From Our Hearts Thank You Vine Deloria Jr.
By a thousand campfires, traveling the endless miles of reservation frustration, huddling in the desolate urban centers and Indian bars, the soul of the American Indian cries out to his gods for justification.
Until now there has been no answer, no joyous cry of freedom. With this album. Floyd Westerman takes the giant step across cultures to bring the anguish and unquenchable pride of the American Indian to the forefront.
Raised in government boarding schools, supporting himself since he was fourteen, victim and conqueror of the society that betrayed his ancestors, Floyd is the only person who could have done these songs.
A veteran of the contemporary Indian movement, his rendition of Where Were You When? reflects the bitterness of those who have fought too hard only to be shunted aside in favor of newly arrived "Indian experts" who have all the answers.
The defiant title song, Custer Died For Your Sins, could only be sung by one who has glimpsed the Indian renaissance in the reservation backwash of American society.
Thirty-five More Miles, the story of Floyd's mother represents the senseless waste of Indian lives by a society that does not understand and could not learn to care.
Red, White and Black and Missionaries tell of the struggle against hopeless odds which seeks to create in American society new sense of the dimensions of cultures.
Floyd was born to sing these songs and they were written in search of a singer like Floyd. Like the eyapaha, the cryer of old who summoned the camp to action, Floyd will provide the spark, the badly needed war songs that thousands have waited to hear. Hear him well.
The songs, brilliantly penned by Jimmy Curtiss, are a testimony to Jimmy's ability to transcend time and space and live with the people in their sorrow and triumphs, to understand their sense of hopelessness and yet to see their vision.
With this album the continental divide of oppression is crossed and a new day begins. Remember it as the years pass and a new history for the American Indian is forged out of the decades. Remember how the world was before the songs were heard. The day is corning when you will not remember how it started — that it started with this record.
Vine Deloria Jr.