"Even before they take office, President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden have launched their Renew America Together initiative, calling on Americans of all ages to participate in community service. They have asked us to come together on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and celebrate it as a National Day of Service.
As we observe this day of service in Indian country, I cannot help but think of the old Lakota saying, “We are all related.” As American Indians, we should join Americans from across the country in this call to service.
We must act because our history demands it. We must act because our heritage is being diminished. I speak, of course, of the effects of the signing of the treaties between our various tribal nations and the U.S. government.
It has been said the signing of these treaties changed the tribal nation’s entire social, economic and spiritual fabric. Before these treaties, we were societies of hunters and gatherers. In those days, the elders provided the wisdom, the men were the protectors of the people and the providers of big game. The women were the gatherers and the nurturers of the children and the community."
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Billy Mills: Honor each other through service and action
(Indian Country Today 1/16)