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Holding On by David Isay and Harvey Wang, 1996

At that time, I didn't realize what's going to happen, I just make a lot of jokes. I say, 'I know they want the land for the mining. Why don't we just spread our wings and let them take out whatever they need? Then we can set back down again after they're gone.' That's what I said. I couldn't have thought that they meant for us to move away. Later on they told us that we had to look for where our new home is going to be set up. I said, 'no way. I'm not gonna move! All our great-great ancestors are buried here. Their spirits are still here. This is our sacred ground. Our altar is here, our songs and our prayers. We can't leave!'

. They get lonely. Lonely for the land, they get lonely for the songs and the prayers they have left back here. They go without their own food - like mutton and the cornbread. They get sick. They are in tears. Most of the Eldersnlost their lives out there. It doesn't take so long. That's why I said "If you transplant me elsewhere I will not grow, I'll just die"

When the policeman comes around with guns, if the men are in front, then they are liable to start using the gun. So that's why the women has to face first.

I'm looking forward for my children and grandchildren and more to come, Where are they going to be raised and learn how to use the land if there's no land for them to live on? I must stand here straight, I can't point my toes the other way, and make zigzag. I must stand right here and look forward. Thats how I am.


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