Chief Joseph RiverWind, a leader of the Arawak Taino Nation, and his wife Laralyn arrived in Israel earlier this month for an official tour. According to reports in the Israeli press, the couple were particularly taken by their visit to Judea and Samaria, finding inspiration in the story of Jews returning to their native homeland.

“It is an honor for us to be here and to meet such wonderful people, the people of this land,” said RiverWind. “Your story, the people of Israel, gives us a lot of hope. Your return to your language, your land, your return to your spirituality. For Native Americans this is an exciting success story.”

The Arawak Taino Nation, he added while meeting the head of the Samaria Regional Council, Yossi Dagan, shares a similar history of persecution as the Jews. “They took from us our language, our identity, our land, and here there is the story of returning to Israel. It is an honor for us to be in Samaria and to encourage people in America and overseas to support Israel, including Samaria, to speak against the BDS movement and to support any way to help Israel, we are doing what we can to stop the propaganda and the Israel… The Arab occupation must be stopped and Samaria should be returned to the Jewish people as they have restored Jerusalem and the rest of the country to its owners.”

RiverWind and his wife concluded their visit by singing a song they’ve composed to celebrate Israel’s 70th anniversary of its independence.

Last week, New York state’s Seneca Nation struck a similar note by issuing a proclamation celebrating Yom Ha’atzmaut. “The Seneca Nation and the State of Israel share in common a passion for freedom and a willingness to fight for and defend our sovereignty and our shared right to be a free and independent people,” it read. “The Seneca nation has admiration and respect for the warrior spirit of the Israeli people. The warrior spirit of the Israeli people has enabled the State of Israel to protect and defend its sovereignty and its very existence against all that have tried to destroy it.”