February 19, 2013 at 8:35 pm (creative writing, culture, education, ethics, exploring interconnectedness, history, Indigenous People, Lakota, Native Americans, Pine Ridge Indian reservation, politics, publishing, random, Uncategorized, Writing)
Tags: 1973, American Book Award, Amnesty International, Before Columbus Foundation, Book, Brave Bird, civil rights, girls, history, Indigenous, Lakota, Lakota Woman, Mary Crow Dog, Maze of Injustice, memoir, random, review, Rosebud, South Dakota, teenagers, Trail of Broken Treaties, women, Wounded Knee, Writing
Young Indigenous women are some of the most invisible and unrepresented people on Earth. That is one reason to read Lakota Woman by Mary Crow Dog, nowBrave Bird, with Richard Erdoes even though it was published in 1990. Another reason is that it won the American Book Award in 1991. Yet another reason is for the insight it provides into some of the tough issues young women on reservations continue to confront: violence, rape, alcoholism, drug abuse, racism, exploitation, poor education, grinding poverty. This is not a calm, quiet memoir of a certain time and place written by a woman looking back in nostalgia with some polite veneer of wisdom gained by mature hindsight. Lakota Woman offers the perspective of a very candid, blunt spoken, tough, and passionate young woman who makes no apologies for anything. This is a woman who now knows who she is, where she came from, and why. Part of her story includes giving birth to her first child during the siege at Wounded Knee in 1973 after refusing to leave in spite of the increasing danger. While Lakota Woman does not offer any in-depth analysis of the American Indian Movement, the Trail of Broken Treaties or the Native American Church, it does offer a no punches pulled, first person female perspective based on direct experiences with all of them– a young Lakota female perspective seldom encountered in the mainstream American culture.
I am a iyeska, a breed, that’s what the white kids used to call me. When I grew bigger they stopped calling me that, because it would get them a bloody nose. I am a small woman, not much over five feet tall, but I can hold my own in a fight, and in a free-for-all with honkies I can become rather ornery and do real damage. I have white blood in me. Often I have wished to be able to purge it out of me. As a young girl I used to look at myself in the mirror, trying to find a clue as to who and what I was. My face is very Indian, and so are my eyes and my hair, but my skin is very light. Always I waited for the summer, for the prairie sun, the Badlands sun, to tan me and make me into a real skin. (p.9)
Such are the words of Mary Brave Bird of the Brule Tribe from the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. Consider the memoirs current teenaged women of Rosebud, Pine Ridge, Standing Rock and the Cheyenne River Reservations might share–if anyone dared put them into print. Lakota Woman might offend some, might make some very uncomfortable, and distress others. It certainly won’t bore anyone. It definitely offers a great deal to think about regarding women, culture, family, history, spirituality, politics, and values.
Mary Crow Dog/Brave Bird online http://marycrowdog.com/index.html
Wikipedia list of American Book Awards http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Book_Award
American Book Awards – Before Columbus Foundation http://www.beforecolumbusfoundation.com/about-bcf.html
Maze of Injustice, the failure to protect Indigenous Women from sexual violence in the USA, PDF file of Amnesty International http://www.amnestyusa.org/pdfs/MazeOfInjustice.pdf Perhaps this report offers one explanation for the legistative difficulties faced by the VAWA. Why would non-Native men want to start allowing arrest and prosecution of the non-Native men who rape Indigenous women on reservations? No rocket science required.
January 26, 2013 at 6:47 pm (art, creative writing, culture, education, exploring interconnectedness, history, Indigenous People, Lakota, life, Native Americans, Pine Ridge Indian reservation, poetry, random, Writing)
Tags: "Cheryl's Students", art, children, creative writing, culture, education, exploring interconnectedness, future, gift, history, hope, Lakota, life, poem, poetry, random, Roxie, supplies, Writing
Much thanks to Roxie for her very generous gift of art supplies to Cheryl Locke’s elementary class on the Pine Ridge Reservation. My poem, as promised, on topic of Roxie’s choice.
Visit Roxie’s blogcasa for many things writing/publishing related–with good humor too. Sorry, not the Good Humor Ice Cream Bars–yet. Though she may figure out how to link us up with those too soon enough! http://roxieh.wordpress.com/
we are the pasts unintended
over years courses
we are the others
children born of desire
in spite of all
invaded isolated alienated
scarred, scraped, scoured
singing soaring smiling
persistent we learn enemy ways
hearing old ones wind whispering
We are Lakota!
December 18, 2012 at 5:58 pm (art, culture, education, exploring interconnectedness, Indigenous People, Lakota, life, Native Americans, Pine Ridge Indian reservation, play, poetry, random, Uncategorized, Writing)
Tags: art, bait, children, colored pencils, construction paper, crayons, culture, drawing, education, exploring interconnectedness, Lakota, life, markers, Monet, painting, pencils, Picasso, Pine Ridge Reservation, play, poem, poetry, random, school, South Dakota, supplies, third grade, watercolors, Writing
Am I a shameless beggar or what? I can be. Though I suspect I need to work on my tech savvy, string pulling and emotional manipulation in order to increase effectiveness and reach. Apologies to anyone feeling put upon. But I swear that I will write a poem, topic of their choice, for anyone who swallows this hook. Really I will. Just be forewarned that you only pick the topic–not how I might treat it poetically. On the odd chance that someone out there in the cyberswamplands might take the bait I’m on another fishing trip. A quick gander at the photo subjects and no doubt everyone knows what’s on this shopping list. Yes, ART supplies. Remember those third graders without any winter coats? Well, their teacher would very much like to have them do a little art. Just the usual child’s play with pencils, crayons, markers, and maybe some watercolor paints. Nothing elaborate. They are third graders after all–not oil painting Picasso hopefuls. They probably haven’t heard of Picasso–much less dreamt of following his artistic path. At least not yet. No, don’t expect them to get any notions about Picasso or Monet from their school library or some computer the rest of us here take for granted. That is highly unlikely all real life things considered on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. The bottom line here is that Cheryl’s third graders do not create any of the usual child art in school because they have no colored pencils, markers, crayons, construction paper (primary colors), glue sticks, pencils (no.2), tissue paper, or poster board. Clearly no one can supply 18 children with all these supplies. But if each person who visits this blogcasa were to send just one box of Crayola crayons or one package of construction paper or one pan of watercolors. Just a single item, one by one would do the trick. If you’re inclined to yank my poetic strings send Cheryl Locke’s third grade students an art supply– and then state your item choice and poem topic request in the comments. So, who wants a poem?
P.O. Box 264
Porcupine, SD 57772
December 13, 2012 at 2:23 am (culture, entertainment, exploring interconnectedness, Indigenous People, Lakota, life, Native Americans, Pine Ridge Indian reservation, religion, Uncategorized)
Tags: children, coats, culture, exploring interconnectedness, JC Penny, Lakota, life, New American Shakespeare Tavern, people, Pine Ridge, random, volunteers
The wonderful people who donated their time and energy as Volunteers for Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” the other night upon learning from Anne Fields, who also volunteers at the New American Shakespeare Tavern in Atlanta, Georgia, about the coatless children in Cheryl Locke’s third grade class took swift and effective action to conclude the quest for coats. Donations were collected. Orders were placed online with JC Penny. Coats will be shipped to Ms. Locke. Arrival is expected early next week. How’s that for Volunteer Action? !
Huzzah! for the Volunteers!
Very Loud Huzzah!! for the Volunteers!
Crazy Loud Huzzah!!! for the Volunteers!
Where these generous souls gathered to volunteer–The New American Shakespeare Tavern’s production of Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol.’
A hearty Thank You to All Volunteer Souls Everywhere.
If anyone out there in cyberspace has already sent a coat on its way, don’t worry, Cheryl will find a child who needs it.
December 11, 2012 at 7:59 pm (art, culture, education, environment, exploring interconnectedness, Indigenous People, Lakota, life, Native Americans, photography, Pine Ridge Indian reservation, random, Uncategorized)
Tags: "width", children, clothing, coats, culture, exploring interconnectedness, gently used, Kansas City, Lakota, life, Locke, Missouri, Native Americans, photograph, photography, Pine Ridge Reservation, Porcupine, project warmth, random, shopping, South Dakota, teacher, weather, winter, Yi-Ching Lin
from Yi-Ching Lin’s “waking up new” album
Tis the season of snow, wind, rain and cold for those of us without warm sandy beaches under our feet. Tis the season of shopping too. Many folks use the gift giving holy days to update clothing needs for growing children. In the Kansas City Metro area there’s a yearly winter clothing drive–”Project Warmth”–where people donate gently used coats at specially designated locations–check it out here –>>> http://www.projectwarmthkc.com/news-events/ . Well, Cheryl Locke’s third graders do not live in the Kansas City Metro area, they live on the Pine Ridge Reservation, and hence will not be receiving any coats or blankets from “Project Warmth.” Having learned that approximately half of Ms. Locke’s students have no winter coats at all –that’s right these children have no coats to wear for a winter in South Dakota–I figured it’s worth putting out a call for a few coats for them. So if your child is getting a coat upgrade this winter please consider sharing their outgrown winter wear with a coatless child. There’s no donation button. There’s no middleman. There’s just Cheryl Locke’s address, coat sizes and eight children in need of some winterizing like the little one in Yi-Ching Lin’s photograph. Thank you.
1-boy size 14/16
2-boy size 14/16
3-boy size 14/16
4-boy size 14/16
5-boy size small, one size below 14/16
6-girl size 10/12
7-girl size 10/12
8-girl size 10/12
If you can share a gently used winter coat, please mail it directly to:
P.O. Box 264
Porcupine, SD 57772
Link to Yi-Ching Lin’s “width” http://yichinglin.com/2011/02/03/width/
POST UPDATE: This particular Coat Crusade is Complete thanks to the Volunteers at the New American Shakespeare Tavern. See the Huzzahs! post for them. But if you’ve got coats which need children, please see the One Spirit Needs list via the Okini list link here http://nativeprogress.org/index.php/en/ .
December 11, 2012 at 5:19 pm (culture, exploring interconnectedness, Indigenous People, Lakota, life, Native Americans, Pine Ridge Indian reservation, random, Uncategorized)
Tags: Big Foot Ride, caps, clothing, culture, donate, Future Generations Ride, hats, history, Indigenous, Lakota, life, Okini list, ONE spirit, people, random, share, South Dakota, stocking caps, support, winter, Wounded Knee
Hi folks. What’s your weather doing today? Yes, I really want to know. If you’re inclined please drop a link to your weather conditions in the comments. If you’re living on a nice clean beach near clean water then color me green with envy. As for mine, it’s thinking about stretching to a chilly 29 degrees C.
While doing this post the temperature at Pine Ridge, South Dakota is 21 degrees, C. A little nippy to be outdoors without a hat or coat (more about coats coming up). If you share a stocking cap consider yourself well thanked.
Definition: A close-fitting knitted cap.
Yeah, these things.
One Spirit could use a few of these for the Future Generations Riders.
So, if you care to share a stocking cap, visit One Spirit http://www.nativeprogress.com/index.php/en/
To see other clothing needs check the Okini List https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0ApTAXFy5cfA_dG9sQ2RNMHRXVFE0Tk84VnNFLVRzdmc&single=true&gid=0&output=html
Share soon because the long cold ride to Wounded Knee begins Dec. 23, 2012.
December 5, 2012 at 10:31 pm (culture, exploring interconnectedness, food, history, Indigenous People, Lakota, life, Native Americans, photography, Pine Ridge Indian reservation, random, Uncategorized)
Tags: Big Foot Ride, clothing, culture, donations, food, food assistance, food program, Future Generations Ride, heat, history, Indigenous, Lakota, life, Non-Profit, ONE spirit, people, photograph, Pine Ridge Reservation, random, Top Rated, wood
What heats your home? Propane? Electricity? Wood?
It’s the midst of the season of shopping till everyone is dropping and yet there are people who need wood heat to survive a winter in South Dakota. One Spirit tries to meet this need–along with food and clothing needs all year round.
One Spirit is a federally registered non profit IRC 501 (c) (3) organization which provides direct assistance to the Lakota on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. They’re a Top Rated Non-Profit for 2012.
One Spirit, PO Box 3209, Rapid City, SD 57709
Visit their website —>>> http://nativeprogress.org/ to donate things, money for food, and clothing items needed by people –including those participating in the “Future Generations Ride” formerly known as the Big Foot Memorial Ride. There’s a link on the site to the Okini List which provides specific information regarding who needs what. The 191 mile Ride begins on Dec. 23 on the Standing Rock Reservation and ends on Dec. 29 at Wounded Knee/Cemetery Hill on the Pine Ridge Reservation.
Ride image from One Spirit Site. http://nativeprogress.org/index.php/upcoming-events/big-foot-ride
One Spirit also runs a food program for over 1,000 people who live on an average income of $6,ooo a year.
Sixty dollars will provide a family with a box containing: Sweet potatoes, onions, potatoes, squash, apples, oranges, carrots, sausage, ham and turkey. Thirteen dollars and seventy-five cents will provide some toilet paper (2), shampoo (1) and Era (52 ounces). Any amount of donation is appreciated.
From One Spirit Food Program newsletter:
A ten-year old girl lives with her grandmother. Her mother died 2 years ago after being hit by a car driven by someone who had been drinking. Her father is in jail. She comes to the New Warrior camp because as she says “horses are her happiness.” Grandmother is caring for this young girl and her siblings. Often there is not enough food and also often not heat. This young girl tells us that being hungry is going to sleep so you can forget about the pains in your stomach.
An elder called the other day and asked if he could be put on the food program. He has a heart condition, can’t work, and is not expected to live too long. Whenever we have extra food on distribution day, Bamm tries to be sure something is given to him.
An elderly couple are caring for their grandchildren. The log cabin they live in is far from town and nestled in the woods, with no running water, bathroom or electric. The home is heated by a wood stove. The grandfather, being an elder, has trouble finding wood and carting it to the cabin. The children come home at night and have trouble doing their homework because the cabin is so dark. There are other people living in the cabin. For privacy the family has to dress outside in an outhouse. They have very little money and often run short of wood, food and other essentials.
These are not unusual stories – they are what we hear every day. One Spirit, with your help, tries to get food to as many people as possible. This month we have more than 100 families on our waiting list. With your help, every one of them will get food.
Oh yeah–don’t forget the WOOD. Everyone needs heat. I sincerely doubt that BP or Shell Oil will be donating any propane gas to those in need. Nor does everyone have a tank for propane. Yes, this America. People do freeze to death inside their homes on the reservations. People go hungry in the Land of the Overfeeder at the Golden Arches.
We are all related.
Yep, even us and the wolves.
August 8, 2012 at 6:10 pm (art, culture, education, ethics, exploring interconnectedness, history, Independent film, Indigenous People, journalism, Lakota, life, movies, Native Americans, photography, Pine Ridge Indian reservation, politics, random)
Tags: 2012, Aaron, art, Becker, Black Hills, culture, director, Ed, education, ethics, festival, film, gangs, genocide, history, Honor the Treaties, Huey, Indigenous, International, Lakota, Native Americans, people, photographs, photography, photojournalism, Pine Ridge, poverty, random, reservation, Seattle, short, ShortsFest, Sioux, South Dakota, values, Wounded Knee
Today’s post offers a highlighting short film of Aaron Huey’s ongoing photographic journey on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.
Honor the Treaties link –>> http://vimeo.com/47043218
and http://weareshouting.com/ for Director Ed Becker’s bio and contact information.
Aaron Huey —>> http://www.aaronhuey.com/
Please share widely and often.
Much thanks to Charles aka slpmartin.
April 24, 2012 at 4:16 am (creative writing, culture, exploring interconnectedness, history, Indigenous People, Lakota, life, Native Americans, Pine Ridge Indian reservation, random, Writing)
Tags: bars, Cloud Man, Cloudman, creative writing, culture, death, drinking, history, Lakota, life, Native Americans, Nebraska, people, Pine Ridge Reservation, poem, poet, poetry, random, violence, White Clay, Whiteclay, Writing
There were two bars in the hamlet.
I like the word Hamlet.
It cleans up the place nicely,
There was Jumping Eagles.
There was Stabler’s
Just two bars.
To survive a Saturday night there
It was dangerous and not.
It is more dangerous now.
I never saw anyone close to dying
Now I do
Back then death was sudden
I had two friends die Sudden
A half mile from the HAMLET.
Sad ass joke to be or not to be.
But if I was there they were laughing
Laughing as they slammed into the other car.
Only nine died that day
April 20, 2012 at 5:48 pm (creative writing, culture, ethics, history, Indigenous People, Lakota, life, Native Americans, Pine Ridge Indian reservation, poetry, random, Writing)
Tags: "ME", alcohol, Cloudman, creative writing, culture, Economy, fame, history, identity, Issues, Lakota, life, money, Native American, Nebraska, people, Pine Ridge Reservation, poem, poet, poetry, random, Whiteclay, Whte Clay, Writing
Cloudman, guest poet, shares “ME” – a poem that references the infamous Nebraska town of Whiteclay where selling alcohol to the Lakota is the raison de existence.
Once again White Clay memories walk in,
I was sitting by the shade of Howard’s store,
Watching as Elders came for a drive to buy,
Lakota words on the side of his store,
This White Clay is another memory,
On another day
I awoke one morning surrounded by
Federal marshals and F.B.I’s
Asking who I was What I was
Even then my identity was in question
Now I ask who am I What am
These years later when White Clay
Is more known then I
Soon after the territory entered the public domain, a trading post was set up to sell alcohol to the Lakota, and merchants have continued to do so since. In 2010, its four beer stores sold an estimated 4.9 million 12-ounce cans of beer, an average of over 13,000 cans per day, for gross sales of 3 million dollars. They have no place to consume beer on site, and it is not supposed to be drunk on the streets, but there are often inebriated customers sprawled around Whiteclay. John Yellow Bird King, president of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, says that tribal members bring alcohol illegally back from Whiteclay and “90 percent of criminal cases in the court system” are alcohol-related. Beer is sold almost exclusively to residents from the reservation, as the nearest big city is two hours to the north. According to Mary Frances Berry, the 10-year chair of the United States Commission on Civil Rights, Whiteclay can be said to exist only to sell beer to the Oglala Lakota.
Victor Clarke, the owner of Arrowhead Foods, a grocery store in Whiteclay that does not sell alcohol, said he “did more than a million dollars in business last year, with an entirely Native American clientele.” As the reservation has no banks and few stores, its residents spend most of their money in Nebraska border towns, for regular needs as well as alcohol. The beer stores in Whiteclay cash welfare and tax refund checks for the Oglala Lakota, taking a 3 percent commission.
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