The First National Congress of Black Native American Indians – July 19, 2014

by William Loren Katz on October 9, 2014

Congratulations to the hundreds of delegates and to organizer Jay Winter Nightwolf for assembling the First National Congress of Black Native American Indians.

From the sun-splashed islands of the Caribbean to Virginia’s Great Dismal Swamp, the marshlands of Florida and towering mountains from Canada to Tierra del Fuego, your heroic ancestors wrote a proud history that can be found in few books. You met in celebration of the first freedom fighters of the Americas. You met to preserve their legacy and carry on their gallant traditions.

From the time of Columbus and the Spanish conquistadores your people battled slave-traders and hunters, Europe’s best soldiers and pious missionaries who sought to plant deceit and division among people of color. You walk in the footsteps of daring and ancient revolutionary ancestors — from Anacoana and Hatuey in the 1500s, Isobel de Olvera and Genga-Zumba in the 1600s to Lucy Gonazales Parsons in the 19th and 20th centuries.

To live in freedom your kinfolk united against armies sent by this country’s sacred heroes – George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson and George Armstrong Custer – and defeated them. That is one big reason your ancestors do not appear in Hollywood movies or programs.

Your ancestors also gave birth to their own Historians – from Rosa Fay of the Black Seminole Nation, noted African American historian Carter G. Woodson, pioneering scholar Kenneth Wiggins Porter, Dr. Jack D. Forbes, and a host of less known figures to today’s William Dub Warrior of the Texas Seminoles and Phil Pompey Fixico of the Semiroon Historical Society.

Your First Gathering has carried forth the torch of justice and equality first raised by Pope’ in New Mexico, Juan Andresote in Venezuela, Vicente Guerrero in Mexico, John Horse and Wildcat in Florida, Oklahoma and Mexico – and has celebrated nameless fathers and mothers who sacrificed their all for liberty, their land and the lives for their children.

May your First Gathering unity extend far and educate people to the role of Black Indians in our common history.

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