Voices From the Past

“That those tribes cannot exist surrounded by our settlements and in continual contact with our citizens is certain. They have neither the intelligence, the industry, the moral habits, nor the desire of improvement, which are essential to any favorable change in their condition.”

Andrew Jackson, 7th President of the United States

May 28, 1830: 7th President of the United States, Andrew Jackson Signed the Indian Removal Act, which narrowly passed the House of Representatives before going to his desk for signature.

The Indian tribes were offered a paltry sum of money for their land, some opted to take it, while others chose to fight. In 1835 the treaty of “New Echota” was negotiated by peaceful, self-appointed, Cherokee negotiators who sat down with the government and gave up all their land east of the Mississippi, were paid five million dollars compensation for lost property and agreed to relocation.

Many Cherokees felt betrayed because the negotiators did not represent the entire tribe. John Ross addressed the senate and told them” We are not parties to the covenants; it has not received the sanctions of our people.” Over 15,000 Cherokee signed Ross’ petition but congress approved the treaty over their objections.

In 1836 the United States government under Jackson’ direction, began, what is known to all Native Americans as “The Trail of Tears.”

Ancestral Indian lands west of the Mississippi River had been designated 'Indian Territory'. Forced relocations were carried out by government authorities and military, after the passage of the Indian Removal Act.

It’s safe to say that Andrew Jackson hated Indians and vowed to remove them from the ancestral lands enjoyed and called home, for centuries, and denigrate them into obscurity.

The Creeks were driven from their lands. 3500 of 15000 Creeks did not survive. The Cherokee were divided by the government so land hungry politicians and speculators, could get their claws on more Indian territory.

The Trail of Tears brought shamanism to the forefront. Natives of many tribes started taking up a mystical “Death Dance” from which arose the Skinwalkers, more commonly known as “Shape Shifters.”

“Skinwalker” has been translated from the Navajo Yee naaldlooshii. This literally means “by means of it, it goes on all fours” — and the Yee naaldlooshii is merely one of many varieties of Skinwalkers, called ‘ánti’jhnii.

The Navajo believe Skinwalkers were once benevolent traditional healers who achieved the highest level of priesthood but chose to use their power to inflict pain. The Pueblo people, Apache, and Hopi also have their own legends involving the Skinwalker. Skinwalkers are described as being mostly animalistic physically, even when they are in human form. They are near impossible to kill except with a bullet or knife dipped in white ash.

The war in Afghanistan droned into its eighteenth year with no end in sight, a war waged against foreign militants, Taliban extremists, the same terrorists that attacked our country on September 11th, killing thousands of Americans. It was no less “a day that will live in infamy,” as the sneak attack by Japan on Pearl Harbor, initiating the Second World War.

The Second World War saw many proud, native American’s, enter the fray, the Code Talkers in the Pacific Theatre, even Alaskan Natives living along a coastal chain of strategic islands, not yet part of the United States.

Another kind of war captured the imagination of rising radicals within United States, a war on our government, police, and the American way of life. Sign carrying, riotous anarchists, much like the protestors, known as “hippies,” during the Vietnam War. They burned buildings to the ground, stealing, and looting, creating havoc and disunity in our once imperfect, but peaceful, nation.

Patriotic militias from across the fifty states arose; it had the potential for a bloody outcome, a second Civil War, brother against brother, the end of the new America as they knew it… and patriots bent on restoring it to its former greatness.

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