Takini students to participate in first annual “Tuweni Tsa Obsni” Wounded Knee run
by Tasiyagnunpa Livermont
This will be the first year that the survivors of the Wounded Knee Massacre will be rememberd by their ancestors, relatives and neighbors through an event meant to honor their journey back north to the west end of the present-day Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation.
The run will start in Wounded Knee, S.D. Runners will begin the journey after a ceremony is held on December 29, 2012. They will then start out using highways to travel about 170 miles to Takini, arriving on January 1, 2013.
“The run is going to be called a survivor run,” said Joe Brings Plenty, Takini school counselor.
High school students from Takini are also making the eagle staff that will be carried, relay-style, during the run, said Brings Plenty.
Runners arriving in Takini on January 1, 2013, will take part in a closing ceremony that is open to and includes the public. Oral accounts of Wounded Knee by Lakota elders and guest speakers for the youth will be featured. The event will also include a feed.
For several years a memorial ride has been held that follows Chief Big Foot’s journey south. The ride commemorates the trail taken by Chief Big Foot and his people from Standing Rock through the CRST West End and south through the Badlands and to the Wounded Knee community on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
It was there near Wounded Knee Creek where the chief and his band of Mniconjou Lakota Sioux of mostly women, children, elders and unarmed men, sought shelter with the Oglala Lakota Sioux and were instead gunned down by the United States 7th Cavalry on December 29, 1890.
While the “Big Foot” memorial ride is important to the communities and oyate, organizers of the Tuweni Tsa Obsni “They Never Died” Run want to emphasize another part of the story.
The runners will commemorate the epic journey of some Wounded Knee survivors back to the Takini area of the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation in the aftermath of the massacre. The weather turned right after the massacre, snow hitting hard, but the survivors managed to get home, albeit bloody, wounded and haunted by the memory of their relatives’ death.
“Throughout my years growing up on the “West End” of Cheyenne River Reservation and listening to the stories, reading books and participating in the 100th anniversary Bigfoot/Wounded Knee Memorial Ride in 1990, it has always been a difficult time for me and many of us that know about the horrific events on that dreadful day. Eight years ago, I spoke with my father Eagle Hunter about how to deal with Wounded Knee mentally, spiritually and emotionally. It was overwhelming my life in a negative way. He told me that if I didn’t find a positive way to deal with it that I would end up in prison, a casket or drunk in the streets and be lost,” said Wiyaka Chasing Hawk, event organizer, in an LRInspire release (for the full text see page 4a in this issue).
Organizers of the run include Chasing Hawk, originally from the Takini-area in the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation community of Red Scaffold and Chase Iron Eyes of the Last Real Indians’ LRInspire grassroots action campaign.
“One of the goals of this run is intended to remind us that despite the atrocity that happened, some of our ancestors escaped and survived and made it back home. It is our responsibility to live in a positive radiance and write new stories overflowing with life, prosperity, success, perseverance and dignity.”
Chasing Hawk and Iron Eyes visited the Takini school this month, Chasing Hawk said, and enjoyed visiting with the students and encouraging and inviting their participation in the Tuweni Tsa Obsni Run.
Community members are also encouraged to participate in the run.
“This run is just one way we can honor the ancestors and survivors of the Wounded Knee Massacre. Chase and I have been coordinating the run, but we cannot do it alone. We are recruiting runners and want to invite all that are interested,” said Chasing Hawk.
If you are interested in participating in the run or participating in any other way, please contact Chasing Hawk at (605) 200-5125 and email@example.com, Chase Iron Eyes at (303) 968-7904 and firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also contact the front office of the Takini School.