jpg Title of Article: Black Hawk Speaks By: David Schoenknecht, Asst. Professor of Religious Studies, Rockford College Date: 6/12/10 The white mole digs deep, but Makataimeshekiakiak flies high and can see far off. These words spoken by the original Black Hawk (d. 1838) seem prophetically connected to the fortunes of the Blackhawks hockey franchise. Under Rocky Wirtz the team has flown as high as it can fly, winning the 2010 Stanley Cup finals. Hopefully owners and management, players and coaches will continue to see far off for the good Blackhawk nation. Makataimeshekiakiak is the Sauk people s word for Black Hawk. Today this man is memorialized by parks; statues; U.S. Army helicopters; and, yes, even a newly beloved Chicago hockey team, for a leadership style that combined both power and grace. Above all Black Hawk had a heart for his people, a people that were being pushed out of their homelands by both subtle trickery and the sheer force of America s westward expansion. However, as proof of Black Hawk s farsightedness, when bitterness would have seemed more appropriate having suffered the combined onslaught of the American and Sioux Indian forces which squashed the so-called Black Hawk Rebellion, years afterwards, on July 4, 1838, the elder chief would come to address the residents of Fort Madison mere months before his death:

Perhaps. Whatever may have be lost in their territory should never be lost .a far cry from the millions that poured into the city to celebrate the hockey Blackhawk s 2010 championship. But lose it they did. the Spanish held court in St. After being recruited by the British army to attack Fort Wayne (Detroit) during the War of 1812. I have eaten with my white friends. Sadly for the first Black Hawk. sustenance was held in common. That little word perhaps is one which is worthy of deep reflection. Black Hawk quit that campaign to live to fight another day. Due to British bungling. if the Sioux befriended their native brothers and sisters rather than massacring them on the west bank of the Mississippi after a desperate swim across the river to escape the Americans. that treaty would have never been signed. Detroit proved to be a worthy opponent.home. What exactly did Black Hawk have to apologize for in that moment? His tribal lands were lost by trickery when in 1804 one Sauk family petitioned the American government to release a family member from prison and in the process mistakenly signed away all Sauk and Fox lands east of the Mississippi. Perhaps the need to protect woman and children while the entire tribe was being chased by the American Army doomed Black Hawk s attempt to reclaim tribal lands. Black Hawk s people called the area framed by the Rock River. Black Hawk s pragmatic. Illinois. the British and French freely patrolled the Mississippi River valley. The earth is our mother and we are now on it with the Great Spirit above us it is good. all that Mother Earth provided -. when Black Hawk and others went to Washington to protest this injustice they could have been cleverer about using the still fluid political landscape in the Mississippi Valley to their advantage. the Fox River to the east. things would have been different for all Native Americans.It has pleased the Great Spirit that I am here today. as now. perhaps allows all possible and even preferable outcomes to coexist with present reality and the ever present longing for peace above all. Perhaps. water. environmental and political Black Hawk s word are laden with tragic heroism. Wisconsin and Michigan.air. and the Mississippi River to the west -. but it is past it is buried let it be forgotten. Native Americans had no sense of property ownership. Perhaps. But then. Louis. ultimately more so to the plow and to the fence than to any implement of war. Those were turbulent times on the American frontier. the Wisconsin River to the north. the Americans evacuated Chicago in the face of Black Hawk s advance -. A few summers ago I was fighting against you I did wrong. But in the momentous days following his birth in the tribe s village near Rock Island in 1767 all that would change. if Black Hawk was in attendance. And yet. With a clear intent to restore harmony on all levels spiritual. that day would come in 1832 when he and his tribe would lose their beloved Rock River valley to the Americans. perhaps. Even as the Thirteen Colonies battled for independence in New England. Chicago s Fort Dearborn was barely an outpost. I hope we are all friends here.

Vancouver. Sac warrior. I have learned that one great principle of their religion is to do unto others as you wish them to do unto you. or Black Hawk.blackhawkpark. U. and to be thankful for what He has given them. San Jose and our memories. go to the Project Gutenberg s collection of This also might be a great summer to go on a Midwest stay-cation to nearby Black Hawk history sites. Detroit. and to not drive others from the country He has given them because it happens to be better than theirs. who gives us the truest vision of brotherly love: Where ever the Great Spirit places his people they ought to be satisfied to remain. A great place to begin your Black Hawk pilgrimage is the Black Hawk State Historic site in Rock Island. especially in the afterglow of the Blackhawk hockey team s successful campaigns against. For in an ironic twist it is Black ). This is contrary to our way of thinking. Illinois (http://www. Wisconsin and Iowa might be useful to readers] . as dictated to Antoine Le Clair. online etexts (http://www. For the complete Autobiography of Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak.gutenberg. interpreter for the Sacs and Foxes. and from my intercourse with the whites. [Note: An attendant article featuring a map and suggested Black Hawk pilgrimage destinations in Illinois.