2009: Even though this Council Circle took place nine
years ago, the issues that were discussed are still not
resolved. The bad stone is still being sold, Indian people
still believe that the Pipestone stone is being exploited
and that the Pipestone Dakota are making money on the
ONLY THE PEOPLE SAYING THESE THINGS WOULD COME AND TRY
TO QUARRY THEMSELVES, IF ONLY THEY WOULD LISTEN INSTEAD
OF BEING SO BLINKERED, IF ONLY THEY WOULD GET IT THAT
THERE ARE 2 TYPES OF STONE COMING FROM 2 DIFFERENT TOWNS.
THE NATIONAL MONUMENT QUARRIES, THE SACRED QUARRIES, ARE
IN PIPESTONE, THE FALSE STONE COMES FROM QUARRIES IN JASPER.
IS THE JASPER STONE THAT IS BEING SOLD IN TRUCK LOADS
NOT THE PIPESTONE STONE.
you are one of the people who believe that we are exploiting
the stone we invite you to contact us and we will make
arrangements with you to come here and see the different
quarries, feel the 2 stones, try and cut the jasper stone,
and come and quarry for a few days to realize what we
are saying is true. We will give you a place to set up
a tent, or a bed inside the Center, and we will supply
your food all you will have to do is get here. Do please
consider the offer. It is the only thing we can think
of to convince you that what we say is true.
of Spiritual Views Council Circle
first weekend in June 2000, the Little Feather had visitors
for an 'Exploration of Spiritual Views Circle'.
Invitations to attend a portion of it on Monday afternoon
were sent out to specific people in town, but sadly only
a few turned up. The Pipestone Dakota Community assisted
the Little Feather in feeding the guests and serving them.
Chuck and Gloria at the Little Feather Center were:
Elaine Quiver; Sicangu Lakota,
who was born and raised on the Rosebud Reservation but
now lives on Pine Ridge. She travels extensively nationally
and internationally to deal with Treaty issues and the
care of children. She has spoken at the UN, has been the
Director of the Pine Ridge Foster Grandparents program
for 20 years, and is a member of the Grey Eagle Society.
Well known, respected by her own and other tribes for
her knowledge of treaty law, history and culture. Representing
the elders of many plains tribes (Cheyenne, Arapaho, Crow,
Commanche, Apache, and Lakota) who asked her to attend
the Circle for them because they couldn't.
Swift Bird; Pine Ridge, Lakota, former
Oglala Sioux Tribe Police Chief , now Co-chair of the
Pine Ridge Grey Eagle Society. Elected by the young people
of Pine Ridge to attend the Circle to represent them.
Swift Bird; Pine Ridge, Lakota, Member
Grey Eagle Society. Representing the Grandmothers of Pine
Quiver; Pine Ridge, Lakota, Member of Grey Eagle
Society. Representing the Grandfathers of Pine Ridge.
Charger; Cheyenne River Reservation, Lakota, Spiritual
Leader, Sun Dance Intercessor, teacher.
Bellecourt; Formerly White Earth reservation,
now lives in Minneapolis. Ojibway, American Indian Movement
leader, who has been at many confrontations for Native
American rights. Sun Dancer, and Sundance leader.
Bear; Formerly Wind River Reservation,
now lives in Minneapolis. Arapaho, American Indian Movement,
Sundancer in Pipestone for 10 years, Warrior Society.
Allen Sheppard Jr. Dakota, Upper Sioux Reservation.
American Indian Movement.
Cheyenne River, Lakota.
Morgan, Minneapolis, American Indian Movement
Wilson Jr, Minneapolis, Dakota, American Indian
Native Americans Attending:
David Wilson, Minneapolis, Dakota, American
Alex, Minneapolis, Lakota, American Indian
Anderson, Cedar MN, Dakota.
Livermont (Joined the group for part of the public
portion of the Circle)
Jim Kent; writer and reporter
for Indian Country Today, News from Indian Country and
various other Native American publications.
Kent; writer and Jim's wife.
McCabe, Pipestone County Museum,
Draper, Publisher Pipestone County Star,
(Joined the group for a Pipe ceremony)
Fode; Reporter for the Pipestone County
Star. (Joined the group for the public portion of the
Dakota Community members attending:
Maddie Redwing, Alice Erickson, Carol Derby, Ray Redwing,
Trevor Erickson, Denise Parsons, Mark Pederson,
to: Julie Erickson, Denise Parsons, Cindy Pederson,
Maddie Redwing for supplying food, and Carol
Derby for helping with the serving.
report of the weekend is below
to all those who took the time out of their busy schedules
to attend. We know that this will help to relieve the
tensions about these issues in Indian Country. Communication
is always good. This was excellent.
you would like to be informed of future forums such as
this please send us an e-mail, either using the form or
e-mail addy, and we will put you on a list.
You will find Chucks answers to some of these issues on
the pages of this site. Pipestone
turning bad, and selling
of the pipestone
Circle began on Sunday evening with storytelling by Joe
Swift Bird. We all sat around like children listening
to our Grandfather tell tales of old. We laughed, we became
sad, and we were enthralled. He spoke of many things,
his childhood, his family, the time when he was one of
four people to swim from a boat to Alcatraz for the first
Indian take-over of the island. Some of the incidents
we knew about, some were alien to us, but we learned.
morning began early with a communial breakfast at the
Center, while we ate we listened to the Elders joking
with each other. We then went into the first portion of
the day which was again historic views and stories of
the old times. We learned about the Sundance which used
to be put on, and why a man would only participate in
one Sundance during his lifetime. We heard about the Calf
Pipe, and about the pipes of old, and how the people revered
the pipe. We listened as Elaine told us of a visit she
made to see the Calf Pipe at Greengrass, and how she felt
next portion was to watch a video that the elders wanted
to review. From there the whole group went to the Pipestone
National Monument to see the ancient quarries. Chuck interpreted
them and described how he as a quarrier extracts the stone.
Elaine told of stories her Grandma told her about the
stone and the quarries, and how they made more sense to
her after seeing the quarries.
After lunch at the Center, Ceremony was performed, and
then the public portion began with a Pipe ceremony led
by Harry Charger. Also adding their prayers to the Pipe
were Elaine Quiver, Alice Swift Bird, Clyde Bellecourt
and Chuck Derby. The pipe was then smoked by all the people
main discussion portion of the program then started, and
lasted much longer than had been anticipated. It continued
during supper. Later there was a sweat and a feast and
everyone left for their homes with full minds and bodies.
of the concerns heard during the 2 day Circle were of
the pipestone turning bad, the depletion of the stone,
the selling of the pipe, the big pipe which has been erected
in town, the Sundance tree being desecrated and the Sundancers'
blood being sold.
Chuck offered explainations about the stone issues and
the selling of the pipe, but could offer no explainations
for the other issues, as they were not under the Original
Pipestone Dakota Communities control.
Resolutions will be drawn up by the Grey Eagle Society,
and inquiries will be held by AIM.
Circles will be taking place and those attending this
one will take the words back to their tribal councils
and those they represented.