Celebrating Other Cultures
This month is Native American Heritage Month (November 2020). To celebrate, Mark, one of our parishioners, "invites" special people of Native American Heritage to join us during services on Sunday mornings. He shares a little bit about each person and on this page we fill in a little more. Join us as we celebrate these significant individuals that contributed to their own cultures and more!
Jay Silverheels, aka "Tonto"
Best known for his role in the TV series, The Lone Ranger, Jay Silverheels was more than an actor. He was also an athlete and a poet! Silverheels was born Harold Jay Smith, on the Six Nations of the Grand River in Canada. Prior to his acting career he played lacrosse across North America and was a middleweight class boxer.
While Tonto was a very stereotyped character, Silverheels role was groundbreaking as he was the first Native American (Mohawk) to be cast for that role. Tonto had always been voice by white Americans on radio. Silverheels worked to make roles for Native people more accurate and accessible, and was a supporter of the Indian Actors Workshop. He is also the only Indigenous person to have a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.
More popularly known as "la Malinche (the volcano), was a Nahua woman from the Mexican Gulf Coast who aided the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire. She was an interpreter, advisor and intermediary for the Spanish conqistador, Hernán Cortés. Her reputation among the Mexican people is contradicting. While some see her as a founding figure fo the Mexican nation, others see her as a traitor to her people.
Sacagawea was a Lemhi Shoshone woman who, at 16, helped Lewis and Clark travel thousands of miles from North Dakota to the Pacific Ocean, in their exploration of the Louisiana Territory. Not a lot is known about her early life but she is a name interlinked with the US westward movement.
It is widely agreed that Lewis and Clark were successful and lived due to Sacagawea's ability guide them safely and even giving birth along the journey. The National American Women Suffrage Association adopted her "as a symbol of women's worth and independence," and have erected several statues and plaques in her memory. For more reading: Sacagawea on the History Channel.