Sachem's Stories


A collection of stories passed from my Elders to me.


The Emperor Moth

Strength comes through struggle


A man found the cocoon of an Emperor moth and took it
home so that he could watch the moth come out of the cocoon.
One day a small opening appeared.
The man sat and watched the moth for several hours
as it struggled to force its body through that little hole.

Then it seemed to stop making any progress and
it appeared to the man that the moth had gone as far as
it could in breaking out of the cocoon and was stuck.

Out of kindness, the man decided to help the moth.
He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit
of the cocoon, so that the moth could get out.

Soon the moth emerged, but it had a swollen body
and small shriveled wings.
The man continued to watch the moth, expecting that in time the
wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body,
which would simultaneously contract to its proper size.

Neither happened.
In fact, that little moth spent the rest of its life crawling
around with a swollen body and shriveled wings.
It was never able to fly.

The man in his kindness and haste, didn't understand that
the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the moth
to get through the tiny opening, were necessary
to force fluid from the body into the wings,
so that the moth would be ready for flight,
once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.
Just as the moth could only achieve freedom and flight
as a result of struggling, we often need to struggle
to become all we're intended to be.

Sometimes we wish that the Creator (God)
would remove our struggles
and take away all of our obstacles,
but just as the man crippled the Emperor moth,
so we would be crippled if the Creator did that for us.

The Creator may not take away all of our problems and difficulties,
but He does promise to be with us through our struggles
as we become better and stronger people.



National Park Service seeks tribal input

By Della Klemovich
Milton, Ma.


The National Park Service has pledged to work with
Native Americans on plans for Harbor Islands national park.
The master plan for the new park, due in November 1999, will be
formulated after researching which tribes used the islands historically,
the National Park Service officials promised.

The research will include a focus on the internment of Native Americans
in camps on the islands in the 1600's at the time of King Philip's War.
Native Americans taken prisoner during the war
were held on Deer Island, among others.
Even members of friendly tribes who had converted to Christianity,
were eventually confined on the islands, when the colonists
suspended the civil liberties of all tribal people.

In a meeting at the Chickatawbut Hill Education Center,
representatives of the National Park Service, said that they
had budgeted an unspecified amount of money for the research.
"We'd like to work together with you on it," program manager Beccy Joseph
told representatives of several tribes, including the
Wampanoag, Penobscot, Mehigan, Mohegan and Delaware.


Burial sites an issue

The tribal representatives are part of an alliance
called the Muhheconnew National Confederacy,
a centuries-old alliance revived to protect sites,
especially burial grounds of importance to Native Americans.
Many are also involved in the Muhheconneuk Intertribal Committee
on Deer Island, which aims to protect Harbor Islands sites
of importance to tribes historically connected to the region.

Gary McCann, a consultant to the Muhheconneuk Intertribal Committee,
said that the tribe appreciates the efforts that
the National Park Service has pledged to make.
Edith Andrews of the Wampanoag tribe of Gay Head,
said that she hopes early discussions like this will lead to permanent
protection for Native American burial grounds on the Harbor Islands.

"We had a lot of 'praying Indians', on the side of the English,
who were nonetheless herded together into concentration camps,
mainly on Deer Island," Andrews said.
She said that the Wampanoags want to identify camp sites and burial places
and ensure that burial places are protected and respected forever.

New policy praised

One of the saddest things, said Sam Sapiel,
coordinator of the Muhheconneuk Intertribal Committee on Deer Island,
is that the tribes themselves are unaware of their history.
To remedy ignorance, the new National Park could include
Native American museums, a Deer Island memorial to genocide victims,
a book- store and a shop offering Indian made crafts.

"This is history-making," said Linda Poolaw, an official of the Delaware tribe.
This is the first time that we've ever been consulted on something like this,"
she told National Park Service officials.
She praised their policy of consulting with Native Americans
affected by federal projects commenting,
"I wish you had consultation services 300 years ago."


The War that never was, but still is!

by Leonard Arel


The Europeans came to Turtle Island looking for gold, silver, silks and perfumes.

What they found was an easy target, Native Country.

The Europeans came over in their real big funny looking canoes with no paddles,

across the Great Waters on the East where Mother Earth meets Father Sky.


This war started when the Red-man ran to the shores

to meet their new guest with open arms and a friendly smile.

The new Guests floated into the shores with their hands around guns,

canons and long knives.

This war came on my Ancestors so fast, that many of my relations

today still have no idea this war is still on going to this day.


I received an e-mail from someone the other day.

She asked if I donated goods and funds to help all the countries

down in South and Central America, Honduras in particular.

I told her that I did. We gave until it hurt and then gave some more.

I asked her if she donates goods and funds to all the countries up in North America?

She said, " What do you mean all the countries up in North America? "


I reminded her that, before this was America, this was Native Country!

I can name 15 to 20 countries, within this country, without looking real hard.

Most, if not all, are very very poor.

They are poor because, we, in this free country

the United States of America tell them that,

we do not recognize them.

Therefore they do not exist.

So why do we have to take care of them?

On the other hand, if we do have to admit that they do exist,

we must admit we took everything from them and need to pay for it,

at whatever price they so choose, or, give it back.


By now you must see that this war can never be over,

until we complete the genocide!


The Grandmother Elders

by Ruth E. Sweet aka Magnolia Blossom

Grandmother Elder is old and set in her ways.

Grandmother Elder is stubborn and has seen better days.

Grandmother Elder has learned her ways through the years,

that many of the children will shed many tears.

The young ones of today like to call us

Grandmother Elders with much wisdom.

But when we try to show the way,

" Oh Grandmother go away,

this is another day, you're in our way."

The word Grandmother Elder is just another word,

it should show respect, oh well, what the heck!

It's not time for us to be heard, the young ones say.

We've better ideas, so it is as I feared.

Go away Grandmother Elder, we will show you the way.

Grandmother Elder knows how to make things do.

We all know what we've been through.

Sixty plus years of gathering knowledge,

standing firm and always ready to give a hug,

A gift to someone who really needs a tug.

Cooking without recipes, sewing without patterns,

Tolerating many a difficult situation.

We've lived many years in this Nation.

I am still balking---slow in walking.

But this Grandmother is still talking.

Maybe you're waiting for your turn to get

the title of "GRANDMOTHER ELDER".

May 1997




Can a woman run a Native Tribe?

(from a news article, author unknown)


Cherokee leader extols Native American tribes'

sense of community, while many Americans

move toward isolation and separation,

Indian tribes continue to share a sense of community,

author and former Cherokee Nation Chief, Wilma Mankiller.


Mankiller read from her works and spoke to the more than

200 people who attended a program, of the sense of

community she says remains strong among the tribes.

" The most common attributes among tribes across the country is

the same sense of tribe, community and interdependence," she said.

"More and more, people are isolating themselves from one another

and that's not happening in our community."


The recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom,

Mankiller spoke of the importance of finding

an identity and learning from the past.

" The most important battle is that we don't lose

a sense of who we are," she said.

"We must always pay tribute to our elders."


Mankiller is responsible for the recruitment of young Natives

for university training in environmental science.

She continues to commit herself to community development

and has designed building projects for tribes across the country.

During her tenure as Chief, the Cherokee tribal membership

tripled and the nation's budget doubled.


She authored " Mankiller: A Chief and Her People,"

which includes the story of the Cherokee.


AHO Chief Wilma Mankiller



One last story passed from my Elders to me:

The Teardrop



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Last edited November 12, 2022

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