Every individual has a unique cultural background that is forgotten sometimes the longer your family has lived in this land of America. Most of us are descendents of immigrant ancestors who chose to come here for economic, political or religious reasons. My family’s progenitors came from the British Isles, Germany and Iceland. Most were Mormon converts coming to Utah to gather to their new found faith in the Rocky Mountains. Others gathered to Nauvoo, Illinois from back east from states like New York, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. Some of my ancestors can be traced back to early colonial history. Others were gold seekers just passing through Utah later who stopped and stayed awhile. Each family has its own story. Through research over the years, I’ve been able to gather information about their backgrounds and many photos. Learn more of my ancestor’s stories at www.famhistory1867.com
Alma Richie of St. George is a descendent of the Cornstalk Indian tribe of Tennessee. Native Americans were here first before the European immigrants came. He’s very proud of his heritage and tells us of his father’s mother: Miss Dora who lived to be eighty-nine years old and even attended school and college. She was very quiet but by her actions showed that she respected the land. When gardening she would enjoy touching the earth with her bare feet and believed that the soil was a living soul, that birds sang to the flowers and they sang back. Alma (Dixie Poets President) carries on his ancestor’s traditions in his original poetry that he writes to capture his special heritage.
Alma’s great uncle was a Lt. Colonel to George Washington and helped him during the Revolutionary War. Unfortunately the Native Americans interaction with early American settlers from Europe was not always positive as they were driven off their ancestral lands. Although not related directly to the Paiute Indians in our area, Alma has been drawn to their cause of protecting their land and fighting against wrongs committed. He has made a collection of Native American poems written by himself and others that expresses their love of the land. The book is entitled Hear the Whisper of the Ancient Ones by Cornstalk (Alma) and is available for $10 (call 435 272-4105 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.) All proceeds will go to the Piute tribe to help them in their fight to preserve their tribal land in Anasazi Valley in Ivins. NEXT TIME: America, a Melting Pot.