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November 14, 2012 at 7:56 pm #806184
Hugh Clubfoot knows struggle. Hugh Clubfoot knows war. Hugh Clubfoot knows joy, and Hugh Clubfoot knows peacemaking.
He served in the Marines during The Vietnam War. He said his children and grandkids ask what he did. He says he tells them: “Oh, not much”, but when they see the array of medals upon his chest at the Birney Village Veterans Day Pow-Wow his family has sponsored for a decade, they say, “You must have done SOMETHING over there.”
Turns out, Mr. Clubfoot has done many somethings during his sixty-sum years. He has seen good times and bad, and his memories are interwoven into the very fabric of what it is to be a “Birney Boy.” There in Birney Village, in the Land of the Morning Star People, The “Fighting Cheyenne” of many a history book, there stands yet, the original log cabins made during the beginning of the Northern Cheyenne Reservation. These people know a sovereignty few could imagine. They know an expansiveness of Being few could fathom. From these little log homes, built from sturdy and timeless cottonwood, a Nation is blooming. Moving. I see this movement and growing manifested in the very essence of the annual Pow-wow here. Described endearingly as “another little tin shack pow wow”, by a local, this is a Pow-Wow. A vibrant and living amalgamation of now and then, of past and present. A sharing of cultures, races, ethnicities, Nations and Peoples, this little gathering, amid the first snow of the year, was an affirmation of Life. A Living expanding and blooming from a mere existence. A re-ignition of Fire.
Through the years, Hugh Clubfoot and his family have prepared great feasts, and organized this venue to the delight and high expectations of an adoring culture. Interweaving what many would consider “traditional” with what some would consider “mainstream American”, this event served to bring a real sense of Community to this reservation right when it was needed. The weather has turned and there has been a spate of car accidents reservation wide. Truly, Mr. Clubfoot and his family prepared a gift basket and presented it to a family who just now lost a loved one, begging the family to allow the Pow-wow to commence. Such attention to power, to Power, to peacemaking seems to be the underlying part of this doings. Mr. Clubfoot has also extended his hand to various non-Native entities, including a municipality and its mayor to make amends, in some small way, for a crime that included murder involving Cheyennes and a non-Native victim. He has also involved a church from Sheridan, Wyoming, they want to make amends, in some small way, for the atrocities committed by the notorious Colonel Chivington. This is Powerful Peacemaking. This is Power. This is Beauty.
This Nation Honored it’s United States Military Veterans in a very Living and Moving Way.
Mr. Clubfoot said to me, as I helped in small ways with a few things in preparation: “I was taught by my Elders to always take my time. To never rush, that way, even if things don’t turn out, you did SOMETHING right.” Mr. Hugh Clubfoot and the Pow-Wow Committee, as well as the Northern Cheyenne Nation and the People of Birney, certainly did MANY things right once again. This was a Real Doings!
Wanbli WiWoope.November 14, 2012 at 11:29 pm #912077
He sounds like a great man!November 15, 2012 at 3:12 pm #912078November 20, 2012 at 3:30 pm #912079
The Local Paper here, “A Cheyenne Voice”, published my writing about the Birney Pow-wow. http://siyotanka.wordpress.com/2012/11/14/…ns-day-pow-wow/ they added the following:
“Publisher’s Note: Mr. Wanbli (that means Eagle in Sioux) WiWoope is not known to us, but we had to publish this very complimentary letter, acknowledging one of our finest, most humble and gracious elders: Thanks for taking time to write and send the letter to us Wanbli.”
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