Many many generations ago, our ancestors were torn apart. Families were killed, children were taken and homes were destroyed. The wars were beginning, the hate was building. Everything became all about revenge. This passed on from generation to generation, no one really knew how to fix it. No one really knew what to do. Every generation is born into this cycle, when will it end? Will our elders accept those changes? Will they look past all the hate and suffering?
“The old Lakota was wise. He knew that man’s heart, away from nature, becomes hard; he knew that lack of respect for growing, living things soon led to lack of respect for humans too.”
The Old Lakota was lost. Everyone wants to hate the white the man. Everyone want to hate what they did to us. They want change. So we ask ourselves:
What is change?
Is change when you knock on your enemies door and burn down their houses?
Is change hating the color and world they were born into, something they could not control?
Is change when you spread the hate to so many generations that you lost your way?
Is change when you continue to live the easy life and blame the people that put you there? Not you, but your ancestors.
Is change when all you want to do is blame and point fingers?
None of this change…. None of this makes change. Change is when you see right pass the hate and suffering. When you look way back into your ancestry and understand how your people lived before the all this happened. How they respected all living things, all walks of the earth. How you prayed for every living thing before you killed it. How you watched the land grow into a wonderful beautiful thing. You respected those who walked on the grass and the grass the moved in the wind. That is where you need to look.
As I look pass all the suffering and hate that my people have gone through, I began to see so many things that were lost and forgotten. Lakota Sioux are people of the land, people who make things grow and respect others, no matter what colors or walks of life. When everything turned upside down, we were treated as naive people. Our ancestors do not speak English, talking to them will always be a struggle for us. I have learned that, no matter what your enemies did to you, you must never treat them worse than you. You respect that they are people of the land, no matter what color or where they come from. This was lost when the white people came in, the hate and suffering grew. Our ways were lost from many generations. Instead of looking back and seeing our people for who they are, we became stuck. The hate for the government grew, we felt like they wanted to control us. That is all we saw.
Once, we were torn away from our land and our ancestors, something changed in us. We started fighting among ourselves, hurting our own people. The respect was lost for everyone. Lakota Sioux, we were proud people. They helped others and respect their elders. They never left their children or abandon their families. Now, everything has changed. We got so used of the government providing for us, that we forgot how to live. We forgot our own people. We forgot our ways of life.
I watch as young girls are killed and rapped from our own people, I watch as we slowly drink ourselves to death, as we leave our children to our grandparents and go out to party. I used to believe that everyone would change, but this is a change that will take more generations to recover from. We cannot used the government as our excuse anymore. We are now able to educate our future generations about our ancestry. We are now able to attend powwows and support ourselves. None of our children are being taken away anymore. As we make this change, we must never forget our horrible past, we must use it as a guide to push us forward not keep us still. Why are we fighting within ourselves and blaming others for it.
I used to be ashamed to be Lakota Sioux, because all people thought was that I would never succeed. I would never made it past High School. I would be in gangs and doing drugs everyday. I was dirty all the time. Why? Because that is how they saw us. The world never saw the true Lakota Sioux, they only saw stereotype and I was ashamed of that. I was ashamed of being apart of a culture that was hurting itself. I watch as some claim to know the ancestors of the Lakota, but they end up hating the white people or anyone that refuses to help them. Lakota Sioux were smart people, we figured out how to plant, how to survive harsh winter, how to care for the sick and raise our children to respect others. Now, our culture is lost and we keep blaming others for it, when we need to take that step into what it was before.
I watch as Mount Rushmore is hated by the Sioux, because it was put on a land that was taken. Or that is what we are set to believe. I watch as our elders continue to spread the hate and lose sight of our ways. They comment saying how they feel “disgraceful” and keep saying they hate the “White man.” When is this going to stop? When is the hate going to stop spreading? Our elders are losing their way and our future generations will lose their way also. Our old ways teach us to follow our elders, but what if they teach us more about the hate, instead of the change? Will one of them teach us how to make change?
But, where do we start?
Check out my next blog, I tell how I made changes in the workplace and how people saw the Lakota Sioux people. How they did not know what it was like, how I shared the stories and helped people understand. I may have so much more to learn, but one thing I have learned is “I must never treat my enemies the same as they have treated me.”