[Originally posted in April of 2006, I find that it is just as fitting today especially in light of Congresses recent apology for slavery. I have many Native American friends and this was written originally because of a posting in one of our groups. The posting spoke of how difficult it is to move forward when the sins of the past have never been addressed. Of course, for many Native Americans those sins continue today. That is why I had worked over the past few years to bring awareness. I felt it was in some small way, and I mean very small considering what has been, done to try to help. I give many thanks to my Tsalagi brother and sister, Bear Warrior and Little Wren, who “adopted” me and taught me much. So many others have opened their hearts to me and helped me to understand so that I could help others to understand. Many thanks to Richard Runs Amongst Buffalo, Hillaire, Nancy Little Shield, and so many, many others. I also thank those teaches who brought me to a shamans path to learn and grow. I may never become a true shaman and bring healing to others, but it has helped me to reconnect to the earth and to all beings. Many thanks to Sandra Ingerman for taking the time to have coffee with me and share with me some insights.
My heart to your heart, one heart, one spirit
Unega Waya (White Wolf) – June 2009]
The more I read lately, the more I question that Epitaph that the US has placed on itself. The earliest I started to question that was when I became aware of the civil rights movement. Of course, because I was young, sheltered, and white, I was unaware until there was a walkout by Black students at my high school. I had no idea what it was about. I was under the impression we were all equal in this country. That we all were treated the same. How wrong I was. It was further brought home while I was in the service and actually accused of being a racist, though I was giving equal treatment to all. I was slammed with the accusation that I owed this person because of what “my people” did to his. Um, last I checked, a lot of Irish immigrants came over as indentured servants, which while not the same as slavery, was darn close. Fortunately, I had some friends who were Black that stood up for me. With that, and being stationed in the South, I learned that we hadn’t gone far from those days in the 60’s. I became a little more sensitive to what Blacks had to endure and came to understand the distrust and hatred because of the color of my skin. And let me tell you, this Irish white skin really stands out. Now I won’t claim to understand the Black experience in America, but I acknowledge what has transpired in this country and in some areas still is. Our sister, Way of the Spirit, posted a blog where she said that we cannot just move on as some whould have us do, but that we need to acknowledge and even apologize for any part our ancestors may have had a role in. So with that wisdom in mind, I offer my apologies to the Black community for any role my ancestors may have had, or any disrespect I may have shown due to my own ignorance.
Now, I might have stopped here just five years ago, but my eyes have been opened with still more. I have read of the things done to the the Native Americans in this country. My heart cries for those lost on the Trail of Tears, Wounded Knee, both past and modern times, and the many other attrocities put upon the indiginous peoples of Turtle Island. I have seen the original Laramie Treaty reservation set aside for the Lakota compared with what they have left today as more and more was whittled away. I have read about the sacred sites that were being desecrated either through development or recreational use. I have seen how every power of this country was brought to bear to break the will of the Native peoples. How deceit and treachery were used to take more and more land. I have read of the forced assimilation through religion, Indian schools where the children could be whipped for speaking their native tongues. Yes, I was called by the Creator to the Red Road. I was asked to walk this walk which puts me alone and in between two worlds. I understand my Native American brothers not trusting me and unwilling to welcome me to their fire. I understand the distrust and hatred for my white skin. It sickens me to read some of the stories and accounts of events happening even to this day. The government selling out to the concerns of the Peabody Energy Company over Hopi lands. To my Native brothers and sisters, I offer my apologies for any role my ancestors may have had, or any disrespect I may have shown due to my own ignorance.
Recently, I was made aware of Hawaii’s move for independence. I found that the native peoples of Hawaii were’nt allowed to vote for statehood. This was forced on them. I learned that like the laws put in place to put a stop to the Ghost Dance, the Hawaains had laws put in place to stop the hula. Hawaii had its own monarchy which was supplanted by the conquerors. And of course, as has happened in the past, those who were in charge, rewrote history to make them look favorable. Hawaii is seeking its independence. It is looking to the world courts to right the wrong done to them. Stay tuned.
To my brothers and sisters of the islands, I offer my apologies for any role my ancestors may have had, or any disrespect I may have shown due to my own ignorance.
I also have come to know about issues surrounding the Marshall Islands and nuclear tests that were done there. It appears that the US is trying to walk away from its responsibilities there also, as they have been doing on Turtle Island to our Native American brothers and sisters. More broken promises. People exposed, dying of cancer, and the US feels that they have done enough. To the people of the Marshall Islands and surrounding areas exposed during the nuclear testing, I offer my apogies for any role my ancestors may have had, or any disrespect I may have shown due to my own ignorance.
I am sure that the more I open Pandora’s box, the more I will question those words, The Greatest Nation. To all those peoples who I have not yet uncovered the wrongs done to them, I offer my apologies for any role my ancestors may have had, or any disrespect I may have shown due to my own ignorance.
Lastly to Earth Mother, Sky Father, and all the spirits, I wish to offer my apologies for any role I or my ancestors have had in the fouling of the air, the polluting of the streams, the litter, the hatred between peoples.
Creator, please hear my prayer. I offer my apologies to all whom I or my ancestors have caused offense to. I open my heart to all peoples so that I may walk in beauty and work towards calling your children home to you. May your peace and love glow in my heart to serve as a beacon.