Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

February 22, 2017

Paul Owns the Sabre Takes Flight to Spirit World

A sweet journey home my friend 
Paul Owns the Sabre, Cheyenne River Lakota, at Sand Creek Massacre Site
Long Walk 2 northern route

Our long walker friends Paul with Tomas Reyes, who have both flown home
Photo by Brenda Norrell

Paul, born in 1939, with his mother, reconnected after 27 years on Long Walk 2 in Colorado
Photo by Brenda Norrell.
Photo Paul with Northern Cheyenne, Lame Deer, Montana
Long Walk 3

Paul talks about the Longest Walk of 1978, walking, healing and praying

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

On the Longest Walk 3, Paul Owns the Sabre remembered the Longest Walk in 1978 and how Native Americans walked across the nation when Native Nations were faced with termination.

Paul talks about holding on to the land. On this journey, Longest Walk 1978, he said, "We went through hell. It was the winter time." Paul talks about walking down the highways in the cold. "Our feet hurt." The more they suffered, the more fulfilling it was that they would do something for Native country.

"We lived on bologna, bread, coffee."

They slept beside the road in Nevada in winter on the Longest Walk of 1978.
"We never heard the words, 'We can't go.'"

On this walk, Natives from the cities learned about their cultures. They had ceremonial sweats.

"This is how we generated spiritual energy."

"We went through growing pains," he said of struggling, learning and growing on the walk.

In his poems, Paul shares thoughts of the eagle, stars and drum ...

"So long ago when my land was young ..."
"We must mend the Sacred Hoop."
The Sacred Hoop must be healed because it has been broken with so much tragedies.
"We still live close to the land."
"We pray for all the people."

Paul talks about wolves and his visit with the wolf pups.

Paul shares his time with drumming in Lame Deer with the children, and a visit with Northern Cheyenne.

And Paul ran, he ran across this nation, and he ran across Canada.

"What time I have left, I want to tell these stories."

During a lifetime of walks and run across these lands, Paul remembers walking with Buddhist Monks, and carried their flag.

Paul encourages others to share their art, music and culture, and to share what they are go at.

"Try to make a good life, and pass it on."

Paul says not to waste time on fools who won't listen.

With the bad experiences, we learn, and we go on.

"Just pass it on."

"Pick up that Staff for our people and carry it on."

Paul talks of running for the people, running for the water.

Speaking of the great legacy, he remembers the Great Circle of all people, all life.
Our radio show ends with a Paiute bird song by Jan Gardipe, and the AIM song recorded at Cahokia Mounds, both recorded live on Long Walk 2.

Paul with wolf pups Long Walk 3, with Manny Calapoo and Bad Bear
Photo courtesy Carl Bad Bear Sampson


Paul's art
Dear Paul,
I was hoping to see you at AIM West this year, and sad you did not make it. Then I was thinking, I must give Paul a call, but hadn't yet.
Just now I hear that you slipped away from us yesterday.
Perhaps it was a good day to die.
Just yesterday, Cheyenne River was calling Sun Dancers to come to the camp on the Cannonball River, to battle the Black Snake, the pipeline.
Perhaps you are with them there now.
But I am remembering what fun, and what laughter, we had on Long Walk 2 across America. And how good it was to see you with your mom, reunited after 27 years, in Colorado.
Oh, and the photo of you, Manny and Bad Bear, with the wolf pups on Long Walk 3, how the people loved that photo.
So many of the long walkers, as far back as 1978, will miss you now, will miss your stories, and those stories you told without a word, just a silent smile.
How will we all keep going without knowing you are out there somewhere.
Somehow we will, and we will see you soon my friend,

Article and photos copyright Brenda Norrell, Censored News


Unknown said...

Hello, I am commenting on your blog, because it has touched my heart. Paul Owns The Sabre is my grand-uncle, his sister is my grandmother. If you could please contact me, we are currently in California. my e-mail is Please and thank you

Up to here already said...

I just learned of the passing of my friend and brother Paul Owns the Saber. We met at Crow Dogs Paradise it was my first time dancing there. There must have been three hundred dancers around the fire. Being new there I didn't know where to stand, and Crow Dog took me and placed me in the first row, right next to this guy, and he was a twenty something year sundancer. At first we butted heads, and he said later it was because we were both alpha's. He was cantankerous as they come, and he didn't suffer fools very well. One of his friends described him as a jelly bean, hard on the outside but soft on the inside. He was one of the first long walkers. I think he did four of them across America. Some of his art work is in the Smithsonian. When you bleed and suffer side by side with someone, well, unless you've done it, you wouldn't understand, and I can't explain it to you, but we were more than friends. For me that bond will last for ever, and for that I will be eternally grateful. Thank you Paul for being there. The last thing you do to complete your sundance commitment is to have a give away. You do this as a thank you for having made it thru, and for all the blessings and prayers that were answered. When I had my give away he told me he was going to use the star quilt I gave him to be buried with. I would like to think he did that, but knowing him he's already given it to someone else, and that's ok. Just hearing him say that meant the world to me and I felt so honored. Paul never sold his paintings. Before he died he gave them all away. A thank you for all the gifts and blessings he received in his life. That's how its done. A true Sundancer to the end... RIP.