One of the Most Inspirational Videos Ever Made
This video brought tears to my eyes . . . and given what I have been through the past 12 years, that is almost impossible. It has nothing to do with Native Americans, per se, other than the fact that most Muskogeans are part Scottish, even if they call themselves full bloods.
Susan Boyle was an impoverished, dowdy, over-weight, unemployed 47 year old Scottish lady living in a small village. No one would give her a chance at anything because she was not “pretty.” She had to fight to get on “Britain’s Got Talent!” because all the previous contestants had been physically attractive young people from large cities in England. It is the program that inspired American Idol. You would have thought that Scotland was not part of the United Kingdom, from the show’s past participants.
Notice the disdainful, contemptuous looks on the audience as Susan steps forward on the stage to give her first performance ever in an auditorium. Everyone with sound on their computer owes it to themselves to see this video.
This video has an important message for all Native Americans. The Scottish People share much in common with Native Americans. For centuries a succession of Irish, Roman, Saxon, Friesian, Viking, Danish, Norman and then English armies invaded their land. Through political manipulation, they were finally joined with England in 1601. Almost immediately, the English nobility intensified the systematic destruction of Scottish culture that had begun with King Edward I of England in the 1200s. In 1603 the name MacGreggor was even made illegal. Beginning in the 1740s hundreds of thousands of Scots were swept off their own land and evicted from the island of Britannia. It was the Scottish version of the Trail of Tears. That is one of the reasons that so many Scottish immigrants married Native Americans. They shared a common bond.
However, just like the Native peoples of the Southeast, Scotland has endured, and is now rising again. Young people . . . follow your dreams, and keep on working to make them a reality, no matter what they are. Despite the fact that it may seem that your heritage is a ball & chain that holds you back in mainstream society that worships selfishness, money and power, one day those special, ancient Native American talents will propel you forward like a catapult. In your chosen dream, you may be the next Susan Boyle.
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Richard Thornton is a professional architect, city planner, author and museum exhibit designer-builder. He is today considered one of the nation’s leading experts on the Southeastern Indians. However, that was not always the case. While at Georgia Tech Richard was the first winner of the Barrett Fellowship, which enabled him to study Mesoamerican architecture and culture in Mexico under the auspices of the Institutio Nacional de Antropoligia e Historia. Dr. Roman Piňa-Chan, the famous archaeologist and director of the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, was his fellowship coordinator. For decades afterward, he lectured at universities and professional societies around the Southeast on Mesoamerican architecture, while knowing very little about his own Creek heritage. Then he was hired to carry out projects for the Muscogee-Creek Nation in Oklahoma. The rest is history.Richard is the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the KVWETV (Coweta) Creek Tribe and a member of the Perdido Bay Creek Tribe. In 2009 he was the architect for Oklahoma’s Trail of Tears Memorial at Council Oak Park in Tulsa. He is the president of the Apalache Foundation, which is sponsoring research into the advanced indigenous societies of the Lower Southeast.
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