A Letter to Sammy Douglas, MLA


Dear Sammy,

This is the Lakota Prayer I recited at the Patron’s request on Saturday at Bell’s… There are mischief makers who doubt my words..Woe to them, for they will be cast into Outer Darkness, where they belong.
 Lakota (Oglala Sioux)
Ho Tunkasila Wakan Tanka
Oyate oyasin unsiwicalapo na owicakiyapo
Nahan waci wicasi na waci winyan wopila tanka
Nahan oyate oyasin canku luta ognamani owicakiyapo
Lecel wacin ho hecel lena, oyate kin nipi kte.
Mitakuye Oyasin

Grandfather Great Spirit
Have pity on and help all the People
Many Thanks for the Performers, male and female,
Help all the People to walk the Red Road of Peace
This I ask so that the People will prosper
You are all my relatives

The thanks comes at the end of the sentence in Lakota, not the beginning..”Wopila” is “thanks”,” tanka ” is “great ” or “many” eg Wakan Tanka is “Great Spirit”….so say Wopila tanka..Many thanks and  Wakan Tanka .. Great Spirit.. “God” , “Great Spirit” “Creator” do not adequately express what Wakan Tanka actually means..That is the fault of the English Language and not of the idea. The best would really be Great Holy Mystery, First Cause of the Universe..Wakan Tanka is neither male nor female but can be made into both by adding Tunkasila or Unci Maka, so Tunkasila Wakan Tanka, Grandfather Great Spirit or Unci Maka Wakan Tanka, Grandmother Great Spirit.
And also Ohitika-Chicala, Little Brave Man, you may add Na Maka na Unci Maka, ahintonwanpo..and Mother Earth and Grandmother Earth look upon me..This you can do, or not do, depending on whether you want to, or not want to..Or do because others do not do.. Then you are a Heyoka or Contrary, which you have every right to be, as long as you do not interfere with the rights of others. And you can stay with the women in the Tepees and dress as one if you wish or not wish..Or you can be a woman and fight as a warrior alongside the men if you wish or not wish..So it was at what the Human Beings call the Battle of the Greasy Grass River and the Wasicu or White Men call the Little Big Horn.
As it is with the Lakota Language, so it is also with Ulster Scots, which we have called Ullans, which is infinitely more expressive than English..Thus we say more when we say Gulder when they say shout, and more when  we say Thole, when they say suffer. Be happy, my friend, that you are now speaking Lakota, for in speaking it you become a Lakota too… Ian… Itancan
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