Living in Town

This winter has been seasonably warm. That is to say that 60 degrees is pretty warm for January in the plains of Montana. When I look back I have spent many of my January’s in doors but one winter I decided to go out and camp in the Pryor Mountains for a couple of days. It was cold alright and the night felt like my arms could break of if I left the uncovered too long.

I remember I found a good camp site between some rocks. I could build a fire  up against one of the taller ones  and not only heat the rock but get light off them once the sun went down. All good plans and worked just as I had wanted. The first night I had little wind problems. The nights was still and cold. During the next day I looked around for more wood and keep a pot of snow on the fire for hot water. I was really out there, feeling the environment getting back to the earth.

During the afternoon the wind came up and blew the snow everywhere. My camp site was good, warm and toasty. So I climbed up on the tall rock with the fire below and sat in the heat of the fire smoke and watched the world all around. I watched the wind  catch the snow and blow it like a cloud . The snow made the wind visible and it  would sting your face if your face was not covered with something.

After a couple of days I began to get a little restless and bored looking a the wind and snow. I needed to go look at something else just to get moving.  I decided to move camp so I packed everything up which was very little and I headed out. Before long I was back at my truck so I jumped in and decided I would really move camp to another part of the mountain. I got very comfortable sitting in that truck with the heater on so I decided to go back to town. Once I got to town I went to my house and realized why I live in town.

There are many reasons why I live in town. One is that I like the conveniences, second is I get bored sitting in one place too long, and a third I learned from that trip is; once an animal gets settled down in the winter and I come along and scare it away, it takes a lot of work for that animal to get settled again.  Just because I wanted to see the winter wonderland in the harshest of days could mean life or death for an animal conserving calories or body fat. It is important to understand our environment but it is also important to learn to share the environment with those who live in the spaces we visit. We should become considerate of all things at all times.


Time to Change

Thirty five years ago today I made a life changing decision. I did not realize it at the time how big a change I would make.  I did not realize that the path I was on would have gone nowhere except the grave. I was so interested in the party lifestyle I saw nothing but party  until I had a dream.

In November of 1976, I had a dream that my grandfather came to me and asked me to review my life path. I was not sure what review ment but I looked at my life and those around me and I realized I needed to change or I would end up either in prison or dead. The party was becoming a lifestyle.  So I went to my clan uncle Tom Yellowtail and asked him to send me to the mountain the next summer. He was a perfect choice to lead the way and find a new path because he had quit the demons years before so he knew my struggles. He once told me that when he was young there were only about 15 or so people on the reservation that drank alcohol and everyone knew who they were. He said now there are only about 15 people who did not drink and everyone knows who they are. That was 34 years ago when he said that to me.  Today I don’t know how the numbers add up.

Thirty some years ago with the help of an old man, I sat on a mountain and found the love of the First Maker. I felt the Pulse of the Universe and became conscious. Few believed what came to be but some supported my quest and I thank them for their faith in me.

I understand the life of the party and going with the friends laughing and being crazy, but if the friends take the road of tragedy then you need to change drivers. Trade the party for the ceremony of living. It is a harder road but much more rewarding.

Each person, animal and plant has a potential for the planet and universe.  The understanding that we are all related is not just regarding people. The human is not the center of the Universe, we are part of a pulse; being born, giving birth, living, and dying. The demons job was to keep us from our potential. It is an ancient story visible today in every car crash.

It is such a waste to give your hard-earned money or your per cap away. It is such a shame to destroy your potential and support those who want to destroy you. Remember that there are choices as seen at the center pole of the Sun Dance. You can get up and dance or lay in your bed moaning.

For those of you who have faced the demon and won,  I salute you. For those of you that struggle with the demons, I give you my hand to help you up, for those of you who are the families of those who struggle,  I give you my prayers.

We need each other to become the people we are in the future.  We need to repair the hoop that was broken.



I have been rereading material that I was once quite fluent about. Stories I was told by my grandfather. The stories are regarding the beginning of time and the setting of the directions. Who is first and that sort of thing.  As I was reading I thought about how my grandfather would always add that this is how I was to view things when making decisions. He would always remind me that I should never think about myself but that I should include myself in the family. As I write some times I feel strange writing the word I , because of his insistence that I am, we.  ( Intended to say it that way) That is We are Tribal and not solo, alone in the world. So often I hear the phrase “we are all related” To me that means everything even those that are gone from this reality. We are taught to think four generations ago and seven generations ahead. Thinking like that holds us in this time or now.

While remembering the old stories, I  to understand a couple of things: 1. We have been influenced for a long time in regards to the powers and spirits.  We have blended the basics for others to understand our ways, and created a different idea of the beginning. 2.  The complexity of the Peoples of the past in understanding what was needed to fashion the Creation has not been empowered to our time. Our old people were a treasure beyond measure and their value will never be considered as truth. and measured as equal to the dominate society.

I encourage everyone to know the stories of the beginning of their people. Teach the stories to the young and continue the cycle of our knowledge.











Why People Cry at the Send off of an Elder

I remember the first time I was asked to attend a send off for an elder. I was younger than I am now of course and I really did not understand much of the proceedings. As I remember it was 6 below zero F. and yet people were out side at the grave site. I remember there was a great deal of crying from both men and women. At one point there was a death song sung by a solo singer and the crying became wailing. The emotion was over powering and I began to cry.
Over the past fifty years I have attended many more send offs for both young and old. I have officiated quite a few as well. Over the past few weeks I spent time with an elder in the United Kingdom. The woman is the mother of a family member of mine and has cancer. It is said she has but a few months to live if not weeks.
Over the holiday season I visited with her about her youth and the war. She told me she lived in Liverpool as a young girl moving to London to have a try at a singing career. She was told to scrap that idea and began working for a television network.
Her stories are as robust as any Indigenous person I have spoken to in my life just different.
l have to say that when our elders go, a great deal of history goes with them and that is why so many people cry at a send off for an elder.


Dreams 2

When I was in the Andes this past winter I met people that I felt were waiting for a dream to unfold. I was told by my grandfather that during my life there would be a great change. The funny thing is I have seen many changes that are not technology. I have seen the end of some species without ever seeing them or knowing their names. I have seen a loss of power in the ceremonies because the leaders have forgotten their lines. I have seen men and women vie for power and people argue driven by drugs in their minds. I have seen the comeback of the wolf, buffalo, eagle and Indigenous people.
What I have seen people come to the ceremonial pole and forget why they came. They have forgotten to meet the sun in the morning; they have forgotten to say good night. I think that if a great change that Indigenous people of the south and north have understood is coming the rest of the world will expect a light show and fireworks.
It is a time of the blending of light and water. It is a time of Indigenous work in the world not to control but to flow with and generate environmental awareness.
I am grateful to have met the people of the south. I hope they are watering the seeds and the change they expect will come in time to grow. That we learn to flow with time rather than damage the fabric, that we find the softness and become less afraid, that we feel the pulse of the Universe rather than become impulsive in emotion.
Some people think that dreams are a door way to a different teaching. It is time to awaken from the dream and share with the earth the moisture of love.




I spoke with the old man when I was young and asked him about dreams. He had an interesting take on most things and dreams were no different.
He told me that dreams are understandings that we cannot realize on this level of time. It was a simple answer and over the years I had tried to understand what he meant by learning from my dreams and trying to unfold them in this time.
In my travels I have heard many dreams from many people, some of the dreams should have been unfolded but the dreamer was not awake enough to bring the dream into reality. When holding a ceremony we wait to learn from the dream to establish things are appropriate.
There are some people who are the dreamer, that is they walk the walk of dreaming for the people as a tool to understanding, but these people are rare. Not only are they rare most people who ask the dreamer to unfold the dream rarely do as they are told. That is, if a person is to hold a ceremony and they ask the dreamer to help, the dreamer will unfold the ceremony as true to form as possible, but then it is our job to do as we are told. That is called keeping the faith. However over my life time I have seen many people change what the dreamer says and make things fit according to money, ego, or gender. This creates a tsunami effect to the fabric of the ceremony.
I have also seen many people believe that every eagle that flies over head is their personal messenger. They believe they are so connected to the earth that every earth quake has announced themselves to them. They think that every dream has a plan for them and them alone. It is an overwhelming mistake to believe this way. The eagle flies, the dream unfolds but is this path of life or is it an announcement to awaken.
When the dream comes you need to open it to someone who has the power to awaken the dream. Not everyone has the power to open a dream yet so many think they understand and flop around giving people false understanding.
My advice is to find a person who has the power to unfold the dream, follow the path and enjoy the awakening. Don’t be afraid enjoy the call and relax.



This past week one of our most famous hero’s name was called out to signal the killing of a world terrorist. In my youth I remember jumping off places yelling the word as I few through the air because I had heard the men coming back from war say that is what they did when they jumped from planes. As I grew older I learned about the man whose name I was using and I thought if I had gone splat on the ground what a wonderful name to have said in my last moments. The true history of our famous warrior has been used by the military for many wars. To me the warrior was never beaten even though he surrendered. He was never allowed to go home and he is remembered in war by warriors. The Indigenous rights of our dead should be honored not used in disgrace. Our past warriors went to war to save the people, a way of life and to protect the old and young. Our current warriors are doing the same today. People need to understand the impact of diversity and carry the understanding to all aspects of growth. To many Native people some names are negative and other names are positive. No one jumps from a plane and cries out Custer unless they want failure.

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January 2019
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