A few weeks ago, riders, speakers, visitors and families from Pine Ridge, Wind River, Dine/Navajo, Arapaho, Shoshone, Florida, Houston, Puerto Rico and Denver gathered for four days in Sedalia, CO. A camp was set up, riders on horseback rode in each day from the four directions and lessons were learned . . . . . as they always are when we come together in this way.
Lesson #1: We all are better when there is diversity in our camp/gatherings/communities – diverse in ages, genders, backgrounds, races, cultural and religious traditions.
Lesson #2: There is wisdom from all directions. No one owns the Sacred. Possesses the feather. The drumbeat. The horse. Indigenous wisdom is rooted in lessons from elders (and youth) from tribes, clans, traditions, religions, and cultures from all over the world. We are stronger as a human species when wisdom, traditions and culture from all directions is shared, welcomed and embraced.
Lesson #4: Iktomi (the spider), the Coyote and the Trickster are often present in camp amidst these sorts of gatherings. They usually make an appearance and often times interact with those already teetering on the edge. The dance with the Trickster is one of opportunity, but also danger.
Lesson #5: Trauma is also very often present in these sorts of camps and gatherings. Of course, it is -- given our shared history and humanity. Iktomi and coyote are drawn to those carrying the trauma most intensely and so, one need not look far to see, hear and feel the injury of the past gather around the fire.
Lesson #6: This is generational work: Alleviating poverty. Reconciliation. Indigenous wisdom. It’s complicated; the way forward riddled with mistrust, trauma, pain and complexity. It requires careful thought, intention, persistence and resilience.
Lesson #7: True reconciliation of harm done requires careful, deliberate and persistent effort. And the ability to forgive . . . . Basil Brave Heart teaches us that forgiveness is only possible by looking at the Divinity within. It's also true that efforts to help cannot be fueled by guilt, pity or a "feeling sorry for."
And so, we live in daily gratitude for those who walk and ride with us. Who travel, stay and visit with us at these sorts of gatherings. And for those who have supported this work for so many years.
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