Clean Water Alliance Meeting on July 13. Everyone is welcome. Rapid City, South Dakota. Fight Uranium Mining.

Public Service Post for the Black Hills South Dakota Clean Water Alliance:
Greetings —
Please plan on attending the Regional uranium opposition meeting on Saturday, July 13.  This will start at 9:00 am at the Rapid City Public Library.  We expect people to attend from CO, WY, SD, and NE.  This is not just for people who are already active on this issue (although we expect to see those folks).This meeting is for everyone and would be an excellent meeting for you to attend if you have not been deeply involved in this issue, but want to learn more.  There will be people who are opposing existing mines, who want to stop new mines, and who have successfully stopped a mine.
We will share information about what the many organizations who are working against uranium mining are doing.  We will have an educational segment from Debra White Plume of Manderson, SD.  She always has interesting things to say about water, activism, and moving forward.  And we will have a potluck lunch.  If you know what you’ll be bringing, let me know, and we’ll try to be sure all bases are covered.  Then we will spend part of the afternoon strategizing and figuring out how we can continue to work together.
We should be done by about 3:00, but we have the room until 4:00, if people want to hang around and visit.
Coffee and juice will be available.  If you need gas money, let me know.  Clean Water Alliance is always ready to support those who have to come from a distance, but I need to know ahead of time, so I come prepared.
Let me know if you have any questions.  See you there!
Lilias
South Dakota
 Clean Water Alliance
http://www.sdcleanwateralliance.org/

Lakota Woman by Mary Crow Dog – Brave Bird ~ “It’s hard being an Indian Woman.”

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.

 

 

“Cheryl’s Students”

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/

 

 

“Cheryl’s Students”

 

we are the pasts unintended

future hopes

unexpectedly present

vitality

over years courses

we are the others

children born of desire

enduring

in spite of all

invaded isolated alienated

yet

uncrushed

scarred, scraped, scoured

singing soaring smiling

still

unvanished

persistent we learn enemy ways

thriving determined

hearing old ones wind whispering

We are Lakota!

 

 @wojcik

 

These are a few of our favorite art things!

 

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?

Mailing address:

Cheryl Locke

P.O. Box 264

Porcupine, SD   57772

Let’s Have Three Huzzahs! for the Volunteers of the New American Shakespeare Tavern! Why? Cause They Got Coats!!!

 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? !

Wow!

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.’

http://www.shakespearetavern.com/

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.

The Incredible Winter Wonderland Coat Project!

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:

Cheryl Locke

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/ .

namaste

Looking for a few good “stocking caps.” Yeah, those things that warm heads in winter.

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.

Got Wood? ‘One Spirit’ Needs It on Pine Ridge Reservation for HEAT — Yesterday!

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.

http://nativeprogress.org/index.php/programs/food-program-145

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.
One Spirit is on the book of faces too–>> http://www.facebook.com/OneSpiritSDakota#!/OneSpiritSDakota
Thank you.
Namaste.
We are all related.
Yep, even us and the wolves.

“Honor the Treaties” featuring Aaron Huey’s photojournalism.

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.

Cloud Man pens more White Clay

 White Clay

 
There were two bars in the hamlet.
I like the word Hamlet.
It cleans up the place nicely,
There was Jumping Eagles.
And
There was Stabler’s
Just two bars.
To survive a Saturday night there
Was do-able,
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
.
.
Cloud Man
 

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