My name is Merritt Youngdeer. I’m a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in Cherokee, North Carolina. My grandparents, like many tribal members from all across our country, attended Carlisle Indian Boarding School.
Hope In Christ
I grew up greatly admiring all those who have served in the Armed Forces. I knew that many Native Americans (including my father and uncles) had served this country with distinct honor and fulfilled their call of duty.
The year was 1934, and I was six months old. My father, mother, and I lived in a small settlement in the foothills of the mountains 100 miles northwest of San Carlos. Our home was a wickiup that my father had built for us.
In Psalm 119:9 we see a question posed by the Psalmist: “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way?” Is it important to stay pure? How can we stay pure in an impure world?
Life wasn’t easy for me. There were temptations and troubles in my home. There were tears and sorrows in my heart, and my pride was very hurt by my failures. But I tried to keep faith in the Indian religion of my fathers.
The Christian life is a battleground. Even though we are forgiven by God’s grace, we are still prone to yield to our sinful nature. As Christians, we do not have to continue living in sin, because through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, we can live victorious over self-destruction!
God’s way of handling strife goes against what the world says. The world tells us to get even. With God’s help, let’s be peacemakers!
I stood before the judge as a desperate 24-year-old, overwhelmed by the consequences of my life choices. I felt completely defeated by addiction, and the word “hope” had no meaning in my life. All of society’s efforts to reform me had failed.
A descendent of Cherokee grandparents, Carlos lived in Miami, Arizona, for a period of time as a young boy, not far from the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation. Carlos faced some difficult challenges. With an often–absent alcoholic father and a mother working hard to pay the bills and put food on the table, Carlos learned that life can be tough.
I grew up surrounded by the traditional ways of our people. In my youth, I heard the old stories handed down by our elders. They differed depending on a person’s recollection, but they focused mostly on the creation around us. I was told we came from the earth. As a young man I had so many questions.
The love of basketball and the support of our local players is on everyone’s minds. It inspires hundreds of people from our communities to be in attendance at the big game – even though it is many miles away!
Before Christ, my life was a mess, and I grew up a screw up. My life went against all society’s standards of normality. I grew up off-reserve in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. I had a decent family and attended a religious school. I excelled academically and athletically as an urban Indian. But growing up as a marginalized, stigmatized Indian caused me to experience great shame and unnecessary oppression.
It was the winter of 1979, and my wife Kathy and I were rejoicing in the birth of our first-born son. We named him Nathaniel Ara Ross. I was working in a factory on night shift to make ends meet. At night when I came home, I would check on Nathaniel. Those precious days were filled with joy and wonder.
If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, please know this article is intended to help you, but it might also serve as a trigger. Please consider reading this with a close friend or family member who can help you process this information.
Our reservation has been our home for many generations, and family ties are strong in our community. Our culture celebrates what each season brings, such as planting our corn, gathering and grinding acorns, and watching our grandchildren experience the fresh snowfall for the first time.
My name is Jack Cochise. My birth place and home is the Mescalero Apache Tribe in New Mexico. My grandmother was Amelia Naiche, daughter of the great Apache leader Naiche.
When I smell the smoke from the wood fire in the winter, it reminds me of the times when I was a little boy living in our hogan. It was during the winter season that the stories of the elders were passed down to the younger generation. I would listen to my grandfather teach us the history and ways of our people. Now I am an elder, and it is my responsibility to pass along the important truths for this life and the life to come.
In San Carlos, Arizona, where I was born and raised, many of the Apache have a certain place where they go every Sunday to worship. They call this “holy ground.” There the people sing until noon, and then they eat together. Afterwards they pray and instruct the people, young and old, much as it is done in Sunday schools and churches.
My name is Roy Hawthorne. I am a proud member of the Navajo Nation. I am honored to have served my country through my military service in both World War II and the Korean War. I volunteered to serve in an elite group known as the Navajo Code Talkers.
We live in a broken world. People are hurting. As Native Americans, our communities have the highest rates of suicide of any people group in the country.
Most newlyweds start out their wedding day with a passionate love for one another. In certain cases, it is interesting to see how a marriage that once thrived with passion, in time, turns into a performance-based relationship. The difference is one is carried out of love and the other out of duty. Which would you prefer?
We all yearn to love and be loved. And yet, as we grow in our life experiences, we can grow disillusioned with love. Maybe we have yet to feel truly loved and accepted by our family or community. Maybe we have struggled to love those that are closest to us.
The “Man in the Maze” is a familiar image in the land of the O’odham people. Though interpretations differ, the labyrinth design reminds us of the many choices we must make as we journey through life. We are wise to pause and consider the path on which our choices are currently taking us.
There are over 500 federally recognized tribes in the United States. Each tribe has its own government, typically outlined in its respective constitution. When the tribe is federally recognized, then it is awarded a “sovereign nation” status. This means the tribe possesses its own set of laws – including adoption laws.
Cochise, Geronimo, and Naiche were warriors. They will remain legends in Apache history. The Apache fought against the Spanish, Mexican, and United States governments for hundreds of years to keep their way of life in their homeland.