Date: Wed, 4 Jan 1995 17:10:30 -0500
Subject: A Message from a Spiritual Leader
To: Multiple recipients of list NATIVE-L (NATIVE-L@tamvm1.tamu.edu)
Original Sender: email@example.com (M. Council)
The following file includes a statement from Bobby C. Billie, a spiritual leader of traditional independent indigenous people in Florida. Transcribed exactly as spoken on August 30, 1994. Thank you for your attention. This statement may be distributed where thought pertinent. Bobby is looking for responses of support: please see the end of message for how to reply.
I'm the person believing natural way of life. I have never signed the peace treaty. I have never given up my rights of my way of life, which is the earth, the water, the trees, all animal species, and all people's life. And I believe all creation, even the sky, the stars, the sun, the clouds, the rain, the lightning, and all the others.
But people of the United States, the American people, are trying to take my rights away and they are trying to all those things I mentioned before to take their rights away and destroy them. And they are trying to take all my ancestors who have been put away the natural way.
And we have been doing this way over six thousand years that is our right. The natural people have respected all those things. This law is their creator's law. We still believing in the creator's law. It has given us a way of life. That is the only law we know. And we cannot change that. That is our way of life based on all life on this earth.
If anybody is believing this law, I need your support because they have been digging our ancestors. It is all in storage or on view throughout the United States and God only knows where else they have taken them and their belongings. They are piling up and have piled up so much they are trying to turn them over to the recognized tribes. Those are the ones who are building their own museums.
I think these tribes are going to accept what the archaeologists, the United States government, and park service people want to do. If that happens, I think their digging will continue.
The ones not dug up yet have them leave them alone. They found their resting place there. That is their right. The ones that has been removed from their ground need to be put back, even their items and belongings. Everything should go back. And we know who removed those human remains and items. Those are the people who have the responsibility to put back what they took from the earth which is the American people. And the others dug and removed where roads and buildings have been built taking their resting grounds. And we know who did that too, which is the American people. And it is their responsibility to find the grounds to put them back into the earth. That is what I want them to do and why I am asking for their help. Even they have animal bones and other things in their buildings too. I went to visit them one day. Those are the ones that need their freedom as much as anyone else. They are part of life.
For that I am asking your help and support. All native people from the earth, indigenous and natural people. I am one of you. I am asking your support. The name I have adopted they call me Bobby C. Billie but I have my own natural name which I am not gonna pronounce but I know who I am and where I come from and where I am going. So if you support me, let me know your name, your nation and the number of people there to support me.
In your call or letter let me know that you support the stopping of all digging now, in the future, and beyond the future. Support that burial grounds are resting places of our ancestors and should be respected and left untouched. The rights of these people must be honored and respected. The burial grounds which have been disturbed should be put back as they originally were and those items and human remains which have no safe ground to return to the earth, should be put back into the earth, not in museums or sold as collector's items. These items and human remains must be respected and returned to the earth in the right and respectful way.
And we want to be there to see that it is done right when the items and human remains are put back into the earth.
The people who removed the items must be responsible for putting them back into the earth with us there to make sure they do it right and respectfully.
These crimes against the indigenous natural people's resting grounds must stop.
I don't know how to read or write because of that I have asked someone to write this down for me.
Bobby C. Billie
Fax number: 904 471-9897
Telephone: 904 253-0298
email to firstname.lastname@example.org will be forwarded.