Thursday, July 17, 2014

Indian or Native American plus

The Church Defined in the 21st Century and how does it effect the Lakota people as well as other Indigenous People around the world is what I will seek to develop and think about in this blog post, plus the people in the picture.  There are many incidents around the Globe throughout the History of the world but the People of the Western hemisphere have seen people who called themselves Christian but do horrible things toward the them.  Many people struggle to be politically correct and wonder what we as Indigenous people of American want to be called.  American Indian is what I prefer because I believe it is important to remember the United States made agreements with the Indians and had the Indian Affairs in the 1800s and now we have the Bureau of Indian Affairs.  So I will write Indian throughout my writing as well as Lakota. 
So the other day I saw a Jesuit Priest come into the Higher Ground Coffee House and I asked him if  he had reconciled what the church had done to the Indians.  He was shocked because he started to mutter and sputter but he was able to tell me it happened all around the world.  Of course it did but he was in Lakota Country and I wanted to know if he thought about the killing of the Southwest Indians by cutting off their heads if they did not swear allegiance to the Catholic Church.  He was able to pull himself together and went on to drink his latte.  I think I like to challenge priests because there were involved in the things done against the Indians by their Church throughout the European history of being in the Americas.
So the picture is of a Short Term Mission group which came to Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and in this picture I see some at least two Indians a Korean, a few Black people and some white people.  Oh and also a Peruvian who is also Indigenous from the Americas. Now on the right is the saying Jesus is the Way, which is cool in my mind because I am a follower of Jesus and this means that I seek to follow his teachings.  Let me tell you how I got to this point and how easy it was to become a follower.  I gave my life to Christ when I was 12 years old and it was easy because I put my faith in what Jesus did for me.  He died for me and I accepted his gift.  Too Easy?  Your thinking there must be a catch right?  No it is simple, accept the gift of God for what his son did  on the cross, he died for my wrongdoings and things that kept me from God.  All of my sin not just some of it.
Now I want to explain something to you, these people in the photo are my family because we have our faith in common.  I can go anywhere in the world and find my family because the faith is powerful because it is God Moved.  You cannot stop it but here is the problem, some people maybe even a lot of people did some terrible things because they started with a wrong premise.  They followed people who were greedy for land and resource and this continues today with the Euro/Americans because they seek power and money.  This is not the teaching of Jesus, Jesus taught people if you want to be the most powerful, you must become the biggest servant.  So to get power you must first serve, this is not the American way so you must understand greed does not lead to heaven. 
Historically the churches came to the Indians and were the ones who would do the killing of the Indian and saving of the man.  They brought out rule books and told the Indians they could not be Indian any longer.  This was not the way of Jesus but it was the way of America.  And then they stole the land and resources.  I look at my friends who have had a history of coming to Pine Ridge for over thirty years and they are wonderful people, many of them may have issues but they seem to do well and have a great experience and remember the students they teach for a week.  Oh and yes they serve the people here help with projects and overall I believe they live as the first century church lived with things in common.  They share meals and work together as a family.  They become a tiospaye or extended family for a week and that is closer to how Jesus lived as well as the way of our Ancestors the Indians lived. 
It is important to understand that we have many things in common with the way Jesus lived and taught.  He thought about the poor as our Lakota people understand taking compassion on someone down is important.  He told a Rich young ruler to go and sell everything he had and it seemed at that moment that was too hard and the young man walked away. 
It is not rules and we are set free from bondage because Jesus no longer has us required to pay or give and offering.  A great friend of mine told me I need to define my faith, and it is difficult because I have severely swindled by many Euro/American people but I have been blessed by them as well.  I hope to see people as friends as the Lakota did you years ago.  It was told to me by a friend and brother that our people held an open hand of friendship until someone proved otherwise.  So now I will trust people are honorable until I see they are not I will speak the truth.  I love being an Indian and sharing my knowledge with people and I hope to attack the issues with solutions but the thing I love the most is being a follower of Jesus.  Who would not want the Creator of the Universe on his or her side.  So I will continue to share more and we can discuss what went wrong and where do we go from here as the American Indians.  Because We Live!

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