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  • My husband and I stopped in Pine Ridge during our trip moving me from Washington to Ohio. Torch wanted to have a chance to talk to a holy lakota man and was very excited about the possibility. When we stopped in pine ridge he met this young woman named Pam and started talking to her. She took us to her sister Wanda initially and they tried to help Torch achieve his dream but intitially he kept meeting stumbling blocks. So Pam took us to meet her husband, Delmar Dreaming Bear. Delmar had us bring the trucks out to park on his property rather than leaving them where they were on a public park that had just closed down from a powow. We spent the next couple days with the Dreaming Bear Family meeting them and their extended family and friends and were invited to participate in a sacred inipi ceremony the night before we were going to leave. Delmar introduced us to Rick Goodweasel, a two time sundancer who would conduct the ceremony.

    This was something very special. I was just learning about my own native american ancestry and basically considered myself white. Torch doesn't have any native american ancestry but his heart is very much native american. We learned that it had been 14 years since this particular group of Oglala Lakota Sioux Indians had shared their Inipi ceremony with any white people so we felt very honored that we had been asked to be included in this, their church. We did everything we could to honor and respect their ways even though we didn't know them ourselves yet. Additionally, there was another man with us helping drive one of the vehichles who was Apache and it was also significant to have someone from their tribe attend an inipi as well.

    Symbolism is very important to native American's and several things happened that day that were felt to be extremely significant by all who were at this inipi. First, shortly before sundown, a group of horses in a field adjacent to where the inipi was being held came running up to the fenceline to watch what was happening at the inipi grounds and this had never happened before. Second, and this is somewhat embarrassing to me, but still significant. I was looking over at a car that was a distance away and I looked at it, pointed at the car and then I asked Rick Goodweasel, Is that an Eagles head on it? thinking it may have been a paper mache pinyatta large sized eagle head like one of those paper mache pinyatta dolls that are so popular filled with candy that you break with a bat for kids parties. It turned out that it was just the lid of a trunk of a car at an odd angle in the sunset...and oh, how I was embarrassed but Rick saw it as an Eagle Vision that I had had prior to the start of the inipi and took it quite seriously He had even hung an eagle's feather in the inipi tent that afternoon as a special prayer offering to our creator. The following morning, when Rick went out to the inipi site to clean things up around the site, he found footprints of a band of coyotes that had come to the inipi tent to see what had happened at the tent. Horses, Eagles, & Coyotes all checking in on whats going on here??? What does all of this mean???

    Torch and I are still not sure but we came away from that night changed people in many ways. Torch is more than ever convinced that he is on the correct path spiritually and I am seeking to know more about the ways of my ancestors. Who knows where our journeys will lead us but one things is for sure, it will be down the Red Road.
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