The Opening of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial…Washington, D.C., Aug. 29

- September 11, 2011

"...out of a mountain of despair...a stone of hope..."

The dream of a little girl...wide eyes, holding her fathers hand.

Days spent gazing from plane windows, train windows, car windows and apartments in strange lands, the dream always there, itching to be brought forward. Agitating to be as free as a bird who flies.

What is this concept of freedom? It means much to different people. I have found to the Shuswap and other tribes of Canada it means freedom to keep their ancestral lands from developers who would claim it for the gods of oil, and freedom to remain a sovereign nation honoring the words spoken to them, not words written later by foriegn governments.

To Native American people, it means freedom to live on their land and teach and preserve their art and culture for future generations. To never forget who they are.

To African Americans, it means equality and acceptance in a place they were forced to come to, build and maintain but were denied a seat at the decision-making table. Even now, African Americans are challenged by those who feel ownership to a country they do not own.

My personal be sheltered by love and peace. Able to be creative, believed in and supported by that love.

These are dreams I believe all people hold close, honor, respect, communication, great meals, fantastic friends and freedom from stress. This is what true wealth is.

Over the past week I had the distinct opportunity to return to my home, my native land, and spend time with my tribe for a special celebration of these core values that I hold dear. The opening of the Martin Luther King Memorial in Washington DC.

A memorial to one man's search to identify and restore basic human freedom for all people. In his own words"..if we are to have peace on earth, our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class and our nation; this means we must develop a world perspective..."

From his educational and fraternal roots to the Nobel prize, King's was a life led as a testament to the values of love, honor, respect and communication. A man who never denied who he was, glorified his cultural roots and shaped them into something special for the good of all people.

I dream to hold my head high, unable and unwilling to deny my heritage, honor my ancestors who traversed the rages of hatred and hell and dared to dream of a life where I am possible.

"...the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy..."

I dream to live my life with integrity and honor as my father taught me and to impart this to my children no matter how difficult that teaching may be.

In my life I have been to my personal mountain top. I have been to the Lincoln Memorial, I heard a man say " I have a dream," seen evolution continue to manifest that dream. I watched mesmerized as he accepted the Nobel Prize for Peace. I stood outside Ebenezer Baptist Church holding my father's hand as his body was taken to its final rest, simply...on the back of a wagon drawn by mules.
Now I have stood holding my child's hand and looked at this lasting monument to a unique and special human being.

"...out of a mountain of despair...a stone of hope..."