Saturday, April 14, 2012

From the Archives,pt.3,The Stotan Manifesto

I should preface today's post by offering a few comments. It was written in the mid to late 90's and was sent to members of the Stotans instead of the The Stotan News readership at large.The "Manifesto" was inspired by several experiences that had occurred to me during one summer. Each year the Stotans travelled to the Tuscarora Indian reservation and ran a 10k road race they put on. It was a great race with a fast and scenic course. After the race one year, Lanny, an Indian race organizer,approached myself and a few of the other Stotans I was with and started up a conversation. He spoke of what he was hoping to accomplish on the Reservation,the plight of the Indian in society at that time, and what the U.S. government had done,and was not doing to the Indian.Lanny also spoke about some of his traditions and beliefs. I was struck by his honesty and dignity. I was not surprised when he told me he did liason work for his tribe and the communities around the State in an effort to increase understanding of Indian life. After that day I had several telephone conversations with him and eventually took part in a ceremony which is called a Sweat Lodge. What an experience that was. The Stotan Manifesto was written shortly after the Sweat Lodge,actually, it was written in my car off to the side of the road before I left the Reservation. For those who don't see the Cerutty,Stotan connection I'd remind them that Cerutty once said that Stotans were "nature lovers". He stressed a life that was simple,devoid of materialism and had a respect for the land. Oh,I should add this.I noticed in our converstions that Lanny kept referring to himself and others as Indians. When I asked him about the phrase,Native American, he laughed and said that,that was a term used by guilt ridden white liberals, he said the Indians he knew never used that term. To me,as a Stotan,the following is still relevant but I recognize and admit that others may not feel the same way about it.
The Stotan Manifesto
Stotan,the word was originated by the athlete,coach,philosopher, Percy Cerutty. Stotan is formed by combining the words stoic and spartan.
More than just a group of runners, we are a brotherhood.
We recognize and love the beauty of this land,our goal is to live in peace and harmony with it.
We are not like the majority of this land who care primarily for themselves and whose God is pleasure.
We confess and admit the sins of our fathers and forefathers that have been committed against this land and its many people.
We realize that one thousand years of restitution will never make up for their sins.
We as Stotans look to make amends for the abuses of our ancestors.
We totally reject the ways of the government which has grown fat and corrupt.
We recognize that corporate greed encouraged by the government is destroying this land.
We support all efforts that stop the polluting and "development" of this land,no matter how extreme they may be perceived as being.
We,when appropriate,will take part in such efforts.
We are not,nor ever will be,conformed to this world.

1 comment:

  1. The above picture is of a Crow Sweat Lodge.