'Indians Allowed'
The “Indians Allowed” rally and march took place in Rapid City, South Dakota, on March 26, 2022, to protest racism and discrimination on Sioux Nation treaty territory. Photo by Kevin Abourezk
‘Elderly Revolution’ in the making?
Monday, April 11, 2022
Native Sun News Today Columnist

One of the benefits of coming to South Dakota and scribbling for Native Sun News Today has been meeting and visiting with fellow elders from the Oyate Tribes who know that I have a small voice in Indian Country and could possibly help them have one too – via Native Sun News Today.

Native Sun News is a powerful communication tool among the elderly in the Great Plains reservation areas. That is because it is still dedicated to print media, rather than just ‘on-line.’

Most elders in far flung reservation areas do not have computers or access to Wi-Fi. Even if they do, these computer contraptions are confusing to many. Thus, they eagerly look forward to each weekly issue of the printed newspaper, holding it in hand, reading, perhaps with assistance of a magnifying glass, while enjoying morning coffee. It provides fodder for discussion.

As elders, we still prefer talking directly to one another in person, teasing one another, joking, telling some old stories, etc., rather than relying upon on indirect and impersonal methods, such as texting or cell phones.

And Zoom? What in the heck is that? I have been forced to imperfectly figure that out, but is it doubtful that it will take hold among other elders.

Recently, I was invited to breakfast at Perkins by a small delegation of elders who are “fed up” with the situation on their reservations: Pine Ridge, Cheyenne River, and Yankton. (By the way, I had a real treat – Eggs Benedict with fresh fruit. Splendid!)

They traveled for many miles and hours over snow-packed and icy roads to gather and discuss how they might speak up and organize to draw public attention to the many problems among these homelands of our relatives.

“We need to try and make a difference,” said Sam Dupris, Cheyenne River, approaching his nineties. “Though we are critical, what in the hell can the Tribal government do to us? Maybe cut off our commodities?”

The problems, it seems, are common to most reservations in the remote Great Plains area in several categories.

“There has got to be a better way” says Sam. “We have allowed this to happen to us.It will be up to us to get out of it.”

Should anyone be interested in this effort, contact Sam Dupris, Cheyenne River, at duprisJenniferadele@gmail.com. (His daughter manages the email for Sam, but will get the message to him) or me.

NATIVE SUN NEWS TODAY

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Clara Caufield can be reached at acheyennevoice@gmail.com

Note: Copyright permission Native Sun News Today