Wednesday, May 11, 2016
5/10/16 White Crystal Wind/ White Electric Wizard - Spectral Serpent Moon of Liberation, Day 9
Chief Luther Standing Bear, Oglala Lakota
"Civilization has been thrust upon me… and it has not added one whit to my love for truth, honesty, and generosity." Chief Luther Standing Bear
Luther Standing Bear (December 1868 – February 20, 1939) (Ota Kte, "Plenty Kill" or "Mochunozhin") was an Oglala Lakota chief notable in American history as an Native American author, educator, philosopher, and actor of the twentieth century. Standing Bear fought to preserve Lakota heritage and sovereignty and was at the forefront of a Progressive movement to change government policy toward Native Americans.
Standing Bear was one of a small group of Lakota leaders of his generation, such as Black Elk, Gertrude Bonnin, and Charles Eastman, who were born and raised in the oral traditions of their culture, educated in white culture, and wrote significant historical accounts of their people and history in English. Luther’s experiences in early life, the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, Wild Westing with Buffalo Bill, and life on government reservations present a unique view of a Native American during the Progressive Era in American history. Standing Bear’s commentaries on Native American culture and wisdom educated the American public, deepened public awareness, and created popular support to change government policies toward Native American peoples. Luther Standing Bear helped create the popular twentieth century image that Native American culture is holistic and respectful of nature; his classic commentaries appear in college-level reading lists in anthropology, literature, history, and philosophy, and constitute a legacy and treasury of Native American wisdom.
Between 1928 and 1936, Standing Bear wrote four books and a series of articles about protecting Lakota culture and in opposition to government regulation of Native Americans. Luther‘s commentaries challenged government policies regarding education, assimilation, freedom of religion, tribal sovereignty, return of lands and efforts to convert the Lakota into sedentary farmers. Standing Bear believed that white people had much to teach Indians and that Indian people had much to teach whites. He argued that the Bureau of Indian Affairs should employ Indians in positions of authority, adopt a policy of bilingual education, employ Indians to teach Indians and teach Native American history and culture in all public schools. Standing Bear argued for a change of policy in the education of Native American children:
“The Indian children should have been taught how to translate the Sioux tongue into English properly; but the English teachers only taught them the English language, like a bunch of parrots.”
“The Indian, by the very sense of duty, should become his own historian, giving account of the race, fairer and fewer accounts of the wars and more of the statecraft, legends, languages, oratory and philosophical conceptions. No longer should the Indian be dehumanized in order to make material for lurid and cheap function to embellish street stands.”
“A fair and correct history of the native American should be incorporated into the curriculum of public schools. Indians should be taught their own history, and schools created where tribal and Indian thought would be taught on the Indian pattern by Indian instructors. All American would benefit, for “in denying the Indian his ancestral rights and heritages the white race is robbing itself.”
Standing Bear opposed the Dawes Act's policy of privatization of communal holdings of Native American tribes, and was critical of government support of missionaries who undermined Sioux religion, as did the prohibition against the Sun Dance, the most important religious and social event in the yearly cycle of Sioux life.
Between 1928 and 1934, Progressives organized and launched a national education campaign to change government policies towards Native Americans. The campaign began in 1928 with the publication of Standing Bear’s book “My People the Sioux” and the release of John Collier’s Meriam Report. During this period, Standing Bear published four books and numerous articles to educate the public about Lakota culture, and toured the forums of the American lecture circuit building critical support for an “Indian New Deal.” Luther was at the forefront of the Progressive movement and his commentaries educated the American public, deepened awareness and created popular support to change government policies toward Native American peoples. At the time, Native American authors were a rarity, and Standing Bear’s books were considered culturally significant and reviewed by the New York Times.
In 1931, Standing Bear published My Indian Boyhood, a classic memoir of life, experience and education of a Lakota child in the late 1800s. That year, after an absence of twenty years, Standing Bear visited Pine Ridge, South Dakota. He was so distressed by the desperate plight of his people that he wrote “The Tragedy of the Sioux” in American Mercury condemning federal Indian policy for the continued destruction of the Lakota.“Land of the Spotted Eagle”, published in 1933, is an ethnographic description of traditional Lakota life and customs, criticizing whites’ efforts to “make over” the Indian into the likeness of the white race. Here, Standing Bear observed, “White men seem to have difficulty realizing that people who live differently from themselves still might be traveling the upward and progressive road of life.” In 1933, Standing Bear also published "What the Indian Means to America". In 1934, Standing Bear published a collection of Lakota tales and legends in “Stories of the Sioux”.
Luther Standing Bear was at the forefront of the Progressive movement, and joined with advocate John Collier, the Indian Rights Association and others to protect Native American religion and sovereignty. Standing Bear’s commentaries on Native American culture and wisdom educated the American public, deepened public awareness and created popular support to change in government policies toward Native American peoples. In 1928, Standing Bear’s “My People the Sioux” and Collier’s Meriam Report were published, launching an organized campaign to challenge government policies limiting Native American religion and sovereignty.
Between 1928 and 1934, Luther Standing Bear published four books and numerous articles to educate the public about Lakota culture, and toured the forums of the American lecture circuit building critical support for a “Indian New Deal.”
In 1933, Collier was appointed Commissioner for the Bureau of Indian Affairs in the President Franklin D. Roosevelt administration, and Standing Bear wrote to President Franklin D. Roosevelt that Congress should legislate that the history and culture of Native Americans be made part of the curriculum of public schools. The next year, Collier introduced what became known as the Indian New Deal with Congress' passage of the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 legislation reversing fifty years of assimilation policies by emphasizing Indian self-determination and the Dawes Act's policy of privatization of communal holdings of Native American tribes. Luther’s essay “The Tragedy of the Sioux” in American Mercury and his book Land of Spotted Eagle were published near the end of the Progressive campaign and had wide impact influencing John Collier’s Indian New Deal policies and fighting to restore tribal culture and sovereignty.
Kin 142: White Crystal Wind
I dedicate in order to communicate
I seal the input of spirit
With the crystal tone of cooperation
I am guided by the power of timelessness.
All teachers and messengers throughout history are part of a unified matrix, when viewed through the lens of the synchronic order.*
*Star Traveler's 13 Moon Almanac of Synchronicity, Galactic Research Institute, Law of Time Press, Ashland, Oregon, 2015-2016.
The Sacred Tzolk'in
Muladhara Chakra (Seli Plasma)