Here is another episode in the history of the Nations of Turtle Island and the Island Nation. Despite so many Irish settlers acting as mercenaries and cannon fodder for the expansion of US Empire over the years, the similarities between An Gorta Mór and the Trail of Tears was not lost on these people. The human plight of suffering under colonialism is unfortunately, universal. Damo does a lovely live version of his song in the video above, and when was they last time you hear such a sincere apology? Bless your heart, Damo.
“I am sorry for that evil man, I feel shame that he came from my country.
I am sorry for that Sheridan, And the other tools used in Colonies.”
(With all the BS official apologies being issued by Canada and Britain these days, it’s nice to hear something sincere. But when will we ever hear Stephen Harper say, “I’m ashamed to be a Canadian, I am sorry for my evil country.”)
The Choctaw people have a history of helping others – one of the best examples is the $170 that was given to the Irish in 1847 during the potato famine. To realize the beauty and generosity of this story, one has to understand what a challenging couple of decades this had been for the Indian people.
In 1831 the Choctaw Indians were forcibly removed from their ancestral lands in Mississippi to what is now known as Oklahoma. The Choctaws were the first of several tribes to make the trek along The Trail of Tears. The years during and immediately following this journey were very difficult for the tribal people. The winter of this particular Trail of Tears was the coldest on record – the food and clothing of the people were severely inadequate and transportation needs were not properly met. Many of the Choctaws did not survive the trip, and those that did not perish faced hardships establishing new homes, schools, and churches.
A few years after this long, sad march, the Choctaws learned of people starving to death in Ireland. The Irish were dying because although there were other crops being grown in their country, all but the potato were marked for export by the British rulers. The Irish poor were not allowed any other sustenance than the potato, and from 1845-1849 this vegetable was diseased. Only sixteen years had passed since the Choctaws themselves had faced hunger and death on the first Trail of Tears, and a great empathy was felt when they heard such a similar story coming from across the ocean. Individuals made donations totaling $170 in 1847 to send to assist the Irish people. These noble Choctaw people, who had such meager resources, gave all they could on behalf of others in greater need.
Go raibh míle maith agaibh! Rugadh mo sheanathair seanathair i Ros Comáin i rith na bliana gur bhronn tú go bhfuil airgead.