Monday, April 15, 2013

Truth Tour to the UN & Washington DC

We’re now in Delaware, at Carolyn's parents' house.  We're continuing the Lakota Truth Tour that began on April 1 in Rapid City.  We've already done our march to the UN in NYC, and our final stop is Washington DC.  We've been showing the documentary, Red Cry, at most every event, also giving away free copies of the DVD to share and copy (the DVD is not for sale).  This whole experience is a life-changing experience for me.  It is not only a campaign to raise awareness in the world, but it is turning into a spiritual overhaul for me personally, something I never really expected.

The complete Red Cry should be on You Tube for free soon.  I'll keep you posted.

Here is the schedule for the Lakota Truth Tour.

Grandmothers Back Out of Tour

We started in Rapid City, SD with five Lakota natives (Canupa, Leo, Camara, Pedro, and Cassie) and four white folks (Carolyn, Doug, Naomi, and me) in 3 minivans.  We went through the Pine Ridge reservation to pick up the Lakota grandmothers who were supposed to be on the tour, but, to our disappointment, they backed out.  Feeling extremely disheartened, the tour was almost cancelled.  It is understandable that the grandmothers backed out, because there is a lot of risk for speaking out against the US government and its corruption on the Pine Ridge reservation - risk of life, risk of false accusation and unjust imprisonment of self and family.  Many of the grandmothers are already suffering retribution for speaking out in the past. And those who speak in the documentary itself are taking a risk.  The tribal government also gave the grandmothers checks the day we were to leave, a predictable tactic to steer them away from coming with us.  When people are poor, how many would forfeit a check to come on the road with a risky tour?
But we decided to snuff out our discouragement and continue, working with what we had, showing the documentary.  We're glad.  It has turned out powerfully well, so far.    

Grandmothers Join the Tour

Camara, Doug, Barbara Charging Crow
(holding declaration of genocide),
Charmaine White Face,
and Canupa
behind a barricade in front of the UN
Two grandmothers, Charmaine White Face and one younger one, Barbara Charging Crow, joined us later, adding great strength to the tour.   Charmaine (who is also in the documentary) is truly a wise, spiritual woman and a great feminine balance to Canupa, the headman of the Lakota’s Strong Heart Society.  I can’t express the honor I feel  being in the presence of such spiritual masters.  The documentary alone is powerful in itself, but Canupa’s and Charmain's speaking and charismatic personalities brings each presentation to a new level.

The turn-out at each event has been  good and well-received.  Many people are brought to tears, including myself.  

Decolonization Training

Canupa conducting the decolonization training
at the Judson Memorial Church in NYC
This Truth Tour also conducted a decolonization training, facilitated mainly by Canupa, on our first evening in New York City.  It never ceases to amaze me how passionately charismatic Canupa is, how he can make audiences spellbound, speaking straight from the heart.  He is both intensely angry and compassionate, as well as full of humor.  It’s not often you meet such a warrior and revolutionary leader, passionate about his own ancient spiritual tradition, in the spirit of Crazy Horse.  I mean, we aren't talking about a fake wannabe Indian here. At this decolonization training, he called for people to step forward and destroy their identification cards and passports, to truly make their declaration of independence.  To my surprise, many people stepped froward and did it.

Canupa, the Enigmatic Teacher

But some days I totally doubt Canupa, because I sometimes think he is an unreasonable asshole, seemingly even abusive.  Other days I am enthralled by his spiritual passion and leadership.  He’s a trickster and a sage, a man warrior and seemingly an angry adolescent boy rolled into one – at least in my perceptions sometimes.   I even almost quit this tour, in fact, because I felt so offended.  My heart has been through the ringer, and it is coming through clean.

March to the UN

Canupa, Camara, Charmaine, Barbara, Leo
Marching to the UN
In New York City, the Lakota Truth Tour started a march to the UN, for the purpose of bringing a written statement declaring the ongoing genocide of the US government against the Lakota people and a call to end that genocide, and a call to demand the US keep its own treaties with the Lakotas, particularly the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie, which would give back all land stolen by the US government and restore the Lakota's complete sovereignty as an independent nation.  I repeat, the US's own treaty.

(See the press release for our march to the UN here).

It is also interesting that the Lakotas are not recognized as a sovereign nation in the UN, otherwise they would have a seat there, as would other native peoples!  This is contrary to the purpose of the UN.
March to the UN
Why am I myself part of this tour?

It was the persecution and genocide of native peoples all over this continent and this world that is one of the reasons I decided to walk away from money and throw away my identification cards, documents, and trappings of Babylon.  And, now, since I am now more in the spotlight, I am hoping my doing this can shine more light on the Lakota plight, as well as the plight of indigenous peoples all over the world.
Canupa with UN Security Officer
The UN would not allow the representative of the Lakota Nation
to speak with any UN official except a security officer.
Behind Canupa: Pedro, Ted (an Occupy dude who joined us in NYC),
me, and Leo.

The traditional Lakotas believe deeply in prayer, and pray to the Great Mystery every day (The Lakota word for God is Wakan Tanka, which is often translated as the Great Spirit, which Canupa calls the Great Mystery and Charmaine calls the Creator).  All of nature continually speaks and manifests Wakan Tanka, from every blade of grass to the buffalo to every bird flying above.  Those disconnected from nature have no spirituality and are out of touch with their own hearts and this reality.  Our books and our knowledge more often than not blind our eyes to this simple reality, and in our blindness to reality we think those who see are primitive and superstitious.  Prayer is like breathing to the traditional Lakota. I have been asked to request that you readers pray for the Lakotas and for this Truth Tour.  Find stillness in yourself, the stillness of nature.  This is your prayer.
Straight from the Heart:
Native singers and drummers in New York City
That's me in the yellow shirt & grey hair

For more info on the Truth Tour, see