Sean Spruce, Dwayne Kemp, Panca discussed on Native America Calling


This is native American calling, I'm Sean spruce. The occupation of wounded knee, South Dakota remains one of the most pivotal moments in Native American activism. Today marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the 71 day armed standoff between the federal government and the fledgling, American Indian movement. Aim was flexing its muscles, raising awareness of continued oppression by the U.S. government and the lack of accountability for broken treaties, and the corrupt and dangerous governance on the pine ridge reservation became a flash point. Today, we'll get an accounting of the events that wounded knee from people who were there. As always, we encourage listeners to chime in. Do you remember the occupation or when you first learned about it? Were you at wounded knee in 1973, and we especially want to hear from folks from the ogla nation today about what that event means to you. Join our conversation by calling one 809 9 6 two 8 four 8. That's also one 809 9 native. You can also post a comment on our social media, our Twitter handle is one 8 zero zero 9 9 native. Joining us from ponca tribal land in the state of Oklahoma is Dwayne Kemp. He is a warrior from wounded knee and an elder who is panca. Duane, welcome to native America calling. Thank you. Joining us for a Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is Walter little moon. He was a resident of wounded knee at the time of the occupation. He is oglala Lakota and northern Cheyenne, Walter, welcome to native America calling as well. Now, and joining us from Ottawa Ontario in Canada is Russ daibo. He is a First Nations policy analyst. He is Kane waggy, Mohawk, Russ. Welcome to native America calling to. Thank you. Dwayne, I'd like to go ahead and start with you today. You traveled to wounded knee in 1973 along with your two brothers. What inspired you all to make that trip? Well, we traveled separately as a matter of fact, the three of us and just for the record, they had quite a meeting prior to wounded near the place called calico. There are calico hall and the ogallala got together and they met and representatives from aim were there and they asked our brother Carter Carter cap to lead the first contingent of warriors in. And he writes about that afterwards as a very moving how he prayed prior to actually going into wounded knee and he prayed to Wakanda and also to the oglalas that had suffered so much because of when did they and he led the first contingent in brother Craig and I were there shortly afterwards and we stayed throughout the 71 day occupation. And I lived down here in Parker country, but our pocket countries I said was once right up at that border between Nebraska and South Dakota. That was originally our country before we were marched down here at gunpoint. And incidentally, that was our trail of tears. And it's been called footprints and blood because when the park is went in to see the Indian agent down here, they left bloody footprints because of that rock. We lost about a third of the park on that rock. That was our trail of tears. At any rate, I'm glad you guys are putting the word out about wounded me. It was, it was a game changer. There's been a whole different native experience since that period of time and I know because I'm ancient. I was born in the depths of the depression, The Great Depression, and I recall how it was for the biggest part of my life prior to wounded knee and the wave of pride that has kept rolling through native country since that period of time. Well, the way thanks for leading us off and we're definitely going to talk more about your experiences, but I want to go to Walter now. Walter, as someone who lived very close to the village of wounded knee at that time, how did the occupation impact your community? This was something that was, we didn't know, we didn't even expect that. I knew there were coming into pine ridge from calico. But on top of the BIA buildings, you could see machine guns and bags all lined up there. And so when the aim members came from Kelly call, instead of stopping in a pine ridge, they made a left turn and drove into wounded knee. So my brother and I, we had picked up our brother from the hospital. We are taking him home. And so we left him, my mother's place. And then we came back and stayed around my mother's place, just watching them making sure he would be okay for the night. Next morning, guy rolled up and said, trading post is open. If you got any bills and if you need any groceries, go down there and help yourself. Did everything's going to be free. So Ben and I, we walked down there and the whole wanted me trading for this completely destroyed. Shells were sitting there people walking around pushing carts. Little loading up anything that they could. And they're accept mops, brooms, stuff like that. Just that you couldn't use. When anyway, after that, we heard from people coming by and say, you know, this belongs to aim now. And I couldn't understand what they were talking about. So that's been I said, we'll go back down to the trading post and see what information we could find. And I'm trying to understand what's going on. And we've got when we got there to the trading post, they said that they had taken prisoners for prisoners. It might have been 5. But there were prisoners up at the Catholic Church. So we decided to walk up and see if we could talk to them. And all of these aim people came out, and they all had rifles. They don't even pointed a rifle in my chest and kept hitting me on the chest with his rifle. He said, as far as you understood, the local people were supposed to be left alone. So I said, we are local people. These are people that we know we know and we grew up with them. And they wouldn't let us in. So if you go in and you talk to them, they say, we're going to shoot you. We're going to kill you

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