On December 8, 2015, John Trudell walked On. I will remember ancestor Trudell as a griot, a prophet, a truth-sayer. He was an activist, artist, poet, and actor who devoted his life to Indigenous Human Rights, and Environmental Justice. Trudell, along with other students and organizers, occupied Alcatraz Island from November 20, 1969 to June 11, 1970. He would go to to garner national attention, mobilizing Indigenous communities, and bring necessary recognition to ethical, moral, and legal issues across Turtle Island.
Today I’ve gathered quotes by Trudell that resonate with me. I pray that his journey is deeply blessed, and that his loved ones find comfort and healing. May the power of his love, work, and words always be remembered—be lived. Aho.
I’m just a human being trying to make it in a world that is very rapidly losing it’s understanding of being human.
Every human being is a raindrop. And when enough of the raindrops become clear and coherent they then become the power of the storm.
The thing is, it has to do with heart – we have to understand what hearts are for before we can get back to heaven or paradise or the power in our minds.
Our bones, flesh and blood are made up of the metals, liquids and minerals of the earth and everything on this planet is made up of the same things. As humans we have being, so everything on the earth does too in our culture, because we are made of the same thing.
I think it’s the responsibility of every human being, not just those who wear the identity of poet, activist, voter, religious person… it’s the responsibility of every person. Our responsibility is to use our intelligence as clearly and coherently as we possibly can.
The past is more than a memory.
We have power… Our power isn’t in a political system, or a religious system, or in an economic system, or in a military system; these are authoritarian systems… they have power… but it’s not reality. The power of our intelligence, individually or collectively IS the power; this is the power that any industrial ruling class truly fears: clear coherent human beings.