Our prayers are with you and your family and with the Mitchell family for spiritual strength to overcome sad times but also the courage to celebrate many happy times that Larry brought to many lives.
As youth on the rez, we did many things and drinking was one of them. Those times were similar because we felt safe, as our elders seem to be taking care of business. The rez families fairing as best they could seem to add to our own happiness and enjoyment in what little we had. The rez seemed so large and yet the feds felt we were so little and needed little attention but we remained on the losing end. It all had to end as many were sent to boarding schools, Haskell and the Viet Nam conflict got into our way.
It seems the norm then as the federal governments relentless effort to break up the reservation and Indian lifestyle. It also seems like yesterday but when you start talking about timely events, 25, 30, and 35 years have passed and we look at each other in surprise as we tell our age to each other. Where did the time go?
As technology goes and blog sites grow, tribal politics remains the same. In the Native blog, many more read about the politics faster then when meetings are over and the monthly newspaper. That’s where Larry and I reconnected to discuss what we witnessed as teenagers a tribal government with growing pains and the will to understand it. Today, our participation although far, is not because our hearts are still there at the home place.
We discussed consequences but he didn’t care because it had to be said. He offered to pay for articles and I told him no and if he was willing to post it for tribal members to read, that was pay enough. I also told him that every article I write would have my name on it. Often times, we wondered how decisions were made and action was taken but without our actual involvement, we relied on local loyal members to take the lead. It is comforting to know that the people will always prevail when there is doubt about some tribal council decisions.
Although the last we met was our teenager days who would have known we would never meet again until recently only by e-mail. Our emails weren’t about boarding school, Haskell or our tours in Viet Nam service but tribal politics on the Internet. Back then not many cared about the Nation without a Bingo or Casino. Larry shared his personal feelings in his book as a healing to the world foiled by government programs and certainly a foreign war defending this Country. A Country that can feel so grateful even after their cultural termination efforts of Larry’s Native Nation and others, that men like him will still rise to this Country’s call for military service. For his service to our Native Nation and Country it could be said of Larry "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
Mack taw zee (Thomas M. Wabnum)
Viet Nam Veteran, 1969-1973.