Sunday, May 10, 2020
Ecclesiastes 11 1150 years ago, the Choctaw people collected what was then a grand sum of $170 to send to the people of Ireland, who were starving because of the Potato Famine. CNN reports that the Choctaw understood starvation because they had experienced it themselves on the Trail of Tears.
Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again.
Now Irish Times reporter Naomi O'Leary is returning the favour:
Native Americans raised a huge amount in famine relief for Ireland at a time when they had very little. It's time for is to come through for them now. https://t.co/ONl9UXmwdH— Naomi O'Leary (@NaomiOhReally) May 2, 2020
Half a million dollars has been raised in Ireland. This isn't the only time that Ireland and the American indigenous people have connected.
The act of kindness was never forgotten, and the solidarity between the Irish and Native Americans has continued over the years.It reminded me of the Nova Scotia Christmas Tree that is send each year to Boston in gratitude for the help that came from Boston after the Halifax explosion:
In 1992, 22 Irish men and women walked the Trail of Tears to raise money for famine relief efforts in Somalia, according to Bunbury. They raised $170,000 -- $1,000 for each dollar the Choctaw gave in 1847. A Choctaw citizen reciprocated by leading a famine walk in Ireland seven years later.
In 2017, the town of Midleton in Ireland unveiled a sculpture commemorating the Choctaw's 1847 gift. In 2018, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar announced a scholarship program for Choctaw people to study in Ireland while he was visiting the tribal nation in Oklahoma.
The GoFundMe donations are just the latest example of the longstanding relationship. As one Irish donor on the fundraising page wrote:
"You helped us in our darkest hour. Honoured to return the kindness. Ireland remembers, with thanks."
100 years ago today, the Halifax Explosion occurred in Halifax, Nova Scotia killing 1000 people. Boston immediately sent doctors & medical supplies to assist in relief efforts - this is why Nova Scotia sends Boston a Christmas tree every year. https://t.co/HYHi6xbqm3 pic.twitter.com/MdhQa3r4Zg— BostonTweet (@BostonTweet) December 6, 2017
People will never forget those who helped when they needed it the most.
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