Lakota Instructions For Living

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1877 photo features Big Elk, Standing Buffalo Bill, White Eagle, and Standing Bear. Standing are John Baptist LeClair and Charles LeClair.
 

Lakota Instructions for Living

Friend do it this way – that is,
whatever you do in life,
do the very best you can
with both your heart and mind.

And if you do it that way,
the Power Of The Universe
will come to your assistance,
if your heart and mind are in Unity.

When one sits in the Hoop Of The People,
one must be responsible because
All of Creation is related.
And the hurt of one is the hurt of all.
And the honor of one is the honor of all.
And whatever we do effects everything in the universe.

If you do it that way – that is,
if you truly join your heart and mind
as One – whatever you ask for,
that’s the Way It’s Going To Be.

 

Go Forward With Courage

When you are in doubt, be still, and wait;
when doubt no longer exists for you, then go forward with courage.
So long as mists envelop you, be still;
be still until the sunlight pours through and dispels the mists
— as it surely will.
Then act with courage.

Ponca Chief White Eagle (1800’s to 1914)

 

CHIEF STANDING BEAR

While Standing Bear will always be remembered primarily for his trial in the Standing Bear vs. Crook case, he was basically a simple man whose only desire was to live and die as a free man in his beloved homeland much as his people had always done.  He did not wish for fame or fortune and could not understand why the federal government deemed it necessary that his people be forcibly removed to Indian Territory in Oklahoma.  They had done nothing to warrant their removable, and yet the federal government, in its infinite wisdom, did so anyway. 

The removal would later be referred to as the Ponca Trail of Tears.  Along the way to Indian Territory, many would die and upon arrival more would succumb to various diseases and illnesses.  Almost one third of the small tribe that never numbered more that 800 or 900 would perish, including Standing Bear’s son and daughter.

To honor his son’s dying wish to be buried in his homeland, Standing Bear and the small band that accompanied him headed home with his son’s body, knowing that to leave the reservation for any reason, was considered unlawful.  He and his band were soon arrested and held for trial at a fort near Omaha, NE.  Standing Bear spoke both humbly and eloquently at his trial with his most notable quote being:

"This hand is not the same color as yours but if I pierce it, I shall feel pain.
The blood that will flow from mine will be the same color as yours.  I am
a man.  The same God made us both.
"

The fact that Standing Bear won his case is truly amazing considering the horrendous treatment of the Indian at that time.  How unbelievable is it that as a result of the trial, the simple ruling was that an Indian is a “person” in the eyes of the law.  To realize that the Indian was thought of as “less than human” is mine boggling.  

Today, there are many honors and tribute to Standing Bear in recognition of his activism on behalf of Native American Rights.  Some of these honors and tributes include the following

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  • A 22-foot bronze statue and a 63-acre memorial park honoring him
    (located in Ponca City, OK)
  • A bridge named in his honor across the Missouri River linking Highway
    14 in Nebraska to Highway 37 in South Dakota
  • A bust in the State Capitol Hall of Fame (Lincoln, NE) http://its.ne.gov/vt/capitol/bust-hall.html
  • Chief Standing Bear Day—recognized annually in Nebraska on May 12, the date in 1879 on which the case of Standing Bear vs. Crook ended, and  Judge Elmer Dundee ruled that
    1. Standing Bear was a free man
    2. An Indian is a “person” in the eyes of the law
  • Chief Standing Bear Scholarship and essay contest—offered through the Nebraska Commission on  Indian Affairs (NCIA)
  • Portrayal in movies and plays, most notably
    • “The Trial of Standing Bear” (a made-for-television movie)
    • “Footprints in Blood,” (a play
    • “Wakonda’s Dream,” (an opera)
  • Subject of several books, including
    • The Standing Bear Controversy
    • Standing Bear is a Person:  The True Story of a Native American’s Quest for Justice
    • Standing Bear and the Ponca Chiefs;
      • Referenced in several other books, such as
        • Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee
        • A Century of Dishonor
        • In a Barren Land
        • The Indian Reform Letters of Helen Hunt Jackson
        • The Ponca Chiefs
        • The Ponca Tribe
          • School, subdivision, and lake named in his honor in Omaha, NE
          • Finalist for the Nebraska state quarter (came in second to the one chosen)
            • While Standing Bear won for himself and all Native Americans a changed course in history, the fight for equality and justice Still continues today.

              "Before our white brothers arrived to make us civilized men,
              we didn’t have any kind of prison. Because of this, we had no delinquents.
              Without a prison, there can be no delinquents.
              We had no locks nor keys and therefore among us there were no thieves.
              When someone was so poor that he couldn’t afford a horse, a tent or a blanket,
              he would, in that case, receive it all as a gift.
              We were too uncivilized to give great importance to private property.
              We didn’t know any kind of money and consequently, the value of a human being
              was not determined by his wealth.
              We had no written laws laid down, no lawyers, no politicians,
              therefore we were not able to cheat and swindle one another.
              We were really in bad shape before the white men arrived and I don’t know
              how to explain how we were able to manage without these fundamental things
              that (so they tell us) are so necessary for a civilized society."

              John (Fire) Lame Deer
              Sioux Lakota – 1903-1976

              Dreamwalker

               
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              10 Comments (+add yours?)

              1. account closed
                May 19, 2009 @ 19:32:05

                I love the Lakota people and feel closer to them as my kindred of Native Americans from my past lifes (I know I spent time in past lives as a Native American). My heart weeps with their sorrow and is proud of their courage and infinite wisdom. One Lakota person I truly admire is Russel Means. His website http://www.republicoflakotah.com is amazing. Check it out. Thank you for posting this Dreamwalker. Blessings, love and light, Jen x

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              2. » dave
                May 19, 2009 @ 20:04:31

                A certain imbred nobility, courafe and pridecomes to those who exist outsideRead with great interestregards

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              3. Red Sun
                May 19, 2009 @ 22:15:08

                Thank you Sue, I know people wonder why I do not post things of this nature on my blog sites, and the answer is easy. It makes my blood boil and sets my thoughts flaming to know, see, feel, and experience all the pain again and again, that my people have suffered and how people around the world continue to see and understand, their silence continues to deny us our rights, and I do not see any change with Obama in office. He has continued to back pedal on all his campaign promises,

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              4. Romeo
                May 20, 2009 @ 00:24:01

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              5. Kingfisher
                May 20, 2009 @ 03:03:48

                Wonderful post Dreamwalker thank you for this one ! Michelle a little patience and a little more time to see what Mr.Obama can do for change these things will take time and we have plenty of time dear friend xxx

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              6. Anjay
                May 20, 2009 @ 22:15:47

                Hi Sue, Loved reading this, thank you, you words are always good to read, very knowledgeable.Take Care My FriendLove and LightJackiexxx

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              7. ☆° Lady Jude
                May 21, 2009 @ 15:45:51

                Hi Dreamwalker, My My you have a good memory, of that Lady who was and now has closed. You always do a great blog Dreamwalker always full of inspiration.Hugs Jewelie

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              8. Rosemary
                May 21, 2009 @ 16:08:03

                very inspiring postluv R

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              9. freckles
                May 22, 2009 @ 02:11:12

                how interesting !! hope you are well bhappi~x~

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              10. BRENDA
                May 22, 2009 @ 21:46:27

                DREAMWALKER, Overly THANK YOU for this Excellent Post!!! WOW! I am truly Fascinated reading It!!!How Interesting and Encouraging All what You have Wrote here!!! And HOW Beloved the Idea that All Are ONE! ONENESS!!!Like All is Connected, precisely this morning I was seeing this Video, that I would Like to Share with YOU:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcgNJ7cgDVs&feature=channel_pageDREAMWALKER, Gigantic Enthusiastic and Fantastic GREETINGS for YOU!!! I am saying one Resounding HOLA/HI to You from Caracas until your Home! Did You hear that? (((Smile)))SUE, Overly Thank YOU for your Message on my Space! You are so Wise and Kind!Overly GRACIAS!!!

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