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Old 10-15-2006, 06:00 PM   #1
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Arrow White Buffalo Calf Woman Society holds awareness march

White Buffalo Calf Woman Society holds annual awareness march
by Dr. Archie B. Beauvais, Correspondent
Lakota Country Times - 10 October 2006
http://www.lakotacountrytimes.com/

Rate of violence against Indian women is 23.4 per 1,000, while the rate for other women is 8.1 per 1,000

ROSEBUD, SD - Some 40 marchers or more participated in the 20th annual "domestic violence awareness" walk sponsored by the White Buffalo Calf Woman Society. The walk which originated at the Rosebud I.H.S. hospital coincided with the month of October being designated as "Domestic Violence Awareness" month nationwide and on the Rosebud. The Charging Horse singers sang a traditional encouragement song, while other songs were also sung along the way.

A couple of banners were carried by the lead walkers as the first stop was at the Rosebud Law Enforcement Services building or the Rosebud Police Department. Judge Sherman Marshall was presented with a plant representing life, while WBCWS Executive Director, Tillie Black Bear, explained that the police department and other first responders were vital links for those who are subjected to domestic violence. Further-more, she explained that the WBCWS has been in existence for thirty years and several RST tribal resolutions have reaffirmed their right to apply for domestic violence grant funding.

Nicole Witt of the WBCWS staff explained that the shelter has four different grants which fund its domestic violence activities. The grants are; Stop Violence against Indian Women, an Encourage Arrests Grant, the Tribal Coalition grant, and the Safety for Indian Women from Sex Offenders grant.

Edwin Young spoke on behalf of the Rosebud police department and briefly explained their role. Lino Spotted Elk of the RST courthouse spoke about his responsibility for ensuring that offenders who engage in domestic violence fulfill their court imposed sentences and obligations.

The walkers then marched on while Charging Horse sang an 'akicita' song. The next stop was at the cemetery east of the old hospital where Sicangu leader, Chief Spotted Tail is buried. As the walkers arrived at the RST tribal council chambers, the event was concluded with bottles of water, sandwiches and a brown bag with Doritos, a drink, cereal bar and an orange. Meredith Kills In Water, who is employed at the Allstop convenience store in Rosebud, said that she has been on every walk since they first started. She said, "It is good for the heart. Even if one is in good health, it is good to do it for those cannot walk. I support men and women to have a better life. We can take a walk and see the wildlife and then, we can go home and be in a better mood."

RST council representative Russell Eagle Bear addressed the assembled group in the absence of the RST administration and leadership who were on travel to Sacramento, CA to attend the National Congress of American Indians conference.

Eagle Bear was quite articulate as he began in Lakota and then, moved to English. In Lakota he began, "Le anpetu ki yakahnige. Le woableza unciciukte." "You understand what this day is about. We will get some insight" he said, and continued, "We have violence and it is sad to see that our leaders in history had a hand in guiding us. Today, we kind of lost something. We're walking for guidance….we pray for our relatives and those having difficulty. Everyday someone is in need of prayer. Women took care of us. They nourished us. We learned many things through our grandmothers and mothers….you are creating awareness and it is our responsibility as older people."

Black Bear acknowledged the presence of Lakota elder Betty Red Owl who was celebrating her 77th birthday as Charging Horse sang a birthday song. Audrey Cordry of Mission was present as was Oglala elder Elaine Quiver.

The Charging Horse drum was comprised of Lester Kills The Enemy, Joe Flying, Gaylord Two Eagle and Elton Black Spotted Horse. Kills The Enemy explained that five songs they sang were, an encouragement song, a 'wacink sapa' song, 'akicita' song, a memorial song for Nida Eagle Elk, birthday song and then, the encouragement song again.

Eagle Bear presented an RST Executive Proclamation in observance of Domestic Violence Month. The theme was, "Together we can end violence in our homes, society and in the community…"
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--Abe Conklin, Ponca/Osage (1926-1995)
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