I made the picture below on the first fund raising campaign with Indiegogo. Every minute spent on the Pe’Sla campaign was worth it. I feel/wished I could have done more but right now that don’t matter. Its done. One of our most sacred areas now belong to the Oceti Sakowin and that is what matters. There will be a day when all of those sacred areas will belong to us again. I believe that with every ounce of my being. Just like I believed Pe’Sla would be ours again. It was a matter of when, a matter of if the money would be raised, and a matter of, if the money isn’t raised, do I have a tent?
This fight our people have inside of us is deeper than any ocean. This fight comes from our ancestors. This fight is from when they struggled for real. See we could say we struggle but we live in houses, we wear shoes with rubber soles, we travels great distances in a matter of hours. If we struggle, it is our bodies trying to live with our DNA make up and living in this day and age of processed foods. If we struggle, it is to pay a bill to keep us warm. If we struggle it is with our personal demons and/or addictions. We have no clue what they went through and yet they had the extreme heart and soul of warriors to still fight and defend what was theirs.
That is where the fight inside of each and every one of us comes from. That warrior’s spirit of our ancestors live on in us, pumped by the same blood of the same people who shed that blood on the very land we fight for.
There was a time when I thought nothing was possible. When I thought this is just how life was, we were dealt a horrible hand and all we could do is complain about it. But life has a way of turning things around and for me it was in a good way. I met some wonderful people who included me in this historic campaign and I am forever thankful to Chase, Sara, and Ruth. They were there the couple or couple hundred times I stressed and tried to freak out, because I’m a nerd like that. And they were there to provide laughter, like all Indians, we get through life with our Indian sense of humor. Thanks guys. You mean more than I could ever tell you. And thanks to Lastrealindians, for changing me.
Thanks to my parents who taught me every right and wrong about The Black Hills. Who instilled deep beliefs in me about our Hesapa. My mom for all the talks on the porch about how this was right. Thanks to my stepdad Robert for fighting his own fight for the return of the Black Hills. I know its only a small part of the Paha Sapa but he would be so happy, so proud. I had to retreat by myself yesterday and let out a good cry for him and for Pe’Sla.
Thanks to my youngest son, when the campaign was stalled right when it picked up momentum because the auction was cancelled. He called me and said “Mom people keep asking if you’re my mom and they shake my hand and tell me to tell you thanks.” If it wasn’t for him, I would have never known about that support from home. Thanks to my children for listening to my rants.
Everybody keeps telling me thanks, but I’m the one that needs to say it. I’m just a writer. No matter what job I ever had, I still am a writer at the end of the day. So I’m writing now to thank everyone.
It was the world who came together. The global tribe who cared and who saw that our sacred land was in jeopardy of being sold and developed.
Thanks to every single person out there who spread the word, donated, or prayed. The blanket dances, the kindergarten class, the guy who asked for donations for his birthday, thanks to Michelle in Florida who didn’t live to see this but she tweeted and retweeted the campaign, to Georgianne and Huffington Post, to my editor Matt at The Guardian, not only for the story but for the tweets, to Kevin Gonzaga for his dinner, article, and prayers for Pe’Sla, thanks to my brothers and sisters who did believe in me, thanks to all the artists who donated, thanks to the Sioux Falls Dakota Rises Wellbriety Circle for prayers and donations, thanks to Kristi Eaton for your prompt AP coverage, to the people who auctioned their collectibles, to Gilbert and Miriana in Italy for their fundraising, to my Yahoo 360 friends for donating because you guys been with me forever, to all ten thousand donors, to the celebrities, to Alfred Walking Bull, Vi Waln, and the Rosebud Tribe, to Shakopee, Crow Creek, Indian Land Tenure, A Gay Kingman and the GPTCA, and to the rest of the Oyate Sakowin. To the twitter tribe for the constant tweets, including the celebrities, Lou Diamond Phillips, Roseanne Barr, Whoopi Goldberg, Susan Sarandon and her constant retweets, Ashley Judd, Sol Guy, Ezra Miller, P Diddy, Bette Midler, all the awareness you brought was awesome! There are too many to name. This is what the Oceti Sakowin are about. This is how it is supposed to be. Thank you everyone for helping get our sacred land back.
Pilamaya to Tunkasila for being there before, during, and after and seeing this through.
Now I want to go to a high point at the edge of Pe’Sla and shout that.
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