To free the land, you must first free your mind...

This is a conceptual platform for the expression of ideas and issues initiating discussion and action. The communiqué's are my perceptions, opinions and vision about contemporary issues/causes, people I admire & respect, and my goals for the future. My main focus is on the Chahta People by sharing our past to plan for the future today!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Remembering Frances Wise: a proud Indian woman

RIP 1943-2011

When I heard you went home to be with our ancestors, I was stunned. Its going to be hard knowing my Sister isn’t here with us anymore, although I know you will be here in spirit. I was looking forward to coming to pay my respects, but circumstances arose that I could not make the trip across the state to spend this time with you and your family.

So many thoughts went through my mind as I reminisced. I remember your words when the Norman Chamber of Commerce asked the students at OU to come in regalia and dance at their 89’er centennial Land Run Celebration. You cut right through when you said, “How dare they ask us to come and dance upon the graves of our ancestors!” I remember sacrificing my semester on academic probation to travel around to make our counter-demonstration happen. Then on the morning we were to begin our walk from Capitol Hill to the state capitol, I was content to stand back and let you and others take the lead, but you stuck the bullhorn in my hand and said “We’re ready when you are!” It was a proud day for Indian people in Oklahoma! We started off with about 60 people, but by the time we completed the 5-mile trek to the capitol, we were at 500+.

I can’t even begin to remember how many times we went to the capitol to deal with the governor, legislative bills or something. It was always something we were there for to speak up for Indian people. You were there long before I ever got my act together, coordinating for the warriors in Wounded Knee in 73, fighting for women and children in Oklahoma City, and on and on. As I look back on the years, you gave and sacrificed a lot for the people. You were an example and role model for so many, I hope they remember and help to carry on.

There is no way I can even begin to tell your story, you shared so many with me over the years. I am very thankful for the education. I am forever grateful that I can call you family among so many others from this place called Oklahoma, such as Carter Camp & family, Richard Ray Whitman, David Hill, Pat Moss, Jackie Warledo, Glenda Deer and so many others. Your stories are important for all of us to know, and I hope that the stories will be shared many times so that our children and their children will know the sacrifices that were made for them.

I just wanted to thank you for being the proud Indian woman that you are, and what you have done for us. Now, we’ll warrior up and tighten our ranks until a young woman or man comes with that fighting spirit that you shared with many. I'll see you later and I loved you a lot!