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One must question another irony in that the whites came to find religious freedom. They came to escape religious persecution. Yet they did not understand that they should have granted us the same rights. They became free…we became the persecuted and our freedom was taken away. This is not the way of Tunkasila. The Great Spirit knows no single religion as right and true. He sees the different religions as the spokes in a wheel and he is the hub, the Center…all spokes lead to him and are connected to him. He holds the universe together and the world turns on his axis of love, generosity, and equality. Amazingly, what happened then is still happening today as people around the world declare a holy war and they too cry, “God wills it.”

Another distinct difference in my faith is this. Even atheists are a spoke to the wheel because they have found a different path to morality doesn’t discount the contributions and good that can come. He does not force nor desire persuasion or force to bring people to him. Since he made all and all are in him there is no need to bring to him that which is already his. Belief is not a requirement to be part of all you merely have to be or have been alive. You are part of the great circle too because you are part of everything as much as I am the same.

I am still not free to practice my faith without those who once sought to destroy my faith still preaching to me today about their perfect faith and why mine is so wrong. I can assure you one thing. Were the shoe on the other foot and we had won and remained free. We would not have stolen your language, made illegal your faith and committed genocide upon you. Because we value and have always valued life, freedom and faith more it seems than the whites who settled this land.

Someday they will learn to truly love but for that they must first agree to see and become part of the world. They must understand they are not masters but instead just pieces of the whole, as are we all. I shall probably not see that day in my life time but I welcome it. When all life become relevant and all are respected as equal the world will be as the Great Spirit Father desires it and all will live in harmony.

If my Grandpa Mato shared today the wisdom he garnered in his lifetime he would likely explain to you as he has to me. “All human history reflects man’s inability to find peace. Because in peace there is no need for power and man has not learned to live without power.” He would remind us of the crisis all mankind faces in the path of destruction of our planet. “Greed is killing our Earth. All ancient texts teach of a time of peace after a great travail. The earth is in labor trying to deliver a new and enlightened people that can understand oneness, equality, sharing and generosity. She has labored long. Because we will not be born she is in great travail.” We are all children of the creator and in essence of the earth, all came from his hands and her womb for creation is present in all life if it is as simply defined as the nature that surrounds and sustains us all. he once told me, “Many who are awakened now know…All must learn to walk a Red Road as a way of life.”

Since he isn’t here I figured I’d share what wisdom he passed to me in my lifetime. I pray we learn to walk the Red Road and learn to live in peace without need of power, greed and persecution.

~Michelle

The red road is a modern, English-language concept of the right path of life, as inspired by some of the beliefs found in a variety of Native American spiritual teachings. The term is used primarily in the Pan-Indian and New Age communities, and rarely among traditional Indigenous people, who have terms in their own languages for their spiritual ways. Native Americans’ spiritual teachings are diverse. While some peoples share common elements in their beliefs, the cultures are highly individualized. The ceremonies and many of the beliefs are unique to the people of these diverse bands, tribes and nations. Recognizing the differences and allowing for common good. The term Red Road has been adopted by some Lakota to build common ground in the correct walk of peace.

This is the Red Road and peace as Black Elk prays

“Hear me, four quarters of the world–a relative I am! Give me the strength to walk the soft earth, a relative to all that is! Give me the eyes to see and the strength to understand, that I may be like you. With your power only can I face the winds.

Great Spirit, Great Spirit, my Grandfather, all over the earth the faces of living things are all alike. With tenderness have these come up out of the ground. Look upon these faces of children without number and with children in their arms, that they may face the wind and walk the good road to the day of quiet.
This is my prayer; hear me now!”

– “Black Elk’s Prayer for All Life”