Reflections on the Reservation

Cheyenne River

Yesterday I gave a lecture that was a combination history lesson/what I did on my summer vacation. The talk included photos that I took from visits to reservations all around the country but focused on my one month stay in September 2013 on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation, South Dakota.

I can describe my experience more accurately as “The Month that Changed my Life Forever”

You see I have been in and around reservations since I am four years old. I have been immersed in the culture and study of Indian Country for over 40 years. It’s time to give back. It’s time to educate and advocate. It’s time to lend my voice to all of the people’s voices that have been shouting their story for generations.

We will help encourage, empower, embrace and join in the struggle for self-determination, self-governance and sovereignty.

A quote from a recent speech given at a scientific conference fits our goal of awareness perfectly “The curve of knowledge is when you know something so well that you forget what it was like not to know it.”

Let us be so conversational in the history that once we deliver the words they resonate so completely that the student will not remember a time before the message.

That is the most important thing to remember about teaching. The listener can ignore the lesson, but they will never be able to unlearn it.

Live a life of learning, experience the satisfaction of a life of teaching.

~Lew Hastings

Native Now Foundation

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