Ancestor’s Invocation; Yule 2007
December 29, 2007
I volunteered to do the Ancestors for this Yule Rite for several reasons. I’ve felt a strong pull to my own ancestors and ancestors in general over the last several months, as many of you know. And despite this Rite being a Norse Rite, we musn’t forget the ancestors of this land and this country.
117 years ago on this exact day, on December 29th, 1890, 500 troops of the U.S. 7th Cavalry with several rapid fire artillery, surrounded an encampment of the Sioux Natives with orders to escort them to the railroad for transport to Omaha Nebraska.
The Natives were participating in what is called a Ghost Dance. They gathered to worship, as we are gathering to worship now. They danced the Ghost Dance to see their dead relatives in the next life. They danced for a renewal of the earth, the return of the buffalo, and so their deceased loved ones would live again. A Paiute prophet by the name of Wovoka said he received a vision that the Great Spirit asked the Native people not to fight each other or the Wasichu, the White Man. “You must not fight. Do right always” he said. He preached this to many tribes, and the Chief’s took this message to their people, and many tribes began participating in this Ghost dance like a wave over the plains.
Many Indian agents misinterpreted this for a war dance, and feared that it signaled an Indian uprising. So it was outlawed. The Sioux were still very bitter from all of the abuse of their people, so they continued the Ghost Dance. Out of fear, the commander of the 7th Cavalry was ordered to disarm the Natives.
A soldier came across a deaf native by the name of Black Coyote and demanded that he give up his gun. But the Native didn’t understand the soldier, so they wrestled over the gun. It mis-fired, which initiated a string of fire from the rest of the Cavalry.
146 men, women, and children were massacred. Women and children who were running away from the gunfire were hunted down and killed like animals.
84 men were killed. Your fathers, your husbands, your brothers. 44 women were killed. Your mothers, your wives, your sisters. And 18 children were killed. Your children and your babies.
With that I am reminded of an old Indian quote from Chief Plenty Coups Crow:
“The ground on which we stand is sacred ground. It is the blood of our ancestors.”
We honor the grandmothers, the Disir, the wise women. We honor the grandfathers, the Alfar, the ancient ones
Ancestors, We Honor You!