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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


September 20, 2003 - Issue 96


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Yale Graduate Honored at Rosebud


ROSEBUD — Go out and seek the weapons of the white man, cultivate that arsenal and use it to empower your people. These were the words spoken to Wizipan Garriott by his Unci Edna Little Elk when he left for Yale University four years ago.

He is the son of Charlie Garriott and Elizabeth Little Elk of Grass Mountain and graduated with a degree in American History/Pre-Law from the Ivy League institution in May 2003. He was honored by his family last month in a special ceremony held in conjunction with the 127th Annual Rosebud Fair.

He served as the President of the Association of Native Americans at Yale. He was also awarded the Rita Lipson Cup — one of four cups conferred by the Ezra Stiles College for outstanding contributions to student life.

He was the founding student of the Grass Mountain Demonstration Home School where he completed his elementary education. He graduated from St. Francis Indian High School in 1998 as Class Salutatorian and Warrior of the Year.

In addition, he was named Indian Student of the Year in 1998 by the National Indian School Board Association.

He is the only indigenous person from a reservation, and the first Sicangu Lakota, to graduate from Yale University. Also, he was one of 12 Morris K. Udall Native American Congressional Interns in the summer of 2002 and completed his internship under Senator Tom Daschle. In addition, Wizipan has worked on international indigenous rights issues, such as helping to write various policy statements which Lakota elders had him present to the United Nations in Geneva, switzerland Unci Little Elk stressed the importance of feeding the sacred food wasna to our children. “I fed him wasna to strengthen the spirit of his heart and for his overall well-being. The sacred food helped him in his pursuit of this great accomplishment - a diploma from Yale University,” she said.

"When a mother feeds her children she is putting Wo'ope (Ancient Spiritual Law) into the food she serves and that is why it is very important to feed our children the wasna because it helps them to develop into proper human beings,"said Dinah Crow Dog. "If we don't feed our children the right food it may affect their development as Lakota people."

A circle of star quilts was laid upon the ground in the Adam Bordeaux Memorial Arena at Rosebud. The Crazy Horse singers rendered an honor song as Wizipan was escorted by spiritual leaders Sam Moves Camp and Dinah Crow Dog into the circle.

The Garriott/Little Elk family distributed wasna and gifts to all who attended the honoring.

They also acknowledged several individuals who were instrumental in supporting the educational goals Wizipan set to achieve. Including Sherry Red Owl-Neiss, Sam Moves Camp, Dinah Crow Dog, Lila Kills In Sight, Tillie Black Bear, Ollie Napesni, Albert White Hat, Sr., Alice Four Horns and Rosalie Little Thunder.

Also Rick & Anna Chavolla, Dr. Ed Valandra, Jack & Sue Davey, Caroline Kills In Sight, Marie Kills In Sight, OST President John Steele, Paul Baines and Lorna Bullard, Lori Walking Eagle, Don Moccasin and Maggie Mackichan.

Currently, Wizipan resides in Washington, DC where he is employed by Senator Tom Daschle’s office. He plans to enter law school at Columbia University in New York after gaining some experience working with policy issues, especially in the area of economic development.

Rosebud Indian Reservation Map

Maps by Travel

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  Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.  

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