Honour Each Other ~ Honour Mother Earth


“I believe much trouble and blood would be saved if we opened our hearts more.”

Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce


What follows is a common story of many tribes of the indigenous people

of North and South America;  indeed, of all over the world.

And mother earth herself… the struggle continues.


Part One:  the Nez Perce


Mother Earth - bruce witzel photo


Story of Mother Earth



Big Hole National Battlefield, Montana - bruce witzel photo

Big Hole National Battlefield near the Bitterroot Mountains of Montana 


800px-Flight_of_the_Nez_Perce-1877-map - coutesy US National Park Service


In the long summer of 1877 nearly 800 Non-Treaty Nez Perce fled nearly one thousand miles from the United States Calvary and their Nez Perce traditional homeland on the Columbia River plateau. They refused to be placed on a reservation and they were trying to reach the camp of Sitting Bull. He and his people had found refuge from war with the White Mother at Fort Walsh in the Cypress Hills of Canada. After the five day Battle of Bear Paw that ended in a bitter early autumn snow storm, the survivors were captured by the American military only forty miles south of the Canadian border. On the early morning of October 5, Chief Joseph sent this message to the U.S. commanders:

Tell General Howard I know his heart. What he told me before I have in my heart. I am tired of fighting. Our Chiefs are dead. Looking glass is dead. Tu-huh-hul-sote is dead. The old… are all dead… It is cold and we have no blankets. The little children are freezing to death. My people, some of them, have run away to the hills and have no blankets, no food; no one knows where they are – perhaps freezing to death. I want to have time to look for my children and see how many of them I can find. Maybe I shall find them among the dead. Here me, my chiefs. I am tired; my heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands I shall fight no more forever.


Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce with a United States General

Chief Joseph with a U.S. officer

(two photos of photos)

From the Nez Perce Historical Park at Big Hole National Battlefield in Montana


Red Elk speaks - bruce witzel photo



Part 2 – Occupying Alcatraz and John Trudell



Alcatraz Island o ccupied by the American Indian Movement in 1969 - bruce witzel photo



A mural located at the San Francisco Art Institute:

At the San Francisco Art Institute - bruce witzel photo


For a period from late 1969 to mid 71’ a group of young activists, The Tribes of All Nations, occupied the former penitentiary of Alcatraz in San Francisco Bay.

John Trudel at Alcatraz


Alcatraz -bruce witzel photo


1969 Proclamation to the Great White Father and All His People

From the Indians of  All Tribes


We, the native Americans, re-claim the land known as Alcatraz Island in the name of all American Indians by right of discovery.

We wish to be fair and honourable in our dealings with the Caucasian inhabitants of this land, and hereby offer the following treaty:

We will purchase said Alcatraz Island for twenty-four dollars ($24) in glass beads and red cloth, a precedent set by the white man’s purchase of a similar island about 300 years ago. We know that $24 in trade goods for these 16 acres is more than was paid when Manhattan Island was sold, but we know that land values have risen over the years. Our offer of $1.24 per acre is greater than the 47¢ per acre that the white men are now paying the California Indians for their land…. We offer this treaty in good faith and wish to be fair and honourable in our dealings with all white men. 


View from Alcatraz - bruce witzel photo


We feel that this so-called Alcatraz Island is more than suitable for an Indian Reservation, as determined by the white man’s own standards. By this we mean that this place resembles most Indian reservations in that:


1. It is isolated from modern facilities, and without adequate means of transportation.

2. It has no fresh running water.

3. It has inadequate sanitation facilities.

4. There are no oil or mineral rights.

5. There is no industry and so unemployment is very great.

6. There are no health care facilities.

7. The soil is rocky and non-productive; and the land does not support game.

8. There are no educational facilities.

9. The population has always exceeded the land base.

10. The population has always been held as prisoners and kept dependent upon others.


Further, it would be fitting and symbolic that ships from all over the world, entering the Golden Gate, would first see Indian land, and thus be reminded of the true history of this nation. This tiny island would be a symbol of the great lands once ruled by free and noble Indians.


Artwork at the Arizona Biltmore - bruce witzel photo



Homeland Security poster shows  Chiricua Apache with Geronimo on the Right


John Trudell on civilization and the great lie


Left to right - John Trudell with fellow musicians Bob Dylan, Jesse Ed Davis,

and below, George Harrison. 


(L to R) John Trudell, Bob Dylan, Jesse Ed Davis and George Harrsion (front) - photo source unknown



John Trudell quote on love of people and the earth 



Wildflowers at Nez Perez Historic Park, Big Hole National Battlefield, Montana - bruce witzel photo

Ephemeral Wildflowers keep returning to the site of the Battle of Big Hole



Near the Bitterroot Mountains and Big Hole National Battlefield, Montana - bruce witzel photo 

The land near the Bitterroot Mountains and the Big Hole National Battlefield


Attempted assimilaition of indigenous peoples of  the Americas - bruce witzel photo


We did not travel here; we are of this land.

We did not declare our independence;

we have always been free.


~ Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee ~




Butterflies in Spirit Dance Troupe - photo source unknown


We are Butterflies In Spirit


My indigenous First Nations niece, Maranda, is in the front row on the left. She is part of a Vancouver dance troupe, Butterflies in Spirit, which raises awareness to Canadians of tens of hundreds of missing indigenous women. A similar campaign is known as No More Stolen Sisters and facilitated by Amnesty International. Two more of my nieces are with me below.


Bruce, Chelsea & Jade - Violet Johnson photo


John Trudell was a key spokesperson for the American Indian Movement (AIM) during the 1970’s. His pregnant wife Tina, all four of their children and John’s mother-in-law were murdered by an arson fire in 1979. Evidence at the site of the fire (their home on a Northern Nevada reservation) was destroyed and later covered up by American government officials, who called it accidental. It is memorialized in Trudell’s song But This Isn’t El Salvador. 

In our ongoing global chorus towards world wide liberation and justice for the earth and her people, let us believe less and think more, says Trudell.

You can watch the beautiful and powerful documentary film ‘Trudell’, here, created by Heather Rae.




Another link and very detailed review about John Trudell’s life including an interview, was written by Tamra Spivey here at Newtopia Magazine, a wordpress blog.   

Trudell continues to speak out fearlessly against the present world dis-order of oppression and ecocide.  He is “extremely eloquent… and therefore extremely dangerous,” said an FBI memo. As Tamra Spivey points out, this speaks as much about government control as it does about Trudell.

Such attitudes, I might add, are become more prevalent through the world. Canada’s recent Bill 51, the so-called anti-terrorism act, gives CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Agency) broader power and moves us towards a police state mentality.

Are you listening CSIS? Recently I’ve discovered you have information on file about me.

Here is some more! 


~ I give this in love and peace for all ~

yours sincerely

~ Bruce ~





Honour each other… honour mother earth.


Mother Earth mural - artist unknown




Grandkids and Greenhouses

bruce thomas witzel:

The Old Greenhouse

The Old Greenhouse

The title of Fran’s post says it all.

I’d only add that we tore down the old greenhouse a few years back.


Tomato Seedlings

Tomato Seedlings

It gave us lots of veggies over 30 years, but had seen it’s better days…

Tearing down old greenhouse - Francis Guenette photo

Originally posted on disappearinginplainsight:

Proposed Solar Greenhouse and Shed - by b.witzel

During a recent visit with our grandchildren, Bruce enlisted their help with the foundation for our new solar greenhouse.

Leveling up the foundation - Guenette photo

Bruce is happy to make use of Brit’s levelling skills.

Stuck in the mud - Guenette photo

Oh, oh – stuck in the mud.

Brit in the mud - Guenette photo

Oh, no – fell in the mud.

Greenhouse drilling - Guenette photo

Time to get Emma’s help with some drilling.

King of the mud pile - Guenette photo

Who’s the king of the mud hill?

Pouring concrete - Guenette photo

Emma’s pretty excited about helping with the concrete.

Emma pours concrete - Guenette photo

I know Bruce will be missing his talkative and lively helpers this week but he continues to make progress on his own.

Pony wall in place - b. witzel photo

Who loves a garden [or a grandkid] loves a greenhouse too. (William Cowper)

View original

WALLS – from the hands of a carpenter


east elevation - by bruce witzel


Building walls makes up a major part of my days and livelihood as a carpenter. These photos show repairs and renovations of such walls. The last example (number six) include walls under construction for the two story shop pictured above. It was nick-named the “garage-mahal” by my clients sister-in-law… no offence was intended to the sacred Taj Mahal.

This is my second post in response to the photo challenge on Walls which asks “this week, consider the walls you’ve erected and decorated… or the exteriors you’ve ignored or neglected.”

Here’s a sampling:


Example One:

Reconfiguring a wall and a deck – interior viewpoint.


Looking out to old deck - photo by Laura Goatham         Looking out to new deck - photo by Laura Goatham












Example Two:

Removal and repair of a deteriorated bathroom wall.


        Bathroom reno in process - bruce witzel photo          Bathroom reno - bruce witzel photo















         Bathroom reno with disintegrated wall - bruce witzel photo         Bathroom reno completed - bruce witzel photo














Example Three

Installation of new vinyl siding & windows


House reno before - photo by Laura Goatham             House siding finished - by bruce witzel













Example  Four: 

New walls and a sloped roof for an old trailer


Trailer reno in process - bruce witzel photo


trailer reno complete - bruce witzel photo



Example Five:

This brand new Mexican style shower has a ceramic and glass block wall


Building mexican style shower with glass block wall - by bruce witzel                     Guest cabin - bath & shower completed by bruce witzel














Example Six:

Building a two story shop.

  east elevation - by bruce witzel


Supporting walls -  by bruce witzel



Early wall framework - by bruce witzel


My helper next to the first roof rafter - by bruce witzel



Upper loft of garage under construction - by bruce witzel


Excercise room above a garage - by bruce witzel 


Installing wall shakes - by bruce witzel



Nearing completion - photo by bruce witzel



Completed shop - by bruce witzel


The Garage-Mahal…


Finished two story shop - by bruce witzel


“Regard it just as desirable to build a chicken house as to build a cathedral.”

Frank Lloyd Wright


Cheers to all

~ Bruce ~


“No. No we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice flows down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

~ Dr. Martin Luther King ~


Yosemite falls - bruce witzel photo



Mural in San Francisco - bruce witzel photo


Dr. Matin Luther king Jr. Memorial, Fresno California- bruce witzel photo


Martin Luther King Jr. memorial at Yerba Buena Gardens in san Francisco - bruce witzel photo

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Wall is beneath the Buena Yerba Gardens in San Francisco.


MLK memorial wall, Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco - bruce witzel photo


Diego Rivera mural - The making of a fresco showing the building of a city, at the San Francisco Art Institute - bruce witzel photo

Art Institute of San Francisco and “the making of a fresco showing the building of a city”

~ Diego Rivera Gallery ~


Yerba Buena Gardens - bruce witzel photo

“There is a crime here that beyond denunciation. There is a sorrow here that weeping cannot symbolize. There is a failure here that topples all our success… and in the eyes of the hungry there is a growing wrath. In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath our filling and growing heavy, heavy for the vintage.”     

~ John Steinbeck ~


John Steinbeck - photo at the National Steinbeck Center


Two images on the walls of the Steinbeck National Center in Salinas California.


Dolores Huerta Mural at the National Steinbeck Center - bruce witzel photo


Posted for the Weekly Photo Challenge, Wall.

“What do these walls reveal about a place, people, or you?”


Rule of Thirds – Part 2


Earth laughs in flowers.

(Ralph Waldo Emerson)


Kohan Reflection Garden 2 - Bruce Witzel photo



A rose  - bruce witzel photo




Wisteria - bruce witzel photo




Rose Garden, Washington Park - Portalnd Oregon - bruce witzel photo



At the Getty Villa - bruce witzel photo




Finding the nectar - bruce witzel photo




14a - Francis Guenette photo



Finnerty Garden at University of Victoria - bruce witzel photo


Architectural Design – from City to Countryside


Rule of Thirds is a universal design principle and the most basic rule of artistic composition.

The following ten photos illustrate one thirds/two thirds compositional proportioning.


Built in bench seat - Bruce's Sunrise Carpentry

One of my deck designs on Vancouver Island



Kentuck Knob designed by Frank Lloyd Wright - bruce witzel photo

Kentuck Knob in Pennsylvania designed by Frank Lloyd Wright



Downtown Tucson Arizona - bruce witzel photo

Downtown Tucson, Arizona



At Taliesin East designed by Frank Lloyd Wright - bruce witzel photo

Taliesin East in Wisconsin designed by Frank Lloyd Wright



Montreal metro station - bruce witzel photo 

Montreal Metro Station



Portland, Oregon (2) - bruce witzel photo

Portland, Oregon and the Willamette River



Cape Disappointment Lighthouse on Washington State coast  - Bruce Wtizel

Cape Disappointment Lighthouse on the Northwest Pacific Coast



Downtown Tucson (2) - bruce witel photo

Downtown Tucson, Arizona



Front deck of a cabin overlooking the ocean - bruce witzel photo

Sunshine Coast in British Columbia



Downtown Montreal at sunrise - Bruce Witzel photo

Downtown Montreal, Quebec


“Know the rules well, so you can break them effectively.”

His Holiness the Dalai Lama XIV.

Happy 92nd to Charles Brandt

Father Charles Brandt at his hermitage on January 31, 2015 - b.witzel photo

Charles at his hermitage on Oyster River, Vancouver Island in British Columbia.

In his left hand is his Thomas Merton file.

~ Happy Birthday Charles ~

On Thursday, February 19th, Father Charles Brandt turned 92 years of age. He has said that this is a short span of time considering the earth is 4.5 billion years old. His primary vocation over the latter half of his life, and more, is concerned with transformation of Consciousness… We all have work, teachers, etc. But we are all called to the Great Work: Our society has to change from having a disruptive influence on the earth to one of having a benign presence.

I recently posted an article by Charles but because of technical difficulties you may have missed it in your reader. If so, please click on the following green coloured link to read what this modern day hermit-priest articulates about A New Consciousness. Charles is inspiriting as ever as he shares his wonderful insights.  Head on over and wish him a happy birthday!


Cheers ~ Bruce

 ~ Charles Brandt photo ~

Black-bellied plovers - charles brandt photo


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