A family I know is going through some drama. Now this is nothing new because we all know about drama on the rez and how it affects our families. I believe it is better to stay out of other peoples’ issues as I have enough of my own to tend to.
In other words, I work hard to mind my own business. It would be great if everyone who lived on the rez would do this too. But, you and I both know those people who just have to meddle in the affairs of others.
I guess the only time I might get involved with the drama people surround themselves with is when the actions of the adults have a negative impact on children. I will not hesitate to call the proper authorities when I witness children being hurt.
Anyway, I really didn’t know what was going on with this family until recently. Then I was approached by a man one day a couple of weeks ago while I was at the post office checking my mail. He asked me if I knew anything about a woman being involved in drugs. I said I didn’t know because I don’t hang out with people who use drugs. He told me that he realized that but he wanted to ask me about her anyway. He went on to say derogatory things about her.
I didn’t respond to the things he said about her because I don’t see the point in worrying about what someone else is doing in their life. And I especially don’t want to be caught up in whatever rough times a family is trying to work through. So I have no idea why this man, who is not a tribal member, approached me in public to bash one of our Lakota women.
This Lakota woman is someone I know on both a personal and professional level. Last week I went to visit with her about a great many things, including the questions the non-Indian man had been asking about her. During the course of sharing information with her, I learned this same man had also made derogatory statements about me.
Article I of the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868 reads in part: “If bad men among the Indians shall commit a wrong or depredation upon the person or property of any one, white, black, or Indian, subject to the authority of the United States, and at peace therewith, the Indians herein named solemnly agree that they will, upon proof made to their agent and notice by him, deliver up the wrong-doer to the United States, to be tried and punished according to its laws; and in case they willfully refuse so to do, the person injured shall be reimbursed for his loss from the annuities or other moneys due or to become due to them under this or other treaties made with the United States.”
The Rosebud Sioux Tribe also has an exclusionary law against non-members. Tribal members can file petitions in tribal court to banish non-members who cause trouble on our homelands.
Recently, I wrote about people who manipulate others to get what they want. In this case, a non-Indian man is running from person to person telling lies about Lakota women. He manipulates information to make people look bad.
I realize there are many people like him on our rez. Eventually, people do figure out who is not truthful. Liars lose credibility with many people. It’s like that story about the boy who cried wolf.
I suppose people who have a lot of time on their hands feel they have to be doing something. But it’s a shame when they use their time snooping around other peoples’ private lives. Maybe they think they are doing some kind of good by going from person to person trying to find out what is going on in someone else’s life. In my opinion, they wind up looking like a busybody. What they are doing is wrong and can hurt people. And they look totally foolish!
There will always be people who make it a mission in their life to hurt as many people as they can. I am not sure what their actions accomplish. In the end we all have to face the Creator who can see what is in our heart. Will you face your maker with a pure heart? There is still time to purify yourself from all the wrong you have done against other people.
Furthermore, our children see all of this. They are the primary witnesses to the dysfunction of the adults in their lives. And so many of them quickly learn how to gossip, lie, backstab and spread rumors like their adult role models do. In fact, they believe it’s normal and acceptable to be like this because that is what the adults are showing them. It’s bad enough when our own people set bad examples. It’s even worse when we also have non-members living amongst us who are also poor role models.
Our children deserve to grow up in peaceful, drama-free homes. They deserve to be raised by healthy adults. Only those people who have a real mean streak will spend their precious time trying desperately to dig up dirt on other people. Do not treat others with animosity because you teach your children to act the same way.
Finally, Lakota women are sacred. In more ways than one there would be no tribe without the backbone of the women. I really do not appreciate some non-Indian man telling lies about us. Time grows short and we should be cleaning up our own lives. Still, I have seen the karma of personal choice hit people in ways they would not expect. Be careful because it seems as though karma has a quicker turnaround time now.
Even if you are in denial about what really lives within your own heart, remember that the Creator can see it all.