Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

July 8, 2012

Oglala Commemoration: Honor, Perseverance and Courage


Honoring Leonard Peltier/Photo Oglala Commemoration
Published with permission at Censored News
Article and photos by Oglala Commemoration
June 26, 2012 - Oglala, South Dakota

The day began as usual, meeting up at the Little Family Cemetery. Greetings were once again exchanged, and it was good to see many new faces in the crowd. The turnout was great. Billy Good Voice Elk said prayers with Elk Nation singing the Honor Songs. Shortly afterwards, the Walk began. The temps were soaring into the triple digits, 107 to be exact, and thanks to many that braved the heat and completed the walk. Many Children joined us this year, which was a welcome sight as they are our future. Water was in much demand, as we went through 10 cases on this hot day. Many thanks to the security crew and those who led the walkers through the highway traffic in safety.
Russell and Bill Means
Photo Oglala Commemoration
We arrived at the Jumping Bull property to tables full of food waiting be to served. There were many things on the agenda this year. The Oglala Commemoration Committee was presenting the Memorial Marker to mark this time in history and the incident that happened at this property on this date in 1975. In remembrance of Leonard Peltier and the loss of Joe KillsRights Stuntz. We also had a memorial to those who walked on this past year and the Jumping Bull family honored Russell Means, with the Oglala Souix Tribe issuing a proclamation for his activism throughout his years. Pilar Robideau, (widow of late Bob Robideau) joined us from Spain, she carried his banner in remembrance, accompanied by Bob's family from SD. Beau Little Sky's harley was seen as it had been so many times, leading the walk with family close by. The Black Elk family including Vice President Tom Poor Bear spoke in honor of Loren Black Elk (co-founder) of Camp Justice. We lost many warriors this past year. We greatly missed Loren and Beau, who had been with us every year. may their spirits soar. The Jumping Bull family presented Russell Means with the proclamation from the tribe; he was also honored with kind words and gifts. Leonard's words of hope and encouragement were shared with everyone.
In memory Bob Robideau
Photo Oglala Commemoration
The meal and cakes were served, as we ended with the giveaway of filled backpacks and toys given to the children. We would like to thank everyone in the community for bringing out the delicious food, there was more than enough for everyone.

The Youth Awareness Concert got underway around 6 pm at the Lakota Dome, featuring many different styles of music. It was great to welcome back longtime friend of the Commemoration, Mr. Julian B (Muscogee Nation). Local greats and friends, SpyderZback, Scatter Their Own, Brett Hamilton band featuring Monty and Robert Briggs,  Arrowspace. And newcomers Cranston, 4Bidden Sience and the heavy metal rockers Terrible Thunder Lizards. Words were also shared by the LP- Human Rights Walk leaders, and SD State Rep. Kevin Killer. Emcee’s by JD Nash.

A great meal was served at the concert by the LP-Support RC and AIM Grassroots members. Thanks to all for your hard work.
Jean Roach, Belva and Jesse Janis, Gloria Reyes, Doris Respects Nothing, Dee Dee Merrival, Henry & John Red Cloud, Robert Quick Bear, Matilda Red Shirt, Arlene Hopkins and Juanita Lucio.
With deep regrets, Micki Free had to cancel due to a family emergency, but we rocked way into the midnight hours. To complement the newly installed skate park in Pine Ridge, throughout our visit, the Committee handed out to many children and teens new skateboards so that no one would be without a board of their own. It was truly amazing to watch these children as young as 6 years old shooting the bowl. These children are amazing in their talents and tenacity.
Photo Oglala Commemoration
Overall it was a successful event, one that went by to quickly once again. But we have many to thank. As many well know, the Committee works all year on fund raising and arranging this event. At our own expenses, Committee members travel to powwows and events throughout the U.S. The Committee as well manages an online auction site of donated items to raise funds for this event. With this said, we still cannot do this alone, our thanks go out to the following families of the rez, Jumping Bull, Little, Black Elk, Janis, Good Voice Elk, Cedar Face. We would also like to thank Tom and Carla Cheyenne, Cuny Dog, Eileen Janis, and Robert Watters for their hard work, and AIM-S.Texas for their contribution and The Sioux Funeral Home for their help in getting the Memorial Marker finished in time. Vice President Tom Poor Bear, The Prairie Winds Casino management, Kevin Lean and Amy Sherman, who donated the use of the Dome. . KILI radio for their on-air time. Oglala Lakota College Financial Aid office for handling the Scholarship. And Rez West Production for sound. This year's Peltier Scholarship was awarded to Terry Featherman of Kyle.
Last but not least, we would like to thank the following for allowing us to set up; The Native American Indian Students at the University of California- Irvine, Native Hope International (Pasadena, Calif.) Sherman Indian School (Riverside, Calif.) Westwood HS (Mesa, Ariz.), Central HS ( Phoenix, Ariz.) Prairie Band Potawatomi Tribe (Mayetta, Kansas) , Iowa Tribe (Whitecloud, Kansas) Midwest Soaring (Naperville, Illinois) White Buffalo (Litchfield, Illinois) Peoples Powwow (Columbia, MO.)

Our heartfelt thanks to our longtime and generous auction supporters. The Parchcorn Family, Bill Butler, Karen Doris Wright, Renee Barlett and Alan Grimsley. Jennifer Lehmann, Pilar Robideau, Leonard Peltier, LP-DOC, TLK Gallery, KOLA, Brian & Nancy Hall, Pendleton Outlet-Nebraska City and Branson, Wahwassuck Family, Vivenne Westwood, Indigenous, NAICCO, Wal-mart- Chadron, Economy 9 - Chadron, Cakes and Etc- Chadron, Aarvardark Nation.

Our Security Crew this year, Kendal and Ahliyah Brought Plenty, Elgin Young Bear, Ylene and Terry Two Lance, Trudy New Holy, Hattie He Crow, Paula Wahwassuck Jamie Goings, Charles Poor Bear. Our sincere apologies go out to anyone we may have inadvertently missed. Thank you all for another great year and look forward to the 14th Annual.

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