On December 29th, 1890 at Cankpe Opi Wakpala, better known to the outside world as Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Reservation, U.S. troops laid yet another black eye on the American landscape.
We could go on and on about war and greed and expansion. We can debate forever about why so much violence has happened in the name of the Christ, the most peaceful one. That kind of finger pointing has no end, but when you line hotchkiss guns, that are made to literally mow down large numbers, and just keep firing until every man, woman, elder and child are dead in the snow, well then there is something to talk about. Then there is a place to draw a line in the sand.
I can’t wrap my mind around how someone could fire upon a child. The reports all say several children were found trying to nurse from their dead mothers as even they took their last breaths. A spirit never dies, and I believe they still haunt the land and they still gnaw as the consciousness of us. I believe everything in this life is connected and just because we can ignore something doesn’t mean we can escape it.
My apologies to Spotted Elk for using his photograph in this way, but I think he, another peaceful one, would want to use anything to bring more attention to the plight and treatment of his people.
Wounded Knee happened long after the governments forceful removal of the indigenous peoples of the east and south. They had already moved the Creek people to Oklahoma. My forefathers by that time had enough white blood, to claim white and therefore stay in southern Alabama. They claimed white wherever they could to avoid prejudice. They buried the Indian in all of them, never to be spoken of until it was essentially lost.
Nothing can be done to take away what has been done. But we as a culture and a people who I believe want to live honorably, need to be aware of what was done in our name. That history books are written by the victors and don’t come close to truth. Take a moment of your day on Dec 29 to remember those fallen. Those elders. Those women. Those helpless children. Remember to, the ones who pulled the triggers, for had they been more awake in spirit would have been horrified .
There must be understanding on both sides if the blood stains on this land are ever to heal. I can only speak from one side, and it is a side from the other side of the fence. I am a person that some might say has no right to speak to this. But I think everyone has a right to begin a healing.
While we can’t change the past, everyone can have a hand in the future. We are all brothers and sisters. We are all related. Mitakuye Oyasin !