Lifestyle When the Prairie Aided the Emerald Isle

When the Prairie Aided the Emerald Isle

Kindred Spirits - The Choctaw Monument by David Dixon, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Welcome to the latest episode of Igniting Your Dynamic Self with Wendy Bjork. As an international bestselling author, inspirational speaker and founder of, her mission is to empower women to take charge of their health holistically so they can feel confident, have clarity and be inspired to find joy and simplicity.

The Choctaws had been in Oklahoma only 16 years when they heard about the potato famine in Ireland. A crowd that was composed of tribal members who had been forcibly removed from their homelands east of the Mississippi River. They were marched to Oklahoma in the 1830s, walking thousands of miles on the genocidal “Trail of Tears” in 1831, under the direction of Andrew Jackson (who had parents who emigrated from Ireland). Many had lost family members on the journey.

The Irish were vulnerable in large part because they depended on the potato for food, and a disease destroyed their crops in 1847. The famine killed 20 to 25 percent of the country’s population.

Historian Turtle Bunbury says the tribe had little to give when Major William Armstrong arrived in Skullyville in 1847, seeking donations for Irish famine relief. But the Choctaws lent their support anyway. Choctaw leaders collected $170, (about $5,000 in today’s dollars) to send across the ocean. 

That donation forged a bond that’s lasted over 170 years. A sculpture in Midleton, Ireland, consisting of oversized steel eagle feathers arranged in the shape of a bowl, honors those ties. It serves as a reminder that what goes around comes around. The friendship between the two is a symbol of what’s possible when we open our hearts and join forces.

The Irish were profoundly moved by this gift of compassion. They were grateful for the Choctaws’ kindness and their heartfelt donation. The gift was never forgotten and a longstanding friendship emerged. Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar visited the Choctaw Nation in 2018 and announced a new series of scholarships for Choctaw students to study in Ireland.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Irish honored this friendship by raising funds for Native American tribes affected by the illness. Today, there is a strong connection between the two ancient peoples that crosses all boundaries.

Our Experience

When it comes to our legacy, many of us think of giving back as the ultimate act of selflessness. It’s a great way to leave behind a positive impact on the world, while also providing a sense of fulfillment for the person who is giving.

But there’s a lot of confusion about how exactly to “give back” and what that really looks like. In this article, we’ll explore three ways you can benefit generations to come by supporting causes and communities.

One way to help future generations is by getting involved with intergenerational projects that bring younger and older people together. These types of programs can help to break down the barriers that often separate age groups and prevent collaboration and cooperation. For example, Third Act, a co-generational nonprofit, is harnessing the energy and passion of the fast-growing age 60 and up population in the United States to protect the climate and strengthen democracy for future generations. Whether by educating older people on climate issues or bringing them together to write Op-Eds with youth or participate in local political campaigns, their work is building a powerful generational bridge that supports a shared future.

The second way to increase these intergenerational efforts, is  to think about the impacts of our decisions on future generations. This includes seeking as much information about the long-term consequences of a policy as possible. Even with this, we cannot be certain that future generations will always be better off as a result of our actions. But that should not discourage decision makers from trying to minimize the risk that they will be worse off by focusing on their goals and values.

The third way is to consider in detail the ways in which we treat our environment.  As individuals we often believe the small acts won’t affect the overall situation. When in fact each single one of our acts impact the wildlife, bees, butterflies and birds around us. It’s up to each of us to discern the impact our actions are affecting the generations to come.

It’s important to believe we each contain the power to help one another, no matter how large or small the perceived impact has on the world around us!

We can learn from our predecessors as well as from each other. To support you on this path of expanding your vision for your life, you may download your copy of the 30-Day Journal + Blueprint Bundle Towards Living Your Best Life at 

This will support you by taking small steps daily towards a better view of yourself with improved self talk, writing your weekly goals and celebrating your weekly wins. Discovering and living by your personalized playbook are important steps we can create together!



If you feel a self-paced approach with Wendy’s support would be helpful in reaching your goals, you can head over to the Hearts of Wellness Membership Collective and begin your journey back to simplicity, freedom and wholeness!

As a pioneer in advocacy and mentorship, Wendy is leading a global revolution of women walking in purpose and peace as she illumines their path ahead with the light of HOPE:  Harmony, Options, Peace & Empowerment.


Follow Wendy:

Connect with her through social media:

Twitter/X: @bjork_ms

FB page: Wendy Bjork Hearts of Wellness

YouTube Channel:


Instagram: @theempressofms


Check out more lifestyle stories here. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *