"MY LANDS ARE WHERE MY DEAD LIE BURIED."
Chief Crazy Horse
1st Nations People
My connection to the 1st Nations people began many years ago when I read stories of the Genocide wreaked upon them by the first settlers. I later stumbled upon the "one spirit" website and was stunned at the way the Nations now live and decided to try to do something to help. It has been an incredible journey and through it I met my Lakota family Joe Braveheart, his children Forrest and Wiyaca. Joe kindly collaberated with me on the Tokyo Blade release "camp 334" the name given to the Lakota reservation at Pine Ridge by the US government In fact it is still on record as POW camp 334.
The "Camp 334" project was designed to help raise funds for the Pine Ridge Reservation and all proceeds to be given to "one spirit" www.nativeprogress.org in order that they could build a safe centre for the children and women on the Rez.
and everyone involved gave their time and services for free including our Producer the legendary Chris Tsangarides AKA the dark Lord. My very sincere thanks go to him and all who helped. The song is available to download on iTunes and also soundcloud under "Andy Boulton" I humbly ask you to please visit the one spirit website and make a small donation to save a life. Any donation no matter how small really can make a difference.
Obviously I am not a Native American and I do not claim to be for that would be a lie and a dishonour to the 1st Nations people. I was just fortunate to have met Joe and his family and the kindness they showed me during my time with them at their home in Michigan.
Joe honoured me with the name "Howaste yuha najin" or "stands with a good voice. I am blessed to have my connection to him and his wonderful family. Wopila Tanka (great thanks) Andy x
Rev. Dr. Joseph D. Brave-Heart D.D., Born on Pine ridge or P.O.W. Camp 44 in 1968, adopted in 1972and raised in Michigan. Learned traditional ceremonies and language from eldersand contemporaries and has lived the traditions for over 20 years, working to createand balance between the two worlds so that the generations may have their cultureand the skills to compete in the modern world. Joseph has been a Pipe Carrier since1988. And his tribal registration number is O.S.T. U-25389
Here is Joe's prayer and it's translation, it is a wonderful prayer and I hope you enjoy it.
Ho, Tunkasila Wakan Tanka ho'iciciya namah'un weLe anpetu kin leciya nitokabya unsiya nawajin na ciyuonihanpi na ciyatanpi yeIkce wicasa emiciyapi na wicasa cimak'ala na wamasa'akesni waunHo, Tunkasila heciya oblaye k'el Ikceya oyate kin iyotiye wicakiyepi na hecel waniyetu ota kin heca. Oyate hena k'un nicincapi kin heunpi a canku otehi manipiOgnas hena k'un owicayakiyapi kta ca acnnunpa wakan wicoh'an kin kiksuyapiktaca tokata wicoicage kin yuhapikte. Tunkasila wowaste na wowakan luhapi na ognashena k'un owicayakiyapikta ca olowan waste na wicoie waste ake ho'iyuwankatuyapi ktelo. Ikceya oyate kin tawacin sutaya yuhapi na ognas canku wastekin iyakpazopi kta ca ake iyuskinyan manipi ktelo. Ho Tunkasila otokahe tanhan yanipi k'u na oihankesni yanipi kta na wowaste ota unyak'upi ca wopilaya unk'unpi yeloMitakuye Oyas'in"
Grandfather Great Spirit, I send a voice hear me, On this day I stand before youhumbly, I honor you and praise you. I am Common man I am small and weak.Grandfather out on the plains the common people are in difficulty and for manywinters it has been so. Those people, your children walk a hard road perhapsyou will help them so they can remember the ways of the sacred pipe so thegenerations to come may have them as well. Grandfather you have goodness and power and perhaps you may help them so they may again send good words and songs above . The Common people have strong wills perhaps if you show them the good road again they will again walk it joyfully.Grandfather, you have lived from the beginning and will live forever you have given us much goodness and we are thankful. All my relations"
Here is the famous speech from Heinmot Tooyalaket (Chief Joseph), Nez Perce which ispired the lyrics to camp 334
"I have carried a heavy load on my back ever since I was a boy. I realized then that we could not hold our own with the white “ men. We were like deer. They were like grizzly bears. We had small country. Their country was large. We were contented to let things remain as the Great Spirit Chief made them. They were not, and would change the rivers and mountains if they did not suit them. I am tired of fighting, our chiefs are all killed, the old men are all dead, the little children are freezing to death. I want to have time to look for my children see how many of them I can find, maybe I shall find them amoung the dead. Hear me my chiefs, I am tired my heart is sick and sad from where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.”
-Heinmot Tooyalaket (Chief Joseph), Nez Perce
The Pine Ridge and Cheyenne River Reservations in South Dakota are part of a larger territory established for the Lakota in 1868 by the United States government and later parceled out to non-Native homesteaders and broken up into smaller tribal reservations. Today, Pine Ridge Reservation is home to about 40,000 Native Americans and Cheyenne Reservation about 20,000. According to the US Census Bureau, the reservations lie within the poorest counties in the United States.
Can you imagine that in the United States of America:
There is a group of people who have the shortest life expectancy of any group in the Western Hemisphere, outside of Haiti?
Families, children and elders go without food on a regular basis?
Families are often without heat during sub-zero temperatures?
People are without employment opportunities or adequate medical facilities?
That is the plight of Lakota People living on reservations in South Dakota.
Life Expectancy is 48 years for men and 52 years for women.
Unemployment is estimated to be 87%
90% live below the Federal poverty level.
The teenage suicide rate is 3 1/2 times higher than the national average.
Infant mortality is five times higher than the national average
Diabetes, heart disease, cancer and malnutrition are epidemic.
Despite hardship and adversity, the Lakota maintain their cultural knowledge and traditions and preserve for their children and for the world, ancient wisdom that contributes to quality of life.
About 1/3 of the population still speak the Lakota language
Almost all maintain their traditional spiritual and cultural beliefs
They are leaders in knowledge of environmental preservation.
They are a sharing society - when one eats, they all eat - or they all do without.
Their exquisite beadwork, quillwork, quilting, sewing, painting is art at its best.
They wish to preserve their culture and find ways to be self-sufficient.
I can only hope that these facts will stir something in your heart and cause you to research and educate yourself and by doing so decide to try to make a difference. We cannot ever hope to restore the lives and ways of the American Indian, just as we cannot undo the genocide wreaked upon them but as we white Europeans caused this misery surely can we play a part in easing the pain.
Please visit http://www.nativeprogress.org and save a life today. Doing good feels good
Mitakuye Oyas'in (we are all related)