your internet resource on facebook on twitter on Google+ on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Kill The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
James Giago Davies: It's time to honor our keen Lakota intellect

Filed Under: Opinion
More on: james giago davies

James Giago Davies

Time to honor keen Lakota intellect
Give the Just-Smart-Enough Clan the boot
By James Giago Davies
Native Sun News Today Columnist

Every year hundreds of talented Lakota athletes bolster basketball rosters all across West River. We marvel at their skill; fans are familiar with their names, their style of play, and their history.

In every one of these schools there is another type of student. He might even be on the basketball team, but he did not make the roster for this other gift he has, because in the Lakota world, that other gift, has far less value than basketball skills.

This can be excused given the society at large thinks about that other gift pretty much the same way. They tend not to like it, don’t trust it, they can’t relate to it, understand it, so they don’t value it, encourage it, and seldom honor it.

To the extent this gift is routinely acknowledged it is only through artistic expression most people can relate to it. Because at least that entertains us, at least that is something we can incorporate into our life without feeling threatened or intimidated by the other gift.

A keen intellect is rare, and you are far less likely to encounter a Lakota with this gift, than you are a skilled ballplayer. More than likely, you won’t even recognize a keen intellect when you meet one, because like the rest of us, most of their activity focuses on the day-in-and-day-out world of school, work, small talk, they aren’t bursting into every room, declaring; “Listen up! I’m the smartest person in here!”

Not sure why keen intellect is rare. Seems like every healthy person should be extra smart, just like every healthy grizzly bear has the ability to break your back with a single swipe. But that is not the way it is.

Those who are smart enough to know they are not stupid, but not smart enough to recognize or appreciate the keen intellect when they meet one, are the most dangerous people in our world.

They have enough smarts to get in positions of power and responsibility, to meet and exceed success benchmarks, because they have the numbers, the opportunity, and because most people can understand who they are and what they are about. I call them the Just-Smart-Enough Clan.

Since many keen intellects become academics we can dismiss them as know-it-alls who teach but can’t do. Those who become scientists and writers and artists and great thinkers are removed enough from our everyday lives we assume that they will always be at the far end of a long road, in some far off city, maybe across a wide ocean. And most of the time we are correct in assuming that.

(Contact James Giago Davies at

Copyright permission Native Sun News

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

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Trump singles out Bears Ears as an 'abuse' of government's power (4/26)
Doug George-Kanentiio: Let's call Columbus by what he truly was (4/26)
Native Sun News Today: Lakota youth set up beekeeping business (4/26)
Cronkite News: Trump seeks to hire thousands of border officers (4/26)
Doug Pibel: New film teaches us about value of indigenous seeds (4/26)
Jenn Weddle: 'Best possible result' from court in sovereignty case (4/26)
Peter d'Errico: Oneida architect offers indigenous approach to law (4/26)
Whiteclay liquor stores aim to stay open pending fight for licenses (4/26)
Support for Standing Rock Sioux Tribe leads to recall in Alaska city (4/26)
Mishewal Wappo Tribe loses appeal in federal recognition lawsuit (4/26)
Police use tear gas & rubber bullets at indigenous protest in Brazil (4/26)
Mohegan Tribe wants gaming disputes resolved in judicial system (4/26)
Supreme Court hands defeat to tribal interests in sovereignty case (4/25)
Matthew Fletcher: 'Gamesmanship' brings defeat in Supreme Court (4/25)
Supreme Court relists petition in Gun Lake Tribe gaming land case (4/25)
Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute team wins NASA prize (4/25)
Former top Bureau of Indian Affairs official joins Washington firm (4/25)
Native Sun News Today: Groups fight uranium mining in Black Hills (4/25)
Cronkite News: Budget deadline falls on Donald Trump's 100th day (4/25)
Mary Annette Pember: Indian Child Welfare Act heals our families (4/25)
André Cramblit: Tribes must make language survival a top priority (4/25)
Cowlitz Tribe welcomes big crowd to $510M casino in Washington (4/25)
Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe sees more opposition to gaming win (4/25)
Pojoaque Pueblo loses big decision in gaming dispute with state (4/24)
Supreme Court takes no action on long-running tribal land case (4/24)
Yakama Nation landowners see $68M in Cobell buy-back offers (4/24)
Tim Giago: Sovereignty at risk with Donald Trump in White House (4/24)
Mark Trahant: Donald Trump & Republicans can't seem to govern (4/24)
Native Sun News Today: Chickasaw citizen donates prom dresses (4/24)
Steve Russell: The BEST advertisement for education in America (4/24)
Arlana Bennett: Picking cans with my father became our tradition (4/24)
Terese Mailhot: Maybe some people should be able to play Indian (4/24)
Charles Kader: Tribal communities still face threats to their lands (4/24)
3rd suspect sought in connection with death of elderly Native man (4/24)
Mashantucket Tribe expresses interest in growing industrial hemp (4/24)
Shutdown of federal government looms ahead of April 28 deadline (4/24)
Confederate monuments start coming down as Jackson stays put (4/24)
Blackfeet Nation citizens approve historic water rights settlement (4/21)
Native Sun News Today: Cheyenne River Sioux woman still walking (4/21)
James Giago Davies: Our future is not bleak but bright with promise (4/21)
Rosalyn LaPier: Tradition blends with science in tribal communities (4/21)
Simon Moya-Smith: Media continues to peddle in Indian stereotypes (4/21)
Steven Newcomb: Bill in California dehumanizes indigenous peoples (4/21)
American Indian Library Association battles Trump's big budget cut (4/21)
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.