1992 – 500th anniversary of the ‘discovery’ of America by Christopher Columbus

1992 – 500th anniversary of the ‘discovery’ of America by Christopher Columbus

In response to the 500th anniversary of the so-called ‘discovery’ of America by Christopher Columbus, Mullan organised a one-month sponsored walk from Oklahoma, through Arkansas, to the sacred and ancient Choctaw mound of Ninih Waiya, Winston County, Mississippi. The walk had two purposes: (i) to emphasise that America was ‘discovered’ long before Christopher Columbus and (ii) to raise funds for the 1992 Somali Famine. Mullan travelled in advance to organise logistics.

The walk was led by veteran RTE personality Donncha Ó Dúlaing who said it was the best organised walk he had ever been asked to lead. The walk was covered by several local US networks, radio stations and newspapers, and was the subject of a special RTE documentary, broadcast on Christmas Day 1992, and a two-part RTE radio documentary.

Representatives from two Brazilian First Nations, Mauricio Guarani of the Guarani tribe, Sao Paulo region, and Gerson Baniwa of the Baniwa tribe from the Amazon, travelled to participate in the latter stages of the walk – and then to Ireland – to highlight threats they still faced to their ancestral homelands, 500 years after the arrival of European colonisers.

General Philip Sheridan and the Indian Wars

While in Ireland the Baniwa and Guarani representatives participated in a conference co-sponsored with Trocaire.

Mullan, on behalf of AFrI, also invited JoAnn Tall, representing the Oglala Lakota, for a ceremony organised at Killinkere, Co. Cavan, the ancestral homeland of General Philip Sheridan. The ceremony, which acknowledged the role Irish emigrants,  and their offspring – including Sheridan – played in the brutal colonisation of the Plains Indians.  The ceremony was attended by Irish descendants of General Sheridan. JoAnn Tall, and her three-year-old daughter, RayAnn, planted a tree of reconciliation during the ceremony at Killinkere, close to the ancestral homestead of General Sheridan’s parents.

Comments are closed.