Carter Camp has made his journey. He now walks on the path we call the Milky Way. His spirit travels to reunite with our relatives and ancestors.
Carter was a true activist. He traveled to South Dakota to assist our people with the Wounded Knee takeover in 1973. He stood by the Lakota and fought hard against tribal corruption.
A member of the Ponca Nation of Oklahoma, Carter never hesitated to join activists in Lakota territory to assist the people in our times of struggle.
He recently joined many humans in the battle against the building of the Keystone XL pipeline.
Several years ago, a dirty politician struck an underhanded deal hoping to build a massive hog farm on Rosebud. Carter was one of the most outspoken warriors in his stand against this atrocity which would have devastated hundreds of acres of land.
Carter was also one of Indian Country’s most eloquent spokesmen.
I always look forward to summer because it means we will all soon be gathering at Crow Dog’s Paradise for ceremony. Human beings from across Unci Maka come to Crazy Horse Canyon to sacrifice and renew the universe.
The Sun Dance People are my spiritual family. The bond I have with them is stronger than the one I have with many blood relatives. Prayer bonds humans together.
Spiritual bonds are often stronger than blood ties. It’s true when you hear them say “the family that prays together, stays together.”
A spiritual family is one who prays together. Ceremony keeps us together.
Carter would often speak publicly at Crow Dog’s Paradise. His speeches were inspiring. His powerful words made you want to get up and do it.
When Carter Camp spoke at ceremony, he made you proud to have the blood of your ancestors running through your veins.
He fired us up.
Last year he spoke about why many of the dancers were there. Maybe they were there to dance for a sick relative or for an incarcerated relative. There are many reasons people commit to the Sun Dance.
He talked about dancers who were are there to pray for others. He encouraged the Sun Dancers to look within and learn.
Carter encouraged the dancers to pray for themselves.
You learn a lot about yourself when you are standing on the altar of the Sun Dance circle. We enter the circle as children and grow over the years into the adults we are today. Many of us grew up together on the Sun Dance altar at Crow Dog’s Paradise.
My spiritual family is very sad. It will be very difficult to not be able to see Carter at Crow Dog’s Paradise next summer. Many of us will look for him at the Oklahoma Camp. We will search for him dancing in the circle or look to the south side hoping to catch a glimpse of him standing under the arbor.
Carter’s relatives and spiritual family are mourning.
Dance happy on the Milky Way path, Tiblo. We love you.