Contact us at: email@example.com
~ Corey Flood
I’m sitting here trying to figure out a
way to write this in a good light. This
subject has always infuriated me
and also caused me tremendous
sadness from how truly ignorant our
country's mindset is concerning our
history and very existence. I don’t know how many people I have met in my life that are misinformed about this country’s actions, motivations and also total lack of morality in handling the sacred pipe in councils with our leaders from the past, including alcohol around sacred items- disrespecting each thing they touched and knowing all along the words they spoke were lies, and also knowing the esteem we place in the sacredness that only the truth be spoken while in front of the pipe and in council. I am 60 years old. I graduated high school in 1980 on the honor roll, and also have College education. I can excuse the inaccurate teachings and ramblings of a High School teacher, but when it carries over to College educators I have no words to describe the frustrations my Lakota thoughts are currently in turmoil over. I remember arguing with many, many teachers about the numerous strong and intelligent chiefs of different Red Nations that roamed this once beautiful landscape, and only to have them speak in disbelief about the corrections I made to their so called truths about who and what America was. I cannot tell anyone about the past American Presidents or their actions, what they did, what they achieved for their people, if they would have helped or treated our people with respect and dignity I would have surely showed interest. That statement says it all about what I feel concerning this countries role in their dealings with the honorable men who led our various tribal nations and the absolute disdain they had for our beautiful culture that’s why I refused to learn their side of the story.
I was blessed tremendously with the amount of time I was allowed to spend with my elders and especially my Grandfather Bernard Flood Sr. and my Grandmother Ada Little Money Flood, who were both born in 1900. I spent many nights listening to them speak about the Lakota and Cheyenne triumphs, and their horrifying losses from the massacres and illness spread to our families, and especially the talks of our holy men and great peace and war leaders. I spent many nights listening to them speak in Lakota and English when I would struggle to catch their meanings. The light from the kerosene lanterns, and the smell of sweet grass and cedar from the wood fire making these moments magic for me, nor were there ever a time I had any reason to doubt the words from the Lakota full blood relatives of mine, and also the numerous visitors that were constantly sharing stories and the strong coffee from my Grandmother’s wood fire.
I went to an I.H.S. clinic yesterday to get medication for my sinus infection. It did not cross my mind or enter my thoughts that I would be arguing with a medical doctor about our great one, the one they call CRAZY HORSE. I could not believe the conversation that would unfold. This Doctor had read a book about our Crazy Horse, and their Custer, that was written to compare how their lives were almost identical. I had read the book years ago and threw it away in disgust. In my mind Custer was nothing more than a person who earned his honors in their Civil war in long range shooting with cannons and guns. It takes real courage to be a military genius like Crazy Horse was, and to fight with a lance and bow in close quarters, and to earn the many victories, and coup in hand to hand fighting.
There are many differences with both of these men. One of them was the vanity Custer had with his appearance, he decorated his military issue like only a dandy would, Crazy Horse was a modest man and did not draw attention to himself. Custer had the reputation as a woman killer and one who lied through his teeth. Crazy Horse was a deeply spiritual man who prayed and sought out direction from Tunkasila in regards to his people’s welfare, and was the man who so very many followed, who with ease defeated America’s greatest military minds countless times. In my mind there is no one whose lives compare to Crazy Horse.
Custer isn’t the only person or topic we talked about there were more. This Doctor had his opinions on what he felt was best for all Native people, and the lifestyle he felt we all lived by. It surprised me that he knew little about how healthy and strong our people and all tribal nations were when we had our relative- Tatanka- who gave his flesh for us, and the true reasons the military encouraged the extermination of our relative, to break the will of the warriors who they couldn’t defeat, and who also fought a defensive war protecting their families, while the American military had their families safe somewhere else. I cannot begin to tell you the pride I have for these warriors and especially the women and children who had the bravery of the mightiest man. It surprised me also about the disdain he had for the high alcohol rate among our people and the real reason alcohol was brought to the treaty councils from the representatives of the so called Great Father, and also the many traders who used alcohol when dealing with our leaders, and the similar ways of deceit and selfishness in their agendas.
I guess my point is even a Doctor who is not Native wants to preach his views on the history of not only his people’s role and lifestyle in history but also ours. I really admire what this publication stands for, maybe someday a certain non Native who has some type of power will pass these stories written by Native hands and also Native thoughts along to someone who will share the words and wisdom with the world. I feel strongly that a Native American History book written by a Native should be sanctioned in the educational format to be taught along side of what their views are, but our story needs to not only be told but also acknowledged with the pride and respect our ancestors deserve. Pilamaya pelo, Corey Flood
Photo Credit: Nora Moore Lloyd