Chief Arvol Looking Horse, the 19th Generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe and a spiritual leader of the Sioux Nation, offers a prayer at the U.S. Supreme Court on December 7, 2015. Photo by Indianz.Com (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)

Native Sun News Today: Reunification for Healing: First of its kind

Later this month there will be a meeting of peoples from the Dakota, Nakota, Lakota, and Ojibwe in Bemidji, Minnesota.

The event is a Reunification for Healing, and it will feature a presentation and prayer from both Dave Courchene, Objiwe, and Arvol Looking Horse, Lakota and keeper of the White Buffalo Calf Pipe. The event will then wrap up with a traditional dinner of roast chicken, wild rice, berries, potatoes, and swamp tea.

The event is sponsored by the Endazhi Manidoowaadak Team, a Bush foundation grant recipient, which is led by Dr. Vivian Delgado, professor of Native American Studies at Bemidji State University. Only around 200 local spiritual leaders, dignitaries, and chairmen have been invited from the Dakota, Nakota, Lakota, and Ojibwe nations to attend the event.

The reunification’s goal is to put the stereotypical traditional colonizer’s enemy theory behind all the peoples involved. Dr. Delgado hopes that hosting a reunification and showing that the nations are more alike than different despite national, state, and reservation boundaries. Delgado thinks that when nations come together and reunite then a stronger and more impactful voice may be heard from the Native Americans all across the continent and globe.

Dr. Delgado not only sees uniting a strong picture to be seen from an outside perspective, but the enemy theory also translates to the tribes themselves. “The only way this is going to work is to start with our native people and put this enemy theory behind us, and as long as we are addressing our own prejudices then we can move onto the white and Indian prejudice,” she said.

In a column in the Bemidji Pioneer, Dr. Delgado wrote “Traditional Enemy Theory: Historically, in the United States, the government has strategically used many colonizing divide and conquer tactics to keep two or more Indigenous nations at odds with each other. Those tactics include written histories, fabricated oral accounts of the same events, treaties, land boundaries, environmental injustices, ignorance’s and traditional enemy theories among Indigenous Nations insinuating that many Nations are still not at peace with the other. This [false history is the foundation behind the] lack of solidarity that prevents the nations from dispelling the inaccuracies that have corrupted many nation to nation relationships.”

Delgado also wrote about how and why reunification is already taking place. She wrote “Many examples of reunification, restoration, and affirmation were seen during the No DAPL consciousness, including other sacred sites protection advocacy. These efforts go beyond political unity to a place or group or territory because it includes the entire environment and the spirit of all that is living in that place. When indigenous people come together to pray for the wellbeing of the land and people you will not find division because awareness/consciousness cannot be divided.”


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