If our ancestors were to tell stories of the history and unity of the Lakota Nation. . . the Oglala (Scatter their Own) of the Pine Ridge reservation, the Sicangu (Burnt Thigh) of the Rosebud reservation , the Hunkpapa (Camps at the Entrance) of the Standing Rock reservation and the Cheyenne River reservation; Mnikoju (Planters by the Water), Siha Sapa (Black Foot), Owohe Nupa (Two Kettle), Itazipa Cola (Without Bows), they would proudly teach that these are the seven bands of the Titunwan (People of the Plains) one of the Oceti Sakowin (Seven Council Fires) of the Lakota/Dakota/Nakota Nation.
Battle of Little Big Horn
Little Bighorn was the pinnacle of the Indians’ power. They had achieved their greatest victory yet, but soon their tenuous union fell apart in the face of the white onslaught. Outraged over the death of a popular Civil War hero on the eve of the Centennial, the nation demanded and received harsh retribution. The Black Hills dispute was quickly settled by redrawing the boundary lines, placing the Black Hills outside the reservation and open to white settlement. Within a year, the Sioux nation was defeated and broken. “Custer’s Last Stand” was their last stand as well.
Wounded Knee Massacre
In the Wounded Knee Massacre, on December 29, 1890, 500 troops of the U.S. 7th Cavalry, supported by four Hotchkiss guns (a lightweight artillery piece designed for travel with cavalry and used as a replacement for the aging twelve-pound mountain howitzer), surrounded an encampment of Miniconjou (Lakota) and Hunkpapa (Lakota). The Army had orders to escort the Sioux to the railroad for transport to Omaha, Nebraska. One day prior, the Lakota had given up their protracted flight from the troops and willingly agreed to turn themselves in at the Pine Ridge Agency in South Dakota. They were the very last of the Lakota to do so. They were met by the 7th Cavalry, who intended to use a display of force coupled with firm negotiations to gain compliance from them.
One must question another irony in that the whites came to find religious freedom. They came to escape religious persecution. Yet they did not understand that they should have granted us the same rights. They became free…we became the persecuted and our freedom was taken away. This is not the way of Tunkasila. The Great Spirit knows no single religion as right and true. He sees the different religions as the spokes in a wheel and he is the hub, the Center…all spokes lead to him and are connected to him. He holds the universe together and the world turns on his axis of love, generosity, and equality. Amazingly, what happened then is still happening today as people around the
world declare a holy war and they too cry, “God wills it.”
If the old ones shared today the wisdom they garnered in their lifetimes they would likely explain that human history reflects man’s inability to find peace because in peace there is no need for power and man has not learned to live without power. They would remind us of the crisis all mankind faces in the path of destruction of our planet. Greed is killing our Mother. All ancient texts teach of a time of peace after a great travail. The earth is in labor trying to deliver a new and enlightened people that can understand oneness, equality, sharing and generosity. She has labored long. Because we will not be born she is in great travail. We are all children of the Earth, all came from her womb for creation is present in all life if it is as simply defined as the nature that surrounds and sustains us all. Many who are awakened now know…All must learn to walk a Red Road as a way of life.
A prophecy received in a vision by Crazy Horse (Ta-Sunke-Witko)
From Grandfather as a cloud descended from above.
“There is still the circle of heaven and earth. Yet a little waiting for your people, then what the Wasicus bring will be only a bad dream that shall pass away like a shadow that has never been! In that day some of the Wasicus too will learn the meaning of the Sacred Circle and they will help your people change the earth to beauty.”
(Great Upon the Mountain: Crazy Horse of America, Vinson Brown, 1971)