We Were Once-Still Warriors

I think of the history of our people, as Lakota how can we not be so proud of who we are and where we come from?

The government did what they could to ruin us, destroy us…and when they figured out it would never work to kill us off because we were never going away.  They did what they could to kill our souls.  To kill our spirits.

They tried to assimilate us in every way possible.  They cut our hair, raped our women and children, beat our babies for speaking their language, took away our right to hunt, took our sacred land….do I have to go on and on with every single atrocity?  Do I have to number or alphabetize what this government did to us?

They made our men who were once warriors of a proud nation, warriors who ambushed the government and beat it on our own soil, warriors who provided for their families for thousands of years,  they made our warriors feel defeated by handing them a depressant in the form of alcohol.

Not every warrior, mind you,  but enough to affect the next seven generations.

There were enough people, that didn’t succumb to alcoholism.  Throughout the next seven generations.   I was not one of them.  There are times in my youth I remember it being a real factor and times, many times as an adult when I wished it hadn’t been a factor.

But I am not one person to pretend that everything is rosy.  I fell and fell hard.  How many times do I have to say that to my own people?  I do not think I am better than anyone because I write about the negative impacts of it now, I just know that if I had that time over again, I would definitely not let it affect what kind of parent I was or really, what kind I wasn’t.  Because what matter is what kind of parent I am right now.

My kids love me and that is all that matters, we move forward.

I am doing what I can to let them know to support their people, all of them.  If an elder is around, you better not be sitting down, don’t eat before them or young children, and don’t look your elders in the eyes when you speak to them.

I want them to know it is was’te/good to stand up for your beliefs, what you think is right, for your people.

Because no matter what the government did to us, tried to do to us, we are still warriors.

If another person is fighting for the better of our people, don’t put them down because everyone else is.  Don’t hate on your own people.

How do you ever expect us to be the great warrior nation, the buffalo people of the North if all you can do is put each other down.  The government don’t have to assimilate the assimilated.

Stand up, sit down, or get out of the way.

Not one person defeated General Custer and the 7th Cavalry.

They worked together and it would be nice if that could happen again.  We don’t have to defeat the army but we can be bigger than the army.  We have more spirit as Lakota people than a whole army does.

We have our ancestors behind us.

Now let us start making them know that their fight was worth it.

listened to while writing


One thought on “We Were Once-Still Warriors

  1. I am reminded daily that the struggle for identity is ongoing. As you know well, the challenge of survival is enacted as both a tribal and a personal experience. One mirrors the other.

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