Upon rising each morning and before retiring each night, give thanks to the Creator for the life within you and all life. Thank the Creator for the good things and for the opportunity to grow a little more each day. Consider your thoughts and actions of the past day and seek the courage and strength to be a better person.
Seek for the things that will benefit others (everyone). Showing respect is a basic law of life. Always treat every person from the tiniest child to the oldest elder with respect. Give special respect to elders, parents, teachers, and community leaders. Avoid hurting others physically, mentally and emotionally by words and actions. Respect the privacy of others. Never intrude on a person's quiet moment or personal space. Never walk between or interrupt people who are talking. Speak in a soft voice, especially when you are in the presence of elders, strangers or others to whom special respect is due. Never speak about others in a negative way, whether they are present or not. Gossip is a snake in the lodge of our people - do not fall prey to it. Treat the earth and all her aspects as your mother. Show respect for animals, stone people and plant world. Do not pollute Mother Earth, rise up in wisdom and defend her. Respect all life - especially the animal kingdom. The Creator did not give humans dominion over animals, but rather the animals teach and guide humans. Show deep respect for the beliefs and religion of others. Touch nothing that belongs to someone else without permission. Always treat your guests with honor and consideration. Give of your best food, best blankets, best part of your house, and the best service to your guests. Receive strangers and outsiders with a loving heart and as members of the human family. All the races and tribes are different colored flowers of one meadow. All are beautiful. Respect all of the Creator's children. Humans are created to serve others, to their family, community, nation and the world. Do not fill yourself with your own affairs. True happiness comes only to those who dedicate their lives to the service of others. Know those things good for your well-being and those things that lead to your destruction. Listen to and follow the guidance given to your heart. Expect guidance to come in many forms; in prayer, in dreams, in times of quiet solitude, and in the words and deeds of wise elders and friends. Observe moderation and balance in all things. Eat well but not excessively. Eat 'natural' foods given by Mother Earth - for it is what you are made from. Do not eat what man manufactures for it is full of poison chemicals and unnatural elements. During Meetings and Gatherings. Listen with your heart in courtesy to what others say. Respect the wisdom of the people in council. Once you give an idea in council, it no longer belongs to you. It belongs to the people. Listen intently to the ideas of others in council and that you do not insist that your idea prevail. Indeed, freely support the ideas of others if they are true and good, even if they are quite different from yours. The clash of ideas brings forth the spark of truth. Once a council has decided an issue in unity, do not speak secretly against what has been decided. If the council has errored, the error will be apparent to everyone in its own time. Be truthful at all times, under all conditions. The hurt of one is the hurt of all, the honor of one is the honor of all. Bring problems with others to the Elder Council. Do not circulate these problems among the membership. Harsh words against others only serve to inflame a problem. If you plan to speak with an Elder or honored guest, it is suggested you offer a small gift as a sign of respect. When the blanket is laid on the ground near the entry into the circle, please lay down a gift.
Little Turtle/Michikinqua (1752-1812) Little Turtle, also known by his Indian name of Michikinqua, was born near Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1752. His father was a Miami chief and soon after his birth, his father moved the family to Ohio. As a young man, Little Turtle earned respect as a warrior for being brave in battle. During the late 1700s, the British recognized that the land north of the Ohio River belonged to the Indians. However, as more settlers were moving into the Ohio territory, conflicts between the Indians and settlers increased. Tensions increased because many of the settlers viewed the land as free and not belonging to the Indians. Also, several Eastern states made claims to the land. As a result, there were many small battles between the Indians and the settlers. With so few settlers in the area and since there was little military support, the Indians were easily able to defend the land. However, this changed when, in 1789, the eastern states joined together and created a national government. The first president was George Washington. In 1790, President Washington used his authority to send the military into the Ohio country to defend settlers from Indian attacks. Josiah Harmar was the leader of the army. Little Turtle was the leader of the Miamis. He also led a united group of other Indian tribes including the Shawnee, Delaware, and Wyandots. The Indians easily defeated Harmar's army. The next year, President Washington sent Arthur St. Clair into the Ohio country with more troops. Once again, Little Turtle was successful, easily defeating St. Clair. This Battle became known as St. Clair's Defeat and was the single greatest defeat of the American army by Indian forces. In response to this, President Washington sent an even larger army into the Ohio Territory. This army was led by General Anthony Wayne. Instead of immediately engaging the Indians in battle, Wayne spent two years training his army. Little Turtle knew that defeating the large and well trained army would be difficult and costly to the Indians. Little Turtle wanted to make peace with the Americans. Other chiefs did not agree with Little Turtle and Little Turtle gave up his position as leader of the united Indian force. On August 20, 1794, Little Turtle led a small group of Miamis into battle against Wayne's troops. As Little Turtle feared, the Battle of Fallen Timbers was a serious defeat for the Indians. After the American victory, it became clear that the Indians must settle for peace. In 1795, the Treaty of Greenville was signed and both sides agreed to peace. Little Turtle never went into battle again. For the rest of his life, he urged peace among the Indians and the settlers. Over time, Little Turtle began to adopt some of the ways of the whites. Little Turtle died in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1812.
O Great Spirit of our Ancestors, I raise my pipe to you,
to your messengers the four winds,
and to Mother Earth who provides for your children.
Native name: Acihciikamalinki Iiyaata - ("Walks In Shadows")
English name: E. Michael Crispen
I am the retired Principal Chief of the Red Crane Band of Florida
I am married to Raven - Brenda Crispen (Kalona), a member of the Red Crane Band of Florida and Eastern Band Cherokee.