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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