From where did Native Americans originate?
There was, until recently, a consensus among scientists that prior to perhaps
11,200 years ago, the Western Hemisphere was completely devoid of humans. Much of the world's water was frozen in gigantic
ice sheets. The floor of the Bering Strait between Siberia and Alaska was exposed. Big-game hunters were able to walk to Alaska.
They turned south, spreading out through the Great Plains and into what is now the American Southwest. Within a few thousand
years, they had made it all the way to the tip of South America. Recent archeological discoveries have shown that people may
have arrived far earlier "in many waves of migration and by a number of routes" -- perhaps even from Australia,
South Asia or Europe. Some native tribes contest these theories, believing that their ancestors have always been in the Americas
or that they emerged into the present world from beneath the earth.
The Native Americans strongly believed in the importance of caring for Mother Earth and her inhabitants.
According to their beliefs the four-legged, winged-ones, finned-ones and other animals were on earth first.
were the Grandfather's or Great Spirit's chosen ones. They believed that if you truly opened your heart, you could understand
them, and talk to them, not in a language but through an understanding.
The Great Spirit put the native people, the
humans, on earth to care for Mother Earth and all her inhabitants. The humans used animals only for survival; their purpose
was to protect the animals.
The human was the keeper for the creator, the care-giver for Mother Earth, for the winged-ones,
for the four-legged ones, for the finned-ones, for all that he created.
Teach Me to Remember
Earth teach me stillness as the grasses are stilled with light.
teach me suffering as old stones suffer with memory.
Earth teach me humility as blossoms are humble with beginning.
Earth Teach me caring as the mother who secures her young.
Earth teach me courage as the tree which stands
alone. Earth teach me limitation as the ant which crawls on the ground.
Earth teach me freedom as the eagle which
soars in the sky.
Earth teach me resignation as the leaves which die in the fall.
Earth teach me regeneration
as the seed which rises in the spring.
Earth teach me to forget as melted snow forgets its life.
me to remember kindness as dry fields weep in the rain.
Prayer from Ute tribe