President’s Day and The Founding Fathers
George Washington, born February 22, 1732, was the first president of the United States. He is given the distinction of being one of the ‘Founding Fathers’ of the United States along with Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry, John Hancock, Thomas Paine, Roger Sherman, John Jay, James Wilson, and Governeur Morris.
Abraham Lincoln, born February 12, 1809, was the 16th president of the United States and is best recognized for his part in the emancipation of the Africans that were enslaved in the United States. Lincoln was the Civil War president and his noted ‘Gettysburg Address’ went down in history amongst the most important speeches ever made in the United States.
Both of these United States presidents were from the ‘upper South’, Virginia and Kentucky respectively. These locations gave them a view of both the North and the South and most likely shaped their visions of what the United States could achieve politically, economically, agriculturally, and religiously.
As we reflect on the formation of the desperate states that became a world power, let us not forget the original founding fathers, which were Native Americans. They consisted of Chief Joseph, Sitting Bull, Geronimo, and Red Cloud. Remember to read their stories and accomplishments and take pride in how they worked to change history and preserve the Native Americans and indeed all Americans.
Founding Fathers, Chief Joseph, Sitting Bull, Geronimo, Red Cloud
George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln,
art by David C. Behrens
Article by Cherokee Cloud
Written: February 18, 2007
A Brand Plucked from the Fire
After growing up John Wesley and his brother, Charles, came from England to the United States after the death of his father. Charles was made the secretary of Indian Affairs, and John was appointed a missionary.
John’s missionary endeavors were not successful because he was distracted from his efforts and after two years he returned to England. His return to England was providential as he began to envision a method of religion that became Methodism. His plan to be a missionary to the Indians was an initial step to his place in history as the father of the Methodist religion.
Written by Cherokee Cloud
Posted February 12, 2007
John Eliot, who was considered an “Apostle to the Native American”. He pastured the church in Roxbury for 58 years, from 1632 to his death in 1690. He and two other pastors translated the Psalms from Hebrew into English poetry for use in their churches and printed The Bay Psalm Book in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1640. This was the first book ever published in North America. He also translated the Bible into the Algonquin language.
Apostle to the Native Americans
John Eliot felt a Christian call to work with the American Indians. He had a vision that they were calling him to help them by sharing the gospel with them. Through his interest in Indian language and customs, he began to preach to the Indians in the state of Massachusetts.
The Massachusetts state logo contains a picture of an Indian. The logo initially contained an inscription stating, “Come Help Us” indicating the Indians was requesting help. This inscription was taken from a Holy Bible passage found in Acts 16:9. This inscription recorded the belief that the Natives of Massachusetts were in need of help and this help in John Eliot’s estimation was the help provided by knowledge of the Holy Bible. The inscription was later removed from the Massachusetts logo.
John Eliot had other notable accomplishments. He started the well-known and academically stringent school, Roxbury Latin. Founded in 1645 it has educated many students through the willingness of John Eliot to envision and bring to reality a school.
Several churches in Massachusetts are named after John Eliot. In other words these churches include the name Eliot in their church name. John Eliot and his work with the American Indians in Massachusetts to form the “Praying Indians” live on today.
Article by Cherokee Cloud
Article posted January 29, 2007
To qualify for recognition and assistance from the U.S. federal government or for tribal money and services, Native Americans have not only to belong to a recognized tribal entity but also to qualify as members of that entity. This has taken a number of different forms as each tribal government makes its own rules while the federal government has separate standards in some areas as well. In many cases, this is based on the percentage of Native American blood, or the "blood quanta".
Celebrating Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
His sacrifice allowed everyone that has ever been denied justice to be given access and opportunity for a better life. What makes a person give himself to a cause? What keeps fear abated in order to move forward to take on challenges that are insurmountable?
The answer to both of these questions is belief in a cause that is righteous and thus any sacrifice would be rewarded and the object of the cause achieved. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a man of Christian belief. He knew that his life must be given that others might survive and progress.
His cause was the cause of all people. His victory was a victory of all people. His national holiday a celebration of all people as they acknowledge that without his sacrifice the country would be a hypocritical example of one nation under God and freedom for all.
Let’s reflect on Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and see what we can do to keep freedom for all a right and not a privilege!
Written by CherokeeCloud
Posted January 14, 2007
The Tsunami as felt throughout the Indian Ocean killed over 275,000 people with tens of thousands still missing. Was this enormous earthquake “without warning”?
If it was without warning how did the island indigenous peoples and animals escape injury, death, and destruction. What special human radar did they have to detect such a calamity and move to higher ground shelter?
There is a term called, “a posteriori”. This term refers to the observation of creation and its organized pattern giving witness to the existence of God. This term’s essence is then transferable to the indigenous people’s observation of creation leading to fore-knowledge of an event that is recognized as beyond human control.
It is said that Natives are closer to nature and thus notice the heartbeat of the earth, the seasons, the movement of earth’s creatures (animals, birds, fish, and insects) and gain an understanding of all life in its many forms of existence.
As the Earth groaned under the sea, the heart beat of the Earth exploding was diagnosed and the prognosis deemed fatal. Thus, the indigenous people and animals left at the appointed time escaping the disaster.
Is anything “without warning” or are we just not paying attention?
Written by CherokeeCloud
Posted December 29, 2006
Native Americans and Christmas
It was within the encounters with the Europeans that the method of celebrating Christmas was accepted by Native Americans. Christmas provides hope for all those that are oppressed. It provides an opportunity to believe is someone greater than you. Native Americans seek both truth and faith and have always been people of belief in the physical and the spiritual. So, for that reason the belief in a savior’s birth was not difficult to grasp and accept.
During this Christmas season a focus on hope is important with gift giving a natural extension of that hope. When a Native looks to a brighter tomorrow, he knows that as he gives to others hope confirms that others will give unto him. In the Cherokee tradition when a gift is received it must be placed on a table in their home and others that enter into their house can take that gift if they so desire. It is in this tradition that possessions are accepted as temporary and only as important as they meet the needs of others.
Written by Cherokee Cloud
Posted December 26, 2006
Black Red Strength
I look in the mirror and see two peoples
I look in the mirror and see two nations
I look in the mirror and see two prides of life
I look in the mirror and see two arms outstretched
I look in the mirror and see two worlds embraced
I look in the mirror and see two cultures
I look in the mirror and see strength
What do you see?
My Child, The color of your people is earthtone
various shades of red clay
God thought it only natural
That's why he made you that way
The Creator was your father
Mother Earth gave you birth
Be proud of your skin color
It's the skin of the earth
Some people may chastise you
and make you think it's bad to be black
Might be that they're wishing?
they had your earthtone colors they lack?
For what greater blessing can there be?
Than what the Creator bestowed on us?
Then the beautiful Earthtone colors
When he created us from the dust
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