Monday, July 5, 2010

2010 Recap: Leonard Peltier and the Oglala Commemoration

June 26, 2010 - Oglala, SD

We began gathering at the Little Family Cemetery around noon to another gorgeous day in the making. Once again we greeted old friends and many new one this year. The turnout was great. As Galeson Eagle Star welcomed eveyone, Fred Cedar Face started with prayers. Prayers were said for the heaing of the Oglala People, for those who have passed on and for Leonard's freedom and health, and that he may join us one day soon in this day of remembrance.

An honor song was sung by Creek Side Drum this year. We offer our sincere condolences to the Good Voice Elk family for the loss of their loved one during this time.We had many travelers this year, coming out as far as California, Kansas, Ohio, Montana and Wyoming, we also had some visitors from the French Support Group; it was good to see new faces and to know that Leonard is not forgotten, nor is the Incident at Oglala. Also in attendance was Bob Robideau's family.

The March to the Jumping Bull Property was spirited; many banners were carried as we walked in prayer to the beat of the drum. Arriving at the Jumping Bull Property we were greeted by Ivis Long Visitor, as he welcomed everyone and started the Remembrance of all those who have walked on.The late Bob Robideau's widow Pilar and Cousin Jim all the way from Spain shared a special word, via telephone.Roselyn Jumping Bull shared some words about the gathering. Owen Black Elk spoke words of love for his niece Mariah LeAnn Montileaux; Mariah tragically ended her life this past November.An example of our Native youth who are filled with despair and hopelessness and lacking resources and alternatives seek to end their lives. This year's school supply drive was done in her memory; filled back packs were given out to the children at the property, and several boxes of supplies were given to her family to distribute to her classmates as a remembrance of all those whose lives she so profoundly touched in her short life.Involving Native youth in helping to define their futures is one of the Committee's goals, and it was a group of six students from California who stepped up to the plate to make a difference. These students came from UC San Diego, UC Irvine, UC Davis, and Cal Sate Fullerton; they arrived and presented the Committee with school supplies for the drive as well as toys for the woplia/giveaway.

It is our hope that this relationship grows and that they will continue to contribute their talents to the Pine Ridge Community. As well may these students be enriched with the sense of participation and accomplishment in their outreach efforts.

As in years past we've had to be flexible, and without Fred & Owens' quick thinking and hard work we wouldn't have had a successful event. At the last minute we had to change our concert location; out of respect to those families in Oglala who recently lost love ones, we turned over the Br. Rene hall for their wake, again, our condolences go out to all the families.

We were not able to serve the meal at the Lakota Dome, so we served the meal and shared the memorial cakes at the property. We owe special thanks to the Wahwassuck young ladies for all their hard work in putting together a delicious meal. With everything said and done, words said, honor songs sang, and food eaten, and giveaways shared, we moved on down to the Lakota Dome.

We wish to express our sincere gratitude to Kevin Lean and Patty Phipps from the Prairie Wind Casino on making this event truly exceptional. The Dome was awesome.

Opening the show was Davidica, a local with a soulful performance; she got us in the mood with passion. Next up were the hard rockers SpyderZback, ending with their special song recently written for Leonard, "A Long Way from No Where". Following was Good Shield, all the way from Northern California; he did an awesome contemporary Native Folk performance. Rounding out the night was Arrow Space rocking us back in time, with special guests Robert and Monte Briggs.Tom Poor Bear graced us with his words and memories. Fred Cedar Face said more prayers and Kari Ann Cowan, Leonard's niece read his statement.

Another year rounded out; all in all, it was a great success.

We would like to thank the following:

Security Crew:
Charles Yellow Bird, Ylene Two Lance, Hattie He Crow, Terry Two Lance, Elgin Young Bear, Chris Lone Elk, Leon Eagle, Paula Wahwassuck, and Kenny Black Elk.

Traditional Drum - Creek Side Drum:
Emmanuel Black Bear, Silas Red Cloud, Tim Black Bear and James Franco.

The Jumping Bull Family, Little Family, Cedar Face Family, Black Elk Family, Leonard Peltier, LP-DOC, Prairie Wind Casino, Wal-mart - Chadron, Native American Indian Center of Central Ohio (NAICCO), Buder Native Studies Programme at Washington University, St. Louis, MO, KILI Radio, KDHX - Sara Finke- St. Louis, MO,, DSW, Inc., Scott Air Force Base Group, Good Shield, Davidica, SpyderZback, Arrow Space, Briggs Brothers, Wahwassuck Family, Karen Doris Wright, Cedar Elk Woman, Norris Chee, Native Voices TV, Tom Poor Bear, Pilar Robideau, Robideau Family, Oasis Music, Alliance, NE, Susan Duhn, Rene Bartlett & Alan Grimsley.

There are so many that make this event possible, the names can go on forever. You know who you are and we thank you!

We will be back after a rest,

Oglala Commemoration Committee

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