Reposted with author's permission.
Most of the genuine prophecies of many of the indigenous native peoples in the Western hemisphere foresaw the completion of the great cycle or age that is drawing ever nearer. And, in that respect, they are similar to Hindu, Buddhist and other religious prophecies, and even similar to the original Christian prophecies which spoke of the end of the age and the beginning of a new one.
In fact, all genuine prophets in the world foresaw and foretold the terrible tribulation and ordeal we have been and are still going through, and all of them foresaw and foretold that the time would come when the Spirit of truth would put the trouble-makers in their place, bring an end to the conflict, division and suffering, and one way or another bring peace, harmony and well-being to their people, or even to the whole world.
Native Indian prophets of the Americas were no different. Of course, the ethnic and cultural context in which their vision is reflected is different, but that is true of the prophets of Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity, Islam, and other religions as well.
To most of the Native American peoples time is like a cycle. Like the seasons of spring, summer, autumn, and winter, it is like a hoop. At the center of the hoop is stillness, eternal timelessness. The present "now" is the eternal center around which the cycle revolves, and there is no end to the hoop, or the cycles. And that view is similar to the views of most other religions.
A great example is that the real prophecies in the Bible foretell that at the end of this age this inequitable divided "kingdom" and this state of conflict will be replaced by a united, peaceful family of nations in God's "new kingdom," which "shall be set up on the earth and last forever, never to be destroyed." (Daniel 2:44; Daniel 7:14; Psalm 104:5; Revelation 11:15, etc.)
For most of the Native American Indians of North America, the "winter" of their culture began during the last quarter of the 1800s, and in many ways still lingers. All that they had known had become like the leaves on a tree that were stripped away or blown off by a mighty wind which symbolized the invasion and occupation of their lands by the white man from Europe.
There were a number of Native American Indian prophets who foresaw that, and they also predicted or prophesied an end to the tribulation. That is why I will mention a few of those prophets and prophecies that are the most significant, in one way or another, and for good or bad.
A good one, I think, was Black Elk, a wachasha wakon, a holy man of the Oglala Sioux, who was born in 1863. He had a profound vision in four parts. The first was of his people camped in a circle, and at the center stood a sacred tree. But in the second the leaves fell from the tree. In the third was a great conflict. In the fourth he saw that the nation's hoop was broken, the sacred tree was dying and all its birds were gone, and all the winds of the world were fighting. He heard rapid gunfire and saw whirling smoke, and women and children were wailing and horses were screaming.
However, also during the fourth part of his vision Black Elk "stood on the highest mountain," and said that all around and beneath him was the whole hoop of the world. He said he saw more than he could describe, for he was seeing in a sacred manner all things in the spirit, and saw that all life and all things must live together as one being, because they all were one in the spirit. And he saw that the sacred hoop of his people was one of many hoops that made one circle, wide as daylight and as starlight, and in the center grew one mighty flowering tree to shelter all the children of one God he called Wakan-Tanka. And he saw that the tree was holy, and sacred.
Black Elk's vision certainly foresaw the terrible things that would happen to Native American peoples at the hands of white people from Europe, but it was mainly a vision of hope, and of brotherhood. But, he, like so many prophetic visionaries and seers, thought he had foreseen great and good events that would soon take place. And, because those events did not come to pass during his lifetime, Black Elk became a disappointed man believing that he had failed his vision. He grew old thinking he was pitiful and had done nothing, since his nation's hoop had been broken and his people scattered and relegated to poverty in U.S. Government reservations. He felt there was no hoop and no center any longer, and the sacred tree was dead.
Still, shortly before his death in 1950, Black Elk finally realized that prophecy would not be fulfilled for some time. He even said that he had come to believe in the teachings of "Jesus the Christ," but he added that the white men should know that the God of Jesus is the same as his God, Wakan-Tanka, the Great Spirit, who would ensure that the holy pipe would be returned to his people, that the sacred tree of life will once again live, and that the hoop of life and harmony will be restored in the world.
Black Elk was correct, just as all genuine prophets have been correct.
Granted, many genuine prophets have been vague or even inaccurate as to the time of the fulfillment of their prophecies, and some were not literal or accurate about some other things. Some can even be interpreted to include a vindictive "doomsday" quality to them, which reflects the resentment the prophets felt for those who used force of arms to oppress and dominate their people. But all genuine prophets, regardless of their religious and cultural influences, foresaw and foretold essentially and basically the same thing.
Other Native American Indian prophecies also foretell the time when truth will prevail over falsehood and good will triumph over evil, and others speak of a certain person who will bring about the change.
For example, the Hopi await the return of Pahana, the True White Brother who will unite the world after this great tribulation. The Mayans await the return of Kukulcan, the bearded white man, and like Black Elk they also speak of a sacred tree. The Aztecs and Toltecs await the white man Quetzalcoatl, who will bring peace and harmony after a very long era of terrible trouble. And, while they don't know it, they all speak of the same person.