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.