The Wounds of Culture and the Wounds of Men

I feel compelled here to repeat the Fools Crow quote:

“The Power and the Ways are given to us to be passed on to others. To think anything else is pure selfishness. We get more by giving them away, and if we do not give them away, we lose them.”

                                                                Chief Frank Fools Crow (Mails 2001:11)

as quoted by Suzanne Owens in

The Appropriation of Native American Spirituality

Yes, some men carry deep wounds derived from the dominant culture and for them I carry deep compassion and regret that I cannot help them. And the impulse to destroy as revenge is also human and understandable. It is also something that we can rise above, because to linger in shadow, secretly hating, creates damage to the soul, and the souls of those around one, and it is fundamentally selfish.

Tens of thousands of men have safely received benefit from the P&R, been reminded to reorganize themselves in service to others, rather than to oneself, and one’s own wounds. And we remain supported by our Indigenous Antecedents.

We all tell ourselves stories. The Problem is when we start to believe them, and project them onto the world. Rather than see things as they are we try to turn things into what we believe them to be and make up stories about them. And we try to hurt those upon whom we project when they do not conform to our expectations based on what we believe.

Decades ago NWTA Founder Rich Tosi said that this outfit’s not for everyone. I believe he remains correct.

Shadows, Fear, and Rage assaulted MKP US and the strategy of the MKP US Board response was to hurt itself, and hurt the Few, without even a Thank You and a Fare Thee Well. Although individual Board Members made some calls to this man and the Leadership of LKSI, the Board never invited the LKS to talk with them. And the Leaders would not respond to requests for a conversation.

The disrespect shown to the LKSI by the MKP US Board (and the Leaders) has cut deep. No warnings, no consultation, just cutting away and erasure. An apology—a logical explanation, at least—might be in order here. Perhaps hundreds of men have already left the Project. It might yet be possible to bring them back.

It seems to me, and many others, that the Board has been bullied and the Leader Body has been buffaloed.

It is not yet clear whether or not the Board’s sacrifice has been in vain.

Finally, there has been some talk around MKP about MKP seeking out permissions to do what we do from all the Lakota tribes and now all the “Sioux” people. I think this means all the Dakota people and Nakota peoples too.

This is a visionary idea, to be sure, but it is not a Traditional idea. It is also a colonialist, or possibly “post-colonialist” idea—another attempt by “modern” thinkers who seem to believe they know better than the Traditionalist way of doing things. It seems certainly to me to be a vision from an assimilated perspective, rather than a Traditional perspective. Bear in mind that many, if not most, Indigenous peoples in these tribes are no longer practicing Traditionalists. Assimilation has been working for 150 years, and Indigenous people are not monolithic.

In so far as I understand the Traditional perspective, if a Traditional Chief makes a decision that authorizes someone to do something only that Chief, or his successor, has the power to revoke that permission. If another Traditional Chief disagrees with that decision, it is his responsibility to go to the first Chief and then convince him of the incorrectness of his course of action. The second Chief does not have the authority to overturn the decision of the first Chief, any more than the first Chief has the authority to overturn a decision made by the second Chief.

This visionary idea—the idea that it is possible to bring the “Sioux” nation together to judge what MKP does, let alone that this is something that MKP should try to do, would be a tragic effort doomed to failure and I hope MKP will not use any of its limited resources pursuing it.

By the way, being called “Sioux” is insulting to many of the Lakota people I know. It is a word that means “snakes”, a word that some of their ancient Indigenous enemies called them and French trappers appropriated…

Email the Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *