It is difficult to even decide where to begin in writing a comment about the recent racist slur uttered by President Donald Trump at a ceremony that was supposed to honor three surviving Navajo veterans of World War II.
These heroes, like members of other tribes including the Lakota, served as communications aides for American forces in the war, as had Cherokee and Choctaw tribesmen in World War I. Despite discrimination and racism, Native Americans have always served with distinction in the military, honoring their country and their elders.
Photo credit: screengrab from CNN video
We are so grateful to all of you for your support throughout 2017.Because of your kindness, we've been able to provide wood for home heat to elders in need. We were able to support the 2017 Crazy Horse ride by providing food and drinks. Plus, we've established the first Lacrosse team on Pine Ridge, the Oglala Wild. The Charging Buffalo House is nearly complete, thanks to many who have worked so hard to raise funds. All this, while feeding about 500 families each month with fresh, healthy food that is unavailable to them from any other programs. Your generosity has also helped feed the children of the Allen Youth Center and the Rosebud Soup kitchen. Every one of you and every single donation has benefited our support of the Oglala Lakota.
By this time you will have enjoyed the Thanksgiving feast and the company of family and friends. We would not want to let this special holiday weekend pass without letting you know how much we are thankful for you. Together we share a dream with the Lakota people, to end hunger and provide them with sustainable resources to care for their people. Thank you for supporting and being part of the projects that make this dream become a reality. Together, we and the Lakota, are building a model for a better and more respectful way to help people become self-sufficient.
In addition, you maintain our belief in the goodness of humankind. We thank you for all that you do. May the joy of the holidays be yours during this season.
~Jeri Baker and the whole One Spirit Staff
As we all look forward to the Thanksgiving celebration and its indulgent pleasures, it is important to remember that many of our fellow American citizens face a far bleaker prospect. Nowhere could this be more true than on the frigid, wind-swept prairie of the Pine Ridge Reservation.
This writer was raised nearby on the plains of Wyoming, and can recall the frigid gusts that cut through clothing and chill to the very marrow of one's bones. In my case, I could rush out of the gales into a warm, well-heated and insulated house where warm food awaited. For many of the Lakota on Pine Ridge, the story is far more grim.