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'May truth come forward'

Sep 3, 2013 - Myron Groesbeck, Ethete

Editor:

Warriors gather in the land of the free.

To camp near the river of the aspen tree.

The first snow on the peaks. A time of change.

Summer has ended. Fall comes to the Wind River range.

Mule deer are rutting.

Turkeys are strutting.

Guard hairs on coyotes are growing.

Plumage. The sage grouse is showing.

Bull elk bugle so shrill.

Antelope run over the hill.

Hunting arrows rest in a quiver.

Frosty morning. Black bears shiver.

Long bows are strung so tight

That maybe now the time is right to hunt.

Descendants of chiefs from wars of the past

Long shadows do these proud natives cast.

Speaking of a battle soon to come

Battle for all. Fought only by some

In the land of the Northern Arapaho band

Brothers gather for one more last stand.

A time for unity. Shoshones will agree

This is Indian Country. Far as you shall see.

When forefathers first came to the prairie

Travois loaded with all families could carry.

Our land measured by days riding a horse

Then to be taken by a deadly force.

Disease plagued the land. Fever of gold

Much blood was shed by hearts so cold.

Land to be taken by coats of blue

With bayonets. New boundaries they drew.

Drums now pound a resounding beat.

Taut sinew and skins say it's time to meet

In the spirit of chiefs long since dead

A council of war. Things to be said

Bear claws on strings of buffalo hide

Buckskins with beadwork. Native pride

Green wood we are burning. Smoke does rise

With blankets our message fills the skies

To the land of Sacajawea we summon thee

One more last stand in the land of the free

From Montana we welcome you the Crow

Sit here on the blankets woven by the Navajo

Tobacco for our pipes from a shaman

Grown where cattle are wild and Brahman

Blackfeet. Nez Perce on spotted ponies

Teepees rise in the land of the Shoshonis

A council of peace. Remembering past wars

A time of peace. Time to even old scores

From the distant Chilcotin and River of Peace

Voices of support in the battle of tribal lease

The Zuni have sent a woman of spirit

Heavenly voice. All shall hear it.

Mandans from Dakota

Cheyennes and Lakota

Arapaho brethren from all directions

Bring support from family connections

Gros Ventres join the list complete

We listen for the native heart beat

They watch. To learn through observation

A legal battle on the Wind River Reservation

Soon Wyoming courts will convene to decide

A case of native jurisdiction. Native pride

Riverton is the city. Tribal rights the debate

To be decided by courts of the cowboy state

Are lands north of Big Wind Indian Country?

One more last stand in the land of the free

Silence if broken.

"For prayer shall show the way. May truth come forward."

A chief is heard to say.

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