Manatakaô American Indian Council

 


 

GRAND CHIEF WOABLEZA TRAGEDY

ON THE ROAD TO RECOVERY


WE PRAY NOT ONLY FOR THE RECOVERY OF CHIEF WOABLEZA, WE ALSO PRAY THAT PEOPLE REMAIN AT PEACE AND NOT SEEK VENGEANCE.  WOABLEZA IS A MAN OF PEACE. FOLLOW HIS FOOTSTEPS, NOT THOSE OF ANGER. 


(PHILADELPHIA, MS - JULY 23, 2003)

Brothers & Sisters,

As most of you know by now, Sioux spiritual leader Grand Chief Woableza LaBatte of the World Council of Spiritual Elders and spiritual leader of the Manataka American Indian Council was severely beaten on the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians Reservation early Monday morning, July 14. 

His Injuries
Head:    Woableza head injuries are the most severe.  During the assault, a piece his skull pierced the brain.  A metal plate was sewn into place to stabilize the crack that is about seven inches long and shaped like a flat letter 'L' or 'N' .   The wound itself is healing well and the swelling appears to be going down.  Headaches are continual and medication is needed to alleviate pain.  He did experience confusion and some memory loss.

Ear:    His left ear suffered tremendous trauma.  His has difficultly hearing from the  left ear and sound levels fluctuate and are somewhat garbled due to bruising and swelling.   His ear drum was bruised.  There is an area behind the left ear that was scraped and a large goose egg was present during the first few days, however, both bruising and swelling behind the ear have lessened during recent days.

Throat:    He was either choked or kicked in the throat.  As a result, he cannot swallow properly and must be fed through a tube into his stomach.   The left side of his epiglottis is paralyzed and the surrounding area is bruised and swollen. Doctors are hopeful once the swelling goes down, he will be able to swallow properly again.  His voice is affected by this injury and talking is difficult.  Tests show his breathing is too shallow and he was given an exercise devise to help rebuild strength.

He is not on oxygen, however, an intravenous tube with a variety of anti-inflammatory and other medicines flow through a tube inserted by needle into the back of his left hand.  

There does not appear to be any other internal or external injuries.

He requested to be allowed to walk down the hall and is increasingly mobile.  He has requested that opiate drugs such as morphine be used sparingly and plans to discontinue their use as soon as possible. 

Woableza is healing fast but the period of recuperation promises to be long.


How It Happened
Woableza went the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians Reservation at Philadelphia, Mississippi to rest after the Gathering at Manataka in late June.   On Sunday, July 13 he was invited (or lured) to the home of Nathaniel Tubby, a cousin of his brother-in-law to teach Tubby's teenage children.

While there three grown Mississippi Choctaw men came to the home and began drinking alcohol with the host.   All four men began to taunt Woableza demanding that he give them his special medicine.  The men also demanded that Woableza give them the keys to his van parked outside.   Woableza refused to give them his keys and to participate further in the conversation and went to bed.  Sometime later during the morning hours, Woableza was suddenly awakened by the sound of loud voices arguing outside the bedroom door.  He recognized the voices to be those of the drunken men who were in the home earlier.  All of a sudden, the door crashed open and the men rushed into darkened room and began to beat the half-asleep Woableza.  

He does not remember much else until he awoke in the hospital Tuesday after surgery at the Mississippi University Medical Center in Jackson.

According a relative of Woableza's, she was called at work around 1 p.m. on Monday and told by one of Tubby's sons to come pick him up because he had fallen and hit his head.   When she arrived a few minutes later, Woableza was begging for anyone to take him to the hospital.  She saw that he had lost a large amount of blood and he was covered in his own feces after laying on the floor unable to move for several hours.   He told her that he had been begging those in the home to take him to the hospital but they ignored him.   The wife of Nathaniel Tubby, allegedly told her that they slept very late and did not know he had fallen until sometime after they awoke.   One of the two teenage Tubby boys left the home early the previous evening and the other teenage son slept in the same room when the alleged attack took place.  

She rushed him to the nearby Choctaw Health Center.  According to her, he was refused treatment on the basis that his injuries were too critical and the doctor on duty was very busy with a serious traffic accident.  She was forced to drive an hour away to the University Medical Center in Jackson. 

Robbery appears to be a motive to the beating.  Woableza's family later discovered that his vehicle was stolen the same night and later returned with its contents in disarray and several valuables were missing.  His wallet was also removed from his pants laying near the bed and some its contents, including cash was missing.  

Several witnesses who saw the men entering the home provided the name and addresses of the alleged perpetrators.  A Choctaw man by the name of Lee Mac Stevens, a younger half-brother of Nathaniel Tubby and an unnamed middle-aged man were identified by witnesses.  The names of the alleged perpetrators and other details of the aggravated assault were turned over the Choctaw tribal police. 


His Spirit
Chief Woableza is amazing.  His countenance and spirit are strong.  He smiles often and is continuing his prayers for others in need.   We did detect some sadness and a small bit anger deep within, but he is working to resolve these issues with prayer and meditation.         

Woableza does not complain - about anything.  When the pain becomes unbearable, he does not complain or cry.   He has not uttered a single negative word.  He has not allowed any anger coming from friends and family to enter his consciousness.  He remains humble to his purpose and rejoices at the many blessings he is given.  Truly amazing. 


Family and Friends
His family are gathering around him.  His sister Evette and several nieces and nephews live nearby.  His brother Burl will arrive shortly from Pipe Stone, Minnesota.    Manataka is lending support and assistance to the family. 

Lee Standing Bear Moore and Aurora Adney of Manataka spent five days at Woableza's bedside. Adney is a wonderful and knowledgeable herbalist from Little Rock who provided transportation for Lee Standing Bear and brought several soothing healing balms and oils.  She provided many hours of tender care while washing his hair, applying healing creams and oils to his body, talking and praying with him and giving her heart and healing spirit. 

Jim Ewing and Gale Constable of Mississippi provided lodging and food for several days for Bear and Aurora and hosted a wonderful drum ceremony on Saturday.  Jim and Gale make regular visits to the hospital to lead prayer ceremonies and attend to his needs.   Peter Bloom of Memphis added his special healing prayers and helped  raise Woableza's spirits.

Our thanks to Gary Fleck of Hot Springs sent healing stones at the request of Woableza.  Kayse Williams also of Hot Springs sent special oils that Woableza really enjoyed.  The stones and oils are a very special medicines that hastened his healing tremendously.

Telephone calls to his hospital room are limited primarily to family and friends attending him in the hospital, but calls to Manataka have been extremely heavy.  We have received hundreds of emails offering prayers and assistance. 

Please do not attempt to contact him by telephone at this time.  He cannot speak well and tires easily.  We will let you know when he is ready to accept calls.   

We are very thankful for the wonderful people who offered gifts and sent healing messages.  Woableza is thankful for the many prayer circles begun around this country and many places around the world.

Messages have come in from Canada, England, Germany, Guatemala, Mexico, and Sweden.  


 

What Can You Do?
1.    Pray for the continued healing of our most beloved and respected elder. 

2.    Pray for his family that they may remain strong.

3.    Pray for the perpetrators and their families that they may understand the gravity of this horrendous crime against a holy man and take responsibility for their actions.

4.    Pray for the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians that they may have compassion for this beautiful man and offer assistance in a respectful way.   Pray for Choctaw Chief Phillip Martin that he may lead his people not only toward economic prosperity but also away from darkness of spirit.

Chief Martin's telephone number is:  601- 656- 5251 --

Do not allow the operator to refer to the police department.  

5.    Ask more questions of those who are ultimately responsible for dealing with this terrible tragedy.

6.    Send this message to every one on your mailing list.
                                                   
Give by check or credit card on-line:   Gift Now!   Click on the "Woableza Fund"

 


Itís good that some people know about opiate withdrawal and are aware of its consequences.  He has requested that opiate drugs such as morphine be used sparingly and plans to discontinue their use as soon as possible.


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