A Brief Description of Common Lakota Ceremonies
Among the Sioux there were, historically, seven central community ceremonial rites:
1. Canupa: The Sacred Pipe Ceremony
2. Inipi: The Sweat Lodge
3. Hanblecha: The Vision Quest
4. Wiwangwacipi: The Sun Dance
5. Hunkapi: The Making of Relatives
6. The Keeping of The Soul
7. Ishna Ta Awi Cha Lowan: Preparing a Girl for Womanhood
These ceremonies occur during different stages of human life, and seasonal change. Though different in nature, the common focus among all of them was the health and healing of individuals and the community. Proper, regular involvement in the essential community ceremonies was, and still is, seen as fundamental to Lakota healing (Red Deer, 2001).
The prohibition of Sioux ceremonies and gatherings during the 1800s and 1900s resulted in the loss of cultural continuity, knowledge and reduced the importance and frequency of some of these ceremonies (Bucko, 1998). Today, these ceremonies are practiced in varying degrees depending on the region and the community. The most common of these community ceremonies today are the Canupa (Pipe Ceremony), Inipi
(Sweat Lodge), the Hanblecha (Vision Quest) and the Winwangwacipi (Sun Dance). Each of these four ceremonies are used to bring psychological, physical, spiritual and emotional healing to individuals and communities (Erdoes and Crow Dog, 1995).
Somber, tragic description of the Imperialist Patriarchies attacks on the peoples of Gaza and Iraq; some of the USA’s latest, but not so well hidden, Indian Reservations. Russell also reveals that ALL THREE of the health facilities on the Pine Ridge Sioux Indian Reservation were closed for the Christmas holiday. These facilities, the Kyle and Wanbli Health Clinics and the Pine Ridge Hospital represent the sum total of our health care facilities for this 4,500 square mile Reservation. These facilities are operated under the “auspices” of the Indian Health Service which is part the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
1. Food and NEW Clothing can be sent to:
RELIEF AT T.R.E.A.T.Y. SCHOOL, a 501(C)(3) Tax Exempt Organization
P.O. BOX 99, 444 Crazy Horse Drive, Porcupine, SD 57772
2. Republic of Lakotah Emergency Propane for the Elderly:
can be purchased directly from Lakotah Plains Propane via Mastercard/Visa at: 605-867-5199 . Via mail to P.O. Box 1994, Pine Ridge, SD 57770
3. Send Contributions of Relief Aid to Republic of Lakotah Humanitarian Relief
INTERNATIONAL DISASTER DECLARATION
RE: Oglala Sioux Pine Ridge Indian Reservation
STATE OF EMERGENCY
Governor Michael Rounds of South Dakota has declared the State a disaster area. However, Indian Reservations are NOT included in the declaration.
I, Russell Means, due to the total absence of Tribal Government and its leadership, and as candidate for Tribal President and Chief Facilitator of the Republic of Lakotah, am declaring an INTERNATIONAL STATE OF EMERGENCY.
The reason for this declaration is two-fold: 1) The current life-threatening severe weather conditions and 2) The ongoing genocidal policies of the United States Government that still remain unaddressed:
- Unknown thousands are still stranded by high snow drifts for 3rd straight day.
- Unknown number of people without heat and/or electricity.
- Impassable road conditions preventing emergency services and propane deliveries.
- Confirmed fatality due to inability to get to dialysis treatment. Status of other dialysis patients is unknown.
- Second fatality bled to death due to no emergency services.
- Tribal President Steele and Vice President Brewer
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