Let Us Speak to The Wind

~ Mellody Gotwalt

Ninety-six years ago, on June 2, 1924

the occupiers in the United States signed

into their law the 1924 Indian Citizenship

Act. This act declares that all non-citizen

Indians born within the territorial limits of

the United States are citizens. With a pen stroke, those in authority over us granted us a right to vote.

They have said in essence, “We will hear your voice”, and as such shall we not speak? Whether or not their purposes are noble or otherwise, they do crave our vote. This makes all of them willing to attend to our issues. Perhaps some candidates more than others, but desiring our votes causes all of them to listen.

Therefore, what shall we say? There are so many hard things on our hearts. Health of our mother earth is in danger. Our women are missing and murdered. Children and elders ache for food and warmth. Violence continues. Leaders ignore basic needs such as clean drinking water. These are only a few issues. Our concerns need answers, so we must choose wisely from among the candidates. Not only those from the two rich and powerful parties, but considering also those who like us have their voice restricted from the debates.

Candidates create great clouds of smoke with their promises. Smoky words meant to entice and truth is not always present. Our wisdom keepers haver always built fires for us to bring light to dispel the shadows. We need to support them, whether it is gathering firewood for the central flame, or carrying torches to our homes, family and neighbors.

Gather to the circles where the elders speak, even if we must unite together from a distance. Take their wisdom to heart, grasp it tight and share these truths. Finally, look at the young ones for they will bear your decision, then taking all cast your vote. It is our duty to each other, for if we remain silent, they will never hear us. The breezes of November await your response. Let the autumn wind carry each of our voices locally and onward to Washington.