Wow! I pray we realize that we just made history and we are tasked with sharing creative hope towards the next seven generations. Dear Elders, Sisters, Daughters and Nieces who participated in all ways large and small at #IFWTO. Strut with Native Pride for being Idle No More. Sage Paul’s creative vision gives spiritual, heart-pounding authentic truth. Each person brought an indigenous seed to The Nation.
Neyuheru:ke Awakening is the seed of hope from the Tuscarora ancestral homeland between the Neuse and Roanoke Rivers. Our fertile black sandy soil was once the home of Algonquin townships and farms. Control and ownership of our ancient North/South Intracoastal Waterway and inland trails caused our horrific deaths. North Carolina was ground zero because we jut out in the Atlantic. Spanish, French and finally English people encroached on the Outer Banks and Coastal Plains of Carolina from Verrazzano in 1524 to Raleigh at Roanoke in 1587.
We are a First Contact place and people. We were the first slaves and the first run-a-ways, hiding out in large numbers in swamps. We used reeds to breath and hid out in the murky water around Pine In The Water places.
Since the burning and sacking of Fort Neyukeru:ke on March 20-23, 1713, we have hid in plain sight in swampy backwoods places living off the land. My great-grand father explained Fort Neyukeru:ke as “da’ duh big big trubble, dat weh ooman mens sca’tuh.” Those of us left behind are known as Gatekeepers. We stayed behind so that others could get far away by traveling our ancient land trails in all directions. The largest group escaped North to the Haudenosaunee. Smaller groups survived crossing the Eastern Divide and received sanctuary from the Cherokee. Other groups went South to the Cree and Seminole Nations. Our knowledge of the rivers and Intracoastal Waterway helped our getaway and our survival.
Today, large numbers of us continue to live on the Coastal Plains. The majority of us aren’t recognized as existing by the State of North Carolina. Today, we are a mixed blood remnant attached to scared places with protected memories about our culture passed down through creative hands experiences. My presence and participation in Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto and my bloodline gifts witness Divine Mercy resulting from steadfast preserving faith and unshakable hope in God. It’s not on my own efforts but through connections to All My Relations that I am selected to deliver knowledge of plant dyeing, stitching and pinch pots to our indigenous relatives living in Canada. I humbly pray Divine Mercy for the whole world.