Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Our Lakota Nation, those living within our Tribal Nation homelands and urban treaty lands need to revitalize the concept of our warrior societies on our own terms. A gathering of great minds to produce strategies that guide solutions for the many challenges our tribal peoples face on and off the Reservation.
We should not expect our tribal leaders to be warriors, they are often just politicians. We should not expect Uncle Sam to be our warrior although in today's time they can be our allies. We need all to step up and make the good fight to improve the quality of life of those a warrior defends.
The grandmother who never spoke to a member of Congress made those calls to demand passage of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act. That is not the act of a victim but one of a warrior who understands her voice is one message and added with the hundreds of others who advocated for passage of this treaty right and trust responsibility was very powerful in producing this victory for all.
Communication is the most powerful tool you as a warrior can have. Your voice is more powerful than bullets when directed from the values of your heart. It is that spiritual thought that makes the Lakota warrior more awed than others. As Lakota people our weakness occurs when we forget that our power lies in the way our ancestors told us to take on any battle. Not from a point of anger as most would expect from a warrior mentality but solutions directed from the idea that a warriors way is most effective when we choose mind over emotion.
We are defending our community from the affects of intolerance, misunderstanding and negligence of what is rightfully owed to all human beings in our community – respect and justice. They say war is ugly and the darkness that comes to light in our community are the senseless deaths of our young people at the hands of others. The senseless acts of hate against a people who's core values dictate that we are all interconnected, we are all related. Shared stupidity might make some beget violence with violence, hate promoting hate as that is the ugliest part of all the indifference we face. Both sides of the battle have voices of dysfunction. A good listener can hear past the voice of anger and ugliness and understand the most effective solutions for a warrior is understanding that your voice carries a much stronger punch coming from the heart of your values than it does from your anger.
The grandmother who made those calls to Congress did not cuss them out. No frying pans where thrown. She spoke truth to power as we all should, from the values we want to live. Our ancestors understood that a true warrior's victory is not defined by the enemies they knock to the ground but by the justice served using those values that help us all to stand up together.
In the spirit of that thought, I ask all to join together in shared values as we move forward with a Campaign to Unite a Community.
General Beadle School
North Rapid City
5PM MST Meal
Bring a friend...
-Andrew Iron Shell
Community Organizer & SANI-T Board Member
Western SD Native American Organizing Project
Monday, May 17, 2010
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Lakota Student Files Free Speech Suit Against Oelrichs School Board
"I'm very supportive of [Dreaming Bear]" Cook-Lynn said, and she is proud that he is willing "to defend himself, his culture, and his people, because that's what this is about.
Monday, March 29, 2010
Friday, December 18, 2009
The Healing Beyond Hate team received this today and is so excited to be able to post this. We thank the person who took the time to share their story with us! Blessings to all of you! And remember, its never too late to send us your own personal story. Just email us at: email@example.com and we'd be happy to post your story/personal account, anonymously if that is what you wish! Thanks for stopping by!
Here is the personal account from a community member:
I wanted to add something to this blog site because it seems like a resourceful way to get your story heard. I didn’t know how to start and I hate writing but I thought as long as someone can read it and relate to it that’s all that matters. I am a Native American Women I recently moved to Rapid City South Dakota. I have three children and I was in need of some help to get me on my feet. I was told that the Salvation Army helps with financial needs. I didn’t know much about the program or what process you took to get the help. So, I got a little head start on finding out what I needed before I went to the Salvation Army office. I brought a folder that contained the documents that were needed for the application so when I got there all I needed to do was fill the application out and attach the copies of my documents. I went to their office by K-mart. There was lady in the front office and I assumed she was the secretary. She asked if I needed any help in a rude kind of way. My first thought was that she started off having a bad say at work when I approach her at 8:30 in morning. To myself I thought no matter how you feeling, you should leave your personal problems at home and you should be professional to you clients. I proceeded to be pleasant but her attitude got worse. She started to yell at me like I was a child. I understood every word she said but it seemed that she didn’t comprehend what I was saying. I repeated what I said to her and she just got more mad and starting saying things that were off the subject. I took a step back and told her “I’m sorry you’re having a bad day at work but there is no need to yell at me like that. You’re a very mean person and you’re being rude to me”. She said “No I’m not I’m just trying to explain to you what you have to do”. I told her I have already had all the information that she needed and I just wanted to fill out the application. I felt I got her madder when I came prepared and she couldn’t inform me of information I needed to get. I ended the conversation and said “Thank you for your help but I won’t need your assistance”. After I left the office I thought about other people that go into Salvation Army office and get treated this way and maybe they don’t say anything about the conflict that happened there. They might just go on with their day of being treated badly because they didn’t know what to do or they don’t know about SANI-T and what they could help with. I didn’t want this lady thinking its okay to treat people badly because she is having a bad day. I told SANI-T what happened and two advocacies went with me to Salvation Army and spoke with her supervisor. Her supervisor asked what I thought her consequences should be. I said I just want her to know that this was supposed to be a place that people could reach out for help but with bad attitude you could turn away people that are in need of the program. She should treat people how she wanted to be treated. I hope this helped her see things different and treat people with the proper manners. I felt justice was served when I got help for SANI-T. Thank you all for reading my story and I hope you have one to share.