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Dodge City Daily Globe - Dodge City, KS
  • Grandmothers' Horses

  •      In 1875, the Cheyenne were relocated from Montana to a reservation in Indian Territory in present day Oklahoma.  In 1878 nearly three-hundred Cheyenne escaped and tried to return to their native lands. When the government learned of the escape, soldiers were sent to pursue the missing Cheyenne, and a massacre ensued.


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  •      In 1875, the Cheyenne were relocated from Montana to a reservation in Indian Territory in present day Oklahoma.  In 1878 nearly three-hundred Cheyenne escaped and tried to return to their native lands. When the government learned of the escape, soldiers were sent to pursue the missing Cheyenne, and a massacre ensued.
    This summer, a group of horseback riders, who are calling their journey "Grandmothers' Horses" are self-described healers and earth educators who are retracing the path of their ancestors.  The intention of the ride, according to a press release, is to cleanse the blood-stained land of the Cheyenne from both sides.
         The group recently rode near Dodge and stayed in Scott City for a week.  The Globe spoke to one of the group's organizers, Thomas Smittle, when they were stopped in Oakley on Wednesday.  
         “We are twelve people, four horses, three mustangs and one warrior,” said Smittle. “It is an honor to walk in the footsteps of our ancestors.”
         The riders began in Fort Reno, Okla. and will continue on through Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming and Montana. The route will closely follow the original path that Cheyenne Chiefs Little Wolf and Dull Knife used to lead their people back to Lame Deer, Montana in 1878.
         “The ride has been very heavy and emotional,” Smittle said. “We are visiting places where there has been a lot of historical trauma and picking up what has been left behind to take it home to Lame Deer.”
    Smittle described stopping at places along the path where massacres and battles occurred. There, the riders performed ceremonies and prayer.
         “We're visiting places where there has been both Native and non-Native trauma,” he said. “We want to bring a healing to all peoples and bring awareness so everyone can move forward and bring healing to the earth.”
         Those participating in the ride are answering the call of Grandmother Margaret, a member of the Arapaho and Cheyenne tribes and a member of the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers, who requested the healing journey. Hence the name Grandmothers' Horses.
         For the first 10 days of the journey, Grandmother Margaret accompanied the riders. Due to time constraints, the riders drove the horses in trailers for this portion of their route.
         They will finish the rest of the ride on horseback.
         “As you travel this route, you will teach the way of the horse and the knowledge and wisdom of the ancestors that came before us,” she said before the ride. “In this way, we can begin to plant seeds of a new beginning and balance the land with healing, harmony and unity.”
         Anyone is welcome to join the ride, as long as they are self-sufficient. Additional parties can ride for a short distance or complete the journey.
    Page 2 of 2 -      Those who are interested can track the ride by visiting the group's Facebook page, Grandmothers' Horses.
    Information on the riders, crew, and sponsors can be seen at their website, www.grandmotherhorses.com.  The riders are still seeking donations to fund their journey.
         The International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers
         The final date of the ride, July 26, is also the date of the 11th gathering of the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers.
         The Council is made up of grandmothers from all over the world - Alaska, North, South and Central America; Africa and Asia.
         Their first assembly was in 2004, where they agreed to form an alliance for the good of all beings.
         The mission statement of the Council declares that the group represents a global alliance of prayer, education and healing for Mother Earth, all Her inhabitants, all the children, and for the next seven generations to come.
         The women travel to each council members homeland to foster their unified prayer for peace.
         The ride takes place a prelude to the 11th gathering of the Grandmothers.
         For more information visit wwww.grandmotherscouncil.org.