Let's have our drummers set up a steady beat. Bump ba dump ba dump ba dump.
OK, Ohan, hey-yo, let's listen to a story and then you can decide for yourself. I want to do some explaining.
My credentials are that I am one of Grandfather Harry Bird's "Dream Dancers". It's an old tradition, but we literally dance people's dreams into reality. For us it can be a long and painful process, but the pain we feel, we hope, we pray that every ounce of our suffering is one less ounce for the people.
Now it's really hard for Westerners or Wasi to understand this. People naturally avoid suffering and pain. But warriors of Lakota run right into it. We actually enjoy it. But in the olden days, we did not consider people outside of the tribe to even be human beings. Even in our culture, an infant is not even a human being unless or until they are "made". And you can't make yourself. It's something that is given. Such is The Way. It has ever been so. You cannot "make" yourself, it's something that's given from somebody who was given it. That's the way it goes; you can't give anything to anybody unless you have it, and the only way you can get it is to be given it. So "it" is handed down from the generations. And we are very protective about whom we give "it"to because it's all we have left. We don't have land anymore unless you count the crappy reservations and land nobody else wanted anyway, and it just sucks.
And there is a HUGE amount of reverse-racism going on. I get not only disrespected, I get literally WALKED ON. LITERALLY. THE FBI LITERALLY STEP ON ME.
FBI to us is "Full Blood Indian". And I'm not. I'm a mixed-breed. A mutt. I am a member of a phratry and I have a specific mission, but I am not respected, not since Grandfather Bird died. But I sat under his tree and listened. And I found my way.
Pipe Song states the Oyate, which literally means "all of the people, non-specific to Lakota". The word Oyate means "all of the people" and this includes the ones that live in water, the ones that live in the air, the ones underground whom we cannot see, it means all of the people that came before and it means all of the people who will come later.
In other words, Oyate means everyody that has no further description.
So when Grandfather Bird died, I had a choice to make. I was offered a place and a home as Tiwo, but I looked back over my shoulder and said "what about the Oyate?"
And the elders at that time said "you want to stay with these people? fine but you are giving up your chance to be with us".
And I said "fine, if that's the way it's gonna be".
So they left. And they never came back. I still have my "cache", I can go to Pine Ridge and say "this is my land, I am recorded" and I am. But I have no wish to raise the dead. I would rather raise the living. And my order, according to Harry Bird's vision, was that we would join hands and dance with the elders of all nations being honored in the center. And we did that. We did that right in WDC, right between the "Washin-done" monument. We did this in the exact place that we started R3VOLTUION March. So I know that we are sanctified.
Now I will tell you, I never in my life expected to be an elder. I'm just a warrior. I go where I'm sent, I come when I'm called. But now as I wake up in the morning and look out my front door, I am getting offerings. Prayer feathers and tocacco and booze. I have not had to buy tobacco in months and the booze? Let's just say it's enough for me. And they come with prayers. "Tunkashila" they say, help me because my wife hates me or my job isn't going well or I have no job or my mom is sick and they say "tunkashila (grandfather) please pray for me".
And I do. But to date, I have not considered myself a Tunkashila. I'm just a warrior. A fallible and foibled warrior, prone to mistakes and petty self-interest like you. Believe me kittan-tu, I am just a tiny man. Hardly a man. In the olden days I doubt I would have even made Rabbit-Boss. In the olden days, nobody would have trusted me with a cup of water. And we didn't even have cups. We used folded skunk-cabbage leaves.
Did you know you can boil water in a skunk cabbage leaf? Did you know that you can boil water in a paper bag? Sure you can! The top burns away but the water transduces the heat and you can make a fine pot of soup!
Did you know that we didn't and still don't have a word for "transduction" in our language? Did you know that we considered language itself to be locked down and anything that didn't have a word didn't need to? But in the words of our most cherished, our most foundational ceremony, our basis from which all else comes, is YOU.
Because Sacred Pipe, the Channupa-wa was not specifically stated for Lakota, is was stated for Oyate.
Her name was White Buffalo Calf Woman. And we still have the pipe. The very same one. It's held by the "Looks At Horse" family but there is now an argument because they are trying to name themselves "Looking Horse" which is total bullshit becuase the names are totally different. The firt "looks at horse" was a dude looking at a horse, which back in those times, we didn't have a specific word for "horse" so we called them "Wakan Tunka" or "Shunka Wakan" which means, interchangeably, sacred horse, sacred dog, very large dog or that was what we called God. Wakan Tunka: Sacred Being.
So when I was "made" and given a chioce between options A or B, I chose C. I will never be fully accepted among my people, I don't even have a people anymore. We're mostly dead. There are like 3 Llennape speakers in the world and our language has only like a dozen words in it! And they are almost impossible to pronounce!
So when Grandfather Bird died, everybody was like "what clan or phratry will you go with now?"
Everybody was moving on. Going places.
Well I decided to stay behind. "What of the Oyate?" I asked. And they said "who cares about them?"
And I said "I do". So I remained behind. With you.
Somebody has to be here. And believe me, I never in this world expected to be a Chief, but now I understand: a Chief isn't somebody that knows everything. A Chief is somebody who tries.
So on this day, I announce the Oyate tribe. Anybody who loves people can be part of my tribe. Anybody who wants to love people but is feeling sad or depressed, you can be part of our tribe. Anyone with a criminal past who wants to repent, you can be part of our tribe. Anyone who is lost and neglected or rejected, you can be part of our tribe. And this is a heavy undertaking, our path is not easy. But at least we will have each other.
And nobody has ever done this before. We will be a new tribe.
So Oyate tribe is accepting applications. And you can't email them to me through this website. You have to reply here. And you can be one of the first but you will not be the last.
Oyate is ALL OF US.
And we don't have a web site or a donations button. For now, we don't want your money. We got no use for the stuff. Because whom we trade with don't accept no FRNs or gold or silver. Now some fine smoke on the other hand, this is always welcome.
Welcome Home to your tribe! I Tiwospaye you, I make you my relative. You must do as I say but you will find me an easy Chief. Your first order is to have a good time.