Walking to South Dakota – Why Women Should Fund this Effort (and get men on board too)

Walking to South Dakota

Why Women Should Fund this Effort (and get men to fund it, too)


We are headed to South Dakota in just 2 weeks time with three generations of spiritual activists inspirationally driven by Bethany and Peter Yarrow (Peter, Paul and Mary), the incomparable Nahko Bear, and Earth Guardians – a duo of Aztec brothers who at the young ages of 14 and 11 have devoted their lives to protecting Mother Earth.

They will be joined by legends Arlo Guthrie and Buffy Sainte Marie with a bevy of Native American artists spanning the tribal nations including Lakota, Navajo, Cree and Apache. At their sides will be international artists donating their time and gifts in support of the prayer to Unify the Tribes, and Unify the people in the Spirit of many Prophecies. We are guided by the long standing teachings received from the mystical apparition of White Buffalo Calf Woman who brought the Peace Pipe to the tribal nations. She spoke of a time of healing and Unity when All Nations of the Medicine Wheel would be reunited in respect – the black, red, yellow and white in harmony – and the building of the Rainbow Bridge which is an inclusive symbol of All people in beauty and equality.

“To make a rainbow, all colors of light must be included. None can be left out, or there will be no bridge…When I say ‘all colors,’ I am referring to all things, all peoples, all beings…You must walk a sacred walk, acknowledging, honoring, respecting, communing, and cooperating with all things and beings in the Circle of Life… You must live a life of inclusiveness, union, and sharing—letting the Light of Love flow freely among you. When all are included in a good way, the discordant song will become harmony and the light will automatically become a rainbow. Thus, all of you who are alive become the rainbow Upon which the generations cross into this new and Golden Time.
” – Brooke Medicine Eagle, Author of Buffalo Woman Comes Singing

Why is this a women’s issue?

For starters, Women’s Leadership at this time in history is critical to the health of our society and culture including education and healthcare options. Women are Peacemakers, even as they are Warriors, because their truest calling is to help those in need of a outstretched hand and to establish life systems which operate for the highest good of all members of any community. We fight for everyone to have what they need, to survive and to thrive, from the youth to the elderly, from the progressive dream seekers to the entrepreneurs. We have a deep sense of social justice. We know that we have the wisdom of the circle, and a fierce drive to protect our clean air and clean water for generations to come.

“Statistics about the native population today, more than a century after the massacre at Wounded Knee, reveal the legacy of colonization, forced migration, and treaty violations…” – Aaron Huey, TEDTalk

On the Pine Ridge Reservation, and others like it, the statistics paint an almost unbearable picture of a precarious existence that seems without future: Including a 70% school drop out rate, cervical cancer rates 5 times the national average and domestic violence. (More info is available at: http://nativeamericannetroots.net/diary/530)

There is a very clear message from what we can see: that abuse of power and patriarchal structure has played itself out. Where once the women would have been the oracles to consult in a time of crisis, now they are often denied participation in decision making. Where once the deep reverence of Mother Nature translated into respect for our Mothers and Grandmothers, now they are reduced to the victimization game faced with sexual abuse, violence, incest, neglect, and abandonment. The system which has disconnected them from their land, previously the source of their food and income, has successfully subdued their spirits, offered them little to do, if they wish to live their ancestors’ way of life. This hurts the women and disempowers men from providing good homes and good lives for their families. What do they have to pass on to their children?

As Loretta Afraid-of-Bear Cook, a Lakota woman, and a driving force behind the efforts to harmonize inter-tribal relations said, “If you lose your language and your land, you are no longer who you say you are.”

This prayer of Apology and Ceremony of Forgiveness in the Sacred Black Hills of South Dakota on September 13-14 are more than a symbol of good will – they are the result of years of hard work on the part of natives and non-natives alike. This is what is possible when All Tribes Unite for the Greater Good. This is the Action, which demonstrates our understanding that a wrong has been committed here and that we are willing to do what it takes to make it right, and to make things work in a way that is best for everyone. We all know the famous quote, the Dalai Lama has said, “The world will be saved by the western woman.” This is a beautiful opportunity to demonstrate leadership from the Western Woman to right a wrong on our soil. To make peace by acknowledging the crimes committed at the very birth of our nation, so that we can heal those wounds, relieving our children and our children’s children from carrying these burdens any further. Let’s make this right. Please support the Unity Concert for the Black Hills Initiative at https://ioby.org/project/unity-concert-2014.


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