1881 Then and Now and Future
Good day to one and all. I am not going to go into a long historical narrative of we the Spokane (spqni) people. As many of you know we have a rich history before and after the arrival of the European and the impact, good and bad, their arrival had on our people. As you all know we, along with their history, are still here and we have utilized what was offered then and now. Our history as the Spokane Tribe will continue.
I wish to share with each of you as well as myself. We are the spqni, the Spokane Tribe of Indians, then, now and in the future. Our respective history is and was different prior to our forced removal to the reservation system (January 18, 1881). The intent then was to remove us and to hopefully see us remove ourselves by self extermination. Thankfully for us that did not happen. We are here. We will be here tomorrow and the days after.
The date January 18, 2023 (January 18, 1881) could be viewed as a negative, which in many ways it was, and as a positive, in many ways it was, or it can be viewed as a time of our shared history that we became, via US government, the Spokane Tribe of Indians. Our history ‘was’ prior to this designation and will continue.
“…the child rose and stood, then said, “Grandfather, tell me who I am and why I am.” I smiled and proudly replied, “Grandchild, you are all of what you asked and more. You are all the creation. You are the ancestors. You stand with a song in your heart. You are the grandparent, the parent… Before this you are!” dbe
There are approximately 2,900 enrolled Spokane Indians. I need to stop now and then and fully grasp that all of the people in the world there are an estimated 7.9 billion people. We, the Spokane Tribe of Indians, comprise 2,900, of that 7.9 billion people. 2,900, two thousand nine hundred. I then vow, again, that I will live, be and die, when its my time, as a Spokane Tribe of Indians. The Tribe is my history as well as my children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren and future.
“Animal Spirit in Unity – Continuance of Life’s Journey
As with people animals have their own way and being.
Within the circle and connection to the circle life continues.
The spirit of the antelope provides stamina to run far and fast and also to be curious at peril to self as well as preservation.
The spirit of the eagle who flies to the highest point above the earth and in so doing sees all and is aware of that which is beyond the mountaintop.
The spirit of the buffalo provides the strength and symbol of continuing when at one time the end seemed near; and the heart of the people as with all people is within and without.
The spirit of the buffalo skull provides connection to the ancestors and to ceremony always reminding us that we stand for and live for those that have come before us and that ceremony, any and all ceremonies, connects us always to our spirit being and in this connection allows spirit doing.
The geometric design, as all designs, connection to the circle reminds each of us that we come from different walks of life and different ways of doing and this acknowledgment provides us power to connect with others for in respecting our self we learn to respect others.
And the circle continues and being near, within, and beyond this circle we have life to give and it is our own, our children, our grandchildren and the many future generations yet to come.
Let us each walk as one and walk together as one. Your spirit is you and my spirit is me.
Together we have a Spirit of Unity.” dbe
However we view January 18 it is our view. All I ask is the view the Spokane Tribe of Indians as us, is us. Approximately 2,900 of us. And from that we can connect to all in a good way.
May the future days and years be good for each of you.
lem lmt (grateful)
tapit kwil kwil sta ml q’ nups
David Red Antelope BrownEagle