LeMoine LaPointe Honored at Second Annual Innovation Team Summit
~Mary Burrows

Following a roundtable discussion about “Gently Embracing a Culture of Active

Participation,” on the previous evening, and a breakfast crash-course in “Traditional

Lakota Governance Structures” presented by Victor Douville of Sinte Gleska University,

Community Conversation host planning teams from Rapid City, Pine Ridge Reservation, and Rosebud Reservation presented facilitator LeMoine LaPointe with an eagle star quilt to honor his impetus and guidance in the Conversations, which have implemented change in these communities and in the world.
Community activist Chas Jewett introduced LeMoine, reminding the gathering that this is his third year of leadership of the Rapid City Community Conversations (RCCC), “after stepping up to the plate to implement the Conversation for change.” Chas thanked the community partners of RCCC, such as Rapid City Regional Hospital (RCRH), that would not be involved in the movement if not for LeMoine.
We are here to transform, and to “stay full of hope”.

The quilt was then presented to Elder LaPointe,

while the honoring song was sung by his sons Thor

and Wakinyan, and the People paid their respects

with handshakes and hugs.
At the first conversation, this writer asked LeMoine if she could take his picture. He very humbly declined, saying the those that had gathered were the important ones, and the focus should be on them.
LeMoine thanked everyone for the unexpected blessings and honors. He recalled and shared that his participation in RCCC began when he was awakened from a dream wherein the Spirits were telling him to “do something,” after he had become aware of a shooting in Rapid City and the disrespect of 57 Native children at a Rapid City Rush hockey game. One of his sons was killed in a random shooting at the age of 18, and on 25 February 2015, he dedicated his efforts to his son as he presented a plan for the future of Rapid City and the world. “The real power is in community,” he said. “We are the ones who elect!” And it is within us to create the future in which we want to live.
The Summit of April 25-28, 2018 will be in commemoration of the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868. The group was encouraged to look at the Treaty and ask, “what can we do with this to make it a Bridge of Peace?” How can we achieve peace in Rapid City? Signers of the Treaty smoked the sacred pipe in an act of solidarity and peace. Our challenge to the world is that peace can remain supreme here! The Treaty of Peace was sanctified by a sacred instrument: the pipe. The pipe was smoked to create the living boundaries of peace: Big Horn Mountains, Platte River, Paha Sapa, for example. Now in this time of change and transition, “Freedom needs to be liberated!” Liberated not by blame but by innovation and positive thinking. “The signers of the Treaty are in our future,” he concluded.
LeMoine LaPointe, Sicangu Lakota, has 35+ years’ experience in engagement-centered facilitation, working with diverse groups and across a broad spectrum of locales. He infuses Indigenous culture and contemporary methods in his consultant work.
Barbara Schneider Foundation
LeMoine LaPointe