Friday May 22nd and Saturday May 23rd
We (Talia Stein and Yaella Landau) arrived Friday afternoon in Rapid
City, South Dakota. We were met by a driver from Re-Member, the
organization on the reservation who we were staying with. Daryl told
us a bit about the local history and the situation and contemporary
problems that the Oglala Lakota people face. As Daryl discussed the
Lakotas faith and past, we noticed similarities and differences
between our respective faiths. We stopped to look out over the ‘Bad
Lands’, a sudden desert area that was once an ancient ocean. Fossils
are still found today of ancient animals. The ‘Bad Lands” are
beautiful, the sand has built up into hills of hardened sand. We
arrived at Re-member. It’s surrounded by farms, cows and horses are
common property. Saturday the group arrived and we had orientation
with the group and began to learn the history of the Lakota people.
Shabbat was peaceful and beautiful. Today we had a memorial service
for Lakota solders which raised the question Why fight for a country
that had oppressed the Lakota people? I (Yaella) got to thinking and
came up with an idea. The idea of a warrior in the Lakota tradition is
central. He is brave and strong and the backbone of the community.
Joining the army allows the Lakota men and women to be warriors again, to reclaim a part of their heritage that was taken from them by the United States. Ironically, only through joining the army and armed
forces are the Lakota people able to live this ideal today of being an
honorable warrior and solder.