2 Mar 2008


Saturday, March 1, 2008

Longest Walk parade with Shoshone elders' float in Ely, Nevada

By Brenda Norrell

ELY, Nevada -- Western Shoshone elders from the Ely Indian Colony joined the Longest Walk 2 Northern Route for a parade with a float through downtown Ely on Friday, Feb. 29. The parade was welcomed to the Ely Indian Colony, with a drum song and a huge feast of chicken, meatloaf and large pots of stews and cornbread.

Julie Brown, Lakota from Pine Ridge, came all the way from her home in Ethete, Wyoming, in a memorial tribute to her father, Henry Red Bear Brown, Lakota from Pine Ridge, who was an original Long Walker in the 1978 walk. Brown joined her sister Bernice Thompson, who lives in Ely, to host the memorial honor.

Brown and Thompson presented star quilts to Jimbo Simmons, coordinator of the Longest Walk northern route, and Tomas Reyes, keeper of the Staffs and Eagle feathers.

During the evening, Shoshone community members spoke out against a proposed coal-fired power plant here and water extraction for the insatiable thirst of Las Vegas. Shoshone also said the BLM and Forest Service are profiteering from the Shoshones' traditional lands and demanding that Shoshones pay fees for willows gathered for basketmaking. Shoshone women were told they would have to pay 10 cent per willow.

"The BLM and Forest Service are armed," said one Shoshone elder, pointing out that a permit is also required for traditional gathering of pine nuts.

Further, because of the US government's actions of eradicating many of the jackrabbits and coyotes, the ecosystem here is out of balance. "Men can not play god and that is what they are doing," said one Shoshone elder.

"Now we don't see the birds, coyotes and rattlers. There is no ecological balance." The Western Shoshone elder said that the recent earthquake here should have sent a signal to halt plans to pump water out for Las Vegas and stop the destruction and poisoning of Mother Earth.

Western Shoshone spiritual person Johnnie Bobb, Yomba Shoshone, led a sunrise ceremony on Saturday, March 1, for walkers and community members. After a breakfast feast at Ely Indian Colony, the Longest Walk 2 walkers and runners continued their prayer journey for Mother Earth, on Hwy 50, to Baker, where the Longest Walk will stay two nights.

Photo: In Ely Indian Colony, Nevada, on the Longest Walk Northern Route, Julie Brown and Bernice Thompson honor their father, original Long Walker Henry Red Bear Brown, Lakota from Pine Ridge. Photo Brenda Norrell

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Rolling stones and hurricanes prime us for the rapid eye movement of whose dream?
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singing the blues while sexual pistols whip Jesus’ son.
Who’s influence weens us?
Me and my friends gratefully raged against the machine for three days
in the shadow of the valley of the dead
so big brother and company held us down while the wind cried
nothing to be gained here (except copied rights),
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followed his heart and stopped pretending he was the king of the little plastic castles
while education, missed in the house of the naked apes, evolved and mutated
into and with ~ Nature Art Love Truth ~ and we do too…
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into imagine nations where everything is now sacred
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or bad brains or busted rhymes or widespread panic
and everyone can read the hieroglyphics on the wall
and we are all refugees of courtney’s love attaining nirvana….
But then again, you’re so vain, you probly think this poem’s about you-
we are everywhere and we cannot be beaten
it’s all over now baby blue, all we need is Love
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