Opinion: Coming full-circle in Indian Country
"We Gwich’ins in Arctic Village are located in northern Interior Alaska. After a hard winter days’ work, I watched “The Motorcycle Diaries” at my grandpa’s house. It’s a movie about Che Guevara’s trip through the poverty-stricken indigenous communities of South America. After his trip, he got inspired and became a world-famous revolutionary. I decided to follow his lead. I cashed in my Permanent Fund dividend, found a ride online at Craig’s List, and left to see Indian Country.

With a Vietnam veteran, I drove for three days and nights through Canada. We reached Kadoka, S.D., where my Lakota friend Alex waited up for me till 2 a.m. at her mom’s. I ran into her arms and it was the best hug I ever had. She drove me into Pine Ridge, and I was excited to finally be on the famous reservation.

The next morning, I stepped onto the prairie lands and met her parents and horses. She drove me out into the field; one horse stuck its head inside the truck window. Had it shifted its head to the left it would’ve crushed mine, but I trusted Alex. She drove me around Pine Ridge and spoke of events in the American Indian movement, and I could feel their ghosts. Her mom drove us to Wounded Knee, where I left prayers and a tobacco pouch, then left quietly. I’ll never forget it. We met up with former Chief Herold Selway to speak about the fight to retrieve the Black Hills. His message was: Protect your sacred sites and you protect all others in the world. For the rest of the week, I drove down steep gorges with the Lakota park rangers rounding up buffalo; spoke to the Rosebud Middle School kids; walked and talked with the Native teacher; visited the Veteran Wall, museums, tribal colleges; talked about my trip on Lakota Radio; and visited Pine Ridge tribal headquarters."

Get the Story:
Matt Gilbert: Coming full-circle through Indian Country (The Tunda Drums 10/23)

This story is tagged under:
Search
Share this Story!

You are enjoying stories from the Indianz.Com Archive, a collection dating back to 2000. Some outgoing links may no longer work due to age.

All stories in the Indianz.Com Archive are available for publishing via Creative Commons License: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)