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"You cannot kill when you carry the c’anunpa. You cannot carry the c’anunpa if you have blood on your hands. That means, you cannot carry the c’anunpa if you murdered somebody in cold blood, if you murdered a defenseless and peaceful human being. Having blood on your hands does not apply to those who must kill as warriors, as soldiers in war. Killing in war is war and there have been wars throughout history. A soldier is not a murderer. My grandpa always said, ‘When you are a warrior fighting in a battle, kill your enemy without hating them. That way, if they happen to kill you in the battlefield, your spirit will go into the heavens like an arrow shot into the sky ...’”
    ---Excerpt from "About the Lakota Sacred Red Stone C’anunpa Lakota Spiritual Leader and Head Man, David Swallow, Speaks Out on the Lakota Sacred Pipe" <>

By James Starkey

Hau Mitakiepi, Wanbli WiWohpe, he Emaciapilo. Ma Lakota:

I come from People who have always resisted the Wasicu. Also in my Family are those who served the American armed forces. I come from People who gave life, and from People who took life. I come from a People who were, and are, utterly and completely invaded and molested by the Occupier.

Our very ties to the tenets of Identity were even severed. We were held from Knowing and Understanding. We were instead taught dysfunction.
Now, all this time later, oh, but it is a blink of Time's eye, we are mostly Youth. There are only a few tens of thousand of us left. Our Ways are fractured and seem to make no sense to the Youth. We even see the Wasicu has conducted what they termed a "surge" upon the Hunkpapa Youth of the Standing Rock Concentration Camp For Indians.

This term, "surge,” is the same term they used recently when attacking the People of Iraq. What the wasicu saw was an opportunity to criminalize, once again and more completely, the Symptoms of Our Oppression. By doing so, they effectively negate any Natural Leaders arising by introducing them to a lifetime of incarcerations and detainments.

These same Youth, just a few years before, underwent a rash of suicides. They know they are under attack. They know they are being ground right into the dirt by the heel of an Invader. We have never made good slaves. We would rather die than submit. We are so uniquely beautiful we do not even spread the pain. We keep it amongst ourselves. They even hate that about us too. They can never know the simple elegance of being a Lakota, and this infuriates them. We are the living indictments of their ways. They wish we were not alive.

Our Youth face a hard life. Many of them Resist participating with the Occupier, choosing instead to cobble together hard scrabble lives of living on the fringe. These elegant wolves are made to exist as coyotes because they will not succumb to being the wasicu’s dog.

They should all get a Spotted Eagle Feather. Instead, they get them if they graduate from the oppressor’s “schools” (indoctrination centers). If our Youth do want knowledge, they are told to “opagi” or in other words present a C'anunpa or Tobacco first, yet they are hanging themselves up by the neck like Prayer Flags from the very trees.

Now, we see our People commend serving and even killing for the Wasicu Invader while condemning those who make their own Way and walk as Sovereign as they can. How is it better to join “the army” than clique up and be a Real G? How is it worse to Live and Die for what you Represent than to join the 7th Cavalry and invade Nations?

We know Crazy Horse rode through the Black Hills, taking out miners hand to hand. We know Sitting Bull did not even regard the wasicu he defeated as worth keeping record of. We know these two were killed by Them. Nowadays they would call it suicide by cop. We know my own Grandfathers, the White Swans also fought for their Loved Ones. I can even say that one of the last real battles between Them and Us was in 1993, in what They call a prison riot, here in Sioux Falls.

It was a Nakoda, one of our guys, who hit a captain of their prison guards with a baseball bat to start it. He Counted Coup publicly, he deserves a Spotted Eagle Feather. In retaliation, they now torture our Men, Lakota Men, daily in the new prison they built. In fact, I would say one of the main purposes of their “justice system” is to systematically torture the Lakota within us.

So our Men hang themselves now. Why are we so messed up now and we were not just a few generations ago? Do you believe the Invader when he tells you it is because you are “bad,” and he is “good”? It is about time our Ways have Power again. Power instead of rules of control that make no sense to Reality. We need help. We need to see we are not bad People, but are Beautiful People put in a very bad situation we are not even allowed to understand.

We need to know the difference between malfunction and dysfunction. Malfunction is what the Wasicu is about. It is innate to them. Dysfunction is what they cause within us. It is not innate within us, but caused to be.

Now, they have THEIR system (not THE System, for Lakol Wicohan is The System) set up so refined so as to not even be apparent when they torture, rape, and kill us. Our entire lives are slow acts of being tortured, raped, and killed by them, at least the Lakotas I know. If that is the kind of Indian you are too, then the Oyate Underground is with you. Many talk of protocols and rules and control, but few say “Watch.”

Some talk of “Takuskanskan” but nobody speaks of “Tun.” Tun means manifestation. It means walking the talk. That is what the Youth respond to, so someone could be calling them “Hasapa” all day for dressing like a G, but that same “Tradish” guy is dressed like John Wayne.

Me, I say Be Real. That is what will Re-Awaken the Power of Wohpe and make the C'anunpa effective again.

Pay attention to what you are doing, whatever it is you are doing, EVEN slangin’, bangin’ or whatever, Learn from it.

See what is Really going on, and then remember this one thing: Your People.

Hec'etu welo,
/s/ Wanbli WiWohpe
An Elk Dreamer.
Sioux Falls, S.D.


I, too, lived the Life behind bars. In remembering our Oyate, especially the young ones, they need someone like you to show them the good way. It does no one any good to fight the oppression you feel; to live, one must learn to stay free, and regain power through knowledge and education. It took me four terms through every prison in Nebraska, beginning in 1981 and ending in 2005, to see this. I, too, preferred combat, but all it accomplished for me was more time away from my freedom. The only way we will become powerful again is to adopt similar things such as education, and followup. Street-smarts does not work out here. To be able to show us by your actions, you can and must help turn peoples' lives around. What we need is someone here in person, living the Life, fighting in a wise and peaceful way. Our People are beautiful, we are smart, teach us that we are on the verge of suicide, and searching for something or someone to believe in. I know that is what I wanted most in life when I was young. Now, all you currently know—language, spiritual knowledge, prayers, letters or phone calls—none can take us above what we already know. It's brothers like you who can help the most, but it has to be in person. Staying out of lockup is a victory in itself, when we no longer makeup one-quarter of a prison population in any prison is the day we become great again. Give of your time and knowledge to the youth in person, they need warriors to lead the way. Pilamaya.

—Corey Flood

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