Shawnee/Cayuga activist and poet Barney Bush gives the keynote speech at the Forest & Climate Convergence in the Shawnee National Forest in October 2019.
Barney Bush 1946 – 2021
As one of the keynote speakers at the 2019 North American Forest and Climate Movement Convergence in the Shawnee National Forest, Barney Bush a Shawnee/Cayuga poet, activist and educator told a crowd that “anyone who loves my land as much as I do is my brother and sister.”
Bush passed away Saturday, September 18, 2021. He was born in 1946 in Illinois. He had earned a Master’s of Fine Arts in English from the University of Idaho and was known for his poetic works including Left for Dead: Prisoners of the American Dream (1994) and Songs From This Earth on Turtle’s Back.
As an educator, Bush was instrumental in establishing Native American Study Programs across the nation and the Cheyenne Indian School in Oklahoma.
At the convergence Bush told the crowd of his commitment to the environment, but that those destroying the Earth really don’t care about protests and suggested that going after their profits made more sense. He also stated that those who despoil the Earth are sociopaths and without a conscience noting that, “The thing we need to figure out is how to deal with people who do not have a conscience.”
At one point, while noting that although he had the mental energy of younger activists, he no longer had “the physical strength” for certain activities. He also talked about “crossing over” sometime and that “I’d love to hear that song… I’d love to hear our family song being sung as I go home.”
Barney Bush Presente!