indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439
Native American Bank - Native people investing in Native communities
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
Native Sun News: Albert White Hat passes to the spirit world

Filed Under: National
More on: albert white hat, languages, native sun news, obituaries, rosebud sioux, south dakota
   

The following story was written and reported by Christina Rose, Native Sun News Correspondent. All content © Native Sun News.


Albert White Hat joined the spirit world on Tuesday, June 11. Courtesy/James Michael Raphael

Saying goodbye to Albert White Hat
By Christina Rose
Native Sun News Correspondent

MISSION —The Sicangu Lakota lost too many leaders last week, but those who knew Albert White Hat, 75, know the legacy he left behind.

White Hat, who entered the spirit world on Tuesday, June, 11, had been committed to Lakota language and cultural preservation from a very young age. His passion for retaining the information given to him by his parents and grandparents resulted in many books, but perhaps none more important than “Writing and Reading the Lakota Language” (1999).

Well known as a leader in language preservation, White Hat appeared in many publications and videos. In videos and articles, White Hat often spoke of how he managed to avoid the St. Francis Boarding School until he was 16. His time in the school caused him to begin to believe the anti-Indian propaganda, but White Hat reclaimed his heritage in the 1960s, when he learned that many traditionals were still practicing their language and culture underground. "I started to find what I was happy in the most, and that was the language," he said in a “Cowboys and Indians” magazine article.

For White Hat, preserving the original meaning of Lakota words was part of preserving the spirituality he had been taught by his elders. Born November 18, 1938 near St. Francis, to parents Joseph and Emily Hollow Horn Bear, White Hat, White Hat spent his entire life on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation in South Dakota. In a YouTube video, White Hat spoke about the result of five years of vision quests, which helped him come to terms with what had been done to the Lakota people. “The only way I was going to be happy was to forgive; and I cried that morning because I had to forgive. And since then, every day I work on that. I don’t know how many people feel that way, but if you are Lakota, you have to deal with that at some point in your life,” he said.

Perhaps because of his understanding, White Hat encouraged people from all walks of life to attend the Sundance. He was a teacher and a role model for all who studied with him. White Hat attended Sinte Gleska University in Mission, and received an Honorary Doctorate Degree. He taught Lakota Studies at SGU for more than 25 years, and he was a member of the Aske Gluwipi Tiospaye.

Tina Martinez of Sinte Gleska University and the Lakota Studies Department, wrote in White Hat’s memory, “In life, he gave information freely to everyone he met and answered questions whole heartedly. He found life to be cherished and wanted to share his thoughts, and ideas but most of all to share his time.”

Dr. Archie Beauvais, director of the Lakota Language Preservation Project for the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, taught at Sinte Gleska with White Hat for more than 20 years. He also had the honor of reviewing White Hat’s draft of his first book on the Lakota language. Beauvais remembered White Hat fondly and with respect. “Some elders take it upon themselves to impart knowledge or their philosophy of how we should conduct ourselves, and sometimes elders take that opportunity to pass on some of what they have learned, what they do, and it’s valuable. If you are attuned to the culture, we learn by listening and often Albert took advantage of that responsibility,” Beauvais said.

Beauvais described White Hat as an intellectual and the kind of person who always greeted others with a handshake, “even if you saw him 2-3 times a day. That caught on at the college. He was very personable and I liked the fact that he always invited me to a sweat lodge at his house; he was generous in that way.”

All who knew White Hat said he often spoke of the Lakota people who went underground with their spirituality in the 1940's and 50's. Beauvais said White Hat was definitely one of the language carriers, and that he was also a relative of the Dwayne Hollow Horn Bear, who together with White Hat were co-leaders of the Sundance. “The responsibility will be upon many of us now as we continue to share what we have learned about the Lakota language and spirituality,” Beauvais said.

Jacqui White Hat, Albert’s daughter, posted a letter on Facebook that she had received from James Michael Raphael, who described the time he knew White Hat. “He was the heart and soul of the Sundance, which allowed for non-native people to participate so that we could all know each other better... We loved him. We celebrate Albert. We acknowledge that he has joined the spirit world, and that he no longer is in pain. For this, we are thankful.”

In Rapid City, former Sinte Gleska student Lynette Noline remembered taking Lakota language, teachings and health history, and Lakota star knowledge classes with White Hat. Sharing her respect and admiration for him, she said, “He was a pretty interesting person. He taught the truth, he showed people the true way of wolakota, especially the songs and dances. He was always involved with everything going on at SGU.”

Noline said she was confident that the things he taught would be handed down through the generations. “What I learned from him, I utilize it every day. There were so many things I learned from him about the old ways.” Noline cried with sadness as she described the loss of Albert to the community. “You have to let people know you love them, because you never know what tomorrow will bring.”

(Contact Christina Rose at christinarose.sd@gmail.com)

Copyright permission by Native Sun News


Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:

Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Native Sun News: Tribes ask Obama to deny Keystone XL permit (1/28)
Native Sun News: Native youth take stand against Keystone bid (1/28)
Tara Houska: Respect treaties and reject Keystone XL Pipeline (1/28)
Mark Trahant: Obama administration steps up for environment (1/28)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee holds first meeting & hearing (1/28)
House committee won't restore Indian and Alaska Native panel (1/28)
Opinion: Affordable Care Act offers behavorial health services (1/28)
Sami Jo Difuntorum: Support needed for Indian housing update (1/28)
Albert Bender: Stop glorification of Indian killer Andrew Jackson (1/28)
Amanda Blackhorse: Navajo leader defends racist NFL mascot (1/28)
Megan Red Shirt-Shaw: Our kids should be able to go anywhere (1/28)
Police probe racist treatment of Oglala youth at hockey game (1/28)
College basketball player proud to serve as Native role model (1/28)
Auburn Community buys stake in rock music festival company (1/28)
Former Pueblo leader ready to change plea in $3.6M theft case (1/28)
Young member of Meskwaki Tribe pleads guilty in murder case (1/28)
Mississippi Choctaws to debut casino after $70M in renovations (1/28)
Catawba Nation waits for BIA decision on off-reservation casino (1/28)
Member of Chehalis Tribe working on $40M expansion of casino (1/28)
Opinion: Decision on Menominee Nation casino makes no sense (1/28)
Editorial: Approve off-reservation casino for Ho-Chunk Nation (1/28)
Native Sun News: Chair of Lower Brule Sioux Tribe blasts report (1/27)
Native Sun News: Lummi Nation eyes halt to coal export project (1/27)
House Natural Resources Committee set to hold first meeting (1/27)
First-ever conference to focus on marijuana in Indian Country (1/27)
Fort Peck Tribes moving towards full legalization of marijuana (1/27)
8th Circuit rules against Indian inmate in religious rights case (1/27)
Jennifer Denetdale: Film glosses over violence in border towns (1/27)
Isadore Boni: An Apache AIDS survivor completes first marathon (1/27)
Osage Nation expects to see $7.4M in Cobell consolidation offers (1/27)
The Atlantic: Native people wary of DNA tests and genetic studies (1/27)
Morongo Band to debut first tribally-owned Taco Bell next week (1/27)
County files appeal over Chumash Tribe land-into-trust decision (1/27)
City leaders to work closely with Shakopee Tribe on road project (1/27)
Miccosukee Tribe wins decision in dispute over fees paid to court (1/27)
Senate Democrats delay vote on Keystone XL Pipeline measure (1/27)
Editorial: Wildlife refuge in Alaska deserves stronger protections (1/27)
BIA questions provision in compact for some New Mexico tribes (1/27)
Seminole Tribe still interested in opening casino in Atlantic City (1/27)
Ho-Chunk Nation's gaming compact authorizes another facility (1/27)
Shoshone-Bannock Tribes name executive for gaming operation (1/27)
Editorial: Presidential politics derailed off-reservation casino bid (1/27)
Native Sun News: North Dakota takes on impacts of energy boom (1/26)
Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux man calls on US to honor its word (1/26)
GOP leader outlines agenda for Senate Indian Affairs Committee (1/26)
Supreme Court orders another decision in Indian inmates' case (1/26)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.