2017-10-12 / Voices

Sacred Hoop Okh’olakichiye (Society)


Hau Kh’ola (Hello friend), toh niktuka hwo (how are you)? Matanyan yelo (I am well / fine).

Le Anpetu kin (Today is) Anpetu Nunpa (Tuesday), hinhani lah’chi (early in the morning). Chanwape Kasna Wi (Moon of Rattling Leaves - October) Wikchemna (10th), Kh’oktopawing’e Nunpa sam Ake Shakowin (2017). Nanwah’un el (I hear) H’e Ska nahan Mah’piya Th’o washichu makh’opashpe ekta hanhepi wa-hinhe yelo (there was snow-fall at Colorado and Wyoming last night). Houn (Oh no)! Hanchokan hehan (At midnight), osni wislolye kin (the temperature gage) Wikchemna Nunpa ake Zaptan el he (was at 25) na th’ate kin ablakela (and the wind was calm). H’chala kin long-johns okile po (Grandpas look for your long-johns).

Late this morning, i heard the geese flying overhead. I did not see them. Perhaps because of the clouds. Fall is such a beautiful time here on the reservation, but at the same time, it has been heart breaking for the loss of Sammi, Aly, Oletha, and Owen one year ago on October 6th. On that day, i was sitting in my office when i heard the house explosion.

East Ridge is a mile away - my large windows facing towards the new IHS Hospital shook from the blast. Sammy was my eldest sister Velvedene Linda’s th’akoja, and in the Lakh’ota way, she was my th’akoja as well.

The following days were full of grief; i woke up one morning before the wake to start my wood-stove… and i began to cry. It is not fair to lose them all so unexpectedly. Owen used to cut my hair when i was just a hokshila (boy) at the OCS boarding school in Pine Ridge back during the sixties. I mourned their passing in the old ways for a whole year, and for all the sorrow that undeniably will come in a fleeting moment of time, just remember the comforting sounds of the flying geese

(mag’aksicha) above us. We will hear them again at spring time.

“Resolution adopted by the General Assembly [without reference to a Main

Committee (A61/L.67 and Add. 1)]

61/295. United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. 13 September 2007.

Article 3. Indigenous peoples have the right to self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.

Article 4. Indigenous peoples, in exercising their right to self-determination, have the right to autonomy or self-government in matters relating to their internal and local affairs, as well as ways and means for financing their autonomous functions.”

In closing, i would like to leave you with a Lakh’ota sentence (Oeye):

Lel ni chaje o-igwa yo, (Male would say) = Sign/ Write your name here.

Lel ni chaje o-igwa ye, (Female would say) = Sign/ Write your name here.

Oko ichinunpa kin (Next week), ake wo-unglakin kte lo (we will talk again).

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