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ARVOL LOOKING HORSE RESPONSE LETTER TO DAKOTA LAKOTA JOURNAL - June 28, 2007
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Arvol Looking Horse Articles:
AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM CHIEF ARVOL LOOKING HORSE
ARVOL LOOKING HORSE RESPONSE LETTER TO DAKOTA LAKOTA JOURNAL
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I would like to respond to Alfred Bone Shirt & Vivian High Elks article in the June 15, 2007 in the Dakota/Lakota Journal, talking about the traditions and sacred way of life towards the Canupa.

First of all I would like to say that on June 21st World Peace & Prayer Day and Honor Sacred Sites Day was a success, people all over the world praying together in their own ways and own Sacred Sites. All nations, all faiths, one prayer is respecting each others traditions culture and religions. There is one creator and one grandmother earth that we all share. We have gone all over the world once a year to pray with other Indigenous Nations at their Sacred Sites and to the United Nations to talk about prophecies and we as the first nations have committed ourselves to maintaining our sacred way of life.

This year we traveled to Teotihuacan, Mexico City, Mexico. To offer prayers to different Sacred Sites and pray at a place where over a thousand young people were massacred in 1968.

We had a run to Teotihuacan. We asked for volunteers to run and we said that we would help to raise $1,500 for each individual for the following items: passport, running gear, etc, but because of the immigration controversy nobody stepped forward and no money was raised towards this effort. Just me and the family ran with the local runners in Mexico.

The other Pipestone Run on our Wolakota website was coordinated by Allen Hare and Paul Rouse Sr. family. Paul Rouse Sr. has gone back to the spirit world and the family honored me last year by giving me a brown van and the family said that the young boys would continue running for their late father. So there were two runs that we were involved with in support of prayers. Their information with where to send their support funds was posted on the website; no money was raised through wolakota! Anyone can go and see that information for themselves.

We returned from a beautiful ceremony in Mexico City, a place which was governed by the state, this year is the first year that we have lead our staffs into the center of Teotihuacan to do our ceremony. World Peace and Prayer Day opened that door to allow a ceremony to take place as it did for Devils Tower aka Grey Horn Butte in 1996.

After reading what was printed in the newspaper, an ongoing confusion which started on the Rosebud reservation on October 21, 2006 where a traditional Treaty meeting took place. A resolution/petition that was drafted by Vivian High Elk, Martina Looking Horse, Stacey Low Dog and Alfred Bone Shirt was presented, but tabled and not accepted by the elders in attendance at the meeting. Floyd Hand stated this fact in his Lakota Journal interview last October about this controversy. Since that time their attacks were very strong, so I had little choice but to put the sacred Canupa away. I am the only one that knows where its at. So I put it under ground and now today that grass has covered it. When the time is right, I will bring it back up.

The Keeper before me, my grand mother Lucy, put it away like that when she had to pick potatoes in Nebraska to survive when no longer the People supported her and also during the Wounded Knee era when our ways were outlawed, that was done. Pte San Win spirit and help is still with us all as we experience in our ongoing ceremonies, but this is what I was instructed to do when problems come to the Bundle itself.

At the age of 12 years old I was given that responsibility by my grandmother Lucy Bad Warrior Looking Horse and she told me that I would be the last keeper of this Canupa. During this time there was so much prophecies coming in time like the Eagle and the Condor, the White Buffalo Calf and all of the animals showing their sacred color and we must be the voice for the animal nations.

There will be many false prophets; there will be a lot of earth changes and climate changes, which would affect our lives and our way of life. This spirit bundle, which I take care of, was handed down through generations and because it is a spirit bundle it chooses its Keeper. But many people have died protecting our Sacred Sites and ceremonies.

My father (Stanley Looking Horse Sr.) would go to the Sacred Sites and pray with his Canupa and as a young boy; I would go along with him to help him. He helped me understand as a boy the importance of Sacred Sites, as we are losing them to tourist attractions, people selling them and farmers. Growing up in those times, some places we were not allowed to conduct our ceremonies. I hope and pray that some day people would respect our Sacred Sites like the Sacred Pipestone quarries in Minnesota or Bear Butte in the Sacred Black Hills, where people are trying to make a Saloon.

Our struggles continue today protecting our Sacred Sites. But the women who are my relatives have caused a lot of confusion, since that meeting in Rosebud and up to the more recent article by Vivian High Elk & Alfred Bone Shirt. Two traditional laws have been broken. The first law is that our Lakota/Dakota/Nakota Oyate is a patriarchal society and the (women) shouldnt have ever overstepped the traditional headsmen that tabled their resolution in October 26, 2006 and posted it to the public as if it were passed and agreed upon. The second law, in our tradition is when a woman was with a Non-Indian, they would have no voice within our nation to speak publicly about our traditions, but they could still pray and be among our people. So this stated in our treaties by our ancestors. This is what I would like to remind our people of.

And for my sister Martina Looking Horse, I hope that she can go to treatment, as many of our people have done to turn around their life and get some help, because shes been using since the 70s and yet she tries to be a voice for the Looking Horse family. My family can tell you that she has never been on a vision quest or has Sun Danced. My concern is her use has caused constant misbehavior with the viscous and untrue words she does publicly; goes against our traditions and misrepresents our family.

This whole conflict is happening because of money that these individuals think should go to them personally and to others they convinced of their hardship that is due, any money raised is for what efforts wolakota was created for and the people involved in those efforts. There are other state and non-profit organizations that help the concerns they have and have helped them. They can also spend their energy on their concerns and creating their own program, instead their energy to attack people.

I run ceremonies and my other half sits with my Canupa in ceremonies, so when did it become tradition to break up families or use jealousy over children in the arguments in the public, because they are not directly related. In our culture we never used the word step this or that, when we accept a child or person as a part of our family. They were always a part of our own tiospaye, family. This is what was taught to me by my Grandmother and parents, as they too accepted people in our family hoop.

In our tradition the eagle feather is the high honor among our people, because it is the main thing that we must all hold to be a part of any ceremony. If we drop an eagle feather we have no choice, but to pray to our grand father and the Grandmother earth. There are protocols for any sacred item and as a spiritual person, we take care of them or even how we speak about them.

So when we talk about the sacred Canupa we should remember the words of Pte San Win, the White buffalo Calf Woman, a spirit woman; that only the good shall see the Canupa and that the bad should not even see it or touch it. Since the meeting in Rosebud, Alfred Bone Shirt and them have threatened to get the Canupa and to give it to someone else, so I must listen to what was passed down in knowledge when these things happen.

I struggle just like anyone else to pay to live in this society and survive. I have chosen to survive by speaking of what our work is about, as many of our own people that have earned that voice in being asked to speak of education in many areas that concern our people. But I will always stand by the protecting our sacred way of life, that the blood of our people is not for sale as in our sacred stone and as well as our ceremonies, my responsibility that comes with this position.

Our traditional ways are very strict. Today people are fasting and Sun Dancing. During this time of our most important ceremonies where people are looking for good health, it was always said to watch our words, as words are sacred, they can do more damage then good to a Nation and also misrepresent who we are as a People. Young People read these things and this also goes down in history, this behavior makes our Nation look bad, these are issues, traditionally that should have been handled in a more respectful way instead of going out there in the world. Our native newspapers should be a part of this too and check out whether it is true or good for people to read.

Once again, I will tell our people that once you go into that (Sun Dance) circle, you stay in there for four days and fulfill your commitment. Our people can be strong people!

I would like to thank all of the people for listening to the few words that I have to say today. Thank you very much.

Arvol Looking Horse
Eagle Butte, SD
 
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Thank you Stephanie M. Schwartz ( http://www.SilvrDrach.homestead.com )
for passing this on to us to share with others.
 
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