I would like to comment...
While it is good to share ideas, as an outsider (as I am) with little knowledge of the many issues challenging the Lakotah, from everyday existence (read some of the posts about the children going to school with no coats or shoes in the brutal winters) or just maintaining their identity, I soon realized I had no basis to speak here due to complete ignorance of the true issues.
I cannot say I understand them all, but I can empathize with what is going on. I was able to learn a great deal. Look at some of Aaron Huey's photos, for instance. Or reading Ghostwarrior's account of the Lincolnite hangings. Still not the same as living it and losing your ancestors in a thousand murderous ways. I grew up very poor, but our poverty could not begin to touch that of Pine Ridge.
There is a wealth of knowledge in the forums. If you read about what happened to the children in the name of religion, starting with Grant, and continuing to the present, then you will understand how the topic of religion can be so offensive.
Like you, when I first came here, I had a wealth of ideas of how to help the people, totally inconsistent with the way they want to live...I realized my views were intrusive, yet patiently they overlooked that and they taught me much. I have made some very good friends here.
Their future is in their own hands. All we can do is hope to share their vision and assist whenever possible. There are many good people here, willing to share ideas with respect and you can learn much if you are truly interested in helping in some way...
I understand. However, as a healer first we heal the past then we can move on into the present. Clearly, many here still have not healed their past and how they feel about it, otherwise they would not react and would respond from the heart as you have done.
Next, an important part of healing is counting our blessings.
When I suffered from disease I could still find it in my heart to count my blessings, even when I had cancer. I could still see and appreciate that there were many others that were worse off than me. I could see, I could walk, I could hear, just three of many blessings to be counted in life.
One of my clients was 90% blind and he was one of the most positive men I have ever met in my life. He once said to me, if I ever meet anyone more positive then me then I know I have a lot more work to do on self. When you have been blessed to work with people like that you know what humility and empowerment really means to those that still count their blessings in times of adversity.
We were able to teach a blind man, a teenager with cerebal palsy etc healing techniques so that they could give themselves healing, and be empowered by it. Are the Lakotah healing their people?
The Lakotah have much to be thankful for, they have been blessed to live on land free in comparison with most other people. Counting our blessings that we do not live in Damascus, Libya, or Cairo at this time.
As far as no coats and shoes are concerned for the children, it is the same in many nations that are a lot worse off then the Lakotah.
Did the native Indians send their children to school? Not as far as I am aware.
The children were taught around the campfire were they not?
I remember when I spent some time with an Aborigine elder in Australia and he had enough of the complaints from the aborigines. He told me he told them you can't have your cake and eat it.
You have a choice. Go back to the old ways and live in the out back, or continue to enjoy what you now have due to the white man. This was an aborigine elder that was walking the middle path, embracing the old ways and the new. He ran dream time tours and he knew full well that if wasn't for the tourists he would not make a living. He saw a way forward for him and his people and how they could benefit from the old, if they embraced the new. That was his way that was right for him. He was a real man and had no time for what he called the 'wingers'. He knew full well that we cannot turn the clock back, what is done is done, that we have to live in the present and what Great Spirit has given us.
Most of my ancestors died in WW2. Everyone has had ancestors and family murdered in the wars of men. What makes the Native Americans think they are any different to the Armenians. the Crotians or the Jewish people? Many nations but that does not make it right, although it does not make the Lakotah or Native Indians the only ones.
In our hearts we connect. In the UK and the rest of the Europe at the moment our culture is experiencing cultural genocide due to immigration.
Yes, that's right the culture of europe is experiencing a cultural genocide that it has not experienced for 1,000's of years. That is another reason that I was sent to the USA in 2008 to warn America what is going on. When I was sent to Greece to share with them, they thought that they were only ones that were suffering, until I filled them in what was going on here. Then the march for freedom really began.
The difference is the Greeks were suffering so much, that they had the ears to hear what I had been sent to tell them. It did not matter where I went or who I spoke to, the Greeks acted upon what I told them immediately, texting each other. Phoning each other. The Greeks are very pro-active and they do know how to listen.
How many Lakotah have passports and have travelled the world? How worldly are they? What wealth of experience do they bring to share to help their people? In this day and age, a people cannot be cut off from the rest of the world, unless they are going to live like the men in the rain forests that have just been discovered.
The indigenous peoples are arising all over the world. It is time. However, it requires the heart to connect and I come from my heart.
As I said the Lakotah are giving out mixed messages.
Russell Brand from the UK has started a website for the charities and people that are doing good to raise money for good causes.
Maybe the Lakotah would like to look at crowdrise and see if they feel it can help them financially at this time. http://www.crowdrise.com/
I am smelling smoke and burning as I finish writing this response to you and it is to do with the USA.
Welcome to my heart Mollydee may blessings in abundance be yours.