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A Note on Doubt, Patience, and Follow-Through

Read this description of, then watch Dakota 38, a documentary film on Jim Miller, a Native American leader and Vietnam War veteran and those who journeyed with him:

In the spring of 2005, Jim Miller, a Native spiritual leader and Vietnam veteran, found himself in a dream riding on horseback across the great plains of South Dakota. Just before he awoke, he arrived at a riverbank in Minnesota and saw 38 of his Dakota ancestors hanged. At the time, Jim knew nothing of the largest mass execution in United States history, ordered by Abraham Lincoln on December 26, 1862.

“When you have dreams, you know when they come from the creator… As any recovered alcoholic, I made believe that I didn’t get it. I tried to put it out of my mind, yet it’s one of those dreams that bothers you night and day.”

Now, four years later, embracing the message of the dream, Jim and a group of riders retrace the 330-mile route of his dream on horseback from Lower Brule, South Dakota to Mankato, Minnesota to arrive at the hanging site on the anniversary of the execution. “We can’t blame the wasichus anymore. We’re doing it to ourselves. We’re selling drugs. We’re killing our own people. That’s what this ride is about, is healing.” This is the story of their journey- the blizzards they endure, the Native and Non-Native communities that house and feed them along the way, and the dark history they are beginning to wipe away.

This part in particular sticks out to me:

four years later, embracing the message of the dream, Jim and a group of riders retrace the 330-mile route of his dream on horseback from Lower Brule, South Dakota to Mankato, Minnesota to arrive at the hanging site on the anniversary of the execution.

It took Mr. Miller and those who joined him four years to complete the work put before them.  Four years to prepare for the journey.  It took him, and those who rode with him 16 days to make this holy, healing journey.  330 miles on horseback.  They did this for their Ancestors.  They did this, despite how long it took, the hard ride, all of it.  They did this ‘to take their spirits back, to the homeland”.   Around Day 5 they ran right into a blizzard.  They kept going when it passed.  Later they were hit with another, and rode through it to shelter.  They did not stop.  They kept going to where their Ancestors were hung.  They came to bring peace to their Ancestors, to their people, and to offer new peace with the town.

Hail to the brave people, to Jim Miller and all who followed his vision from Great Spirit.  Hail to all who helped them on their journey.  Hail to the 38 plus 2.  Their names are here.

How can we do less for our own Gods, Ancestors, and spirits?  This, among a great many reasons, is why I say you can never offer too much to the Gods, Ancestors, or spirits.  You can never give too much for all the blessings They give us.  Should we give up doubt?  No.  We should embrace ourselves, our doubt, and our path with patience, and follow through on our commitments to the Gods, Ancestors, and spirits.  Hail to Them All.

In the spring of 2005, Jim Miller, a Native spiritual leader and Vietnam veteran, found himself in a dream riding on horseback across the great plains of South Dakota. Just before he awoke, he arrived at a riverbank in Minnesota and saw 38 of his Dakota ancestors hanged. At the time, Jim knew nothing of the largest mass execution in United States history, ordered by Abraham Lincoln on December 26, 1862.

“When you have dreams, you know when they come from the creator… As any recovered alcoholic, I made believe that I didn’t get it. I tried to put it out of my mind, yet it’s one of those dreams that bothers you night and day.”

Now, four years later, embracing the message of the dream, Jim and a group of riders retrace the 330-mile route of his dream on horseback from Lower Brule, South Dakota to Mankato, Minnesota to arrive at the hanging site on the anniversary of the execution. “We can’t blame the wasichus anymore. We’re doing it to ourselves. We’re selling drugs. We’re killing our own people. That’s what this ride is about, is healing.” This is the story of their journey- the blizzards they endure, the Native and Non-Native communities that house and feed them along the way, and the dark history they are beginning to wipe away.

This part in particular sticks out to me:

four years later, embracing the message of the dream, Jim and a group of riders retrace the 330-mile route of his dream on horseback from Lower Brule, South Dakota to Mankato, Minnesota to arrive at the hanging site on the anniversary of the execution.

It took Mr. Miller and those who joined him four years to complete the work put before them.  Four years to prepare for the journey.  It took him, and those who rode with him 16 days to make this holy, healing journey.  330 miles on horseback.  They did this for their Ancestors.  They did this, despite how long it took, the hard ride, all of it.  They did this ‘to take their spirits back, to the homeland”.   Around Day 5 they ran right into a blizzard.  They kept going when it passed.  Later they were hit with another, and rode through it to shelter.  They did not stop.  They kept going to where their Ancestors were hung.  They came to bring peace to their Ancestors, to their people, and to offer new peace with the town.

Hail to the brave people, to Jim Miller and all who followed his vision from Great Spirit.  Hail to all who helped them on their journey.  Hail to the 38 plus 2.  Their names are here.

How can we do less for our own Gods, Ancestors, and spirits?  This, among a great many reasons, is why I say you can never offer too much to the Gods, Ancestors, or spirits.  You can never give too much for all the blessings They give us.  Should we give up doubt?  No.  We should embrace ourselves, our doubt, and our path with patience, and follow through on our commitments to the Gods, Ancestors, and spirits.  Hail to Them All.

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