The drum beat goes on: Calling the American Indian

Published 7:52 pm Wednesday, April 30, 2008

“Calling upon the descendants of the first nation to come together and stand up and be recognized, for we are being recognized in the spirit world to promote the history and accomplishments of our people. That those of us that have the seventh drop of blood in them, it will cry out to know its people and we will all be gathered together as one nation under his eye before the return of…the god of wind and water.”

An American Indian chief once used these words to call out to his people at a special celebration in Florida. Pearl River County resident Victor Buckley is relaying that message to reach out to the American Indians of our area.

Born and raised in Laurel, Buckley resided in Pensacola, Fla., for a number of years. When Hurricane Ivan took his family’s home, Buckley found himself back in his native state, but he lost his “native connection” with his people — the American Indians.

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“I moved back home and there’s no tribal connection here, and I have always tried to be an advocate for my people on the native side,” Buckley said. “I’ve had this overwhelming spirit for quite some time now, to see if I could try to get something started or find a new connection here.”

Buckley is proposing an organization made up of American Indians to promote the history of his people and to restore some of the native customs and traditions through celebrations.

So much history and tradition is seeped into the spirit of the American Indian. One of the aspects of the celebratory gatherings that Buckley misses the most is the spiritual healing of the Pow-Wow. According to him, everyone is welcome at a Pow-Wow and it’s a wonderful time.

Prayers, dances and ceremonial rituals take place throughout the gathering — the circle of life is at the core.

“Everybody is connected in way or another — and we are all connected to the creator,” he said. He feels that bringing an organization together to foster these types of rich cultural traditions will be a healing for this area and for the people involved.

Buckley also envisions a history group that could possibly bring the accomplishments of the American Indian into the schools. He would also like to have demonstrations of the indigenous crafts.

Buckley is sensing a strong need to make this happen in Pearl River County. “This has got to happen. There is an unforeseen hand pushing me to get this done,” he said.

Buckley understands a lot of his heritage. He knows that the drum is very sacred to the American Indian. “It is the heartbeat of mother earth,” he said. With his own drum beat — his story — he is now calling to his people. He is “calling upon the descendants of the first nation” to join with him in his mission. For him, the beat can and must go on.

If you are anyone you know has a tie to the American Indians and would like to join in Buckley’s beat, please call 601-799-3602.