Pueblo, CO March 1978 I was really crashed-out inside my makeshift tent made from my orange tarp and there was barely any light, yet, in the morning when I heard that familiar voice calling my name. At about the third call, I was awakening more when that familiar voice was my mom saying, “For what purpose are you still asleep? Rise immediately because you have visitors.” At least she wasn’t calling and telling me that the sheep are already out and that I should quickly go after them. I know my mom was glad to see me and instead of the great white people greeting hug, she simply gave me a soft, loving handshake. We walked together down the hill to the main camp area and there, I greeted our medicine man of Big Mountain who had prepared offerings for me before I left to join the Walk. It was also nice to see other relations from the land. I never asked my mom how she found my camp because those security guys always know what’s going on but I’m glad they guided her up to my camp.
As the March spring morning sun was rising, the relatives had a fire and bread doe going and someone else what preparing some mutton to grill. It was one great Indian breakfast I had missed. They had much questions about how the Walk was going and of course, I had so many stories to tell. After we all got caught, I went to where the medicine man was tooling about among the bushes and trees. He was a very joyful person and smiled a lot, plus he liked to joke around and laugh. He informed me that we should do another prayer chant ceremony to make an appreciation for the offering made to the sacred Colorado River back in Fruita, and to pray for the Walk to be successfully. Then I asked him if our Dineh ways would allow us to make a staff and carry that special one for this Walk. He explained why that would be appropriate enough and he also thought that this may be the only Dineh staff of its kind. We found a nice healthy juniper tree that had a straight branch going out towards the east direction. The ceremony was held which included the making of a special staff as the medicine man gave specific instructions as to how to handling it and care for it.
-©Sheep Dog Nation Rocks, 2008
John Trudell, AIM Spokesperson (His talk excerpts at the Pueblo LW78 Rally.):
“We are the indigenous peoples of the western Hemisphere. For a 100,000 years, we were the indigenous people, and 500 years ago some white men came here and called us, Indians. And they called us: heathens and savages, they called us hostiles and renegades, they called us ‘Red Niggers,’ communist, but they have never ever called us, The People.
“We don’t understand power anymore. The government comes in and say: ‘we have Congress, we have money, we have guns, we have laws, we have courtrooms, we have prisons, and therefore we have power!’ That is a lie! These are things that are tools for oppression. These are artificial forms of power. But because (they) take us when we are young and they take us down that artificial road. We need to take the time to understand natural power. The peoples have the potential to have natural power. And there is no government in existence on this earth, that can stop natural power. They can not stop a hurricane. That is natural power. They can not stop a tornado. That is natural power. They can not stop a blizzard. That is natural power. And so, the peoples have the potential for that natural power. But (they) want to lead us down that artificial road so that we will not recognize, as a people, our potentials for natural power.”
John Redhouse, Dineh Executive Director of National Indian Youth Council (His talk excerpts at the Pueblo LW78 Rally.):
“The earth and the peoples are of one. We all come from a common Mother Earth. We are of her and we are from her. The land and the peoples are of one, and to destroy the land is to also destroy the peoples. We have a very special and unique physical and spiritual relationship with the land and with the earth. It is the basis for our survival and our existence as a people –as a tribe, as tribe --as a people. So, we are protecting a physical and spiritual basis for our existence and for our survival as a People. That is what’s at stake and that’s what is endangered. And again, we have what the white man wants and again, we are in the way. Once again we are in the way of progress in this country.
“I am from the southwest. The southwest I believe is going to be next battle ground over which the issues of sovereignty, treaty, land, water, and natural resources were going to be fought over. One of the main reasons with this so-called ‘white backlash’ is because we have what the white man wants. We have always had what the white man wants. History shows that our people lost their lands, fought for their lands, and many died for that and so, the white dominant society has always wanted the natural resources that lie under our lands.”
AHO! –Sheep Dog Nation, 2008