William Lee ‘Sage Man’ Pedro, In Memoriam, by Donald L. Vasicek
2006-03-26 | William Lee “Sage Man” Pedro
Sand Creek Massacre Descendant
I was informed today that William Lee “Sage Man” Pedro, a Sand Creek Massacre descendent, a descendant of John Smith, and a Southern Arapaho man, who has been proactive with respect to the re-burial of remains taken from the Sand Creek Massacre, died of a brain injury from a fall while shopping with his wife.
Lee, as I was honored to be able to respectfully call him, was a passionate man, whose eyes would tear and sear me when he talked about the atrocities at Sand Creek with me. Although he took me to task for being a white man who could not be trusted simply because I was a white man, and who met me nose-to-nose on several occasions to make sure I was on the straight and narrow with his people and him, he did support my efforts to tell the Cheyenne and Arapaho people’s stories via their oral histories in the educational video and documentary film. He will be missed. I gave one moment today for Lee. I looked up into the sun. My eyes drifted to green grass blades pushing their way into new life on the ground. I saw a majestic maple tree reaching for the blue sky. Then, the greening buds on its branches. A dog barked. It echoed against the silence of this moment, and I knew Lee is now with his ancestors.
I am hopeful that each of you can honor him for one minute out of your busy lives. He was an aboriginal, a native, a man who was part of the roots of America, and its rich, American history. He agonized over the way his people have been treated for nearly four centuries by the United States government and other Americans. Lee’s heart wrenched with sadness, with anger, and with pride over this.
Honor him as he has honored us.
Peace and Love,
Donald L. Vasicek
Olympus Films+, LLC