SUNRISE CEREMONY ALCATRAZ (11/26/09)
It is always a moving experience to venture to Alcatraz Island on a ferry boat hit the ground running and be on the ROCK. It is all the more awe inspiring when it happens to be the 40th Anniversary of the take over of Alcatraz Island linked to the American Indian Movement.
Some days ago I was at San Francisco State University for the unveiling of the last permanent mural, dedicated to the First People and connecting the dots - that included this 40th Anniversary and the take-over of Alcatraz Island. The American Indian Movement lit a flame from which came many good things - benefiting not only the First People of this Nation but humanity as a whole.
To catch the first boat once must rise early and when you land on the dock and witness the thousands ready to make the pilgrimage the whole scene is something awe inspiring and depending on your mental and spiritual state - very enriching.
There are many historical figures, leaders that have led movements and not been recognized. You see poets, writers, philosophers, and eyes meet and nothing much is said on this spiritual journey to Alcatraz. Many of them like me are there to observe and evaluated a situation that does not bode well with many White Folks that have committed atrocities against the First People. But, then, there are others that have repented and do all in their power to bring about a healing - experience. And this must be recognized in honesty.
This Sunrise Ceremony has evolved over the years. Somehow, missing from the actual deliberation are the local Muwekma Tribe. In all the years only once has the Chair participated. It makes room for other Tribes to fill the vacuum and once those that should not adorn the mantle are permitted to wear it - all hell breaks loose.
When it comes to ceremony one has to follow the dictates laid down by the Great Spirit and the Grandfather. The shamans will tell you - no one can play with this fire and if dubious in nature - you will burn. Suffice to say some will enter the arena of the Spirit world and defy norms. As much as I want to go further, I will stop. I saw it at the ceremonies at the State University when the mural was unveiled and low and behold - I saw it repeat again at the Sunrise Ceremony.
Richard Oakes and many others entered into this battle to undo justice and exercise their FREEDOM. Prior to that many First People families were treated worse then scumbags. However, when President Nixon for example saw the movement take over the Bureau of Indian Affairs - right in front of his eyes and not far from the White House - he gave in and negotiated with the protestors who had occupied the Bureau of Indian Affairs buildings. The President went so far to pay the protestors $66,000 plus - something unheard of before this revolt.
There is not doubt the American Indian Movement empowered thousands. Today, the spirit of that movement is fading and one of the reasons being - many of the so called leaders fell prey to corruption and greed. Spirituality that should play an important part in the lives of the First People has been placed on the back burner. Hence, these folks that pray in fork tongues and what is more imitated the strangers started this nonsense of sorts.
Every year we have dedicated souls that walk from Shellmound to Shellmound. I know the leaders that sacrifice and make their rounds and pray in silence and more. Then you have others when an event that draws thousands will show up and exercise their false leadership and mock those that have sacrificed. This must stop.
The Sunrise Ceremony as do some other important events must adopt some protocol where the norms of old followed for thousands of years should be in place. These ceremonies are not some Disney Land machinations and ploys. I have seen them increasing the last 15 years and if they continue these machinations will harm the MOVEMENT and adversely impact - unity.
A pressing issue today is Glen Cove, Vallejo where human remain are impacted. We know of the thousands of remains at University of California, Berkeley and there are more. We must stand united to pray that these remains are returned to Mother Earth and that the desecration and all that comes with it is made - whole. Only those with Spiritual Powers can do this and I have talked too many - many who understand what I speak of and there is much confusion.
In California over sixty percent of the First People and their Tribes are not federally recognized. This does not give the recognized tribes that have made their abode in Ohlone Land to do as they please. I see this happening all the time. And then within the Ohlone that are the various clans and tribes - the Mitsun are one of those and so are the Muwekma. The Muwekma were Federally Recognized until 1927 and then illegally removed by one L.A. Dorrington an agent who worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The Muwekma Ohlone have patrimonial jurisdiction over San Francisco and Alcatraz.
The United Nations has not been fair to the First People. The United States has yet to apologize for all the atrocities committed to the First People. Trillions of dollars in Trust Funds have been stolen from the First People. Precious land robbed, women raped, children killed, tribes poisoned, and diseases like Small Pox inflicted on tribes by giving the innocent blankets that were contaminated with small pox. If all these atrocities do not turn one to the Great Grandfather for guidance and unity - I do not know what will.
Canada and Australia have apologized to their First People. When will the United States do so?
I know so called Monitors who work for the White Government and make money when First People remains are found in California and the Bay Area. I know some of them make pacts to keep these remains in areas that are forbidden by the protocols handed over from generation to generation for thousands of years. When I encounter such crimes I am sickened to the stomach and when I see such monsters begin to lead others in prayer - I could not think of a more demonic deed.
My fight for justice and to support the First People has been a very long struggle. On some issues I have won. On others I will strive to fight and win. I believe in respecting those that have gone before us, who died, because they could not defend themselves. Some of us know this but choose to work with those that do not have the better interests of the First People and do so because of MONEY and GREED. This must stop at once.
I saw the Pomo dancers and the Aztec dancers. I heard people pray and other make speeches. I enquired and not all I heard was pleasant from the Elders. Our children must be told the truth and led on the right and true, path. No one can be a good teacher unless you are educated on issues - more gone through the FIRE to purify your spirit. These are the chosen ones that speak with the HEART.
Here are some photographs of the Sunrise Ceremony:
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