When asked, why should the National Parks give you control of this land? Monica responded, "because its OUR LAND, our culture, and were going to be the best national park in the U.S." Monica Terkelson enjoys exploring the Badlands on her horse and firmly believes that "The land is me and I am the land."
"The indigenous peoples of North America- the First
Americans -have woven rich and diverse threads into
the tapestry of our Nation's heritage. Throughout
their long history on this great land, they have faced
moments of profound triumph and tragedy alike
… we recognize their many accomplishments, contributions,
and sacrifices, and we pay tribute to their
participation in all aspects of American society."
– President Obama October 30, 2009.
We received the following from the White House announcing a new website that can be used as a resource for tribal leaders. Take a look and let us know what you think! Also be sure to add comments to their website and let the White House know any recommendations you have. Pilayamayelo:
Dear Tribal Leader:
The White House is pleased to announce the launch of “Winning the Future: President Obama and the Native American Community.” This webpage is meant to serve as another tool to help Indian Country navigate the federal government and learn about how the President’s Agenda is helping to win the future for Native Americans.
Since his first day in office, President Obama has worked to strengthen the government-to-government relationship between the United States and tribal governments in order to improve the quality of life for all Native Americans. Working with tribal leaders through meaningful consultation, the Administration and Indian Country have made significant progress in several areas. We made sure the Recovery Act included many job-creating investments for Indian Country. Our health care reform permanently authorized the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, and the President signed into law the Tribal Law and Order Act, which will help fight crime in Indian Country. Furthermore, the Administration finally settled the longstanding legal claims in the Cobell litigation and the lawsuit brought by Native American Farmers against the United States Department of Agriculture. To mark the launch of this webpage, we are highlighting a guest blog post by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on the recent court approval of the historic settlement in the Cobell lawsuit, “A Historic Step Towards True Trust Reform.”
All of these accomplishments have provided more opportunity and security for Native Americans, but they are just part of our ongoing effort to create stronger tribal communities throughout Indian Country. This new webpage is designed to be a centralized forum to share information about those ongoing efforts, while continuing to improve our government-to-government relationship.
At a recent White House listening session, tribal leaders asked for a centralized list of offices within the federal government that were responsible for serving Indian Country and upholding the federal trust responsibility. Accordingly, the new White House webpage contains a Resources Tab designed to be a toolkit for tribal leaders that brings together over 25 different agencies and departments into one, navigable location.
As the issues confronting Indian Country often exist across many different agencies, this resource is intended to help tribal leaders navigate the entire federal system. Additionally, as we expand and improve the webpage, periodic e-mail updates will keep Indian Country updated and informed of the issues that affect your communities on a day-to-day basis. We encourage everyone to share this webpage and to sign up for our email updates.
Charles W. Galbraith
The White House
“Alcoholism is at the core of all our problems. To begin any kind of positive change you have to look at how to fix the alcohol problem on our reservation” Karen Pourier believes that the problems and issues on our reservation (ex. poverty, unemployment, abuse, suicide) can be linked to alcohol in some way or another.
“We Oglalas do the best we can to take care of our own people. This little piece of land we have is our home. We don’t want to be anywhere else. This is all we have left. We know it is up to us Oglalas to make it happen. No one else really seems to give a #%*!, because they are too busy taking care of themselves most of the time.
The light at the end of the tunnel is to look at all of our problems, to bring them forward, to admit they exist, and then address them. We need to bring these things out in the open and express ourselves instead of acting like nothing is wrong. If we can do this, then that’s when the healing starts.”
~ Oglala tribal member – policeman, father, son
This is a response to the invitation to the upcoming May 4th and May 5th “Visioning & Listening Sessions” and it is something to ponder:
Visioning and listening and expressing our self-being as Lakota people… the past, present and future and the interest of the Lakota people, young and old, on how they feel and what they express from within themselves, as spiritual being(s). Sometimes we forget the past because of so much hardship; the present because of the inconceivable; the future of looking at all the achievement that we cannot seem to hold in our hands right now for our Lakota people to build a better future and bring it forth.
Just a coincidence, I was just thinking about this morning, what can we do as Lakota people, to find that missing piece in our lives that we left forgotten? I look at the children, all day long, and wonder ”Will there will be a better life, when my life has ended?” Every young and old should have the benefit to feel good one day and know that there is a chance to change their spiritual being to find place in the world and make a difference.
- Oglala Lakota citizen – father, businessman, thinker