I write this to you with mixed feelings today. I cannot stop thinking of the events at the Sandy Hook School in Newtown, Connecticut. If I had the power to change only one event of this past year, to assure that only one thing could be taken back, I would erase the events of that day and see each of those beautiful children come home to their families as if it had never happened.
But I cannot change those things and can only live with the knowledge that such things do happen in this world. And I cannot help but be reminded by the violent deaths of those children, of the murders of my own people, children included, on the winter banks of Wounded Knee Creek, Sand Creek and on the Washita and so many other places. Violence against children or women can never be acceptable to any society.....but it is part of history now and must not be forgotten. We have to work toward a more humane and compassionate society.
My wish list is long and I will not bore you with all of it but I will ask you to add your prayers to mine so that the Oglala people and others who are working so hard to stop the XL Pipeline and protect our Mother Earth will be strong and will feel the much needed support of more and more others going forward. Anyone who looks at the pictures, the evidence, will know at a glance that this is a careless and reckless destruction of our precious natural world. We are the only ones who can say the words out loud. The four legged and the winged beings and the fish that swim are powerless to protect themselves. The very life's blood of our being, the water itself is being poisoned as we speak. We have the technology to change our way of fueling our cars and heating our homes. But it is greed and the thirst for money that keeps us from using this technology. We have to do better. Life itself is at stake for the coming generations.
And I wish for an end to all wars and that we will find a way to move toward a more fair society that allows all people to work and provide for their families. That is the least we can do.
And let me close by asking you to understand my need to express the thoughts and feelings above and get back to the much more positive reason for writing this letter.
I want to wish each of you the warmest of Holiday Greetings and pray that you will have the Happiest and Healthiest of New Years.
I am grateful to all those who came together to drum and sing and play and speak for me in New York City. I have heard that it was a wonderful evening of love and music and that the audience was both multi-cultural and ranged in age from 8 years old to two women from Massachusetts in their 90's. And of course I say Thank You to the ageless Pete Seeger and Harry Belafonte who stayed with this idea and finally made it become reality. And a personal Thank You to all who were there for me. The names are too many to list and I am afraid I might forget someone so I will just offer my thanks for all you.
I am deeply grateful to you and will not forget what you have done for me.
You have given me hope again. It has been twelve years since I have allowed myself to have hope. I like the way it feels, but there is a very long way to fall if it turns out to be un-fulfilled hope. I have been here before and the very thought of it is frightening, but I know I have to envision myself walking through the steel doors. I know that is my part of this and I am doing that now.
I am willing and prepared to take that risk and hope that this will be the year that I will get to know freedom again and will get to embrace my family and friends again.
Thank You to all of you who have not forgotten me. Doksha !