Ivan Star Comes Out: Defining what tiospaye means to our people

Ivan F. Star Comes Out. Photo courtesy Native Sun News Today

Defining a tiospaye
By Ivan F. Star Comes Out
Native Sun News Today Columnist

Exactly what is it that makes indigenous traditions so different from mainstream standards? Actually, all explanations by the white man will be arrogantly belittling to the “Indian.” From decades of observing, I’ve concluded that most European-Americans are thoroughly convinced that they are sanctioned by God as a superior race and that their skin color is the essence of purity and benevolence.

At the same time, these people have and will use violence to maintain this conviction. This biased creed has been incorporated into modern societal institutions, like the educational system, government, courts, law enforcement, housing, employment practices, you name it, and it is there.

Subsequently, I was forced to understand this narcissistic attitude and behavior. Eventually, I found answers in the fact that everything has an origin. I learned that the followers of the Judeo-Christian code altered it, contrary to instructions in the hallowed Old Testament, among other atrocities, and used it to “righteously and justifiably” annihilate millions of natives.

Anyway, the Oceti Sakowin (Seven Council Fires) Otokahe Wicowoyake (The Beginning Doctrine) established a culture and spirituality that flourished for centuries. However, resulting from the Christian doctrine, our ancestral relational worldview is now nearly gone. Although the Christian drive to dominate the “new land” proved somewhat successful, it is not total.

There are significant numbers of Oceti Sakowin descendants here on our homeland that have retained the ancient philosophy and are quietly and tirelessly transmitting it to their children. At the same time, a majority of tribal-member residents possess a solid colonial view and are continually undermining traditional ways in every manner possible. Manifest Destiny succeeded here.

For instance, I hear the word tiospaye (extended family) being used in the most assimilative ways. In the least, this proves that people are aware of what once was. Realistically though, the tiospaye, as it exists today, is far from what our ancestors had thrived on for centuries. In fact, our ancient language, customs, and history have been successfully obliterated in the minds of this majority.

Read the rest of the story on the Native Sun News Today website: Defining a tiospaye

(Ivan F. Star Comes Out, POB 147, Oglala, SD 57764, (605) 867-2448, mato_nasula2@outlook.com)

Copyright permission Native Sun News

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