First and foremost, I want to openly say that I am truly honored to be a Native American woman and a member of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe. I take my culture and position as a tribal member very seriously. I also do my best to represent my people through my education, actions, and other respectable encounters.
However, I am not sure I can read another derogatory comment from our own people addressed right back at each other filled with hurt. I am a firm believer in treating people the way I want to be treated but I also believe that as adults we are responsible for being role models and respectable individuals for our younger generation.
I have no doubt that there is an array of talent and qualified individuals running for different offices on the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe and across our beautiful homelands but it hurts my heart as a young tribal member seeing others tear one another down in hopes to prove their point or to find so-called justice for others in effort to gather votes or cause tension. It is so easy to say that we want our younger generation to move back home and to work for our Native American people but are these accusations and derogatory acts creating a welcoming place in where our youth would want to join in on this hatred?
We have got to go back to what our elders instilled in us in being Native American people of loyalty, honesty, and respect. Every election year, tribes across South Dakota spend more time putting each other down than lifting each other up. Ask yourself, would you want to vote for someone who has more energy and time to find hurtful facts and allegations or would you rather vote for someone who takes the time to explain their passion, dedication, and determination for making our tribes a better place? There are young people like myself who would be absolutely honored to come back and share our earned education, wealth of knowledge, and passion for our people but quite frankly whenever an election comes along, our reservations have so many individuals who create a very disheartening image that does not seem inviting whatsoever.
As a young tribal member who is not able to vote given my location, I would ask my people to try and find it in yourself to act in a way that you would be honored to have our younger generation follow. I completely understand that it is easy to be a critic, but it is not the critic who counts; it’s the one who actually spends him or herself in a worthy cause. Please think twice this election and realize that for every finger you point, two are pointing back at you. Thank you for your time.
”Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.”