I remember back in the day when the elders would talk about what a Pejuta Wicasa (Medicine Man) or Wakan Wicasa (Holy Man) was. Today, how we describe each of these words and what they pertain to is different.
My grandfather Charlie Moose was a Wacekiye Wicasa (a man who prays for the people) and my grandmother Martha Moose was a Owacekiye Winyan (a woman who prays through her prayer book). Through this way, I learned a lot about Tunkasila.
A long time ago, we didn't give titles to individuals who work for the Oyate, "the people." Instead, we described their work. Such persons as a Pejuta Wicasa or Pejuta Winyan (a medicine man or medicine woman) were people who had the knowledge in how to care for and use the medicines to help the people.
Wicasa Wakan (holy man) or Winyan Wakan (holy woman) did not literally mean they were holy or sacred, it meant they worked with spirits that would come to the human nations to help or guide them in their healing ceremonies.
– Warfield Moose, Jr., Lakota Spiritual Leader and author of