Yellow Bird: Change comes but we can't forget past

"I have to smile when I think about my childhood and how different it was. The very core of how we thought and lived was different, I've come to realize. And just as I thought my father was out of sync, I think that I, too, am grasping to hold onto old ways and wonder if it's too late, and I should let go.

If I use the Battle of the Little Big Horn as a marker, I can see our metamorphosis from Indian ways to this age's technology and I add here I'm still trying to get into the technology world.

There are times when Indians still are seen as people of the 1800s. Other people expect certain cultural ways and languages to be a part of all of our lives.

I say this because a young friend who lives in Grand Forks told me he was asked to say a prayer for a meeting, and they wanted him to pray in the Lakota language. He was uncomfortable, he said.

Why do they want you to say the prayer in that language? I asked. Are these Lakota people who will understand, or is it just because the prayer then will sound Indian?

A prayer is for the people to the Creator, and that's what's important.

He smiled.

Sometimes, I am so proud of the way our young people have fought back to hold the Indian people's place among the races. We have changed, just like our parents and grandparents, and will continue to do so. But that doesn't mean we forget who we are."

Get the Story:
Embrace change, but don't forget past (The Grand Forks Herald 6/23)

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