Sunday, March 31, 2013

Lakota Truth Tour

I hitch-hiked into Rapid City, South Dakota last Wednesday, now at the house of the Lakota elder, Canupa Gluha Mani in Custer, for the Lakota Elders' Truth Tour.

From Moab to the Land of the Lakota

Before leaving Moab, a guy named Edgar came to visit me from Salt Lake City and spent a couple days hanging out with me.  I feel we became very good friends.  Since I had been planning to hitch to Rapid City, he decided to take me back to Salt Lake City with him, meet his wife Leslie, stay the night, then drop me off in Park City to start hitching.  It took me two days and several rides to go 64 miles to Evanston, Wyoming, and I was getting discouraged, thinking I wouldn't make it to Rapid City in time.  Then I went 600 miles in two rides all the way to Rapid City, several days earlier than expected.

In Rapid City, I found some woods to camp in, ready to wait days until anybody I knew showed up.  But the next day Carolyn and Thembi and their friend Naomi arrived and whisked me away to Canupa's house here in Custer!

Red Cry, the Documentary

Carolyn (my good friend of several years), her boyfriend Thembi, and Naomi have worked the past year with the Lakota making the documentary, "Red Cry" is about the ongoing genocide against the Lakotas.  It is to be shown in each city along the Truth Tour.  I have now seen the documentary and am totally blown away by it.  It tells truths never before told, exposing lies and corruption.  "Red Cry" is more powerful than I'd imagined, and all the Lakota elders I've seen it with are equally pleased with it.  "Red Cry" is their documentary, in their words, not candy-coated or white-washed (by whites), raw and shocking, as it should be!  Finally, natives get to be heard, in their own words.  It is planned to be posted free to all on You Tube in a week or two, so all of you can see it.  Meanwhile, here's the trailer again:

Lakota Elder's Truth Tour Mission 

Wagunpi Woashake Ikickupi (Lakota Elders Take Back Their Strength) is a grassroots movement to end the genocide of the Lakota people and support the full renewal of matriarchal leadership by Lakota Grandmothers on Pine Ridge and across the Lakota Nation.  The movement also works to educate non-Natives about the situation of the Lakota, mobilize long-term solidarity networks to benefit Lakota Elders, and build solidarity with other indigenous resistance movements worldwide.
The Lakota Solidarity Project is an all-volunteer group of people and organizations who work in togetherness with traditional Tetuwan Lakota Elders, warriors, grassroots activists, and Oyate (people)- led by the Grandmothers.  Find out more here.

The Lakota Grandmother's Truth Tour starts in Rapid City tomorrow, going from city to city until the march to the United Nations in New York City, then on to Washington DC.

My Feelings About This

I can't help but feel this is something big, and can't express how honored I feel being a part of this.

And his isn't just about taking part in an activist movement.  This is becoming a major step in my spiritual journey.  I am meeting a grand guru in my life's path, and that guru is the Lakota nation.

I'm glad I'm here early, because I'm going through my time of intense psychological preparation with
Canupa.  And intense it is.  And humbling is an understatement of what I'm going through. Canupa is a traditional tribal leader (not a government lackey) who tells it like it is with us white folks.  It's not easy to take, but something we need to hear and absorb.  He's brash and crude and angry and funny, gentle and harsh and totally not P.C.  I'm sweating.  Just when I think he's a hateful asshole, a compassion deeper than I can imagine shines from his eyes into me, and the deep pain of centuries of white oppression against the Lakotas and against the earth.  And there's more to come for me to learn. I have a long ways to go, when I thought I had come so far.  Okay, I still feel he's also intensely racist and full of shit, too, encrusted over his compassion for all living beings.  That's part of his trickster persona, shocking us out of our minds like a harsh Zen master.

I have also gotten a chance to meet Charmaine, Earl, and Leo, so far, Natives also in the film.  Now I am so looking forward to meeting and traveling with the Lakota Grandmothers, matriarchs of the Lakota nation. 

After the Tour

I can't really think too much about after the tour right now.  I am, of course, thinking about the moneyless tribe idea, but feel this will be confirmation or not about #2 in the 2-fold mission of it.

Prayers For Me

I know there are people praying that I fail in my walk.  They have let me know this.  And I know there are people praying for my walk's success, who have also let me know this.  Which will win?  Neither, I say.  I ask both groups to pray neither for my success or failure.  Pray that if it is the Divine will that I fail, let me fail.  And if it is the Divine will that I succeed, let me succeed.  Make no presumptions of Divine will, or of what is "success" or "failure."  If your god is a genie in a bottle who conforms to your demands, to your will, your god is a petty demigod, no matter what you call your god.  The prayer of no presumption is the most powerful prayer in the Universe and can never fail.

Aho Mitakuye Oyasin!

Happy Resurrection Day, when the new life of Spring springs up from death.