Sherry and Bernadette

Sherry (on right) is White River Apache, her daughter Bernadette is Lakota from Rosebud; they live in Duluth MN now where Sherry has worked in recovery from addiction services for some 26 years. We shared stories of how addiction had affected both of our families, and how difficult it is to put the pieces back together after.
It is a tough life for Native People whether on the Rez or in the urban centers of the Midwest.
“Healing is the most important thing,” said Francis Bettleyoun, caretaker of the Medicine Gardens at the University of Minnesota the other day, when was speaking about the struggle of Native People on this continent recovering from the multiple traumas of colonialism, dislocation, abuse, racism, and genocide.
Sherry saw me sleeping under poplar tree here at the Upper Sioux Nation annual Powwow on the Yellow Medicine River ( near Granite Falls, Minnesota).
She could only see the wheel of my bicycle peeking out from the grove of trees. She told Bernadette, “Oh look, there’s a homeless man. He must have ridden here on his wheelchair.” Pretty close.
They invited me to have breakfast with them, and later Sherry gave me a bundle of sage and tobacco to strengthen my prayers and keep me safe on my travels and to protect me from lightning strikes.
I promised to pray for the well being of her family, that she may be reunited with her great grandchildren. We exchanged photos and emails and promised to stay in touch They are here to dance for the strength of the People.


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