Manataka American Indian Council





Grandmother Mattaponi River

By Becky "Two Feathers of a Heart" Wright




What value is the river? Who would miss it if it vanished? Couldn't the animals just move on? Couldn't the two-leggeds just find another water source? Let's imagine we can interview the animals and plants, just what would they say?

"Brother Eagle, may I have a moment of your time?"

Gently tucking in his enormous wings, he lightly landed in a nearby oak. His wise, alert head cocked slightly to the side and he began to speak. "The Creator many seasons ago made the first pair of eagles. He blessed them and gave them special missions.

My people were given the call to watch over the sacred places. To guard the skies and give signs to those who would believe. Then man became detached from his true self. He killed the animals, destroyed plant life, and now seeks to end the life of the river."

Eagle pointed his wing at the Mattaponi River and sadly said, "She may soon die. Man is seeking to drain her soul. They say it is because to find another water source will cost too much money. Who can place a price on life? Many generations of my family have lived here. She has provided food for us. She feeds the animals that are our food. If they die, we die. All of the eagles are praying for her safety." And in an instant, Brother Eagle was again gliding through the sky.

The Shad were gathered in a meeting. As a boat sped by, gentle waves lapped the shore. A dragonfly skirted the edge of the water. The Shad were glad to speak.

"The Creator placed us here to feed the hungry people. It has been an honor for us to help the Indian people. We will die if the river dies. What will happen to the Indian people? We the Shad are praying for Grandmother Mattaponi River." He flicked his fins and was off, dodging the catfish who skimmed the bottom of the river.

"I will speak next," a mammoth oak spoke. "I am over 100 years old. Many children have climbed my branches and found a cooling shade on a sultry day. My acorns feed many of the four-leggeds, and the winged. My roots help hold this earth in place. I give off oxygen to help the two-leggeds breathe. Grandmother Mattaponi River quenches my thirst, without her, I will most likely die." And the oak spoke no more.

Grandmother Mattaponi River would not speak, but the music flowed from her as she continued on her journey. The eagle soared above her and called out in honor. The fish jumped and swam within her. The oak took a long slow drink.

What value is the river? Ask those who will die without her.

~Becky "Two Feathers of a Heart" Wright

Picture 1: pages/taylorpages01

Picture 2: popular.html



From the Virginia Sierra Club

At this moment [August 2005] Senator John Warner is applying major pressure to the US Dept of Interior to not oppose the Army Corps of Engineers' decision to issue a permit for the King William Reservoir.

Unless the Department of Interior objects to the permit for the reservoir, the Army will issue its permit in September [2005]. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service within Interior has plainly stated its opposition to the reservoir, but now the decision is in the hands of Interior Secretary Gale Norton and Asst. Secretary Craig Manson.

If enough citizens object to the Corps outrageous decision to issue a permit for the King William Reservoir, we just might convince Secretary Norton and Asst. Secretary Manson to oppose the Corps action.

Action Needed:
Please follow the link below to send a letter to Norton and Manson and other officials in the decision making process.

We also urge you to call the following officials and tell them "to oppose the King William Reservoir and Save the Mattaponi River".  We need to make their phones ring so often with calls from concerned citizens that they can not ignore us.  So make these calls and follow our link to send a fax.

Secretary Gale Norton   202-208-7351
Asst. Secretary Craig Manson 202-208-4684
Congresswoman Jo Ann Davis 202-225-4261
Senator George Allen 202-224-4024
Senator John Warner 202-224-2023
Governor Mark Warner 804-786-2211
Army Corps of Engineers, Brig. General William T. Grisoli 718-765-7018

To send a message, please click the link below: