Rhonda LeValdo-Gayton in Native Currents. Discussion »
HOWE, SOUTH DAKOTA The 176-mile run that began on Saturday, December 29, at Wounded Knee for the survivors of the 1890 massacre ended on the Takini school grounds in Howe, South Dakota on New Year's Eve.
During the group's evening stops, speakers would talk about their stories of relatives who survived.
Takini is a Lakota word that means "his/her renewal."
Joe Brings Plenty says he ran because he wanted to go through the land that his relatives traveled to survive.
“It was a chance to see the area they went through, feeling the cold air, feeling the fatigue and seeing the young ones, the women and the children run, it was all a bit emotional for me.”
During the group's evening stops, speakers would talk about their stories of relatives who survived. Brings Plenty spoke of one survivor who said the taste of salt would remind her of her mother.
“She was just a little girl and her mother was running with her away from Wounded Knee and she felt an arm go around her. Her mother had picked her up and a young man on a horse had grabbed her, she could see her mother running behind them. Then she saw something hit her, and her chest opened up, she said she felt salt in her mouth, it was from the tears running down her face.”
Brings Plenty says the young warrior had many kids with him on the horse, when they reach a certain point, he dropped them all off and went back to get more. He said the survivors never saw that young man again.
Cheyenne River Sioux elder Butch Chasing Hawk, followed the group's trek the entire three day run, praying for the group in the morning and evening. As the run ended, he commended the group's efforts.
“Today is a very special day to me, you did it with your heart and you ran through many things.”
One of the coordinators, Chase Iron Eyes said they plan to have the run again next year, as for how this year's went he stated,
“Awesome, we started out with not knowing who was going to come or how it would be, but we couldn't ask for a better turnout or support, it was just how it was supposed to be.”
posted January 2, 2013 6:50 am est