Thursday, April 13, 2000

Indians seeking support for holiday

Native Americans to lead local ride

BY Kristina Goetz
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        FLORENCE — In traditional leather clothing and headdress, a small group of American Indians will ride through the city today seeking honor.

        The purpose is to gather signatures, which will eventually be presented to Congress, in support of a federal holiday for Indians.

        The group hopes Oct. 5 will be the day chosen. It's the day Tecumseh, a chief of the Shawnee people, died in 1813.

        Officially known as the Native Americans United for the Pursuit of Honor, the ride started in Pembroke, N.C., and will end in Greenville, Ohio.

        Martin YellowHawk Brown, clan chief of the Upper Kispoko Sept of the Shawnee Nation, had the idea about three years ago after a vision, he said.

        “We're promoting unity,” said Mr. YellowHawk Brown. “We want to focus this country's attention for one day on Native Americans.

        “We want to show that our ways are not so different, that we all serve one God, one spirit.”

        The route, which was mapped out by AAA, is similar to the one Tecumseh rode before he died. He rode from north of the Thames River to Florida to unite all Native Americans in the fight against white men taking the land.

        “In the process he lost his life,” Mr. YellowHawk Brown said.

        Carol Night Hawk Anderson of Fort Valley, Ga., is one of the American Indians who will participate today.

        “It's just something that's meant to be,” she said. “It's something that I'm driven to because of my children and grandchildren.”

        Anyone is invited to participate in the ride.

        The group will gather at the police station at 1 p.m. and then march and ride at 2 p.m. from the old city building parking lot on U.S. 42 over to Main Street to the city limits north on Dixie Highway.

        For more information about the honor ride, check the Web site at



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