Directly to my north rise the majestic San Francisco peaks. The towering mountain range was named the Dook’o’oosłííd by the Navajo. It is the sacred mountain of the west. Thirteen regional tribes hold Dook’o’oosłííd quietly, in solemn ceremonies and soulful song. Yet, it still suffers as if it is a despoiled innocent, from the activities of generations now long gone. Then, the white man arrived on horses, mantled with silver and gold. The lest conspicuous and most insidious of the group were draped in drab brown robes. Once they huddled around a makeshift wooden cross, built in tribute to an unknown monotheistic deity. Ceremoniously, they attributed the Dook’o’oosłííd, the dear mountain, to one of their many saints — St. Francis. The range, by proclimation, was set forth to be known as the San Francisco peaks. And Dook’o’oosłííd was vanquished and vanished from the lexicon. To conquer the oppressed, necessitates a rapid circumscription followed by an immediate and intentional castration of the subserviant culture. This occurred as if the whites were then certain that the native peoples never really existed. At least, not as humans.
Yet, no man ever expects to be conned. No red man, no person of earthen rust whose soul was pulled from the blue sky, would have seen this trickery coming. I do not find it a shock that the first people refer to whites as the spawn of the devil. With each measured and conniving act over the centuries, the pale devils have used language as one of several certain wedges to intentionally pry the indigenous people from their culture. Without culture, there is no identity. And without the cultural bond to the land, the earth is for the taking. If it were not for St. Francis for which the mountain was renamed, the deed would have been done in the honor of one of many dozens of Saints available. And would each saint agree? But a revival of honor has now begun a slow rumbling. I am now convinced that the true heart of each saint would have rolled over in their collective graves in recoil of the white man’s actions. And so it is now. Pink, orange and fire red streaks in sunsets over the mountains must be the blush of St. Francis for the injustice and continued onslaught on the native peoples. I am certain. For these sins and other unnamed evil misdeeds, as a white man, I hold the shame of my progenies.
(c) 2017, Ron McFarland