The author makes several declarations as to what is in the hearts and minds of the Dakota 38+ 2 Riders. I cannot know what is in the hearts or minds of every rider, or even those who run or walk in honor or commemoration of their ancestors, but I can share what is in my heart and mind, and I respect the prayers of all my Dakota relatives. The author assumes that the riders of The Dakota 38+2 Wokiksuye Horse Ride are not justice seekers. The assertion that justice cannot be achieved through spirituality or through healing and reconciliation is short sighted and just plain silly. The Ride began with a spiritual foundation inspired by a dream in 2005. Over the years, it has grown and has become an annual ceremony based in prayer, peace, understanding and commemoration. It has become an annual journey back to the homeland-Mni Sota Makoce, and a reconnection to our Dakota kinship and our four legged relatives that carry us and our prayers. We all struggle with the concept of Forgiveness, which in this case has nothing to do with the federal government, which is not off the hook in my mind. Forgiveness does not let anyone off the hook or leave institutions unaccountable. It is spiritual endeavor. And while not intended to be political, it is also clear that some of the most effective social justice movements on earth were based on peace and spiritual power. From my perspective, healing and justice is achievable through peacemaking, education, and cross-cultural understanding based on spiritual power. We may not utilize academic jargon to the fullest, and we may not follow the rigid standards of the author’s political correctness, but I’ve ridden with strong, brave, committed Dakota men, women and youth and children for many years. They prayed and honored their ancestral experience and returned home to work diligently in their communities, within several systems and on many issues. I know they will continue the dream of healing.
Friday, January 4, 2013 - 06:50