What is Another Life?



To my beloved sister, who is known to our people as “Calling Loon Woman”, I send greetings and love. But I ask for your prayers and blessings, my sister, for I am deeply troubled.

Many, many, moons have passed, since I, who no longer have a name, sat astride a magnificent stallion, atop a mesa, and watched, as on the plains below, the white man pushed his iron horse across our lands. And I knew that the ways of our people would never again be the same.

My heart, as I rode toward the setting sun, was heavy, as it is now: The white race took our lands; they killed the buffalo’ they banned our traditions and ceremonies; took our children away from us and put them in residential schools where they were not allowed to speak our language.

They took away everything that was important to our way of life and now they pollute our Mother, the earth, the waters in which we fish and the air that we need to breathe.

And they want still more because many of them realize that their ceremonies and the God they worship. do not provide enough sustenance for their souls. So they bring out their video-cameras so that they can copy our ceremonies which not so long ago they denigrated.

But that is not all, when we smoke the pipe of peace, the gift of White Buffalo Calf Woman some of these “White Wannabees” dishonour that gift by introducing their masculine God with his patriarchal thoughts into our healing circle. Truly it is said “They can dress themselves up like us, with beads and feathers in their hair, but that won’t take away their forked tongues.”

So I thank you, sister, for the eagle feather that the grandmothers guided you to send me because, without it, I would not have had the courage to say what needed to be said and what no one else was willing to say in that healing circle. So thank you sending your spirit to be there with me.

I am also sad, my sister, for our brothers, who no longer seem to be able to teach the white people our ways without first sharing their self-inflicted wounds. It is as if our teachings have no value unless they are prefaced with words like, “I was an alcoholic”; “I was a drug addict”; “I spent time in prison.“I abused others.”

This is a great mystery to me my sister because I remember the days when our warriors stood tall in the saddle and held their heads up proudly. They honoured their strengths, not their weaknesses, and they had no need to hide their faces behind masks.

And, to all this sadness, sister, I have to bear an even greater one. When I began this journey with one who walked beside me on the path there would be times, as we talked that her eyes would mist over with love, and become as soft and gentle as an evening sky. But there were other times when I would be looking into the empty eyes of death and feel its icy coldness. So we parted.

And now I see in the eyes of another, all the pain and suffering of a soul that seems to be divided. And I am helpless. So pray for her too please.