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Letter: Tribute to John Around Him, Lakota veteran

"I am writing this letter in tribute to a second Lakota spiritual leader (at least it seemed so to me) and co-worker of mine who died on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation this fall. His name was John Around Him. He was a veteran, like myself, and also worked as a teacher at the college where I work on the reservation.

One year ago, John stood before us at the college and talked, prayed about and complimented another spiritual man who had just died on the reservation, Calvin Jumping Bull, the great grandson of Chief Sitting Bull.

In tribute to John and to his predecessor, Calvin Jumping Bull, both of these men believed in a Lakota concept which I like, wolakolkiciyapi. The Lakota define it as learning Lakota ways of life in community. To me, as a white man, it means learning togetherness, kindness and community all rolled into one. In my opinion, the U.S. and the world could do well to learn such a concept."

Get the Story:
William T. Elliott: Tribute to a Lakota leader (The Sioux Falls Argus Leader 11/6)

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