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Jon Engle, Sr. 'The birth of abilities, to create life or destroy life'

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Jon Engle, Sr. ‘The birth of abilities, to create life or destroy life’
El nacimiento de las habilidades de crear o de destruir la vida

By Jon Engle, Sr.

Censored News
English with Spanish translation

The late Albert White Hat once talked to me about the word, “Wakan.” He said that today we translate this word to mean, Sacred, Holy or Mysterious. He went on to say that these were Christian influences on our language. Leksi Albert said that there was a much deeper meaning and referenced our Creation Story. He said that Inyan’s blood was Kan, had the ability to create life or destroy life and was both good and bad. He said that when you add the word yeja to wakan it becomes, wakanyeja, our word for children. He said that yeja is the birth of those abilities, the ability to create life or destroy life, both good and bad.
I have thought about this many times since then and now understand and have come to accept that there is both good and bad in life. Today as I look around the camps I can see both the good and the bad. People have come and exploited our resistance. They are no longer here to Stand with Standing Rock, they are here to promote their own causes. As I look around I also see the good. I see that something beautiful and powerful is happening. I see an awakening of indigenous people to protect the water. We have a genetic memory, still connected to our ancestors and it is that connection that is driving this movement. Remember, this movement began with a prayer.
As winter approaches It’s time to restructure the camp. Leksi Rick Two Dogs said, “It is a time in our history which was for told in our prophecies. The last time we gathered as a Oceti
Sakowin was at Mato Paha (Bear Butte ) in 1845! We gathered because of the impending war with the whites! We need to reform the camp in the way it was in 1845!! So we will began the change back to our original way of life and governance! It is in the prophecy! We must do it!!! Or forever be lost!!”
It’s up to us, we can do this. We can make the Oceti Sakonwin live again. Iyukca Po!

Jon Engle, Sr., serves as Tribal Historic Preservation Officer at Standing Rock Sioux Nation.
Published with permission at Censored News.

El nacimiento de las habilidades de crear o de destruir la vida
Por Jon Engle, Hna
Censored News
Villanueva, S. (Traducción)
El fallecido Albert White Hat, una vez me habló de la palabra, “Wakan.”Dijo que hoy traducimos esta palabra para expresar, sagrado, santo o misterioso. Se llegó a decir que se trataba de la influencia cristiana en nuestro idioma. Leksi Albert dijo que había un significado mucho más profundo y hacía referencia a nuestra historia de la creación. Dijo que la sangre de “Inyan” era “Kan,” tenía la capacidad de crear vida o destruir la vida y era a la vez buena y malo. Dijo que cuando se agrega la palabra “yeja” a “Wakan” se convierte, “Wakanyeja,” nuestra palabra para los niños. Dijo que “yeja” es el nacimiento de esas habilidades, la capacidad de crear vida o destruir la vida, tanto el bien como el mal.
He pensado en esto muchas veces desde entonces y ahora entendiendo y he llegado a aceptar que existe tanto el bien como el mal en la vida. Hoy cuando miro alrededor de los campamentos en Standing Rock, Dakota del Norte en Estados Unidos, puedo ver tanto el bien y como el mal. Hay gente que ha venido y explotado nuestra resistencia para su propio beneficio. Ya no están aquí para ayudar a Standing Rock, están aquí para promover sus propias causas. Miro a mi alrededor y veo también el bien. Veo que algo bello y poderoso está sucediendo. Veo un despertar de los pueblos indígenas para proteger el agua. Tenemos una memoria genética, sigue conectada a nuestros antepasados y es esta conexión la que está impulsando este movimiento. Recordemos que este movimiento comenzó con una oración.
A medida que se acerca el invierno, nos llega la hora de reestructurar el campamento. Leksi Rick Dos Perros dijo: “Este es un momento de nuestra historia, que estaba escrito en nuestras profecías. ¡La última vez que se reunieron como un Oceti Sakowin fue en Mato Paha (la mota del oso) en 1845!  ¡Así que empezaremos el cambio para regresar a nuestros modos de vida originales y a nuestros propios gobiernos! ¡Es la profecía! ¡Debemos hacerlo! ¡O para siempre se perderá! “

Depende de nosotros, podemos hacer esto. Podemos hacer que el Oceti Sakonwin viva de nuevo. ¡Iyukca Po!

Brenda Norrell has been a news reporter in Indian country for 29 years, serving as a writer for Navajo Times and a stringer for AP and USA Today during the 18 years she lived on the Navajo Nation. After being a longtime staff reporter for Indian Country Today, she was censored and terminated. She then created Censored News, focused on Indigenous Peoples and human rights, now in its fifth year.


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