Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wowapi Keya

Mi cunksi,
Tewahila. Ni cante.

I was watching Sioux City, I haven't watched that movie in decades. It really brought up a lot of stuff for me. How far I've come, how different my life is now. How different I am now. (How badly that movie was made.) How lucky and blessed I am, and what an amazing, blessed life I have. And you, you are here. You will grow up so different than I did.
You are being raised in your culture, you speak your language, you know your relatives. You know the ceremonies.
But you know all this, it is one of the (many) reasons you came to me/us.

I'm just grateful that I was able to come home, re root myself, find ni Ate'. I'm grateful we are Tiwahe. Complete. Happy, healthy, blessed.

As we discuss moving, or staying, we are still torn. We, (I, especially,) know both sides. I know the good and bad of both worlds. The advantages and disadvantages of both. We want to raise you here, but it has gotten so bad. Compared to my homecoming ten, no, eleven years ago, things were so mild, so innocent. It's a war zone now... so dangerous, so much hatred,so much anger. And ni Ate', he grew up here, he knew the place when it was in its "shiny-innocent" state. I feel sad we can't give you the home land we knew/know of. It will not be the same for you/your generation. Now, more than ever, the question of staying/leaving the reservation is of primal importance. We had always said, long before you came to us, that culture is not a place, it is something you take with you, it comes from parents teaching it, keeping it alive, living it. But even with that said, and the trueness of it, there is still no place like "home". It is why we came back here after you were born. No matter how rough it is/gets, no place on earth is like our homeland, as shabby, as torn up as it is. It is the connection to the land/ the people, the Ospaye; it is what will drive Lakota/Dakota/Nakota home from the far reaches of the world for as long as time exsists.
But, as your Ina, I know that the white world can provide you wiht opportunities that the reservation can't. Art muesums, choices for sport activities, dance, theater,etc. The list goes on.

It is a struggle that will never end. The need for the opportunities the wasicu world provides, but connection to the Oyate that can/will never be broken. Even the acculturated Indians feel it, whether they realize it for what it is, or not. That connection that will never be broken is why the Indian relocation program didn't work, and why no matter how many Indian children the Government kidnapped, er, adopted out, those ties will never be broken. Custer's attempt to "kill the Indian, save the man" was as successful as his raid on greasy grass. (Eyocaglata!!) Now, for generations to come, there will still be Lakota (insert any tribe here) searching for their home, their Tiyospaye. But unfortunately, for many, it will come at a high cost.

My childhood with the wasicu family I was raised in was not easy, we all know that; but the one thing I'm grateful for, is that they taught me how NOT to raise a child, how NOT to treat the most sacred gift given to any winyan. It made me all the more determined to marry within my tribe, to raise you as a Lakota Wakaneja, to keep you speaking the Native language you were born knowing.

Cunksi, your Ate' and I are powerful people with endless possibilities and potential, despite our childhood wounds. You have our power on top of our own natural born power, and that makes you an even bigger force to be reckoned with. Not to mention your potential! The whole universe will be yours for the taking! And despite the generations of historical trauma that is a cellular part of you, you are at an advantage because of as the years go by, the opportunities, education, etc grows. And each generation can/will be better than the previous, if they are taught/learn from, and grow out of the history they come from.
Unhipi ohinni ksto.
Untewahlapi lila! Unnitanpi lila! Pilameya ki wau ksto.
Unnicante pi.
Iputake ki niye!
Ina Na Ate'

1 comment:

Layla said...

WOW!! This is really beautiful!!

It made me cry!

You know I'm rooting for you guys to make it!!!