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Tuesday October 17th 2017

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MOVING TOWARDS FORGIVENESS: Reflections by a Dakota Language CHAT member upon seeing the documentary “Dakota 38”

As a part of the ‘Dakota CHAT, we were inclined to show our fellow CHAT members a piece of history that no longer is disaOur showing was very powerful as well as emotional for all that were present for the showing of the documentary Dakota “38” plus 2.  I especially want to give thanks to the CHAT members who were present  to see a piece of history long over due in our daily discussions involving Indigenous peoples everywhere.

Our event became an intro into a realm of forgiveness! The depiction in the movie was intense as well as moving as we seen euro-centric humans as well as indigenous humans come together in a scene not exactly familiar! Tears were undeniable, a new appreciation began to fill the room as we “all” understood the message at hand and that was ultimately “love”. Sharing it, exploring it, and accepting it. All of this brought to us by a beautiful man with a vision, Mr. Miller.

The journey was one of determination as the relentless weather conditions shown in the film offered hardly a moment for relaxation or pleasurable intake. This is what life offered our human efforts and this is a format we could all appreciate in an expedition that spanned over 300 miles into Mankato. Hardships can happen in a blink of an eye.  Our city (Minneapolis) is one of greatness as we find ways to over come these hardships somewhat without much effort as instincts carry far and long. Our event went as planned, with traditional delicious food, and the turn-out was for who were all in attendance. One thing I can say is that a lot can be learned from our neighbors in South Dakota with a daunting financial status.  The census often considers this area to be one the poorest county’s in our country with annual incomes per household that average 5,000 dollars.

Life is tough as well as hard for us all as we are all affected by our declining financial state (the recession), so with that being said, I’m in motion for our community to reach out to our neighbors, talk to each other and bring “life” back into our communities through acts of love and caring for one another. I would respectfully like to say that “togetherness” can be achieved!

Personally, I lost my eldest Brother (Jerrod) on the coldest night in South Dakota back in ‘96.  He died from exposure a week before he turned 18. My Winyan (Lakota/Dakota for women who walks beside me) and I have been through some rough times.  This past Father’s Day marked the one-year memorial for her Mother’s end with her fight with Colon Cancer. Respectfully, I made Father’s Day a day for her! Through it all though, we’ve been blessed!

I’d like to re-thank the “Alley” for offering us this opportunity and Wopida Tanka (big thanks) to anyone who offered their time to read about our event and encourage those who would like more info on the Dakota Language CHAT and how to get involved, feel free to contact the Cultural Wellness Center at 612-721-5745 or ashleylongcrow@yahoo.com.

 

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