousands. Mercenaries such as the infamous African American Buffalo Soldiers were even used to kill, rape and pillage.

Just as many books and later movies about Arabs portrayed them as less than human, so to do the media treat the American Indian.

The fear and anxiety felt by the Indian people did not end at Wounded Knee. In many ways that was just the beginning. For the Lakota, Arapaho and Cheyenne it started in 1876.

When the warriors of the Great Sioux Nation and their allies stood up against George Armstrong Custer at the Battle of the Greasy Grass, they were punished by having their beloved He' Sapa (Black Hills) confiscated from them without compensation. In 1981 a pitiful monetary award was made to the people of the Great Sioux Nation. Compared to the billions of dollars in timber and gold that had been extracted from the He' Sapa, the award was pathetic.

And in this year of 2003, the Sioux people, amongst the poorest people on this planet, have refused to accept this token payment for their Sacred He' Sapa. And guess what; America just doesn't give a damn. It like, "Hey, we offered them the money and therefore it's settled." It is a long way from settled and maybe someday someone in a position of power will come along who will recognize this fact. And maybe someday, America may actually recognize that it spread a path of fear and terror amongst the Indian people that is still not resolved.

With each passing day, there is still fear and anxiety in Indian country. We never know when or if the United States will take away what little we have remaining. Our language, our culture, our traditions, and our spirituality have all been under constant attack for 500 years.

The American Indian knows what it is to live in the shadow of terrorism. And now the rest of America is learning.

(Tim Giago, an Oglala Lakota, is editor and publisher of the weekly newspaper Lakota Journal. He is the founder and first president of the Native American Journalists Association. He can be reached at or P.O. Box 3080, Rapid City, SD, 57709)

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Denver, Colorado Territory, 1864

'Brothers and sisters of Colorado, our Territory sits poised, just on the cusp of Statehood, but there can be no Statehood without order. ...and there will be no order as long as a single savage is allowed to occupy one sacred inch of our precious soil!

All right, now there is hope... Governor Evans has authorized me to muster a new regiment for our self-defense... Now, how many of you will join me in this righteous enterprise?

Colonel John Chivington (at a funeral rally)

Click to read American Indian Genocide

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