Friday, September 18, 2015

Legends of Chief Cobmoosa & Pres. A.J. - 21

       For the first time in Cobmoosa's entire life he signed the Treaty of 1855 as the "Last Chief of the Ottawa bands in the Grand and Flat River valleys.  He signed that document, a replacement for the flawed Treaty of  1836, but under the new treaty he knew all Indians had to move to reservations set aside for them at Pentwater, Traverse and Mt. Pleasant.
      Where they went didn't matter to Washington.  Leave within five years, which included Chief Cobmoosa. He was unsure of his final destination (life or death) in 1858.  He would have preferred being buried in the land of his forefathers.  Many that left as individual families left no forwarding address for annuity payment, but if they went to a reservation and registered they would receive payment.  Those that didn't sacrificed their annuity payments.  All this because Congress under President Andrew Jackson's administration on May 28, 1836 failed to relocate the Indians north of the Grand River.
       The earlier treaty made no provisions for where the Indians must go between 1836 and 1855.  The Twent-Fourth Congress, too, made no payment for the Natural Resources under tribal lands, which is why under rules and regulations the fishing industry in Michigan is regulated under state laws and Indian law - two conservation departments regulate fishing on Lake Michigan, Huron and Superior.
       Since the state never owned the natural resources, the Federal government lets them build casinos, but the state and local governments reap sizable benefits from these commercial businesses.
       Many Indians left for Missouri reservations under the Treaties of 1821 & 1836.  Whole families vanished from tribal lands and the government regulating annuity payments didn't know who, what, when, where they disappeared to.  They walked away from their annuity payments maybe to finally become successful farmers.  Some just walked into the bush and were never seen again.  Strange there never was a definitive trail to Indian villages.  Quite similar to nomad Korean peasants who encountered American soldiers and passed by on roads only to turn around and they vanished into the brush when they sensed North Korean soldier presence.
       Cobmoosa always walked to Grand Rapids for his annuity payment.  One day while talking with his friend, Louis Campau of Grand Rapids he said, "I wish my people and my children and grandchildren to be civilized."  He knew government ways "were far superior and his people must adopt their views or die."
       In almost the same breath he said, "I cannot change.  The young can adopt new ways; the old cannot."  Sounds the same nearly 180 years into the future (2016) just as it was in 1836.
       "You can bend the young tree, but not old oaks," said Cobmoosa.
       The old ones stand strong and stronger with passing years and are set in their ways, the young not so much.  (Remember that when you vote in 2016). 
       Cobmoosa was a visionary.  If the Indians fought against Washington they would perish before the light of dawn.  The dreams of his people would be disastrous.  To survive into the future they must all bend like mighty willows or be consumed by the storms of life to come.
       Our world spins faster today than anytime in past history.  What 21st century man knew five years ago is ancient history.  Can't sit and coast through life on what you learned yesterday.  We must continually look for ways to empower ourselves.  Got to keep learning and thinking forward.  Got to envision life in the future.  Life experiences and skills teach us how to fix what is wrong before life spiral's out of our grasp.  Those who fail to learn the real realities of life shrivel like over-ripening grapes on the vine to raisin mentality.  Those who fail to respect others for what they can offer are doomed to a life a complaining and misery. (Cobmoosa and I share the same philosophy).  Respect each other.  (continued).

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