Monday, November 18, 2013

Lakota Gold

A few years ago we started a coffee house in Pine Ridge Village and I have to say I love coffee but I do not really like the super hot kind. I do like my ice coffees and like to drink a cup with at least three shots of espresso. I met an Italian man from the east coast and we were in Chadron, Nebraska and we went to the coffee house and he ordered a mocha chino and I thought it was the coolest thing. I ordered one too and it was really great and that was my drink for a long time. I also like the triple shot iced Americano with a shot of cinnamon dolce with room for cream. When someone orders a latte with Soy milk I call that a John Travolta because he seems like a guy who would drink Soy. But with all of my coffee that I drink and savor at times I love a dark brew. I wanted to develop a coffee that I would be honored to call Lakota Gold.
A few years ago we developed this label and now I have had this coffee label under wraps. Since that time I have come into contact with three coffees from Indian Country. We were selling Lakota Gold because it is bold and strong and today it is the #1 seller at the Higher Ground Coffee House. But the three Indian Coffees came years ago when the Activist turned Actor Russell Means came up with Means Beans and it never really got off the ground but it was a great idea. Then in the last year I heard of Hoka Coffee from Pine Ridge and one of our customers is selling the coffee and developing and has high hopes to develop the company on the Pine Ridge. And now Native Aemrican Coffee Company is growing by leaps and bounds it is run by Jayson Brave Heart and it is going to be a great company. But I have decided to bring out my own label once again for the Holiday Season. I am sure it will be fun to sell the coffee.
When we started the Higher Ground Coffee House it was clear lots of people never thought it would work. A Gourmet Coffee House in the Village of Pine Ridge, one of the poorest places in America and now almost ten years later the coffee house is still growing and developing. I have made coffees since day one and I have also developed my culinary skill and it has been fun learning to make different dishes. I have some favorites but I am excited to bring a steak dinner to the table on Friday. I thought I would drop a few lines and share what I am doing with my time. Who knows where the Lakota Gold will go and how far?

Best Frybread Pine Ridge Village

In the last few weeks I have seen flyers around Pine Ridge Village and I thought this is a great idea.  I have learned to make frybread and it is fun but it is truly a gift. I make yeast frybread but I have seen baking powder frybread done.  I have mostly had the yeast bread and it is my favorite.  I once went to a American Indian youth conference, I had the opportunity to help make frybread and I remember it was hard work because there were lots of us making it for a huge gathering at a Montana State University at Bozeman.  I remember the triangles of tasty bread just off the stove.  It was a great time but exhausting. 
Bread is such a great way to get to know people, I love the idea of breaking bread with people and have some great experiencing remembering what Jesus did and now we can have bread and wine to remember what Jesus did for the world.  I am going spiritual but it is ok because there are so many positive aspects of bread. 
I have learned to make different breads and have sold them at the Higher Ground Coffee House in Pine Ridge Village.  I want to have a chili and frybread contest or join one at some point because I believe I can make some great chili.  I want to see if people will get interested in doing a contest.  It will be fun and I hope we can get lots of people to come and enjoy the food. 
On another note it is great to see people take the effort and get out there and sell a product.  I believe people want to be successful and they want to share their passion.  I have believed for some time when you find someone with passion you should encourage the passion because that is a key in the life of a successful person.  So I hope to try this frybread and hopefully it will be as great as they say. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Prison Camp and Stolen Indian Lands

The two photos above are tied together in history and a geographical reality.  I found the POW Camp photo on the border near White Clay, Nebraska and the second one Indian Land sale from Facebook but it dawned on me because I have been searching to understand what took place over the last 130 years in Lakota history.  The Dawes Act was the greatest rip off of land because it basically took just over half the lands Indian lands and then sold them off to White settlers.  They were on a mission to assimilate and/or kill the Indian people.  This is the genocide of our people and I am happy to know people are understanding history of what took place in Indian Country.  
I know a guy who actually screamed at me and told me Our people were a conquered people and I should have knocked him out but I took pity on him.  What the United States has done and continue to do today is shocking.  I have been writing in Lakota Country Times about my missionary experience since 1995 and it has been really bad.  I actually try not to tell people I am Christian because some of these people are rotten at the core.  Almost everyone of the Missionaries I have dealt with has tried to take over because of the paternalistic attitudes and their sin of coveting.  I had two corporate take overs and one failed and the other succeeded and these missionaries are still around.  The one that worked was because the land owners believed the White Guy but he eventually failed and has moved back across the border near White Clay.  The other White Missionary couple who tried to destroy me is out to the West of Pine Ridge Village.  It is interesting that they stole most of my support because they lied about me and then again the White donors actually believe the White Missionary.  I was told by some church leaders that they were evil and I should stay away from them. 
I believe our people were targeted for Cultural Genocide and I want to work on developing some paradigms to help our people out of the oppression and devastation.  We are in deep poverty and the onslaught of White Missionaries are still coming and I am not sure it is the answer because they usually end up together and become powerless to help our people.  We as a people need to rise up and begin to take control of our own lives and stop depending on the White Missionary because they do not have enough resources to help us out of our poverty.  I hope to continue to develop ideas to help us and hope people will pray for me and seek to help.   
The land was stolen and then resold and people have continued to take Indian land.  They placed on the Reservations and they were essentially concentration camps and we were not allowed to leave.  They said we were Off The Reservation and could be killed if were caught outside of the Prison Camp.  Today we live on the little left and still they try to take the Indian Land.  We have our history and we know where we have come from, which is from our ancestors.  The Lords of the Plains and we will come to a healing, I believe it will come from the Creator. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Alcohol Hearing/Impeachment Process

Garfield Little Dog Steel is speaking on behalf of himself during his impeachment process against himself.  August 2013 there was the referendum alcohol hearing in Pine Ridge Village and there were about 20 people in the audience.  I asked the opponents of the referendum where there people were because I did not see many of their supporters.  I went as a witness because I wanted to be informed about what was going on.  I believe the final decision is set for December but there may be some changes because there is a dismissal challenge by the Oglala Sioux Tribal Council in the Oglala Sioux Tribal Court. 
Today September 23, 2013 the impeachment process is happening and there are about 80 people and you can feel the tension but it shows that there are some things the light a fire under people.  I thought I would just share just a little. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Black Jesus

“YOU NEED TO TAKE A HOLD OF THE BLACK JESUS”.  I have been sharing with people about this concept.  It is not about Jesus being black but the reality he was not White.  On a trip to Washington DC I was visiting an Inner-City church and I came across a post card of sorts and it was a picture of the Black Jesus.  I was a little stunned because I like most have only ever seen a blond haired, blue eyed Jesus.  Of course I like the picture of Jesus with long hair and brown skin but I am Indian, oh I meant American Indian.  In the first part of the 19th Century there was a point in history that would change the way we as Lakota and other Indigenous Nations would exist.  It was around then the churches took federal funding to destroy the Indian and save the man tactics for the government.  It was a thought the Indigenous people were equal but had an inferior culture.  Now we can debate this for a long time but it does not matter, because we are in this situation now; it was disastrous to the American Indian Life.

                I have heard of stories when a white man came to the door the children would run and hide.  The preachers and priest use to visit homes seeking to share their faith and messages.  My own mother was made to go to school with a threat of having her father sent to jail.  I know some of you know the feeling of a white man coming to the door and then running and hiding.  We had fear of the welfare lady coming and we hid in our home back in the inner-city.  The churches and other federal agents sought to destroy the Lakota culture and take away the central facet of the culture, which is language.  No one really talks about the involvement of the “Church” being an agent of the government but it goes to show you, good intentions do not always bring good results.  We know there are instances wrong doings committed by the church and I am developing thought about these happenings.

                I have a difficult time talking about race because in my understanding we come from one creator and not many creations.  Thus, the human race is one but just like siblings fights break out and the further you go from your cousins the less they mean to you.  So we end up with different cultures around the world with different shades of brown.  I have not seen a red man or a black man or white man or yellow for that matter, maybe the closest I have to a red man was when I saw this white guy who got sunburned but he was more pink than red.  I am sorry but we need to realize we are but one race and different cultures is what divides us.  My message of the “Black Jesus” is to share with people who do not have a clue about the Savior or Wanikiya.  Lakota people sought for a savior and sang the songs to call the Wanikiya(Savior) to come and save them.  Now we have so much white guilt and white hatred people are fueled in these ways.  It is a trick to keep up from the Knowledge of the Savior. 

                I am not going to seek to expose the wrongdoings of people who came to Lakota country and did it with government monies, such as the churches.  It is just an interesting point in our history that they were giving money to churches to make the Indians “Christians”.  It did not work, and we have many confused individuals in Lakota Country.  We can see what the effects are when you look around the Reservations.  It is a sad state of affairs and you can see the destruction left behind by the policies of the Government and the Churches.  There is a constant feeling of not being good enough among our Lakota people.  I am not good enough and neither is any race among mankind.  We must begin to embrace truth and see what are past has done to our future and present.

                Now me being a Follower of Jesus I need to preface my idea about being human.  We as a race of people will never be good enough to stand before a Holy or Wanka Creator.  So the idea needs to be clear and concise because we have not found a Great White Savior because it does not exist.  We can argue religion or ways all day, but in the end we need to understand Jesus was more than dark skinned man, he is the Savior or Wanikiya.  The dignity of the Lakota Man has been stripped away by the Government and the Church because it took away his identity.  We need to begin to think differently in regards to our future.  Embracing a black Jesus will help you to know the lighter your skin does not make you better or worse. 

                I have written about some issues we need to address and they are banking and Casino.  We have many issues but these are important to get the ball rolling.  We can walk in two worlds, making money to support our future is imperative.  Look, Rapid City does not mind if we come to their city and spend our money but what if we took the land back and put up the casino, and started making money?  It would be a good responsible move in regards to being American.  If there are any Council members reading this I hope you think about it and begin the process of studying who owns the land where Sioux Park sits in West Rapid City?  Then begin the process of developing a plan and locating monies to build a convention center and make the government responsible for better health care at Sioux San.  We must humble ourselves as Lakota and begin to work together.  Each tribe can donate machines so we can have our set machines through the compact with the state.  I can imagine the State of South Dakota will not be happy but in the end, it will be a federal issue and the trust land will be our responsibility.  We could use our own people to police the facility.

                It is time we begin to change our future as the Lakota Nation.  The Great Sioux Nation was a great idea our forefathers gave us and now we need to use our brains take back our dignity. 

                We as humans are equal but until people take a hold the person of Jesus, we will continue to struggle with untruth.  We as the Lakota Nation can change our destiny and the United States Government will need to honor their word through the treaty.  I hope that we can now move forward and begin to set a path of healing in regards to what the “Church” and U.S. Government has done in the name of civility. 

                In closing this blog of old, I would like to share with you my latest understanding.  Many people actually are not sharing the person of Jesus; they are sharing a set of rules.  I like the idea of the Black Jesus because it shares with people an idea, this idea is to understand Jesus is not just for the White people but he is for all people I have seen many pictures since I first saw the Black Jesus and they were from many cultures and yes I did see a picture of Jesus in buckskin.  My question to you is, can you handle the Black Jesus?

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Death of White Clay

I have said it many times and I will not stop, the only way to close White Clay is to open up sales of Alcohol on the Pine Ridge.  The people in the northern part of Sheridan County do like the way their communities looks.  They want us to go back to where we came from, duh that would be the Great Sioux Nation.  This little area is suppose to be protected from this type of trade, or alcohol.  I am going to be blunt in this because I believe we are a great people.  I have met people actually believe we are less human than the white people because we lack genes.  I am sick of people believing we are less than human.  I have tried to be respectful but it is time to make changes in our lives. 

When I was young I studied prohibition of the early 20th century and it was not successful.  People seemed to actually drink more and crime rose in the 20s.  I do not like to see our people in White Clay begging for money and passing out on the streets.  It is a sad place and I hope the people will vote for the sales of alcohol on the Pine Ridge because it is time we deal with our own problems.  The beer store owners are not going to help us.  I know a couple of them but they are just out to make a living.  Let's shut down White Clay by voting for Alcohol Sales on the Pine Ridge. 

Remember Rez Ramblings on Amazon 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

White Clay Readers

I have been working on selling my book Rez Ramblings available on Amazon.  I spent my last two years of high school working on the Oglala Light, Oglala Community High School’s newspaper.  I learned layouts and wrote many editorials.  I had a great teacher who taught me to be myself.  Just be your self-Leon, was the best lesson I learned.  It is easier to just be me.  Since I wrote my book I have been working to sell the book, marketing is difficult.  I have 1100 plus people who took the time to like my Rez Ramblings page and I would like to ask you to purchase a book.  If everyone on my list bought the book it would empower me to continue to write and share my stories.

                The Higher Ground Coffee House in Pine Ridge allowed me to serve our relatives in White Clay.  I would often bring extra breakfast to our relatives.  I believe it is the greatest gift when you can give.  Give of your time and your resources and you will be rewarded with respect and love.  I believe our people are amazing and wonderful, no one is perfect.  I have been thinking about my picture above and it is awesome, because the Relatives in White Clay would tell me they read my articles.  Seeking to bring hope to a strong and beautiful people please consider buying a book.  Rez Ramblings

Friday, July 19, 2013

Sometimes life throws you a curve ball and what you thought you could hit actually was a curve.  While living in the 21st century I realize we are young in our relationship with the European and their quest for gold.  I have often spoken about the culture of more and the American Dream is actually an idea of greed.  In the coming days I want to write about empowerment and how we can help each other.  I have worked for free for 18 years serving the Gospel of Christ, because I believe in the message.  The message of serving and giving up oneself is powerful.  My desire is to grow my company and keep writing because I believe we have a great story.  The following story was submitted to my people.  How many people can talk about their people?  I have lived an open life and have shared my thoughts and ideas and I am grateful for the respect and love I have received.  I am fighting for my life and for the story to move forward.  I thought of writing more in the Johnny Depp story but I wanted you to read what I have written to the Lakota Nation.  My life is an open book and I hope you get to read more.  the book Rez Ramblings is here and I need empowerment.  I hope you will consider helping me buy a book and if you have already done so I would hope you would buy a book for a friend.  Looking to be empowered through your help. https://www.createspace.com/3941671

Captain Jack or Tonto is trying to buy the Wounded Knee land that is up for sale.  I know there are a lot of talks in American Indian circles about The Lone Ranger and the role of Tonto, played by Johnny Depp.  Honestly, it will go down as one of the best Indian movies for Indians.  Unfortunately the story is not pro-European American and white guilt could make the movie bust.  With that being said, it is apparent some trades were not always fair.  The movie starts with trading and throughout the movie you realize things are upside down, watch for a silver mine and peanuts for a dead mouse.    I enjoyed the trade with the little boy, peanuts for a dead mouse, it really set the movie because Tonto traded and it depicts the American Indian as a person who trades.  It told the story of the White Man who was greedy and underhanded as they raided the house as Comanche and the Army killed for the wrong reason. Depp as an executive producer made all the right moves and it was a powerful movie.

                I like Pirates of the Caribbean and watched all the movies and I have to say, Captain Jack truly played Tonto.  Look, Johnny Depp is not an Indian culturally he has Indian blood and that is good enough for me; the government tried to kill off the Indian and his offspring.  I say, if Mr. Depp wants to be Indian, it is cool because we need all the Indians we can get.  I read a post about the greatest holocaust, it was not in Eastern Europe, it was in the Western Hemisphere and 100 million people were lost and their land was stolen by greedy foreigners.  I do not want to hate on the White Man or his children but I do want my story told and if it is told by a Pirate, so be it.  Johnny Depp is seeking to buy the land and give it back to the tribe.  My personal opinion is the land is priceless, because of the history.  Of course on the other side of the table you are going to find the same type of White Man trying to find his silver or gold.  I would like to see Tonto, Captain Jack, or Mr. Depp trade with the White Man and maybe it is peanuts. 

                Tonto is a great figure and because the Pirate Jack Sparrow is playing the role it has brought the Comanche and other tribal people’s stories to the forefront in American and possibly the World Media.  Once again the Lakota are being talked about and our Tribal Government is working to get this done.  I believe Mr. Depp has the right heart and wants to be respectful as he played Tonto he is not authentically an Indian but he is an actor who has always been himself.  Authenticity is a great value and I assure you the reader Depp played the role as authentically as he could.  He brought in Indian actors to play Indians and that should be praised as we are a growing people once again.  I would personally like to see a Civic Center at Wounded Knee to establish the Truth and people could hear from the Residents of Wounded Knee and it would be awesome to have a Ranger there to help people. (Just some thoughts)

                Our story has not ended with the history.  Railroads were built in the 1800s and Indian people were moved and removed.  Our way of life was challenged and we became stagnant and that has hurt our people immensely.  I see it all the time we are not flowing like the water, we are in a pond and we need to keep the water flowing.  I sense we have lost our way to use the healing of water and it is has changed us as a people.  We know the churches were sent to destroy our culture and they did a pretty good job.  But we must learn define ourselves if we are going to thrive in this century.  I see more people leaving the churches to follow Jesus.  Churches are corporations and are run like a business, even the short-term mission groups are business ventures.  It is like going on a safari so you see the wild kingdom and get to play with the Native Children.   Ok so I digressed, but I want you to know the companies and corporations bring church groups are business.  They even made a business out of Jesus.  

Monday, July 15, 2013

As I reflect on the last 130 year I am realizing what are people have endured and the loss of a beautiful way of life.  Lakota have survived the worst winter storms and summer droughts the plains could throw at them as they lived in Freedom.  The Oyate Tatanka/Buffalo Nation was brought to the point of extinction because of the greedy railroad men who wanted to expand and make money.   Men like Crazy Horse, Spotted Tail, Big Foot, and Sitting Bull were being taken out of the way and life was becoming difficult to live.  At the forefront of the issues of those days in the latter part of the 19th Century was the Ghost Dance.  The Ghost Dance can be considered a millennium religion because they were looking at a new century and wanting to establish hope.  Many of the people turned to Christianity but it was not the faith of the Bible it was a de-cultural tool of the Government.  My mother was a member of the Episcopal Church and would talk about her religion and respected the people who turned to the Lakota Spiritual Ways.

                Back to the Ghost Dance, it was a new religion mixing the Paiute Ways and an idea of a Savior or the Christ.  It promised a few things, like the old people would return, white people would go away, and the old ways along with the Bison would return.  The Christ would come and save the people and this is why people were desperate for the old ways.  As the Reservations were established as concentration camps, Red Cloud was the strong Statesman and he served the people well.  He wanted Education for the children and brought the Black Robes or Jesuits to train the children at Holy Rosary.  From that point on my family was engaged in kinship with the Red Cloud family.  My grandfather Wallace Red Shirt was a cousin to Oliver Red Cloud the Traditional Itanca (Chief/Leader). 

                Grandpa Oliver gave me a message when I was turning 40 years old.  We would visit often but my first visit was with my mother and grandpa Oliver.  I drove her out to his place and he was alone and invited us into his home.  My mother referred to him as Uncle/Leksi and I was just listening, but I was introduced and sat quietly.  They talked about the relatives and it was a very beautiful meeting of family members.  I would run into the Chief at gathering places and would shake his hand and give my respect.  It was amazing that he would often tease me because I was a young man.  I worked hard to share my experience of Jesus; who I met in Colorado and walked the Jesus Road on the Rez. 

                I have experienced many “Christians” during my time on the Reservation and many were good people just living out their lives.  We must remember many of the “Christians” came to Lakota country in a move to colonize the people.  They were sent by the government to destroy our people.  I am not a Sun Dancer and I do not practice the old ways because I follow Jesus.  I fail and work to get back up and walk in forgiveness.  Jesus died for my faults and imperfections and yes the bad thoughts and bad deeds.  I have forgotten something Grandfather Oliver told me in the conversation that brought me into adulthood and away from being a young man.

                We were at a funeral and my son came up to me and said, “Dad that man wants to talk with you.”  I saw that it was Grandpa Oliver and walked over to him to see what he wanted.  I had just finished my prayers and my message.  He addressed me as grandson and began to tell me, “I use to make fun and tease you.  But, now I will no longer do this because you are a Wicasa or Man.”  He heard my prayers and knew my grandmothers who were beautiful singers and he was now going to treat me as an adult.  He told me he wanted me to share with our people the afterlife and because they needed to hear about the Jesus way and what would happen in the afterlife

                I am thankful for the opportunity to know my relatives and how they have brought me to a better understanding of the struggles we have been faced with.  The Way of Jesus is narrow and many people would rather travel their own way.  I get that and respect it because it was the way I was brought up as a child.  But my duty to God and Wanikiya or Jesus is to share the Good News, which is he loves us so much we do not have to do anything for salvation but accept the gift.  I was taught it was disrespectful not to accept a gift.  I am not a perfect man but I am a man of Passion and this passion is to see my relatives come to understand the God of the Bible and not the god of the Government.  We only have a few short years in our lives and our forefathers walked that road and now we must follow them.  My goal is to get healthy and work harder and seek to live up to what Grandpa Oliver asked me to do.  We will miss him and I want to share with the family I am praying for you. 

                My difficulties are we were misled, not by the alcohol or the greed of the Wasicu, but by the churches who came to our people and tried to teach us religion.  Religion is a nasty thing and has caused death in many areas around the world.  When I talk about the Jesus road it is a following of the teachings and not the religion of men.  Nazi Germany had re-training camps as did the Red Chinese and their evil Communism and a destruction of people.  America took the children and started in Pennsylvania at Carlyle Indian School and began a brainwashing machine.  Indian people were hungry and had to send their children off to school or they would die.  A once proud people lived and thrived on the Plains of North America.  It is said, Red Cloud’s and Spotted Tail’s children were the first to travel 1600 miles away from their families.  It was the worst time in history where 100 million Indigenous People lost their lives and their land.    

Monday, May 20, 2013

Life and Death

Life and Death

Rez Ramblings May 20, 2013

Two Photographs depicting life among the Oglala Lakota people.  One is at the Higher Ground with a flower garden that rivals many gardens around the country, where life is evident.  The second photograph depicts death and an artist really brought a strong statement to what White Clay means to the Indian people.  In the past couple weeks two beer trucks were attacked and the state troopers plan more enforcement because the beer is being attacked.  There was also an incident of a driver of one of the trucks driving being threatened with a knife.  I do not really know what happened but this is what is happening in the town of White Clay.  Death is in the air as you travel through the four block town.  I read in one article the protestors were not even from the area.  I assure you that these people are from Pine Ridge but they may have a few friends from other places.  So you can see the death ahead in the second photo and it is early in the warm season.

The first photo was taken at the Higher Ground and Pine Ridge Gospel Fellowship.  The spring season is upon us at the flowers and plants are blooming as I write this short article.  The beauty that can be seen on the Pine Ridge is powerful and the death across the border can also be seen.  I have thought about the way we live our lives and how there is a lot of people who make money off death and destruction.  I am not opposed to people making a living but it is time we as a people formerly start to regulate the alcohol that comes upon on our Reservation. 

I actually catered a meal in White Clay over the past weekend and made a beef stew with my own frybread and it was pretty good.  There are ways to make money but we need to start by becoming responsible.  I am selling my own book “Rez Ramblings” available on Amazon and my own photos that I have been taking since last summer.  Self Determination is vital to our sovereignty but we need to take the steps to become full Oglala Tribal Members and that means we must regulate the sale of alcohol.  The stores may not close but they will not make tons of money on the backs of the Oglala.    

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Sioux Nation Shopping Center

Breaking News: Sioux Nation Shopping Center is finished by August 4, 2013 due to Resolution by Oglala Sioux Tribe on May 9, 2013. The vote was 15 for the removal of contract and 1 not voting. Last year the store was closed due to sell rotten meat and that was the main reason for the pulling of the contract. Other reasons mentioned today were bad employment practices and food not found healthy for tribal members. 

Well I tried to work with the store but they did not trust me and now they are voted out basically as a bad white man clause. A detriment to the Oglala Sioux people. I heard people say they were bringing out of date meats from other stores and they did not properly promote Lakota people. They brought in non-Indian people to manage there departments. Well we will see what happens in the near future. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

State Troopers and Police Protecting Beer Sales

The first week of May saw a beer truck attacked literally, Rez Ramblings talked to the Sherriff of Sheridan County and was told two tires on a beer truck were stabbed.  No one knows who stabbed the tires but as you can see, the police are watching over the beer trucks.  State Troopers were on hand to watch over the beer delivery.  Once again we spoke to these troopers and asked if patrolling the highways were their only duties.  One trooper told Rez Ramblings their duty was to keep the Law.  Now that brings us to a point of confusion because the people on the streets are walking around with open containers.
I was nice to the officers and respectful because they do what they are told.  But the streets of White Clay are littered with beer cans and people are sleeping on the streets in the middle of the day or they are passed out.  So commerce is protected with at least five police cars and yet the town is lawless for the most part.  I have been keeping up to date with the American Indian Movement Grassroots and have heard from both sides.  The police do not have any idea what to do in White Clay.  And AIM Grassroots believe they must stay on the border to hurt commerce in the town of White Clay. 
I talked to a business owner and heard the town of White Clay and Rushville were hurt by the people protesting on the border.  They slowed money going to White Clay and Rushville because of their protesting. 
I have said it time and time again it is a difficult issue in White Clay because as you can see the police or on the side of beer sellers because it is money that is speaks.  The overtime and the man hours is hurting the State and County in Nebraska because they are having to work more hours in this little unincorporated town in Nebraska.   I have seen State, Tribal, and Federal workers try to solve the Indian Problem but no entity has been able to even come close solving the problem. 
Historically there was suppose to be buffer zone to keep alcohol sales away from the Reservation but it is right on the border.  I have stated other times the only way to solved the issue is to start selling alcohol on the Pine Ridge but this might not work either because it would depend on the tax and cost of products on the Reservation. 
I am a proponent of making our choices because that is what happens in Nations around the world.  We need to start making decisions for ourselves and not worry about State regulations because are meant to be a Sovereign, in order to do this we must seek to regulate the alcohol coming into Pine Ridge. Most of the beer bought in White Clay comes back across the border and the Tribal Police cannot keep up with the volume.  The court system in Pine Ridge is overrun with alcohol related crimes and most of the people in the prison/jail are incarcerated due to alcohol related crimes. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Land for Sale at Wounded Knee

Wounded Knee is the killing field of over three Lakota/Sioux Indians; it is located on the Pine Ridge Reservation.  May 1, 2013 is the deadline for James Czywczynski who has owned the land and another parcel of land to the North since the 1960s; he has stated he will give the Oglala Sioux Tribe to purchase his land for 4.9 million dollars.  It was appraised for 7 thousand for each parcels of land.  The picture above shows the land that is up for sale and it has sat for forty years without getting developed.  In 1973 the American Indian Movement came to the village and thought to take a stand for the Rights of American Indians.  We have seen people make money from this event and not Mr. Czwczynski would also like to take his shot and capitalizing from the death of Lakota.  The FBI Agent in Charge wrote a book about the events of Wounded Knee and his son is arguing with another writer who wrote about the death of Raymond Yellow Thunder in Gordon, Nebraska.  And now the guy wrote a book about Wounded Knee because it is vital to understanding American Indian History and you can make some money on the way.

I am not surprised as an American Indian by what is happening.  People have sought to find their fortunes ever since the European or English came to the shores of the Americas.  They sought Gold and traveled looking for gold and a fountain of youth.  Land has always been at the forefront of what the Europeans have fought and died over the last five hundred years.  Manifest Destiny was an idea found in first part of the 1800s by a newspaper man.  It basically said to take the land and wipe the Indians out because it was a God ordained for the White Man to rule the earth.  It is pure evil and it continues to be in the spirits of the people of South Dakota and Nebraska.  It seems they are tired of us being upset because of the stealing of our boundaries, which were set by the 1851 and 1868 treaties.  The White Man never wanted to keep his promises; his leaders want to wipe out the Indians so they could take the land.  Land, Land, and all the land is the desire that came from Manifest Destiny.  The ideology of Manifest Destiny came to the fullest when the 7th Cavalry came to Kill Indians.

Wounded Knee was home to the Oglala and a winter camp to the Lakota for years.  Big Foot was bringing his people to Red Cloud Agency which is Pine Ridge.  Big Foot was Miniconjou and they were stopped to the Northeast of Wounded Knee and were disarmed and were under a White Flag of Surrender but even that did not matter.  Tensions were high and Big Foot’s people were slaughtered and it makes me upset.  People like to say we should get over this event and move on but the facts are clear, the United States of America owes the Lakota people a life.  They need to keep their treaties and their word.  Our people are not welfare Indians, we are treaty people who are owed a life as long as the grass grows and the rivers flow. 
So If you are reading this and came to it by chance or you follow Rez Ramblings, I am happy you can understand the damage that was done by the United States and the Churches they sent to destroy a people.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Crazy Horse Today

I have wondered for sometime what would Crazy Horse do today about things such as Wounded Knee and White Clay?  I suspect it would be a standoff and people would go to jail.  I visited the Crazy Horse Monument Mountain a few days ago and I like the idea I get in free but I have some issues with the work being done in an image of a man who chose to live selfless.  I have used the life of Crazy Horse to share with groups of people and I believe he has some life lessons for all of us.  He was born near the Rapid Creek around modern day Rapid City and I laugh when other tribal people try to claim him.  He was an Oglala and a great leader, yes he was Oglala because his people were Oglala and he is buried somewhere on the Pine Ridge, home of the Oglala.  Just a couple weeks ago I got upset because a friend was trying to claim Tasunka Witco for his tribe. 
So what would Crazy Horse do?  I believe he would stand up and let people know we are going to fight for our way of life.  It is ridiculous that a non-Oglala person came in and bought a historical piece of land for peanuts and now wants to become a Millionaire on the backs of such a ugly part of American History.  I have a hard time with understanding how someone can be so greedy but we have seen this before.  I understand if he the guy wanted fair market value but to put a price tag on the death of 300 plus people is wrong.  I believe there is a reason the land has not been developed and it is because of innocent blood.  And now the Greed European American wants to get more.  I do not believe anything will ever go well until this is made right by the United States of America. 
I hope to take some pictures and share a commentary soon because I believe we need to make our opinion heard.  My opinion is the guy should have gave the land back to the Tribe as it was unfair to come to own land by a non-Indian person.  The taking of land and resource needs to be stopped and I hope people will come to UNDERSTAND what is important and what needs to be done. 
As to the White Clay issue I believe our great leader Crazy Horse would have helped the people up and not kept looking away.  I believe we need to bring our people home and get them out of White Clay and I suppose you will see more people up there as the days become warmer.  Let's see what happens and hope for the best. 


Saturday, March 30, 2013



Saturday, March 23, 2013

Dennis Banks Honors Russell Means

Apparently the Red Cloud High School and the Oglala High School or Pine Ridge High School has changed since I went to school. Ok, Harvey Nelson most likely the greatest teacher at Pine Ridge and or Oglala Community High School.  He was a United States History Teacher and was in my own words magnificent.  I enjoyed his class and wanted to get through my high school years so I did not mess around.  Of course I remember other teachers but Harvey was pretty cool and on a scale of 1-10 he was a ten.  So I was in my basketball career at Pine Ridge and I just started playing when I was in 9th grade.  I suppose I did not ever get beat up so I have always had a chip on my shoulder.  But I was sure of my skill and I had great confidence in my team.  We were playing Holy Rosary or Red Cloud High School. 
I chose this picture to place in my blog because these are the two greatest Indian in the 20th Century.  Of course my friend Russell Means passed away last year and this is the second honoring and Dennis Banks is speaking.  I thought it was pretty cool that I made a bet with my teachers and gave them eleven points against us.  We were playing against Red Cloud school and way back then we had Chadron or Chadrad broadcasting out games.  We were just under the point spread and I was able to get the ball and score to make sure I covered the points and I won a few dollars. 
So Dennis Banks and Russell Means are amazing men.  I wish I could be like them but it was a different era and these men were willing to put their lives on the line.  I spent some time with Russ and he helped me to understand Freedom and he was a true friend.  We spent time visiting and he gave me advice and some people would like to make something up but in the end, I can only think he was my friend.  Oh and the area this picture was taken was the place I scored and bet the Crusaders!!!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Rez Ramblings/Blunt Horn Productions

Tamara Hadridge (Matthews) I may have written about Taku Sku Sku before but it has helped me to understand the Lakota way.  As a Lakota man I truly understand what the United States has perpetuated against Native America and it was an all out war.  They tried to destroy the Lakota man and today we can see the battles continue because the Lakota man is almost gone from the Tiwahe or family on the Rez.  I want to thank the men who have tried to keep their families intact.  God knows what has happened to the Lakota Man.  That being said I have tried to understand the Sacred Mover in the Taku Sku Sku and have sought to make it a part of my life.  I asked my good friend Chris Eagle Hawk what it meant and he told me it is the spark inside me.  Well I truly understand the spark means the Creator has left his inprint in my Nagi or Spirit and I need to embrace the mover in my life.

Now how does this relate to my company Blunt Horn Productions LLC, well it is simple use the model our ancestors have sought for centuries.  Take a spark and watch it grow, you see many people want to define what it means to be Lakota but the Lakota is already there we need to embrace the Mover in our lives. 

I am utilizing the Lakota Philisophy of the Sacred Mover because I believe I need to be fully Lakota and as a Follower of Jesus I hope to become a complete human being. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Red Skins or First Nations

My good friend Chris lives in Maryland and their state hosts the Washington Redskins a NFL team that has many people around the country who love them.  Personally I am a Denver Bronco fan and usually end the football season when they lose.  That being said I have an opinion about using American Indians for mascots and it is thought out for sure.  Years ago I went on the radio as a caller with Native American Calling a radio show that is heard throughout the world.  Now I have been a guest sharing about my expertise which is Native American Christianity but this day I called in to the show and they were talking about using American Indians as mascots.  Vern Bellecourt was the key guest and I was wrestling with the idea of people using pop causes to further themselves rather than serving the cause.  Now I truly understand the idea of using caricature of American Indians as wrong because they depict us with big noses.  Of course Clinger from MASH the series had a huge nose but not all Americans Indians have big noses and sound like John Wayne Indians. 

Back to the Native American Calling show, I called in and wanted  to weigh in on the conversation and this is my opinion and continues to guide me.  I was put through to the radio host and Vernon Bellecourt who was an activist for American Indians during the Civil Rights Movement.  Vernon was speaking about the use of American Indian Mascots and the detriment they were to our American Indian Life.  Within that year I had the oppurtunity to hear Vernon Speak about a Rapper, actually he we American Indian Rapper, he was full of White hate speach in his lyrics.  I was disturbed when I heard the rapper and now I had the oppurtunity to speak at Vernon.  I am Lakota and was ready to deal with the Ojibwe Bellecourts.  White Hate and now Vernon was battling against the use of Red Skins, Indians, Chiefs and so on.  I actually love the the idea of the Fighting Sioux because that is what Lakota do and they did it very well.  They destroyed the United States of America here in North America and that is why they are upset and will not return the Medal of Honors Medals. 

I told Vernon Bellecourt he needed to clean up his own back yard and I have fought for 17 and half years to do just that, make Lakota better.  I like the Red Skins because they believe they are powerful, and the Chiefs because they hope to win.  Oh and the Indians because they are beautiful and magnificent and it is an honor to be a Cleveland Indian.  We are a great and powerful people and some muiltibillion dollar sports teams want to say they believe we are the best in the world. 

My opinion is we are a great people and I like the Fighting Sioux and the Indian and The RED SKINS as well as the Chiefs but they will continue to lose because the Broncos are going to win it all next year. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Rez Life=Culture of Death

The year 2013 will mark the 34th year I have lived on the Pine Ridge Reservation, I will turn 48 this year.  You can do the math, and I will continue with my position paper that I thought should be shared.  I have been living on the Rez since 1979 and it was a very dark place, full of death and despair.  The Civil Rights Movements were coming to an end with the African Americans, Mexicans Americans, and the American Indians all fighting to for the same liberties of White Americans.  

As I share my book, (Rez Ramblings) with others I find myself coming to a point and sharing, This country I have come to love is not the country I was born into...  First of all the country was segregated and in the south you could not drink from the same fountain or even marry outside of your race in some states.  1968 the Supreme Court ruled you could marry outside of your race, after all are we not the human race of different hues. 

Pine Ridge was started in 1889 and was a concentration camp so they could systematically destroy our people.  America set out with the idea they would full conquer all of the lands.  Poor health care, education, economic structures have been the plan of the United States of America.  They killed many families and the people of this country have their heads in the sands.  It really is sad because I share the message to the people who will listen, they cannot believe what took place. America has been involved in Human Rights Issues for Centuries as well as fight American Indians.  My reason for writing this blog today is to right the wrong.  I want people to understand what is taking place in 2013 and we are battling the conditions of a system that started out with the idea to kill Indians.

The Rez Life is a Culture of Death that was dreamed up by men who had very little compassion and understanding the Indigenous people of this land are a great people and were environment friendly and could teach the world a few things about extended family.  Today we have in our midst a dependency that creates hopelessness.  People want things for free and are not walking in balance.  Our youth are giving up hope because they no longer dream dreams and seek visions for their lives.  People seem to be waiting for others to do something for them because that is what is expected from a people who were not allowed to live free.  The government set out to destroy the food source of the Great Plains and succeeded as they brought the American Bison to point of extinction. 

Our young people are fighting for their lives living in a place of hopelessness and when someone seeks to help them, they are criticized or ridiculed for their wanting to empower the youth.  I say support all that are seeking to bring hope across the Reservation.  We are a great people on the Pine Ridge, and we are the people of Crazy Horse, Red Cloud, and Black Elk who once led their people are were successful.  We need to understand the spiritual darkness of hopelessness and deal with these issues from a balanced viewpoint.  We are a people of great fortitude and strength.

I have completed a book about the Pine Ridge Reservation and it is a great introduction to our people and how we live our lives.  Jackie Siers Rowland a council woman on the Oglala Sioux Tribe just purchased a book and I hope you will also help me live my dream of developing my books and dreams.  https://www.createspace.com/3941671

Friday, January 4, 2013

New Year The Quest for Truth

Some believe I am following the Evil One, some believe I am out of my mind, but I realize I need to find myself.  Star Date 2013 is my year to find meaning and understanding.  I spent the last 17 years trying to explain to the Oglala Lakota People who God is and why it is a great place to be, in His hands.  You see, I have seen the pain of the Oglala and other American Indians.  I was told to finish my book, "Rez Ramblings: Living on the Pine Ridge as a 21st Century Injun".  My book is complete and published.  Now I am on a quest to sell the book and find healing.  I have lived on the Pine Ridge since 1979 and there were good times and bad times.  I had the honor of seeing my beautiful daughters come into the world and then I had a privalage of being my son's father.  We lost our eldest daughter and that tore my heart.  That in addition to many other things brought me to a place of unhealth.  My body took a pounding and then I started to drink wine.  Not a good choice.  Now, I am seeking to bring my health back under control.  I have been to the depths of the emotional ocean and it was dark.  I found myself going under. 
I am seeking to follow God with my heart, soul, and mind.  Seeking to follow his canku or road because mine was difficult.  I am looking to become the man God intended; so this is the beginning of my healing blogging.  If you have read this far, I hope you will also read my book.  I have taken the steps to begin my healing, and I hope to help others find their way. 

Rez Ramblings Book  https://www.createspace.com/3941671