Belfast Telegraph

SF mayor is given warrior status

By Brendan McDaid
11 November 2004

A delegation of American Indians have conferred warrior status on Londonderry's Sinn Fein Mayor Gearoid O'hEara.

A team of 20 Americans, hailing from Tennessee, Oklahoma and Georgia, honoured the Mayor and the city with a blessing during their visit yesterday.

The Mayor said he was honoured at being conferred with warrior status by Creek Indian peace chief Negel Big Pond.

Chief Big Pond said: "We have presented him with the sign of the most honourable bird, the Eagle.

"For Native American Indians, that is like being presented with a gold medal in the Olympics. I gave it to him because he is a warrior and a warrior in our world is one who goes to look for peace and I believe that is what the Mayor is doing now."

Chief Big Pond also said the Indian people were extending the hand of friendship following almost two centuries of hurt over the Trial of Tears, when over 4,000 Cherokee Indians lost their lives on the trail of 1838-1839.

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