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Help Cheyenne Elders Carry On Their Cultural Traditions
Soaring Eagle is a nonprofit 501 (c) 3 charity that is not affiliated with any tribe or religion. The primary goal of Soaring Eagle is to create an Assisted Living facility for the Northern Cheyenne elders. That dream is becoming a reality with the Heritage Living Center, which needs your continued support to flourish.
Soaring Eagle does not rely on federal "quick fix" projects. We believe that challenge creates opportunity.
A primary focus of Soaring Eagle are the Forgotten People - Native American elders. The most important resource to the Northern Cheyenne Tribe are their elderly, those who instill pride in cultural heritage, those who teach traditions to younger generations. Cheyenne heritage is lost when elders are sent off reservation to nursing homes, sometimes one hundred miles away. As tribal member Chief Charles Sitting Man, Jr. described it, "My people are packed off to towns where they can't speak English. Relatives don't have transportation to go that far to visit. The old die alone and come back in a bag - a bag of bones."
Chief Charlie White Dirt, Father Emmett's old friend, was among the Cheyenne chiefs who made their feelings known on a taped recording of a 1972 Cheyenne chiefs' meeting. They had called the meeting to discuss the plight of the Cheyenne elders. Chiefs like Grover Wolf Voice and Jimmy Little Bird spoke of their fears of growing old on a reservation with few resources for the elderly. Finally, Chief Charlie Sitting Man, Jr. said, "We need an elderly home on this reservation! We should sit down with Father Emmett and tell him. He will help us."
When I listened to the old recording, chills went up my spine. These men were sons of the warriors who fought Custer at the Battle of the Little Big Horn. I could hear fear in their voices -- fear for themselves and for their descendants. It was as if the chiefs were calling me from their graves.
-- Father Emmett, 2001