Totem Talk

Working With The Animal Totems

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They made us many promises but kept only one

They promised that they would take our land, and did

They made us treaties but they never kept one

We signed treaties with them and kept them

We dealt in good faith and we dealt with honor

They dealt in deceit, with no intention of honor

We knew nothing of similar actions, or of such dishonor

We would never dream someone to have so much dishonor

If they had no plan, why would any government

Make a treaty with another people or government

Our word has always been our bond and honor

We would never dream of living with such dishonor

They took advantage of our honor by displaying dishonor

A government with such a dishonorable background

Can only deny it or they try to hide their dishonor,

How could they but, by driving us underground

If we did not live up to our word to your satisfaction

You would come on your horses and massacre whole tribes

It made no difference that it was you who first did not

Live up to the agreement to the satisfaction of us or to history

And so to hide your shame you decided for our good

To give us a new home, a home on such hostile land

That nothing would grow, not even the animals we had

Hunted for generations, providing us our food and clothing

We had no desire of killing in great numbers

Yet that was what we had to face, the savagery

Of the people that claimed that we were the savages

You killed us in unheard of great numbers

With your great weapons you would eliminate us

In first one scrimmage and then another scrimmage

If your heavily armed forces won against our families

It was called a great victory for what you called civilization

If we would win a battle against the whites we were

Called savages and the victory it was called a massacre

And, you would send yet more armed force to kill

Entire villages, the men. the women, and children young or old

So the only promise that they kept was the promise

That they would take our lands from us the first peoples

They have put us on reservations far, far away from view

So their philosophy is this out of sight out of mind

Douglas (Spirit Bear) Neely

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Replies to This Discussion

Powerful honesty in your words Douglas. Very raw and confronting.

History is sadly filled with such tragic domination.

Peace and Blessings

Sharon, thank you for your reply!
Spirit Bear

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