(From Rapid City Journal)

    Oglala Lakota College stages ‘Black Elk Speaks’

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    buy this photoCourtesy photo

    Sioux holy man Nicholas Black Elk is shown with his grandson, George Looks Twice, in this photo that was probably taken in the late 1930s.


    If you go

    What: “Black Elk Speaks”

    When: 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, July 29 and 30, Aug. 5 and 6, Aug. 12 and 13, Aug. 19 and 20

    Where: Oglala Lakota College’s administrative campus, seven miles southwest of Kyle

    Admission: General seating is $20 for adults, $15 for children ages 5 to 17, free for ages 4 and younger; reserved tickets are $35 for adults, $30 for ages 5 to 17, free for ages 4 and younger. Call 800-529-0105.

    Native American culture and traditions will take center stage at Oglala Lakota College’s new Oglala Cultural Experience featuring a production of the play “Black Elk Speaks.”

    The series of festivities begins Friday, July 29, and continues for three more weekends on the college’s administrative campus near Kyle.

    Beginning at 3:30 p.m. each Friday and Saturday through Aug. 20, there will traditional Oglala hands-on activities including an art market, archery, games, beading and porcupine quill work, face painting, quilting, storytelling, dance and drumming. There is no charge for the afternoon activities.  A traditional Oglala meal will be served at 4 p.m. for $10.

    Doors will open for the showing of “Black Elk Speaks” at 6:30 p.m. at OLC’s multi-purpose building.   Actors and actresses include OLC students, staff and community members.

    The play is based on the 1932 book of the same name by Nebraska poet John G. Neihardt, taken from his conversations with the Oglala holy man Nicholas Black Elk, who lived from 1863 to 1950.

    Black Elk said that several times during his life, he had several visions in which he learned things that would help his people. In the book, he reveals the story of his life, including his experiences at the Battle of the Little Bighorn and the Wounded Knee Massacre, and tells of Native American tribal traditions and spirituality.

    During the Oglala Cultural Experience, the OLC Historical Center will stay open until 6:30 p.m. for visitors. The center contains a display of art and photographs that chronicles the history of the Oglala Lakota from the early 1800s to the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890.OLC also hosts the Summer Artist Series at the Historical Center, promoting awareness of the arts of the Oglala Lakota on the Pine Ridge Reservation and the surrounding area. The series features 12 artists each summer. 

    “This is a first for OLC, and we are excited about the event giving us the opportunity to expose the general public to the culture and traditions of the Lakota and to educate them on the deep history of the Oglala Lakota through the photos in the Historical Center,” Thomas Shortbull, president of Oglala Lakota College, said in a news release.

    “We hope to bring tourism to the Pine Ridge Reservation to expand the market for the Lakota artists, to bring national recognition to the artists, and to inspire many talented Lakota to pursue their talent in the arts,” he said.

    All events will take place at OLC’s powwow grounds and the multi-purpose building at the Piya Wiconi Administrative Campus, located seven miles southwest of Kyle.  For more information, call Shortbull at 455-6022 or Marilyn E. Pourier 455-6045.


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  • After one month, there are STILL people on Pine Ridge & Rosebud Indian Reservations that are without any power! They are being told it could be several weeks before it is completely restored.

    by: Tamra Brennan
    November 15th, 2008
    The power was restored today, in the community of Wanblee on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. As of this afternoon the communities of Potato Creek and N. Allen were still without power, however it is expected to be restored by no later than Sunday. Once all power is restored to the Reservation, the Incident Command Center located at the Crazy Horse School in Wanblee, will close down. The closure is expected by the end of this weekend. The crew is in the process of cleaning up, in order for the students to return to school on Monday morning.
    Monica Terkildsen, the co-Incident Commander of the location, stated today that many lessons were learned during this crisis. There were errors along the way; however their successes were tremendous, everyone pulled together in this crisis to help the people in need. Their first goal from the beginning was "life safety for the people." There has been rumors this past week, that fatalities occurred, due to the storm, but Monica stated this was inaccurate information and their was no loss of life. This was a relief to hear.
    The President-elect Theresa Two Bulls, has also visited the command center and brought supplies. She will be inaugurated into office in two weeks.
    Monica stated they will use this incident to help educate the new Tribal President and Vice President, with an orientation on how to respond in a crisis situation and what they learned during this process the past ten days.
    Francis Big Crow, the Incident Commander stated the result of 60+ mph winds that slammed Western South Dakota with the blizzard on November 5th, 2008, in addition to 2.5 inches of ice on the cable lines, caused approximately 2,500 power poles to snap. This left hundreds of people without power clear across the Eastern side of Pine Ridge to the boarder of the Rosebud Reservation. Many areas of Rosebud are still without power.
    Due to the remoteness of some areas, several people that were stranded without power and heating, were forced to walk many miles to arrive at the shelter.
    Law Enforcement Ranger and Operations Manager of the Wanblee Command Center, Troy Billing stated, that he along with seven other vehicles were stranded along the highway during the blizzard. He and other crew members were on the road, rescuing people that were stuck. Once the blizzard finally hit, seven vehicles ended up stranded for 36 hours on the roadside. Snow drifts were past the side of the cab of their pickups. They had radios to communicate, however travel was impossible in an attempt to rescue them. They were also in communication with KILI Rez Radio during their ordeal, updating them on road and weather conditions. This enabled KILI Radio to share first hand info with the general public.
    During the eleven day crisis the BIA Police and Tribal Police assisted the Command Center in delivering needed supplies and water to the stranded people in homes across these communities.
    Supplies will continue to be delivered until power is fully restored to each community.
    Everyone at the Command Center is extremely grateful for the support and assistance that the public has shown to their communities. They each gave a big "woplia tanka" to everyone throughout Indian Country that has assisted them, in this crisis.
    It will take some time for residents to fully recover from this crisis. There are many people still in need. The Center is requesting that any future donations be brought or sent to the following address:
    Evergreen Ministries
    Attn: Gus Craven
    210 Wasaba Ave
    Wanblee, SD 57577
    All donations made will continue to be distributed to the members of the communities affected by this disaster.
    There are many areas on the Rosebud Reservation that are still without power and heat. They also have centers set up to assist people with supplies, food and shelter.
    We will be continuing to work with these centers and send out updates and info as it arrives.
    Thank you everyone for all of your assistance, throughout Indian Country. We all need to stand together during this time of crisis, on the reservations.
    For future updates, information and past articles, about the blizzard crisis please visit our website at http://www.ndnnews.com/ and our blog at http://news.ndnnews.com/ 


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  • Lakota Warrior Traditions” opening at Studio San Giuseppe

    “Lakota Warrior Traditions,” an exhibition of contemporary Lakota artworks illustrating traditional methods the Lakota used to transform themselves into fearsome warriors, opens at The Studio San Giuseppe Art Gallery at the College of Mount St. Joseph Nov. 2 and runs through Dec. 7.

    The artworks and artifacts included in the exhibit encompass a variety of media: painting, sculpture, quilt making, quillwork, beadwork and leatherwork. A selection of artworks and artifacts are on loan from The Heritage Center, Pine Ridge (SD) Indian Reservation.

    This exhibit parallels an ongoing relationship with the Mount’s Departments of Religious Studies and Behavioral Sciences, the Holy Rosary Mission (Pine Ridge) and the Lakota people. Students and faculty members have traveled during the past 12 summers to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation for a Religious Studies/Anthropology class where they have immersed themselves in the cultural and spiritual atmosphere of the Lakota people. Professor John Trokan, D. Min., chair of the Department of Religious Studies and Susan Labry Meyn, Ph. D., consulting ethnologist to different museums in Cincinnati and adjunct professor at the Mount, lead the class and field experience for both undergraduate and graduate-level students.

    This current exhibit follows the exhibits “Lakota Star Quilts” (1998), “Contemporary Native American Art: Mitakuye Oyasin” (2000), “Wounded Knee” (2003) and “Tiyospaye: An Extended Family” (2004).

    The Lakota people come from a different social, economic, and political background with different languages, views and beliefs – tribal identities with deep roots. This is an opportunity to walk in their footsteps, to see what they see and feel what they feel.

    A reception honoring Lakota guests – Linn Cross Dog, Lakota educator and director of transportation for the Red Cloud Mission at Pine Ridge, and Ivan Long, Lakota educator, artist and horse trainer (originally from Pine Ridge, now living in Montana) – will be held from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 2. The reception is open to the public.

    In conjunction with this exhibit, the College of Mount St. Joseph will also host a viewing of the movie “Skins” (released in 2002) at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30 in the Corona Room (Seton Center). The film is about the relationship between two Sioux Indian brothers living on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. The movie will be followed by a discussion question/answer session with Linn Cross Dog and Ivan Long.

    Studio San Giuseppe is a nonprofit art gallery located in the Dorothy Meyer Ziv Art Building on the campus of the College of Mount St. Joseph, Delhi and Neeb roads in Delhi Township. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1 to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. The Gallery is closed on major holidays and will be closed Wednesday thru Friday, Nov. 26-28, for Thanksgiving recess. Admission is free.

    For more information, call Studio San Giuseppe at 513-244-4314.

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    Means and Two Bulls to meet in Oglala president race

    Voters to decide runoff races Nov. 4

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