Archive for the ‘Oglala Lakota’ Category

Russell Means (Photo By REUTERS/Joshua Lott/REUTERS)

Russell Means (Photo By REUTERS/Joshua Lott/REUTERS)

By Jesse Abernathy, Native Sun News Editor

SANTA FE, N.M. – Russell Means says he is still cancer-free and will forever be unaffected by the dread disease.

Means, who is Oglala Lakota, was diagnosed last summer with what was then referred to as “terminal” esophageal cancer. In December, the actor and former American Indian Movement activist claimed victory over his affliction partially by way of “Indian prayer and Indian medicine.”

“The cancer’s gone – I don’t have to worry about that,” Means said from his wife Pearl’s familial home in Santa Fe.

“I beat it, it’s gone,” he said firmly.

As was the case in December, Means’ voice is still clear and robust – a noticeable difference from the height of his throat cancer last August, when his tones were audibly weak.

“None of my doctors believe in the term ‘remission,’” said Means. “Either you got cancer or you don’t – period.”

Means concurs with his physicians in ascribing no validity to the cancer-related state of remission, which is an all-too-common polarity of metastasizing, or actively spreading, cancer cells.

“Remission means there’s cancer hanging around – to me, that’s what it means – and I totally reject that basis. The reason the medical profession uses that word is because they know their radiation, chemo and their meds weaken the immune system to the degree that it invites all kinds of disease. But specifically, it invites cancer to come back, so that’s why they say ‘remission.’ They know, because of how they treat cancer, it weakens you and makes you even more susceptible to disease.

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OST tribal members march in protest of drunk and impaired drivers on the reservation. (Photo by Karin Eagle, Native Sun News)

Story and photo by Karin Eagle, Native Sun News Staff Writer:

RAPID CITY – The Oglala Sioux Tribe, the center of many controversies involving the alcohol sales right across the state border, at White Clay, Neb., has taken a step to put a stop to the high rate of deaths due to impaired drivers on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

Tribal members, along with the cooperation of the OST Tribal Police force, have created the newest Mothers Against Drunk Driving, or MADD, as it is nationally known, on the reservation.

On Dec. 30, 2011, the OST MADD chapter staged a march that ventured from the center of Pine Ridge Village toward the south, in the direction of White Clay, Neb. A quarter of the way to the border town, the march symbolically turned its back on the location of several million dollars of annual beer sales, and returned to the village.

Escorted and supported by the OST police department, the march was led by Lakota singers who offered songs of prayer and encouragement for the crowd of about 30 walkers. All ages were represented, from walkers as young as three years old to the very elderly, who were assisted by younger family members.

Once the march returned back to the village of Pine Ridge, the crowd was escorted into the Billy Mills Community Hall where a meal had been provided by various donors and supporters of the new MADD chapter.

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Chuck Haga of the Grand Forks Herald reports on some of finding presented Friday at the American Indian Health Research Conference:

NORTH DAKOTA – American Indians die from such preventable diseases as diabetes at far higher rates than other Americans, especially in North Dakota and other states in the region, and a leading Indian health authority says more tribally driven research is needed to reduce such disparities.

Also, “chronic under-funding of the Indian Health Service (IHS) has more impact on Indian health than any disease,” Dr. Donald Warne told participants in a UND-sponsored conference on Indian health research.

He said diabetes, depression and alcoholism — a “triad” of debilitating conditions common in Indian communities — each aggravates the others and hampers treatment.

“We don’t address this holistically,” as cultural traditions would suggest, Warne said. “Instead, we cut treatment in half; the medical side isn’t integrated with the behavioral side. I think we’ve proven this is not working.

“Our traditional healers would find this (divided approach) ridiculous.”

Warne, a member of the Oglala Lakota tribe from Pine Ridge, S.D., spoke Friday at the eighth annual American Indian Health Research Conference at the Alerus Center.

Recently appointed director of Sanford Health’s new Office of Native American Health, he will coordinate activities involving the hospital system, the IHS and the 28 tribes within Sanford’s coverage area in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Nebraska.

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The Rapid City Journal has this story about South Dakota’s Native Americans’ Day celebration. Click on the link to see a schedule.

CRAZY HORSE, S.D. — “The Lakota Music Project” presented by the Porcupine Singers [see video above] and South Dakota Symphony Chamber Orchestra will highlight the 21st Native Americans’ Day celebration at Crazy Horse Memorial on Monday, Oct. 11.

Also, Jim Shaw of Rapid City will emcee the 10 a.m. program that will feature the Crazy Horse Educator of the Year, American Indian singers and dancers and recognition of the “Year of Unity” effort in South Dakota.

Native Americans’ Day is special at the nonprofit Crazy Horse Memorial that honors North America’s Indian people.

The 1990 South Dakota Legislature established the holiday, now the oldest official observance of its kind in the country. State lawmakers, at the urging of several citizens, replaced Columbus Day for “the remembrance of the great Native American leaders who contributed so much to the history of our state.”

(Photo Texas A&M University)

(Photo Texas A&M University)

Every Saturday, Buffalo Post features stories from Native Sun News, published in Rapid City, S.D.

nativesunBy Randall Howell
Native Sun News Correspondent

PINE RIDGE – Twostripes, you’re out: Out chewing on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation’s vegetation – cheat grass, mostly. But this year’s infestation – reported to be the largest in nearly a quarter of a century – is likely to be nothing compared to next year’s prospects.

Of course, that too depends on so many things, according to Bruce Helvig, South Dakota state plant health director. For one, it depends on the number of eggs that survive the first hard frost to await next spring’s hopper hatch.

“This is the worst I’ve seen it in the 24 years I’ve been in the state,” Helvig said, noting that 1985-86 also climbed the charts of hopper invasion history. From there, he backed up into the history of grasshopper plagues in the late 1920s and early 1930s.

Nonetheless, Helvig was on the reservation “about two weeks ago” to check out reports that already had predicted a hopper infestation for Western South Dakota this summer.

And, of course, what’s in the middle of Western South Dakota – none other than the Oglala Sioux Tribe’s nearly 4,000 square miles of trust and non-trust reservation land.

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Babby’s 2010 piece “Rock Creek” is constructed from about 1,000 pieces of hand-cut glass.

Babby’s 2010 piece “Rock Creek” is constructed from about 1,000 pieces of hand-cut glass.

Missoula, Mont., is fortunate enough to be hosting a couple of different events – one, a Missoula Art Museum show by Angela Babby, an Oglala Sioux artist who works in glass mosaics. Also, the play “The Frybread Queen” is being staged at the University of Montana.

Babby tells Missoulian arts writer Joe Nickell that her aim is to make her glass mosaics look like paintings, something she did almost too well:

    Babby was juried into the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts Show, the world’s most prestigious Native American art show, in Santa Fe.

    But then she got there.

    “They thought I was doing paintings when they juried me in, but then when they actually saw what I was doing, they wouldn’t let me compete with the paintings,” said Babby.

She later was accepted into, and won first and second place, in the show’s Diversified Arts category.

Meanwhile, “The Frybread Queen,” by Carolyn Dunn – a multidisciplinary writer and artist who also serves as director of the American Indian Resource Center at the University of California-Santa Cruz – will have several performances at the University of Montana.

Nickell writes about the play – which was part of the Native Voices at the Autry, a program run by the Autry National Center in Los Angeles, which provides development support for promising new plays by Native American playwrights – in another Missoulian story.

Jere Hodgin, who is directing the play, says that “Here in Missoula, we live in the midst of a veritable vortex of different (Indian) nations. I think in a place that’s not as immersed in the diversity of Native American cultures, it’s a great opportunity to learn about those cultures and realize that, when you say ‘Native American’ or ‘Indian,’ that’s a very big concept.”

Gwen Florio

nativesunToday, Buffalo Post introduces a new component we find really exciting – a selection of stories from Native Sun News. Each week, Native Sun publishes a newspaper – yes, a real newspaper that you can hold in your hands, take down to the cafe, swat the puppy with. The only thing you can’t do with it is read it online. So each week, Native Sun News e-mails its stories to certain news organizations. We’re thrilled to be included. We’ll run them on Saturdays, starting today with this story about KILI Radio station’s new format. If you’ve ever driven through the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, you know KILI. It’s how you keep up with everything that’s going on – or, at least, it was.

By Randall Howell
Native Sun News Correspondent

KILI Radio station (Native Sun News photo)

KILI Radio station (Native Sun News photo)

PORCUPINE –– Hunger for more local news and less entertainment is part of what’s driving a possible change in the broadcasting board of directors at KILI-FM.

That’s the upshot of the Oglala Sioux Tribe’s Treaty Committee meeting last week. In fact, those attending the Aug. 31 session, showed their intentions with an overwhelmingly positive vote on what perhaps could best be described as a “sense of the committee” proposal to construct an ordinance that, if passed, would significantly change the radio board.
“The current board … it does nothing,” said Cecilia Martin of Evergreen, a 90-year-old tribal elder. “We also need the news back. It’s been gone for three, maybe four, months. That’s how I find out what’s going on. We need to take our radio station back.”

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The Lakota Cafe sounds like just the right place to wind up at the end of the long holiday weekend. Especially if you’ve got car trouble.

That’s because the cafe’s owner, Patty Bourne, also owns the Peabody Body Shop, also in the town of Pine Ridge on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.

On this Labor Day, the Rapid City Journal’s Steve Miller describes a recent work day for Bourne:

    The Lakota Cafe on the Pine Ridge Reservation (Flickr photo from JustifyMyWar)

    The Lakota Cafe on the Pine Ridge Reservation (Flickr photo from JustifyMyWar)

    A bundle of energy, she was wearing a ball cap, gray sweatshirt and black sweatpants the day I stopped at the Lakota Cafe for lunch. She had just come from the auto body shop, where she was putting a windshield in a pickup.

    It wasn’t a typical day for Bourne because she usually arrives at the cafe at 7 a.m. and doesn’t leave for the body shop until 4. If she has a car to work on, she’ll generally work until 7 p.m. before going home to Rushville, Neb., to take care of her two kids, dogs, cats and fish.

Bourne, who is 37, came to her twin businesses from the Oglala Sioux Tribe’s Department of Public Safety, as well as a second job at the tribe’s Prairie Wind casino.

Miller says the food is good, the staff is friendly, the place is spotless – and then there’s Bourne herself.

“If people walk in and they are crabby because somebody just yelled at them, I hope I could help make them feel better by being polite and courteous,” Bourne said. “When I hire my employees, I make sure they have a positive attitude.”

Sounds like a great business plan.

Gwen Florio

Indian reservations are in desperate need of affordable, safe housing, officials from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation testified during a U.S. Senate field hearing in Rapid City, S.D., this week.

Kevin Woster of the Rapid City Journal was there and wrote the following:

    Housing shortages mix with gang activities and violence to damage the fabric of society on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in ways that demand more federal funding and reasoned cooperation from Washington, D.C., Paul Iron Cloud of the Oglala housing program said during a joint hearing of the Senate committees on Indian Affairs and Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. Housing programs struggle not just because of financial pressures but also because of increasing problems with gangs, suicide and violence that make housing shortfalls even worse, he said.

Iron Cloud testified that “The growing prevalence of this violence is really attacking and destroying the social structure of our reservations, creating unacceptable injuries, death and fear in our communities and undercutting our ability to protect our units and tenants. It is in many ways a reservation-wide situation, but Oglala Sioux (Lakota) Housing, as the primary landlord on the reservation, is uniquely impacted.”

The hearing was called by Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., and attended by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, who also stopped Tuesday at the Rosebud Sioux Reservation.

Gwen Florio

Here’s the entire story from Dirk Lammers of the Associated Press (and, read more about Dr. Donald Warne here):

Dr. Donald Warne ( photo)

Dr. Donald Warne ( photo)

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — The largest hospital system in the Dakotas is launching a new effort to reach out to residents of the region’s Native American reservations, hospital officials announced Wednesday.

Leading Sanford Health’s new Office of Native American Health will be Dr. Donald Warne, a member of the Oglala Lakota tribe from Pine Ridge. He will coordinate activities among the hospital system, the federal Indian Health Service and the 28 tribes within Sanford’s coverage region, which spans South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska, said Mark Johnston, a Sanford Health vice president.

“It’s an important step to try to improve the health and welfare of the folks on different reservations in Sanford Health’s service area,” Johnston said Wednesday.

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