December 7th, 2013 | Published in Education |
Iconic Nelson Mandela…Sympathized with American Indians By Levi Rickert - Native News Online.
O’siyo. We mourn the passing of the iconic South African leader Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. Mr. Mandela A Xhosa, born to the Thembu Royal Family in South Africa, was a Prince, Scholar, Political activist against apartheid, Prisoner, President, Nobel Peace Prize recipient, and spokesman on the behalf of all aboriginal people and the injustices they face. During his speech in the Oakland, California stadium in 1990, Mr. Mandela recognized Native American Indians as “The First American Nation.” The following excerpts are from Native American Indians who remember hearing Mr. Mandela speak that day.
“Nelson Mandela, who spent 27 years in prison and after his release became the first black South African president died Thursday. He was 95 years old.
The anti-apartheid revolutionary’s death was announced by South Africa Jacob Zuma just before midnight on Friday in Johannesburg.
In 1990, Mr. Mandela held a rally in the Oakland Coliseum where he referred to American Indians as “the first American nation.” American Indians were pleased Mr. Mandela spoke out on their behalf.”
Nelson Mandela (1990):
Mr. Mandela said he had received a number of messages from the first American nation, the American Indians… “I can assure you they have left me very disturbed, and if I had time I would visit their areas and get from them an authoritative description of the difficulties under which they live.”The New York Times 7/1/90
“I was there at the Oakland Coliseum. I had just moved to the Bay Area and went to hear Mandela speak. He mentioned American Indians and I felt so proud, I know that many American Indians from the entire Bay area also attended. In fact, I think I remember seeing a delegation in their regalia. This may have been the group that was planning on presenting Mandela with robes or something, but it never happened. I know that he did mention the American Indian Movement and did thank all of us that were involved.
I do remember that he mentioned the contributions and struggles of American Indians during his speech. I felt so proud and happy to be there on that day. It really did feel like something quite historic.”
Anna Rondon, Navajo who works for the Navajo Nation and lives near Zuni, New Mexico, wrote on a website on Mandela’s birthday this year;
“As a Dine (Navajo) woman, I recognize that Mr. Mandela has always spoke out on the injustices of apartheid over the many decades.
When he was born, American Indian Nations were still fighting our battles over land and resources. In 1913, the Mescalero Apaches were released from Fort Sill Prison after 26 years of incarceration. Our histories share the horror and today we still see the subtle yet, deadly genocidal indigenous policies. Mr. Mandela, you gave us resisters, protectors of water, land, air and fire the strength to fight for justice here in the United States.”
“Greeting my relatives, friends, and supporters: It saddens me to hear that a great man like Nelson Mandela has departed from this lifetime. He was a man who was truly inspirational and showed us the possibilities of how a continued struggle by indigenous people could manifest itself in levels of freedom that have been marred by centuries of oppression. Our Native people suffered the same types of oppression many times. It is not as overt and as easily distinguished as in some places; “ NativeNewsOnline.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
“Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people.”
~ Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela~ (July 18, 1918-December 5, 2013)
The world has lost a true Hero…
atsawesolvsdi wigedohesdi dohiyi…wado.
Rest in Peace Mandela.
There are many legends about how the Indians learned about the Talking Feather/Talking Stick. Here is one of them…
Long years ago, when gods walked this earth and the land beyond, Kanati and Asgaya Gigagei, were together enjoying the warm summer day. It was a day when the crickets chirrupted in the waving, green grass,when they noticed a figure moving towards them.
As the figure approached closer Kanati said “Look, that woman is crying, what could be the matter?” “I can not imagine why anyone would cry on such a glorious day.” Replied Asgaya Gigagei. “Let’s ask her.”
As the woman drew nearer, they could see her buckskin was decorated with beautiful designs and colors. She carried a bundle filled with leaves, sage, and colorful stones and feathers. They knew immediately this woman was a holy being.
Kanati asked her “Holy mother, why are you crying so?” The woman looked up in wonder, because she had been walking with her head down. “I’m crying because the men of my village are fighting constantly! Each thinks his ideas for leading the tribe is the best!” Kanati and Asgaya Gigagei glanced at one another, in perplexity. “Why, if there are so many good ideas for leading your tribe, why are the men fighting? And why aren’t you and the other members happy!” The poor woman shook her head sadly and replied, “Yes, you are right, the men do have very good ideas, but every man wants to speak his own ideas, and not listen to anyone else. They all shout and scream at one another so loudly, that it frightens the children who run and hide behind their mothers. The women are sad because their husbands come to the house upset and angry. Furthermore, the tribe is suffering, because no one can seem to make a decision.” Just then a beautiful Eagle was soaring overhead, Kanati called out “Brother Eagle, may I have one of your feathers, there are poor humans in desperate need!”
Bother Eagle replied “Yes” and shook himself until a single iridescent, large feather fell to the ground. “Many thanks and Blessings on you” said Kanati. Kanati made secret signs and prayers over the Feather. Asgaya Gigagei helped him with the blessings. Kanati then said to the woman “This is the sacred Talking Father, it holds great power for the one who holds it. Go back to your people, hold this feather up in the air, all who see it will fall silent, and listen to what you have to say. Tell all who listen that from now on, who ever holds this feather, all present within the Circle Council must listen to his words. The feather must then be passed on to the next speaker.”
The woman thanked Kanati and Asgaya Gigagei and hurried back to her village where there was total chaos!. Everyone was talking at once, children were crying, men were screaming at each other. As soon as she held the feather over her head, all became quiet! No one could utter a sound! the holy woman proceeded to give the directions given to her by the gods. She then passed the feather to the first man. He called the Talking Circle together, and each man had his say as he held the feather. From that time on that tribe flourished because they now had direction, and each person could hear and understand what their peers said. The people worked together, to build a great nation. Along the way, they shared the wonders of the Talking Feather with other tribes they met. “And that my friends is the true story of how the Talking Feather came to be!”