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  • This year was my first year as a sundancer.

    At the end, families from the community stand in line to shake your hand for the sacrifices you have made and they thank you. I saw elders and I remembered my own grandmother, photographed here as a young girl. Before she passed away, we would come to visit her on the reservation. She would sit in her kitchen and I would ask my mother how to say things in Lakota. As little as I was, I wanted to show these two women, how much I loved them. I knew I felt strongly about who I was because of them. I have never forgotten this feeling.

    Two weeks ago, after I finished sundance, a young girl came and tapped me on my knees.
    "I'm going to be a sundancer." she said to me. Her face was covered in dust and juice and her hair was parted crooked near her forehead. I hugged her to me and she quickly ran back to play with her friends near the arbor.

    When we dance, we dance for the people and we dance for our families, for those who make us proud to be Lakota people. I thank Tunkasila for the blessings he brings to mine – my mother, father, sister, brother, niece and my tiospaye. To the people whose hands I held at sundance, cante mitawa ekta ocignake, I will keep you in my heart.
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