Justin, an Oglala youth who spent many months last year at Standing Rock organizing donations for the resistance camps, is pictured here sitting by the window of the Wounded Knee museum, dedicated to the 1973 occupation of the village, the historic site of the massacre of Chief Big Foot’s band by the 7th Cavalry in 1890. "This is my playground," said Justin. These hills, the 36 bunkers, the burned out churches – I’m glad we burned them down. We need to think for ourselves. My people have been here for more than a hundred years. We survived the massacre. We survived the occupation. We survived the civil war on Pine Ridge. We are still here."
But with that, I am now going to pack up my dusty bicycle and catch a very large Greyhound home.
Someone stole my bicycle shoes last night … a fitting Rapid City end to a very educational, inspirational tour of Native America over 7 weeks, 2500 miles, and eight states.
Any road you take from any coast to the Black Hills, the heart of Turtle Island would reveal similar stories of US treachery and oppression, land grabbing and double dealing with the Native People of this land. I happened to take this road, and these are some of the people I met, and my life is infinitely enriched from having met them and heard their stories.