Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Indigenous Influences

On a windswept hill, overlooking the mighty waters of the Missouri River, stone sentinels watch the passage of time. A closer inspection shows the grave site and monument to Sitting Bull, a Lakota Chief whose life took a circuitous path in regards to his relationship with the white man. Read about this enigma of a man and his complex history here.

Visitors have left an interesting assortment of tokens at the base of his monument . . .

Nearby, a obelisk rises high above the land as a tribute to another Native American, one who became an instrumental part of the Lewis and Clark expedition. On November 4, 1804. Sakakawea and her child joined with the explorers on their westward journey. The sight of a squaw with her child traveling with the white men showed them as a peaceful expedition and helped ease their passage through the western territories. At times, Sakakawea also pointed the way as she recognized the lands of her people from her past.

When he commissioned the Lewis and Clark expedition, President Jefferson was keenly aware of civilizations already existing in the far reaches of the western lands. He charged Lewis with annotating the location, size, and disposition of tribal peoples and establishing peaceful relations with the Indian tribes they encountered. America's history with our indigenous tribes has been filled with errors over the centuries. High up in North Dakota now, as we wake up during this phase of the rolling rally, we turn on the radio, hear the sound waves of authentic tribal music, and are reminded deep roots of this land's past inhabitants and their connection to the present.

1 comment:

Happy Trails said...

You are on a beautiful journey! Thank you for sharing!