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Chilocco - Today and Yesterday
Chilocco, Alaska and Hope


Dan Jones, Chairman of the Ponca Tribe, who is also my brother stopped in for a short visit with our Mother. In a box of ice, under his arm he carried a frozen steak of salmon. How beautiful it was, this piece of orange-red filet is in its package of vacuum packed, heavy plastic.

“I must show you these pictures of the beautiful Alaskans I met.” He told me as he was slipping a disk into the computer.

Dan’s mission to Alaska was to attempt to bring the Alaskan Natives into a unity with the five owning tribes and Chilocco Alumni as far as searching for funds to develop a museum there on campus.

As slide after slide appeared on the computer I was enthralled with the display of this culture so far and away from our prairie lands. To see the skilled craftsmanship of useful articles simply bowled me over, whether it was hand carved oars, striking articles of clothing including gloves, parkas (they have another word and I didn’t catch it), or designs hand painted in such rich colors.

Why wouldn’t these people be sensitive to saving the schools history? Many of them came from their ice-covered places to attend classes in what must have been like a foreign land to them. With careful manipulations as was used with other tribes, homesickness was stayed off by methods dedicated employees exercised. The experiences for the Alaskan students created joyful remembrances and, like us, they naturally want to see their school’s history, saved.

The duty of caring for Mother is of greatest importance at the moment and I just go from day to day on that. She, after-all, still has a mind of her own and will do what she wishes to do, as far as that goes.

However, at this time, time is scheduled with hearth and home. Although the work of writing has brought interest to this needed project I am not at liberty to get into the politics of pushing to see what I have envisioned, done. What I can do now, is to start all over at the beginning and send these stories out, one by one, and maybe, the issue will continue to be in the forefront. In this way I won’t be getting into a plan, those above me are working through. They have their values and I have mine. The way of the Joneses is to take a small bite at a time until the whole pie is devoured which is the way “little poor people” have to do anything. When we are talking of giant entities, well, they have their way of doing things, because of having the where-with-all to do it.

Actually, my plate is pretty full right now directly on my own home front but by sending out these little stories of mine, possibly, more good, will be done than can be understood. Anyway, the by-gone history
of a light and lovely time can be enjoyed by anyone.


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