Joy Harjo: A tribute to one of our beloved messengers John Trudell

Joy Harjo with the late John Trudell in New York City in August 2007. Photo from Joy Harjo / Facebook

Poet and musician Joy Harjo, a member of the Muscogee Nation, shares a tribute to the late John Trudell, who died on December 8, 2015, at the age of 69:
One of our beloved messengers left this world December 8, 2015

In the early hours of the morning,

When the dreamers and teachers walk the earth

Speaking to us as we imagine the new day into being,

All of us here essential to the story in the great imagining.

They took John with them. It was time.


And he was ready, he’d said his goodbyes, only for now

Because we live in eternity together.

And was circled by those he loved: his children,

People whose lives he shared from his many travels

In this world to speak and sing the dreams and visions

He’d been given to take care of, to share.


And contingents of young warriors, from all over the country

Including Hickory Ground or Oce Vpofv people, from one of the last

Calls John answered for justice from the East, and other groups

From the North, West, and South arrived to pay respect

Because he was one of them, grown older and wise

After paying the terrible costs of being human

In a society broken by lies, greed, and our failures.

Get the Story:
Joy Harjo: Tribute to John Trudell (Indian Country Today 12/10)

Also Today:
Open Letter from Family of John Trudell (Indian Country Today 12/10)

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American Indian Movement activist John Trudell passes on at 69 (12/9)

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