Crowfoot, Chief of the Blackfeet

I met Chief Crowfoot in 1997 when we camped with grandchildren in Montana and in Canada.  Of course I didn’t meet him in person, because he died in 1890, but I found his biography, and we have driven through the country where he lived.  After reading about Crowfoot, I feel as if I had met him.

“Several Blackfeet women and with a boy were picking saskatoon berries when a grizzly bear surprised them.  The women dropped their berry bags and ran.  The boy tried to fit an arrow into his bow, but the bear swatted the bow away and attacked the boy.  Men from the nearby camp jumped on their horses, shouted, and fired their guns into the air to scare the grizzly.  Crowfoot ordered warriors to the other side of the grove of trees where the bear was hiding.

“With the whole camp gathered at a safe distance, the [men] rode to the other side of the grove.  There, single riders went into the trees and tried to entice the grizzly toward them.  When at last the huge beast came into view, the men shouted to Crowfoot, who was waiting on the far side.  Quickly he guided his horse into the dense bushes and soon was behind the savage bear.  With deadly accuracy, he plunged a spear into the animal and, when his horse became too frightened, dismounted and continued to stab the bear until its lifeless body crashed to the ground…from that time on [Crowfoot] was recognized throughout the tribe as a prominent chief.”

Crowfoot led his people through tragic times in Blackfeet (or Blackfoot) history with dignity and honor.

“Crowfoot learned quickly which white men he could trust, and those men in turn trusted him.  Crowfoot foresaw the end of the buffalo, realized that his people could survive only with dramatic changes in their way of life, negotiated for supplies, tools, and food for his people, protested broken promises and fraudulent dealings.  He co-operated with the Mounted Police and Indian Department officials, not because he could preserve the Blackfeet way of life, but because it was the only way to help his people.

“Crowfoot expected justice from the whites and demanded it from his own people: he was willing to risk his life for it.”
Crowfoot, Chief of the Blackfeet.  He died “beloved by his people, feared by his foes, esteemed by all.”

 

I respect Colin Kaepernick

I find it ridiculous that kneeling for the National Anthem is considered disrespectful to our flag.

  • We kneel in awe at a Power greater than ourselves.  We kneel in petition to a king or queen (or we did generations ago–I’m not up on today’s court etiquette).  Some people kneel to pray in church, or at home.  Protest becomes an active prayer when there are wrongs that need to be righted.  Seeing a wrong, really seeing and understanding it, is enough to send persons of conscience to their knees.
  • When I was growing up, there were towns and States where black people could not sit in restaurants or on buses and black children could not go to swimming pools.  People were upset when they sat in protest, and I don’t think there’s any difference when people protest if a  black player kneels, but not when a white one (like Tim Tebow) kneels or bows in prayer.
  • Disrespect, as I see it, is wandering around eating a hot dog or sipping a cola while the anthem is played.  Or making obscene gestures.  Or yelling in protest.  Or continuing a conversation.   It bugs me if I’m in someone’s home when a game comes on and everyone remains seated and continues chatting during the national anthem.
  • For that matter, not respecting what our flag stands for:  freedom of speech, justice for all, respect for those whose beliefs,  color, abilities, tattoos, politics, or language differs from ours–is more important than a person’s posture when the flag is displayed.
  • Kneeling has never been associated with disrespect.  You wouldn’t kneel before a man you couldn’t respect unless you were forced to!  If you disrespect someone, you turn your back, or walk off to do something else, or keep talking to another person, or tell him exactly what you think!

I cannot respect a man who tweets, with language I don’t want our grandchildren to hear, about firing people who stand up–or kneel down–for what’s right, honorable, and respectful of others.

Of course I respect Colin Kaepernick, and I hope some NFL person, or whoever makes those decisions, will hire him so he can put his talents to work.

YES, I KNOW THE HEADER PHOTO IS NEITHER NFL NOR FOOTBALL.  I have to confess that the last sports event we attended was Lacrosse, and we love these active little boys!