by Hoksila Ska
I am training to become a leader in the Rosebud reservation community.
|The Future Is Us, The Past Is Now
Are we ready to control our lands? Are we prepared for its management? Are we really preparing ourselves? What is essential for being strong once more? Everything needs to be worked on.
Our traditions, culture, our people and our spirituality are slowly dying because of our dependency and depression. Alcohol and welfare are our enemies that we gladly welcome for the false comfort and security because of our laziness to stand up and be aware that everything is dying because of us; we look away to the reality of what lies ahead.
Christianity and Catholicism are sweeping in and taking our people faster than we can spread our Lakota influence because they hit our most vulnerable area, our children. We then try to lead good lives with this European religion out of fear of going to the hell. With this religion spreading all over our land we are slowly becoming conquered; just like our brethren in the Americas in the south. We need to stay strong with every part of us that makes us Lakota no matter of blood degree or background. Lakotas lead good lives not out of fear but out of respect for the spirits, ancestors, and Tunkasila. Our Native spirituality is what binds us; it is what connects us to being Lakota. We were once people of the stars. Of course we all believe in Tunkasila but the majorities of us are disregarding the respect for the spirits and leaving it behind. How many of us burn sage and sweet grass to cover up the smell of marijuana while we smoke? How many of us constantly use marijuana? How many of us are doing meth or dealing it? How many of us are constantly drinking to ease the boredom of nothing else to do? Our inner world is falling apart as we fall on to these addictions and dependencies. We then start to think differently. Addiction leads to greed and selfishness even in the smallest ways and it leads to a different mindset then what I believe we are intended for. The spirits do not like these things; there is a difference between using and abusing. None of us are innocent but it does help to look at ourselves and notice that we aren’t innocent but also at the same time try to keep a straight head and do something about it.
We need to somehow prepare ourselves mentally so when we are adults we will have a cause to fight for. And that is what makes us different from those around us, that is what makes different from America because most of them have no cause. They live to make money and spend and then make more money to spend, creating an endless, mindless cycle. We have a cause and many of you are unaware of it but I want to let everyone know. Maybe this action can be a boost of encouragement to you. If it is, don’t let it die. The future is us and the past is now.
Our language is also dying and we have very few people there to teach us our language back. Because of our modernizing we are slowly losing our enthusiasm for keeping the past alive through oral tradition and living by good morals and keeping those in mind. We are losing pieces of ourselves slowly with each generation whether it’s keeping the language alive, keeping the traditions alive, or keeping the spirituality alive. Christianity and the government are taking its toll on us. No matter how slow a race is, you can’t win it by just standing around.
We are our own people; we are our own Nation in the United States. A country inside a country. At the same time the government still has us in check, but why? It is because we haven’t done anything about it. Our life goals and values are totally revolved around what everybody else in America has. We try to be something we aren’t; American.
The postcard that “Americans” sends us isn’t that big, there is a bigger picture that is still to be realized and noticed for what it really is. America is nothing but a battlefield of buyers and consumers that make money to BUY AND SELL. Our life is revolved around money and it is everywhere, forever remaining barely within our reach but just enough so we want it. That is how the government has it made for everyone, on the rez or off, especially in rural areas.
We need to focus on ourselves and then compare that to the future that we are going against (ten years from now, do you see us still dependant on welfare and still asking for scraps from the government? Or the government taking the rez away from us?) Then you need to compare that to the future that we want (our people standing out there, a first native prez, native rock/rap band playing native style songs on MTV, more native actors in movies and television, BURGER CHIEF!! Mmmm!) There are a lot of dreams that can come true but there are many steps to getting there. We need money to support better educations for us especially at a young age, we need more jobs around like small businesses, and we need strong mentality. We need challenge to make us stronger and smarter, we need to learn about the world, we need to read more, we need to have motivation….We need a future.