Native Sun News: Indigenous Riders roar through reservations

The following story was written and reported by Rita Weatherbee. All content © Native Sun News.

Children in Pine Ridge learned how to assemble and take down a tipi at the Suanne Big Crow Boys and Girls Club.

Motorcycles roar into Pine Ridge
By Rita Weatherbee

PINE RIDGE — A small number of people with big hearts roared into Pine Ridge last week to provide a buffalo feed, stories, and some much needed relaxation to members of the community.

Riding to the hum of purring engines the Indigenous Riders, a motorcycle group from Phoenix, Ariz., paid a visit to the reservation during what they officially called an Honor Run.

The group road to White Clay, Neb. and passed out sack lunches to homeless people in the area. The lunches were assembled the day before by volunteer students from the Indian University of North America at Crazy Horse Memorial. Rex Carolin talked to the students on the importance of feeding the people and providing for them and how important it is to preserve Native culture. He also visited with them about keeping to their goals and staying away from drugs and alcohol.

The sack lunches included buffalo jerky donated by the InterTribal Buffalo Council of Rapid City, a sponsor of the Honor Run.

After the stop in White Clay, Neb., the motorcycle group pulled into the Suanne Big Crow Boys and Girls Club in Pine Ridge, and began their routine of unloading their truck and trailer of supplies and preparing to provide food for a day of fun that included a tipi demonstration to those in attendance.

Led by the President of the group, Carolin, who along with other members including, Martha Morales, Casey Wallace, Gerald Shipman, and Chuy Garza, made the long trip from Phoenix. Everyone in attendance was served buffalo burgers provided by the Inter-Tribal Buffalo Council.

After dinner, children from the Boys and Girls Club were instructed by Carolin on how to properly set up a tipi and take it down. During the tipi demonstration, Carolin talked about the importance of sharing stories and knowledge of Indian culture with others to preserve traditions. He also talked about how the buffalo was important to Indian people and how healthy the meat is for consumption and how Natives traditionally used all parts of the buffalo. InterTribal Buffalo Council’s quarterly newsletter, Buffalo Tracks, was shared with the guests.

Star Nayea, Seattle, Wash., a Grammy award winning singer and song writer, came by and entertained the crowd with several songs during the gathering. The children were surprised by a guest visitor, a Minion, who stopped by and provided a photo op for those who wanted to get in on the fun.

The night was topped off with snow cones for everyone. After the event, many people commented that they had never seen a tipi being set-up before. Carolin said, “That’s one of the reasons we are out here doing this. We want to share the knowledge that we have with others in Indian Country so that it can be passed on and preserved.”

Chick Big Crow, Director of the Boys and Girls Club said of the evening, “The event went really well. The kids were really interested and excited. It was great.”

The group moved on to Rosebud Indian Reservation the following day and provided the same event for the people there. The entire group spent four days in South Dakota.

The motorcycle group concluded their time in South Dakota on Sunday, July 20, on the arm of Crazy Horse, where a Sunrise Prayer Ceremony was conducted. Native songs and prayers were said by Trevor Swift Hawk from Rosebud. Then students were invited to say their own silent prayers to the Four Winds.

Afterwards the students and motorcyclists shared personal stories of adversities they overcame. Indigenous Riders, sponsored by InterTribal Buffalo Council, thus completed their four day mission of “honoring Native people in prayer and cultural preservation.”

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