This past summer, I had an opportunity to visit with my kola, Charlie Letendre from the Alexis Nakota Nation. In our time together, we shared stories with each other and Charlie talked about the medicines and knowledge that his mother and grandparents gave to him. The wisdom he shared was so powerful, and I felt that what he said was important. The healing these medicines provide is something we can rely upon for the future.
His visit reminded me of when Leksi Albert White Hat, Sr. would come to visit our home and share his knowledge and stories. Leksi Albert was a natural storyteller who always spoke from his heart. His voice was calm and healing and it was clear he had experienced a lot in his life. He never hesitated to talk about his healing and his experiences working with other Medicine Men. It was always very encouraging to me that even though he went through his own struggles, he always found the strength to remember the life stories that would encourage me and others. To me, this is a true definition of a teacher, a healer and a leader.
In my life, I am grateful to have spent time with these two men because they uphold what Wolakota is all about: to always help everybody and anybody who needs it. They do/did everything for the love of their family. There is the sense that through the conviction with which they speak, that the next generation will hear these words and teachings won’t be lost.
I hope to do my best to be a good teacher like my Father, like Leksi Albert and like my Kola Charlie. I want to share a quote with you from Leksi Albert’s book, Zuya. I hope as medicine people, relatives or friends of medicine people, that this is something that you can recognize when you have an experience with medicine people.
“I work with a lot of medicine men, and for the most part, they are pretty lonely men. People tend to avoid them because of their role. And they’re like anyone else: they like to joke around and visit with others, but since people come to them for help, they see them in a different light and find it hard to relax around them. These medicine men tell me they feel like they are always on the spot, and they can’t really associate with others the way they would like to. At one gathering, many of them said they wished people would just come and visit. One man said, “You know, we’re just human like anybody else.”
Quote from, Zuya Oral Teachings from Rosebud by Albert White Hat Sr.
– Warfield Moose Jr., Lakota Spiritual Leader and author of