Do you know the legend of the Cherokee Indian youth's rite of Passage?

His father takes him into the forest, blindfolds him an leaves him alone. He is required to sit on a stump the whole night and not remove the blindfold until the rays of the morning sun shine through it.
He cannot cry out for help to anyone.

Once he survives the night, he is a MAN. He cannot tell the other boys of this experience, because each lad must come into manhood on his own. The boy is naturally terrified. He can hear all kinds of noises.
Wild beasts must surely be all around him. Maybe even some human might do him harm.

The wind blew the grass and earth, and shook his stump, but he sat stoically, never removing the blindfold. It would be the only way he could become a man!
Finally, after a horrific night the sun appeared and he removed his blindfold.

It was then that he discovered his father sitting on the stump next to him. He had been at watch the entire night, protecting his son from harm.

We too, are never alone. Even when we don't know it, God is watching over us, Sitting on the stump beside us. When trouble comes, all we have to do is reach out to Him.

If you liked this story, pass it on.
If not, you took off your blindfold before dawn.

Moral of the story:

Just because you can't see God, doesn't mean He is not there.

"For we walk by faith, not by sight."

Dear Friends of Leonard Peltier,
We are writing to let you know about a new vehicle for awareness and
activism regarding Leonard Peltierís continued imprisonment. Sun Dance, an
opera composed by Matthew J. Walton, with a libretto by Leonard Walton,
sets Leonardís story within the historical context of oppression and abuse
of Native Americans by the US government  The
opera challenges audiences to engage with contemporary themes of social
justice, cultural and national identity, and collective responsibility. It
begins with Leonardís description of life in prison, then flashes back
through several historical scenes, including the massacre at Wounded Knee
in 1890 and the Native American occupation of Alcatraz in the 1970s. The
second act brings the story into the present, through the interactions of
several women at a rally to support Leonard. They struggle with issues of
anger and forgiveness as they flash back to segments of Leonardís trial,
and reflect on his transformation during his years in prison.
The opera was written with Leonardís approval and in consultation with
many of the individuals and primary sources connected to his case. You can
find out more about Sun Dance at, which contains
audio excerpts, score excerpts, a synopsis and full libretto, educational
materials, performance history, a press kit, and background on the subject
matter, and will soon include video excerpts from previous performances.
Some of you may remember that Sun Dance was premiered in 2005 by the
Syracuse Society for New Music. At that time there was also a live webcast
of one of the performances that was broadcast to a global audience. Since
then, the composer and librettist have significantly revised the piece,
based on feedback from audiences, performers, Native American
organizations and individuals, and people connected with the incidents
described in the opera. We feel that the revisions have made the opera a
much stronger work musically and dramatically, and that the piece is now
more effective in sharing Leonardís story with a wider and more diverse
We hope that you will go to our website, , to learn
more about the opera. Please feel free to link to our page on your own
site, and to spread the news to Leonardís supporters through your
preferred social networking method. If your area has an opera company or a
university with a music program, please consider contacting them and
suggesting that they program Sun Dance. We would like to emphasize that
the composer and librettist of this opera do not profit from any
performances of it, and have created it as a vehicle for continuing to
spread awareness of Leonardís imprisonment, the situation of political
prisoners, and the continued oppression of Native communities in the US.
We welcome comments, questions, and suggestions through our website.
Matt Walton and Lenny Walton

Send this Homepage to a friend:

Visitors online:  

Free counter and web stats

Copyright © 2011 Bent Bay