Ivan Star Comes Out: Guiding our future based on our traditions

Ivan F. Star Comes Out

Truth in culture and history can re-establish optimism
By Ivan F. Star Comes Out
Native Sun News Today Columnist

Thinking about the future of my grandchildren, a strong sense of worry and fear often consumes my emotions and thoughts. The majority of our youth appear to be moving steadily toward certain disaster. The sudden influx of drugs (meth), teen pregnancy, and single-parenthood are effectively dissuading parental guidance and continuously stifling our youth’s potential.

Of course, we have many that are doing what they can to establish a viable future for themselves but we have far more that are not. Staying in school and going on to higher education, as their parents and elders advise are easier said than done. Overall, our youth have continually held the lowest school achievement levels in the country.

Our educators are doing everything within their capacity to reverse our negative educational stats but they have improved only marginally. What is causing this? No one seems to have a viable solution as the bulk of our youth continue to sink steadily into despair. They are children today but they are growing up and will become adults, the Oyate (people) of the future.

My intention here is to provide a glimpse of our history and hope that it inspires young people to learn more. They must also become aware of their cultural birthright. With such knowledge, they can re-establish that Red Road in their future. Understanding Oceti Sakowin (Seven Council Fires) thought, philosophy, language, and culture, certainly provide a basis for positivity.

Also, they must “see” that American history, as taught in our schools, is clearly biased in that it largely excludes the native side. Let’s begin with the He Sapa (Black Mountain Range)). The original name is indigenous and comes from the abundant pine and spruce which appear “black” from a distance.

The Oceti Sakowin knew this range of mountains as “the heart of everything that is.” From above, this landmark is in the shape of the human heart. As the human heart is central to life, the He Sapa is central to Oceti Sakowin life. Every feature within the small range of mountains has cultural and spiritual significance which corresponds with the macrocosm or universe.

Regrettably, the newcomer’s only concern was the gold that was abundant there. I am guessing it is depleted now as the Homestake Gold Mine has shut its machines down and moved on. However, wealth is still being reaped from the timber and other natural resources. It is as if they are not aware of the fact that these resources are also subject to depletion.

Read the rest of the story on the Native Sun News Today website: Truth in culture and history can re-establish optimism

(Ivan F. Star Comes Out can be reached at PO Box 147, Oglala, SD 57764; 605-867-2448 or via email at mato_nasula2@outlook.com)

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