*The writer is the author of Black Hawk's Mission of Peace Phillip B Gottfredson
Nathan Chasing His Horse is a person I won't forget. We all meet people along the way that seem to have a lasting impression on us for whatever the reasons are. Nathan was that kind of person who, without knowing it, greatly influenced me.
One of the great experiences I had this past summer, and there were many, I was given the honor to attend a healing ceremony for one of our dear friends Shoshone Elder Corbin Harney while I was living in Oregon. It was the first time I had been witness to such a ceremony, and I can't recall there being a moment in my life when I was so sacredly overwhelmed, is the best way I can find to describe the sacred event. It was not the first time I had been given the honor to witness a Native American ceremony, I have even participated in a few, but this was exceptionally powerful for me.
Like so many of the sacred ceremonies of Native Americans it would be wrong for me to detail all that I saw, and because I have a deep respect for my brothers I will not make an exception this time either. And honoring the traditions of my friends, it is wrong to put one person above the other, as we are all equal; that each of us have special gifts that Creator has given us, we should use those gifts to help others.
Nathan has special gifts, and if I could humbly say I appreciate that he shared the gifts Creator gave him that day with integrity, humility, honesty, love, respect, courage, truth and wisdom.
Nathan counseled me that we have but two choices in life. We can forever walk the Red Road, or forever leave it alone. The Red Road refers to walking a sacred path. Those few words had a profound effect on me at the time, it was what I needed to hear the most.
A side note, it wasn't until days after the event I learned of Chasing Horse's celebrity status. In my mind I feel that my first impression of him were then pure. I saw a person who has compassion for others and a deep respect for his Native traditions.
May you always walk in sunshine Nathan Chasing His Horse. Atay-wahche-un-kinktay. We will meet again.
-Phillip B Gottfredson