Happy Thanksgiving

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(poetry diary 97 – Thanksgiving poems 2016 #4) A Good Thanksgiving poem by a fascinating woman most people (including myself) don’t know of but should.
“In 1891, Harriet Maxwell Converse (her Indian name was Ga-is-wa-noh: the Watcher) became the 1st white woman to be named chief of an Indian tribe.  Converse became chief of the Six Nations tribe at Tonawanda reservation in New York.  She had been adopted by the Seneca tribe 7 years earlier because of her efforts on behalf of the tribe.  She was invested with the responsibility of the welfare of her adopted people, & given the name ‘The Watcher.'” –Barbara Wells Sarudy, from her blog “It’s About Time” 
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The Thanksgivings
Harriet Maxwell Converse 
We who are here present thank the Great Spirit that we are here
          to praise Him.
We thank Him that He has created men and women, and ordered
          that these beings shall always be living to multiply the earth.
We thank Him for making the earth and giving these beings its products
          to live on.
We thank Him for the water that comes out of the earth and runs
          for our lands.
We thank Him for all the animals on the earth.
We thank Him for certain timbers that grow and have fluids coming
          from them for us all.
We thank Him for the branches of the trees that grow shadows
          for our shelter.
We thank Him for the beings that come from the west, the thunder
          and lightning that water the earth.
We thank Him for the light which we call our oldest brother, the sun
          that works for our good.
We thank Him for all the fruits that grow on the trees and vines.
We thank Him for his goodness in making the forests, and thank
          all its trees.
We thank Him for the darkness that gives us rest, and for the kind Being
          of the darkness that gives us light, the moon.
We thank Him for the bright spots in the skies that give us signs,
          the stars.
We give Him thanks for our supporters, who had charge of our harvests.
We give thanks that the voice of the Great Spirit can still be heard
          through the words of Ga-ne-o-di-o.
We thank the Great Spirit that we have the privilege of this pleasant
          occasion.
We give thanks for the persons who can sing the Great Spirit’s music,
          and hope they will be privileged to continue in his faith.
We thank the Great Spirit for all the persons who perform the ceremonies
          on this occasion.

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