Clyde Bellecourt, and his peers, and his ancestors (Note: Clyde may prefer not being singled out for recognition; if so, inclusion of his peers and ancestors may cover the concern.)
Clyde Bellecourt, and his peers, and his ancestors, have served to question societal directions and have continually offered alternative values and active pathways. Lifestyles based on observations and experiences with natural systems were, and are, the ways of many of the indigenous peoples. One might call these ways organic and sustainable. Changes away from organic have come to be shown to be harmful to the commons as the fastest-growing business is now the production and marketing of organic foods. This return towards organic has been enabled through the efforts of those with enlivened awareness of, and respect for, nature's needs and ways.
Clyde and his peers were major providers of hope in regaining this respectful evolution towards sustainable pathways for today and for tomorrow. They worked locally and globally through the years.
I first met Clyde in the 70s during noontime basketball at the St. Paul YMCA. (He may not remember me; though I, then, worked at the Legislature and we did share some spirited play and conversations.) Since then, I heard him speak and relay the stories of his childhood and of his parents and of his peers. He has come to deserve the respect of many including judges and chiefs and especially the youth of his neighborhoods around the world. Note: Please include, by all means, Clyde's parents in this nomination; Chief Amos, now an Ancestor, of the Prairie Island Native People (the Sweat lodge he led is a talking movie in my memories); and also Winona LaDuke of White Earth--Her work to protect Wild Rice, the state grain of Minnesota, needs recognition and support.)......
Clyde and his peers have involved themselves with concerns for the youth and their learning opportunities. Also, currently, I know he is working to have an Elder Lodge for discussion and for continuing the counsel and wisdom from the ages. Clyde says he is not yet an elder but that he is getting close. His interest in the Lodge deepens as he is gifted with the awareness that there is more to share among all.
Clyde and his peers and his ancestors kindle the spirit of the young (and of me, if I may tag along) and they enliven the deepest hopes of the indigenous elders and possibly of us all.
Good Everything to Everyone!
~Dennis Ferche, Afton,MN