The idea for the “Wokiksuye Ride” came in a dream in 2005 to Jim Miller, Cheyenne River elder and a Vietnam veteran. “Our ancestry starts over there in Mankato,” he told riders before the start in 2008. “Keep that in your heart, keep that in your mind as you travel.”
Even with the attempts to eradicate the Dakota people from the place, the names reflect that Dakota heritage with the town Mankato, makhá tohca or “blue earth,” and the state Minnesota, likelymní sota for clear water or mnißota reflecting the misty “cloudy waters” of morning.
“We’re honoring our ancestors,” said Josette Peltier, Miller’s sister and an organizer on the ride. “We’re honoring the 38 who were hung. This is for healing and reconciling … to heal and to reconcile and to make things work amongst all races. … We have to try to unite. I’ve got grandchildren and our great grandchildren. All the youth, the little ones, those yet to be born, that’s why I’m on the ride, to unite.”
Support for the ride, along with each day’s shelter and food, includes a website where well-wishers post thanks and encouragement and photos and also a Facebook page, an interactive map and a GoFundMe site.
Besides the unscheduled stop, there was a resting period for a few days before the ride continued to Mankato, set to arrive on Christmas day.
Peltier said there are more riders this year than in the past, perhaps because of attention generated by coverage of the Standing Rock water protectors.
“Water is so important,” she said. “That’s going to be in our prayers; we’re going to be praying about that. We are in solidarity with Standing Rock, but right now we’re honoring our ancestors.”
Keeble hopes that reconciliation can extend to the situation at Standing Rock. “Rather than opposing the water protectors, they should be trying to help … not only for the Native people, but for all the nations.”
On December 26, the riders and others gathered at the site of the 1862 hanging for ceremonies and speaking.
There will be prayers, too, for a more united future among all the people. And next year, the riders will mount up once again to carry that message across the heartlands of Turtle Island.
Source : http://countercurrentnews.com/