Monday, April 9, 2012

Crow Dog the Holy Man

         Land is seen as what the Lakota refer to as Unci Maka or Grandmother Earth.  Lakota have known they come from the earth rather than the earth is meant to master.  In thinking about the idea of land ownership it reminds me of my traveling to a nearby town looking for some fencing.  The lady helping me told me, I should know what I needed because I was a man.  Of course my reply was, we didn’t need fences until your people came to our area.  If you look at the land on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation you can see how only a few benifitted from land ownership.  People have interests that have been passed down because of a lack of understanding of American value of private property.  Some people have been able to buy land from other tribal members but there is a lot of land that was taken out of trust and now Non-Indian people own that land.  It is purely a difference between two cultures, one believes it can own the land and the other understands the land is where we come from and where we will return.

                When the first settlers came to America they came searching for a new way of life.  The old world was a place the few held the land in ownership.  Share cropping was a way of life and people who did not own the land did not have the oppurtunity to advance.  So when the oppurtunity came to come to America and risk their lives, they jumped at the oppurtunity because it was a chance for a new beginning.  White slavery was how the United States started but it was called indentured servitude but in the end they were simply involved in human trafficking.  Most of them worked for around six years and then were given the oppurtunity to own land as well.  They were offered one hundred acres in the new world.  This practice was only stopped as it became cheaper to own African slaves and this was a very lucritive business as ship loads were brought from the Africa.

                When the Lakota fought for the hunting rights of their people it was not to own the land as much as it was to be allowed to live life.  Indian suffrage came in the twentieth century and it was almost a quarter century before that took place.  I suppose it is easier to say 1924 was the point of American Indian Citizenship.  1879 with the Standing Bear trial we as American Indians became human.  Our rights as human being were violated because they did not consider us human.  So we must question the intentions of the United States when they signed the 1868 treaty.  Why would you have to make a treaty with an animal, or why would you consider keeping such a treaty?  When you start to see what was done to the Lakota Nation you need realize we must fight for our existence. 

                Leonard Crow Dog the famous Holy Man from the Sicangu came to Wounded Knee and stopped in the Higher Ground Coffee House to have lunch.  I had some Chicken Fried Rice and he told me it was very good.  It was pretty awesome to hear the beautiful Lakota language spoken in public.  I wanted to be clear with Crow Dog and he was speaking to me freely in English, and I told him, “You know I am a Christian right?”  He said he knew and he was ok with it.  He told me he spoke at the World Council of Churches.  It was so nice to be able to share some ideas with the Wicasa Wankan or Holy Man.  My views are we need to fight for the Great Sioux Nation and we have use the system to overcome the United States of America.  I told Crow Dog out of respect it is him and others like him who need to pull us together and develop the United Tribes of Lakota.  My good friend Russell Means has the right idea about his Republic of Lakota, he also told me we were the only people who did not ask for citizenship in 1924.  They made us citizens but we should consider ourselves citizens of the Lakota. 

                So our lawyers and leaders need to work on behalf of the Lakota.  Here is an idea, this country was founded on the rights of land ownership and the protection of that land.  Freedom and Land are the highest values and we need to take our rightful place in the Great Sioux Nation, which is Land Lords.  We need to get paid for the squaters on our land. Any question can be sent to blunthorn@gmail.com


J Martin said...

I am an Oglala Sioux Tribal Member. My father born in 1929 grew up on the Pine Ridge Reservation where he was forcefully taken from his mother as a child. He died at the average age that Pine Ridge Sioux die, at age 45 when I was nine. My father never had to be drafted as he willingly joined the armed services as many Sioux men did in his generation. To lose someone such as my father was a loss for me & the U.S. as my father was genius. What an asset he would have made, particularly in science & physics if he had been given equal opportunity.
APPALLING sums the average life expectancy rate on The Pine Ridge Reservation. INEXCUSABLE, is that Pine Ridge has the highest poverty rate in the U.S., highest infant mortality rate in U.S., 70% unemployment rate (higher during winter). DEPLORABLE, is the substandard housing & water conditions, high teen suicide rate & high school dropout rate. UNJUSTIFIABLE are the overall health conditions. Diabetes, heart disease, cancer, & MALNUTICION are abundant. I could go on & on.
Why does this continue? One problem is that Pine Ridge Reservation, the Oglala Sioux, and all their difficulties are literally tucked away from sight, as the nearest city is many miles away. Another problem is that the U.S.A. has had a recession (overall, U.S. unemployment rate is a nuisance compared to the Oglala Sioux unemployment rate).
Where there is poverty like this, there is increased violence and more victims. To 'help', the U.S. Gov., created The Tribal Law and Order Act a couple years ago. More 'policing' due to high violence. That is not what the Oglala Sioux need. Prevention is necessary e.g. preventative healthcare. Prevent the high violence. Look at the tenants that contribute to such deplorable living conditions & do something about them.
Study Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs if one does not understand what living in true poverty requires. Many individuals could be assets or resources. The problem is that one cannot evolve to their fullest if thoughts are on basics such as food, shelter, & clothing.
The current way of life for the Oglala Sioux on Pine Ridge Reservation was created. It is simply indefensible that it is allowed to continue.

Tommy Tooter said...

i am a 4th generation native hebrew-israelite whose family emigrated from eastern europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

i'm a dissident and got myself shot in los angeles for writing things about the CIA-drug mafia in venice beach people didn't want to see in print. the bullet was left in and my friends directed me to chief crow dog to ask him to sing uweepee ceremony for me. the following is something i just wrote in response to a posting by a friend containing a black elk quote. if leonard, ernie or anybody else would want to contact me, i would be most happy to be able to thank them again for the healing. i used the picture from this page with my posting at faceook. if that is an issue, i apologize and will remove it.

when i went to chief Leonard Crow Dog of the rosebud lakota band to ask him to sing the uweepee healing ceremony for me to remove a bullet from my back that had been left behind because it wasn't life threatening and i was a charity patient, he told me that he couldn't help me, but the spirits he would invoke with the ceremony would.

traditionally, the medicine chief would want some tobacco, a pony and a few blankets, but in 1993, we substituted a turtle-top camper van for the pony. i also brought along enough food to feed us all for the week of preparation for the ceremony.

to prepare, i went on nature walks with leonard who would tell me about the medicine that was all around us and the his native cosmology. i went in the sweat lodge every day with his anglo apprentice, brad and made a long string of what's called tobacco ties to use as the perimeter of the altar space for the ceremony.

the ties are bits of red, white, black and yellow cloth with a pinch of tobacco in them tied onto a cord to be laid around the area where i would sit and chief crow dog laid tied in a blanket singing the ceremony. there was a row of a few drummers and singers on the outside of the ties and the shaman rattles and fans were laid on the ground in front of me.

i prayed real hard to my own spirit guides during the preparation week to make sure that it would be made clear to me whether i was experiencing real spirits or a hoax. the ceremony was performed in chief crow dog's nephew, ernie running's basement on a very hot summer day in a room with no air conditioner or fan running. ernie was the lead drummer and leonard, wrapped in the blanket started singing, invoking spirits to come and join him to remove the bullet.

when he invoked the spirits of his grandfather crow dog and sinte gleske, the chief that he had killed in the landmark murder conviction that was overturned by the supreme court, they appeared in front of my face in that spooky 30's hollywood horror flick shimmering image sort of way and the rattle and fan started to fly around me with nobody visible holding them giving off little lightning bug flashes. when leonard invoked hawk, the north wind spirit, there was a blast of ice cold, clean, crisp air accompanying his arrival.

though the experience itself and the fact that my pain was gone was plenty to convince me that the healing was legitimate, i had seen the bullet on x-rays prior to the ceremony and have never been able to find it since.

happy day


tommy tooter