Canku Ota

(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America

December 16, 2000 - Issue 25


Oomaka Tokatakiya

by Vicki Lockard

 artwork by Glen Hopkinson Tough Going

In mid-December, the Oomaka Tokatakiya (Future Generations) will begin a three hundred mile journey across the bitterly cold South Dakota terrain. This will be the seventh winter they have traveled on horseback in memory of Chief Big Foot and his people.

On December 28, 1890, over 350 Lakota were killed at Wounded Knee, S.D. Most were elderly men, women, and children from either Big Foot's Mniconjou band or Sitting Bull's Hunkpapa band. Today, many people living on the Standing Rock, Cheyenne River, and Pine Ridge reservations are descendants of those murdered at Wounded Knee.

Black Elk, Lakota elder and spiritual leader, spoke about Wounded Knee. "I did not know how much was ended. A People's dream died there in the bloody mud. The nation's hoop is broken and scattered."

In an effort to mend the Sacred Hoop of the Lakota people, many elders encouraged the Oomaka Takatakiya to take this spiritual horseback ride. The ride covers the same terrain Chief Big Foot's and Sitting Bull's people crossed while fleeing American soldiers in their efforts to reach the Pine Ridge Agency.

This year's historic ride will end at Wounded Knee Creek on December 28. Once there, riders will hold a memorial ceremony at their ancestors' gravesites.

Said one rider, veteran Karen , "Many non-Indians still believe in Manifest Destiny, that [we] Lakota must, inevitably, assimilate and give up [our] beautiful ways." She believes the great culture and undying spirit of the Lakota people are why the Oomaka Tokatakiya take this ride. They are following the traditions of their people.

"It is with respect, honor and modesty that these young riders, the Future Generations, make this perilous the people will NOT forget." says.



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Canku Ota is a copyright of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.


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