The following is a not I posted on facebook, looking for a long lost columnist and friend. i was inspired by his voice years ago, and in the time that I posted this, I found my friend Anson. I am encouraging him to come back to writing, and told him I would post his words from many years ago, as they made me open my eyes back then to a new way of thinking.
This is a response to an article I wrote about the statistics of the reservation I am from. I am going to post it in my notes so it is more visible to me. The first time I read this I believe I was 36 and Anson Black Calf was 26 years old when he wrote this. It was one of those moments when I realized, first-that I was now in that “35 and older” category, but also that our young people have some powerful thoughts. Other than the time I realized that my children were not me, they were not their father, but they were themselves, with their own outlooks and beliefs, I was very grateful to read these words. It was very inspirational to me, who at the time, although I was tired of the statistics, I was also a crab in the bucket. He made me see how change comes from within your mind, heart, and soul-and that change was by going back to the way our people were to each other. That is how we crawl out of where the government pushed us.
Please read, share and I hope to see him writing again soon. Please share.
Lakota Country Times
No one is going to give change to us, we are going to have to make it for ourselves By Anson Black Calf
Wanblii Ake Glii
This letter is in response to the article, “How do we better ourselves and get rid of those statistics?” by Dana Lone Hill.
One word comes to mind when I think about this question and that one word is revolution, a revolution of the people’s mind, body, spirit and emotion. The definition of the word aside from meaning an overthrow of a government by those governed and usually by forceful means with another form of government taking its place also means a complete or radical change of any kind; radical meaning favoring fundamental or extreme, thorough change; fundamental meaning the foundation or basis of a thought or idea which is an essential part of something; and extreme meaning to the greatest degree far from what is usual and conventional. These words and what the meaning of these words could stand for may possibly hold the most important principles, theories and laws for change.
Who we once were as a great nation of strong people with our land and the wealth of our natural resources is why we are all segregated now on tiny reservations. It is why the reality of our people is as it is today in comparison to who we once were. Just as America once fought us for the control of our land and our natural resources and the majority of the United States who then called for the extermination of us is the same reason why they have been killing in the Middle East this whole time. It is the same old reason, it is all for wealth, control and power.
We as Lakota and as Indigenous people for that matter have been tricked, deceived and pushed for decades through the generations of our relations into a slow motion poisonous sleep of death whether we know it or not. This will inevitably lead to the mass murder of us as a people that many have said is an already on-going silent genocide that has been occurring for centuries but a genocide nonetheless.
When the integrity and spirit of our people was strong and the circle whole and complete we were independent; we were true sovereign nations. That is why the now so-called ‘United States of America’ made its early treaties with the Indigenous people of their ‘new found world’ long ago. Because if you look back at the history of the beginning birth of the United State of America, you will find that its early people just ‘European immigrants’ fled here to the new world to escape persecution from their already cruelly oppressed homelands. And one of the ways in declaring themselves a sovereign and independent nation to their former ‘government’ was to make treaties with other sovereign and independent nations. Which were the Indigenous peoples of their ‘new found world’ a world that had no fences and no visible boundaries of ownership and that in the eyes of a them meant free for the taking.
And if you look even further as to how independent we were as a people you will find that our ancestors have occupied these lands for at least 40 to 50,000 years prior to the Europeans ‘discovery.’ And through the old stories of the old ones, through various works of Indigenous writers and through the personal accounts of some wasicus in those times you will learn that we had awesome power through all aspects of ourselves, physically, mentally, spiritually and mystically.
So in going back to the multiple questions that are on many peoples minds, ‘How do we better ourselves and get rid of all those statistics?’ ‘How do we demand a better life for the people and get it?’ ‘How do we bring about change?’ Well this is just my opinion here and I am sure I am not sounding like a politician but rather more like a revolutionary.
A few key things to keep in mind would be that ‘without deviation from the norm change will not be possible’ and no one is going to give this change to us. We are going to have to make it and take it for ourselves. And it is an eternal truth that writing about something and doing it are definitely two entirely different things. I’ll always remember what Sitting Bull said during his time, “our greatest leaders have yet to come.” So who is ready to speak and stand up for the people? Who is ready to die for the people if need be? I already see many of you who are willing to give your life for a country that has never loved you or your Oyate, brain washed by doctrines that have captivated millions before you and I am sure millions after you too. But do you have the heart to give your life for your people, your Oyate?
Very few know of the whole undeniable truth in the history of the ‘discovering’ of this ‘new world’ and the founding, making and shaping of this nation for it is a dark one. One that is full of lies and deceit and based on murder and thievery. And too many have always believed in these lies that have been fed to them for generations by those who knew the truth but had the power to distort and hide it. However, there are those who do know this truth and there are also those who do have pride as Lakota but there are not enough and very few truly live and show that pride in a good way.
And the pride I see when I look around is the wrong kind of pride. For the hanging of the stars and stripes I believe is more like a sick co-dependent acknowledgement saying,” sure this flag represents the genocide of our people, the theft of our land and our continuing oppression but its ok because were proud to be Americans now.” This is not the only “wrong pride” that our Lakota people display but also in the various gang colors that keep our youth divided.
That’s like a slap in the face to the old ones and it unknowingly keeps our entire nation and our young people subservient like slaves when they should be as servants for the people, united as brothers and sisters and cousins fighting for the Oyate just as our ancestors always did. But instead they separate themselves from the blood of their past away relatives and fight each other. We were once a great nation of buffalo now we are a nation of cows amidst a vast nation of sheep who are being led by wolves in sheep’s clothing and the wool has been pulled over the eyes of the herd. Of course there are the few who are an exception to the rule.
Our collective ignorance as a people has kept us enslaved as a nation imprisoned and only through the acknowledgement of the simple truth can we set ourselves free as a people and as a nation. The youth are the future of us and they will be our leaders of tomorrow. We need to empower them now with nothing less then the absolute truth of our concealed history. Instill in them the four virtues of being a Lakota in relation to the reality of today’s dominant world and the reality of our world for the liberation of our Oyate, Woksape, Woohitika, Wounsila, and Wowacintanka. We need real leaders who strive to live close to the true Lakota way, leaders who do see the truth and walk with integrity, leaders who will lead by example and live these qualities of wisdom, bravery, generosity, and fortitude for the Oyate. This could return to us the seemingly almost forgotten pride of being a true Lakota without the false pride and ego but with humility and sincerity.
And this brings me back to this one word, Revolution. All it means is a basic, extreme, thorough change of the foundation of what makes us a people and a nation but this change must be a gradual change because there are many truths that need to be realized and understood. We need to realize the Indian Wars never ended for us and we need to prepare our children for this because when the wasicus, who time after time kept pushing us down, saw that they didn’t have to push us anymore they understood that we would keep ourselves and each other down from now on. It is now our choice and our choice alone that will shape our future.