I do not know if I should start with an excuse or an apology, I’m not very good at excuses so I’m asking for forgiveness. In the early part of our recovery, families came forward with information and implements that explained why our past family history and sacrifices were kept secret for our survival. I am so appreciative of those that brought what their families had secretly kept hidden to insure that our family values did not disappear as our life progressed forward. Our families did not speak about why but always had rules that guided us. Most were unexplained but the demand for compliance was part of an unexplained rule that I didn’t know was throughout our entire community.
In the seventies we began to share what we previously thought we had lost. Dance practice was held almost everywhere that we could find space, drum practice actually was taught from other Tribes songs and as God would reward us. Lenape Tribes from Canada and Oklahoma shared and now our families have written and shared our own songs. Songs and dances were given by those that were being removed to our sister Tribes to be given back when we had proven our worthiness. Isn’t the creator wonderful? Our language recovery was moving quite well, especially with our youth.
I don’t know if it was that we were under such pressure with our battle with the state for recognition or that I have been lacking the energy to keep the progress moving forward at a pace that would keep unity amongst our families. If it were my lack of ability I apologize. My greatest effort for the past few years has been the Tribe’s protection and ability to move forward. Moving forward and not sharing the most important part of our values and culture will lead to a major division. In my life we were taught to survive and to protect one another’s family. It seems as though we have lost a very important lesson; loving, sharing and insuring that no one is left behind.
On the lighter side I want to be excused from some of the major projects. I got tired of Wayne Ridgeway and Raymond Jackson hitting me in the head with the bop stick for messing up on the drum. At dance practice those that learned from me were said to dance like an old man and I can hardly speak English much less Lenape. My prayers are to have the next generation given the opportunity to learn from those that know and are capable of taking our families to the next level so that they too can be proud of their heritage.
By-the-way, our Tribal families have won the court case. Now it is up to us to complete our existing projects and bring our families back together again. We will never completely heal from the pain of the state trying to dismantle the progress of making our families strong. What we should be focusing on is something that we have always known. (Family!) Those who taught us to love, respect and protect those of our family.
I know that this is a long letter, but I think that it is very important that the stumbling blocks that we have put in the way are removed.
I love you all.
Mark quiet Hawk Gould
Thank you for visiting my page. This will be the new "hot spot" to find all of my letters, inspirations, thoughts, and photos that taught me love and humbleness.
After 77 years I find that it is finally time that I compile everything on one site.
I am truly exited about this new venture that the Creator has led me to and I hope that you enjoy each aspect of ME.
Stay tuned for more!
Mark Quiet Hawk Gould