Monthly Archives: February 2014

Our Children Need Us

I watched a bunch of happy children enjoying the Valentine’s Day Carnival sponsored by the Boys & Girls Club of Rosebud last week. The staff and volunteers did a great job.


It would be awesome if all of our communities could have a site for children to go and have activities to do. There are youth councils in every community but there are still lots of children who are being left out. When you add the lack of funding to this problem the issue seems insurmountable.


Also, another issue of concern is what is happening in our schools. There are so many of our young people being viciously bullied at school. A bully can be someone of any age. Students, paraprofessionals, teachers, support staff, administrators and school board members can be bullies.


Is your student being needlessly harassed by an adult at their school?


Consequently, many of our young people are very angry. In order to numb the anger they are feeling inside some of them choose to hurt themselves. There are many young people who are cutting themselves today. It’s a way for them to focus on something other than the pain they are feeling inside.


Also, many young people are having thoughts of going further than just cutting themselves. Some have made one or more attempts to end their own lives. Many have succeeded in leaving this world behind while others will make more attempts to leave.


Our precious children find heinous ways to deal with their inner anger. I received a message about an animal cruelty incident in Parmelee recently. Someone had wrapped up a dog in a plastic bag and covered a cat with duct tape. Children who do things like this to animals are emotionally disturbed. They grow up to be emotionally disturbed adults.


A handful of adults actually care about what happens to our young people. I hear a lot of people talking but see hardly anyone doing. Many of the tribal programs which are funded to help our youth have a better life are just empty programs. You might see their program listed on the poster of an event sponsored by another entity which is as far as their involvement goes.


A parent recently approached me to vent her frustration at the lack of coordination between the numerous programs funded with millions of dollars meant for our youth. She also told me about pictures on her daughter’s cell phone. Our young people are texting pictures of themselves to one another to show the severity of the cuts they inflict upon themselves.


Parents: your teenager needs you. If you are all wrapped up in your addictions please know that your children will be better off when you start tending to their needs.


Angry children grow up into raging adults who do more than cut themselves. At some point animal cruelty evolves into assaulting humans. Your child’s unresolved anger can even lead them straight into prison.


The future of the Lakota depends upon the children.



Stop blaming a wayward tribal chairman and get the job done

The Rosebud Sioux Tribe is not taking care of business.


The tribal council is the governing body which is responsible for ensuring that tribal operations are being conducted properly.


Yet, how can business be conducted when meeting after meeting is either being cancelled or fails to reach or maintain a quorum?


Word is that many tribal programs are scrambling to hand carry petition resolutions around to gather tribal council representative signatures in order for business to carry on.


Petition resolutions are an extremely poor way to run a tribe.


The tribal chairman has cancelled numerous meetings for a variety of reasons. Of course, it is within his authority to cancel as many meetings as he pleases.


Still, when tribal programs and day-to-day operations begin to suffer because the governing body is not tending to business — we would do well to demand our tribal council representatives to get their collective you-know-what in gear.


Tribal officials belong in the council chambers tending to the business we elected them to take care of for the people.


Consequently, tribal members should know that all your elected representatives still get paid whether meetings are cancelled or not. The lack of a quorum to conduct business does not affect their paycheck. There is no such thing as leave without pay for your elected officials.


Furthermore, I fail to see why the tribal vice-chairman is not being allowed to preside over meetings when the tribal chairman is off on one of his many business trips. Tribal interests are supposedly being represented when the wayward chairman drives off the Rez or boards an airplane for DC.


There are no benefits which I can see offsetting all this money being spent on travel by those people whom we elected to office.  


Another question which many of us have asked is this — where are the tribal council representatives during all of these cancellations? Many of us listen to them complain about how many meetings are called off. We hear them bemoan about how they cannot get anything done.


A lot is being blamed on the wayward tribal chairman.


Yet, being the elected representatives that they are, it seems as though they could get past the blame game. The tribal chairman is only one person.


Would the governing body please take the initiative to voluntarily gather at the tribal council chambers to request a meeting be conducted by the vice-chairman?


Please stop making excuses.


Please stop blaming one another for cancellations.


The tribal membership needs business to be taken care of. Now. Today. You can consider this a directive to have as much meetings as it takes to finish up all of the tribal business which has been neglected for so very long.


Real leaders will stop blaming a wayward tribal chairman.


Real leaders won’t give excuses.


Real leaders won’t offer a myriad of complaints justifying how their hands are tied.


Real leaders will step up and get the job done.





Michiyo Ohoka: March 8, 1969 – January 5, 2014


Michiyo Ohoka (Olowan Waste Win) was born in Osaka Japan to Sueo and Masayo Tani. Her grandfather was a Buddhist monk and was the caretaker of a temple. She grew up practicing the traditional fire ceremonies of her ancestors and when she was introduced to the Native American practice of the sweat lodge it resonated very deeply with her and felt closely akin to the spiritual practices that she grew up with.


Michiyo tended fire for seven years in Japan before coming to the United States in 2001 to embark upon a vision quest under the late Chief Phil Crazy Bull and participate in the Sundance. She would return several times over the next few years before relocating to the United States permanently in 2004.


Michiyo spent the last 12 years traveling the country, supporting Sundances, sweat lodges, the Native American Church and other traditional ceremonies. Michiyo was a phenomenal singer and she dedicated her life to sharing her gift of song with the world. She also was a cedar woman and offered spiritual food to the Tree of Life at the Paradise Sundance on the Rosebud Indian Reservation. She also loved the traditional art of porcupine quill work. Her jewelry and other pieces were superb examples of the ceremonial art form.


In July of 2013 Michiyo was diagnosed with advanced cervical cancer. She underwent chemotherapy and radiation therapy in Albuquerque, NM. Throughout the difficult treatment, Michiyo remained positive and vibrant. She never held any regrets about the life she chose and she was always resolved to live her life fully in each moment, making the most out of every situation that life had to offer. Her undying passion for life, in all its glory and struggle, was a testament to the strength of her spirit. Michiyo was committed to living a life of integrity and service. She embodied the principle of unconditional love, with an innocence and purity of heart that never went unnoticed. Through her living example Michiyo enriched the lives of everyone who was lucky enough to have met her. She is survived by her parent, Sueo and Masayo, her brother Masaaki, her son Cocoro and her special friend Tsuyoshi.


A one night wake was held at the St. Francis Community Center on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Cremains were interred at the Clearwater Cemetery in Crazy Horse Canyon not far from the Paradise Sundance grounds.


Chief Marvin Swallow and Chief Leonard Crow Dog officiated memorial services.


Mitakuye Oyasin.