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End of the Journey

A Soul’s Invitation to all our Ancestors

The Monument to Forgiveness has been gifted to Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, at the end of the Trail of Tears by Dutch-born sculptor Francis H. Jansen. This is part of a Spirit-driven endeavor to bring awareness, and where possible, to help alleviate the imprint of suffering that has occurred at specific places on the Earth stained by “man’s inhumanity to man.” The Monument represents the sculptors gesture of reconciliation from her European Ancestors to the First Peoples of this continent.

The Trail of Tears, called ‘Nunahi-Duna-Dio-Hilu-I’ by the Cherokee for “Trail where they cried” is such a site of inhumanity, where more than 100,000 Native Americans -Creek, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Seminole and Cherokee- were forced from their native lands following the passage of the Indian Removal Act of 1830. Neither physical nor legal resistance prevented the forced relocation. And thousands of tribal people lost their lives on the treacherous 1,000-mile journey made on foot sometimes in the middle of winter.

Northeastern State University has embracing this endeavor and elected to steward the monument. Not only is the location at the Trail of Tears, but there is also a large Native American student population at NSU whose potential support of this forgiveness initiative could have a positive, even exponential, impact in raising awareness and reaching out with a message of peace and reconciliation.

Humankind has a history of committing many types of atrocities against the Earth, the environment and itself. Some of these atrocities occurred many years ago, and there remains scarring in the hearts of the people involved. This goes unhealed and is passed down through generations until reconciliation is achieved. When the need to heal these wounds and restore wholeness is ignored over long periods of time, a kind of hardening occurs in the collective psyche, making us more callous, indifferent and less humane.

We want, when we can, create ceremony at these places by installing monuments, for example, the Monument to Forgiveness, and other markers, plaques, or sacred objects that acknowledge these places and the events that occurred there. This allows us to remember that this is “hallowed ground.” 

The Monument to Forgiveness is a gesture, an invitation into the possibility for forgiveness.

Some of the greatest teachers have given us powerful examples of the amazing power of reconciliation. These peacekeepers include:

* Reverend Desmond Tutu in South Africa,

*Northern Ireland Reconciliation and Peace Building

*Martin Luther King’s non-violent approach to Civil Rights.

*Mahatma Gandhi with his non-violence movement.

The Monument to Forgiveness unveiled at NSU in June 20th, 2016 stands in respectful acknowledgment of our past and as an invitation to join in unity to create a more peaceful and sustainable world.

Sincerely,

Francis Jansen

 

On the concrete base on which the monument is placed.

Plaque 1:

The Monument was created by Dutch-born visionary sculptor Francis H. Jansen. It was gifted to Northeastern State University to honor Tahlequah as the End of the Trail of Tears. “To inspire, evoke and encourage in all humankind the spirit of reconciliation, transformation and unity through forgiveness”.

www.GraceInStone.com
www.MonumentToForgiveness.org

 

Plaque 2:

This Monument is part of a Spirit-driven endeavor to bring awareness, and where possible, to help alleviate the imprint of suffering that has occurred at specific places stained by “man’s inhumanity to man”. It represents the sculptor Francis Jansen’s gesture of reconciliation on behalf of her European Ancestors to the First Peoples of this continent.

 

Plaque 3:

The Trail of Tears, called” Nunahi-Duna-Dio-Hilu-I” by the Cherokee for “Trail Where They Cried”, was a deeply tragic journey during which more than 100,000 Native Americans –- Creeks, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Seminole and Cherokee—were forced from their native lands. Tahlequah is the site of one of the final destinations of this forced 1000-mile march.

 

Plaque 4:

Northeastern State University has graciously accepted stewardship of the Monument and provided “hallowed ground” where visitors may be inspired to acknowledge, contemplate and participate in ceremonies of reconciliation and forgiveness.

 

Plaque 5:

The Monument to Forgiveness stands as an invitation to all humankind to embrace healing through forgiveness so that we may join in unity to create a more peaceful, compassionate and sustainable future.

Forgiveness begins in the heart of each one of us — forgiveness of the Other being intimately entwined with forgiveness of Self.

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