Photo by Kevin Abourezk
We have a duty to retrieve our past
Wednesday, September 16, 2020
Native Sun News Today Columnist

It is clear now that the newcomer literally destroyed the balance of the North American continent as well as the lives of the people who lived there for millennia. Believing in their ill-famed Manifest Destiny, their intent was to remove indigenous people completely off the surface of the earth. To be honest, indigenous cultures, languages, and histories were also shattered.

Natives today are still reeling from the devastation of that 19th century doctrine in which the expansion of the United States throughout the land was deemed inevitable and excusable. Accordingly, their God gave his blessing for the U. S. to expand its dominion and spread their monotheistic religion and capitalism across the entire North and South American continents.

With no natural resistance to European diseases, epidemics of smallpox, tuberculosis, scarlet fever, influenza and measles, indigenous people were nearly exterminated. Scholarly studies place the deaths of native people from 70% to 90% from the 15th century. Then violence was committed on the survivors and the Europeans claimed the land for themselves, oftentimes stealing it.

Modern scholars argue with other about how many native died from disease and violence and their numbers range from 55 to 100 million. This destruction continued by further assimilating the survivors, especially the children, into Euro-American society by forcibly obliterating native languages, cultures, and history.

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

Distorting and/or concealing our history, including our cultural origins, has left us confused as we enter the 21st century. Had our ancestors known the history of the colonizers they encountered in 1492, and thereafter, they would have known of their true intent and life as we know it today would have turned out different.

Total annihilation failed. So the Euro-American wrote their own history according to their plan of conquest by falsifying and hiding indigenous history. Oyate (People) that once honored natural law and lived harmoniously with each other and with nature gradually became lost and detached from each other and from the nurturing earth.

Today, reduced from one large Oyate, the Ikce Wicasa (Natural Man/Human) were herded into several smaller and physically separated groups. Our Ancestors roamed a large area from the eastern Woodlands, north into the south central area of present-day Canada, south along the Grand Tetons and the Rocky Mountains, and east along Kansas and Oklahoma.

Due to the Euro-American imperialistic dominance ideology, the Ikce Wicasa descendants treat each other as separate nations or as toka (enemy). Yet, we are one people with varying dialects of the same beautiful Dakota/Lakota/Nakota language. We have our own indigenous Creation story that gave our ancestors their own worldview but it has been replaced with the Christian Creation story (Bible).

Oglala (Pours His Own) history may differ from Hunkpapa (At the horn’s end) or Sicangu (Burned Thigh) histories, or the Ihanktonwan (village at the end) or the Mdewakanton (Spirit Lake Village), but overall, we still share one conjoint origin story as well as Ehanni Wicowoyake (History). It is our duty to retrieve it.


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Ivan F. Star Comes Out can be reached at P.O. Box 147, Oglala, South Dakota, 57764; via phone at 605-867-2448 or via email at

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