Native American Diabetes Project

Through the Eyes of the Eagle

Story by Georgia Perez
Illustrations by Alfred Vigil, Nambe Pueblo

This story is told through the eyes of the eagle.
The eagle represents strength, courage, and wisdom.

This is the land of my Native People. As I soar high above through the clouds, I see the beauty of Mother Earth that she provides for my people, from the high peaks of the mountain tops, where the rivers begin, to the valleys below where the waters run through. I see Brother Sun as he greets each day with his morning light and I see him fade, to make room for Sister Moon.

As each day comes, the bear, the cougar, the deer, and I see the children, so pretty with a tan of golden brown, playing and running in their communities. The men with their legs so strong as to keep up with the antelope as they run. The women so beautiful as they work in their fields, as they grow all the things that make their families so healthy.

I remember when running was a way of life for everyone and so was living off Mother Earth with what she provided. Times were hard, but the Native People all worked together and shared in their labors and good fortunes through many feasts and celebrations. People came from far and near to join them in giving thanks to the Great Spirit for all that they were given and for a long, healthy life.

Brother Sun and Sister Moon have come and gone many times as I continue to fly over the land of my Native People. As each passing day goes by, I have seen many changes, some good and some bad. Mother Earth is still the same, for she continues to provide the nourishment for all living things, large and small. And also for the beauty that she provides for all to see and enjoy.

But, I now feel troubled and sad that I no longer see my Native people enjoying what Mother Earth has for them. With changing times, their labors are still hard but I see them not as strong as they could be. Modern days have brought about many changes where my people no longer run like the antelope. Children seldom play but watch what they call television. My people are getting sick by threes and fours with this thing called "Too Much Sugar in the Blood."

My Native People of golden brown no longer have the strength of their ancestors. As I soar through the clouds, I now see my people no longer active.

They suffer from lost vision and strength. Their feet, that once carried them over the lands of their birth, suffer great pain. Some of my people of golden brown now use wheels to get around. And others need machines to keep their bodies clean.

Oh, what a sad vision that my eyes now see. If only there was some way to give my people of golden brown my courage and strength to turn this around.

As I come to rest on my mountain top, I close my tired eyes of what I have seen and begin to see another vision of how it can be to bring back the strength and courage and long life to my people of golden brown.

My Native People are getting out and around. Slowly they come out by ones and twos to work and enjoy the riches and beauty that Mother Earth gives. They are walking and beginning to run and slowly get stronger as their sugars come down. As others see them getting stronger, they too want the same, so they join in until all are doing the same. They once again talk and share their ideas of what they can do to continue to grow healthier too.

They begin slowly by making one change, then two, to eat less sugar and less fat things too. As they get stronger and continue to make these changes, they come to know that they are healthier, not only in body but in mind and spirit too, as they now can control this thing called "Too Much Sugar in the Blood."

Their children and grandchildren now know what they can do to grow and become stronger and healthier, too. By learning, and through examples taught by their parents and grandparents, they have obtained the wisdom of knowing what they need to do to keep their sugars down and have a healthier lifestyle.

As a new day approaches with Brother Sun bringing his light, I no longer feel troubled for I know they will learn what they can do to make my vision at rest all come to pass. My Native people of golden brown will once again be healthy and strong as they make the necessary changes to turn things around and once again will be strong in body and spirit.