From The Talking Leaves 9/99
The Blood Remembers
By: Women Watching

I am the first person in my family since 1870 to be able to proclaim "lndian" and feel no reprisals from their neighbors and so forth.

My grandchildren and great grandchildren are now in school with this wonderful knowledge and pleased about it "thank you". My great grandmother was educated in an all Indian school and taught her children to be quite about their heritage in order to be educated and live a normal life. And yes, they married into non Indian people. This in turn became a more insistent quiet, almost like a child's game of "I'll tell if you walk your talk or talk your past"

In the 1970's I walked from one past into another. With my papa's help and knowledge my blood line became known to me. He, at his advanced age felt the need to relate to his only daughter who she really was. At his burial I met cousins I had never met before. It seemed they were "now" unafraid of who they were. How sad the word "now".

More sad still is the thought that I should stand aside in spite of reprisals and not keep my ancestral people and their ways alive. I would be as one without a soul, to pass through this life without learning, then learning more deeply, then finally riving the life, walking the talk, and talk while walking through the smoke of the present and bringing back faces from long ago to enjoy the same smoke.

I would be again without a soul if I did not call out to my ancestors to finally hear (in spite of stumbling blocks placed on our red road by time and the necessity of survival) the haunting words we "mixed people" of all ages need to hear and speak with a loud and proud voice….."The Blood Remembers"

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