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.