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Posts Tagged ‘Native Americans’

www.readwritethink.org/lessons/lesson_view.asp?id=324

Many people think that Native Americans are a vanished people—that they do not exist in the present day.

Using this lesson plan, teachers can use photo essays and other texts to introduce students to Native children and their families, thereby countering the idea that Native people no longer exist.

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I remember walking into a store in Old Colorado many, many years ago. That’s where my first Native American flute called to me. There was this beautifully carved eagle on it’s end. They wanted $125. But back then, times were tough. I barely had enough to make ends meet and I had little ones to take care of…still, I just knew I had to have that flute.

I asked the store owner if he’d consider a trade. I’m Chippewa, and I never met an Indian who didn’t love a good trade. That man wasn’t Native though, so I wasn’t sure how he’d respond. I was excited when he said yes, and so I headed back to my little jewelry shop to pick up a few things. I took a small animal hide and carefully selected some of my best work. I’m an silversmith by trade, and I knew the value of the goods I pulled from that display case. I made sure to take a nice variety, so he would have plenty to choose from.

When I returned to his store, I laid the hide on his counter and opened it up. Inside were rings, necklaces, bracelets…a sizeable selection worth many hundreds of dollars. He looked at them and said, “Alright,” and in one swift move reached over and took the entire bundle.

I knew he was aware that he was receiving far more than the value he was offering, and my heart sunk. I’d worked really hard to build up my inventory, as this was how I was able to support my family. Why would a person deliberately take advantage of someone, I wondered. My heart was on the ground.

I decided to take the flute anyway, realizing that I had been honorable in the transaction and that was what mattered most to me. I held the flute in my hand and stepped out into the afternoon sun. Up in the sky was an eagle, circling in the distance in the direction of my little shop. I held that flute high in the sky, and offered my thanks to the Creator. I knew I had made the right choice.

I didn’t know that day that the flute would take me on the journey I’ve been on for the last twenty years. I didn’t know it would take me around the world. Sometimes you have to be willing to give up everything for what you know in your heart to be true.

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Don’t give up! Whatever dream you have in your heart, you can make that dream come true. It’s easy to forget that we don’t have to do everything on our own. Today we were reminded that what is important is to focus on the gifts we have, and to support others in expressing and sharing their gifts. A few months ago we made a decision to reach out further than we have in the past. Really reach…

One of the most inspiring things for us came from an email from T. Harv Eker, author of “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind.” He said something to the effect that when you hold yourself back, you’re really being selfish. And that if you’re touching the lives of hundreds, what would it take to touch the lives of thousands…if you’re touching thousands, what would it take to touch the lives of millions. That got us thinking that we have been holding ourselves back…

Well, not anymore. We are committed to inspiring as many people as we can to share their gifts (the gifts they were born with) with the rest of the world. And along those lines, we’ve gotten help from the Nitro Blueprint folks to help us understand how to do that with the help of the internet.

Admittedly, this is not our strongest suit! For years, we have been meeting people smile to smile, heart to heart, and sharing our vision of a peaceful world. Everyone has their gifts, but not everyone is good at everything. We’re not supposed to be! That’s why we need each other. And whatever we need, we can find by asking. The person who can help us is closer than we think. Everyone can be someone’s angel.

Don’t give up! We believe in you.

P.S. Thank you, David Barnes (www.estelphoto.com), for being our angel today!

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