“The ideal which held together and governed the many tribes and gentes of this far-flung nation was Kinship, which conceived every individual as related to the other, no matter how remote or complex the tie. To know one’s relationship to every other Saone, and to think and act in accordance with the inviolable mandates controlling each kind and degree of Kinship was the preoccupation of the people – not war, conquest, love or prestige. Everything, even life itself, was subordinate to the demands of Kinship. It was a disciplining and civilizing force which made for courtesy and dignity, privacy and decency in the crowded tipi or on the march, the protection and provision for the needy, the weak, the aged. It was a way of life which worked to the advantage of all. To be known as a “good relative” was the quintessence of Saone culture. Kinship was symbolized in the headband all wore which carried the tipi design. Tipi means the “place where one lives”, hence home, the most prized of Saone possessions.” Above excerpt is from a well researched manuscript entitled “John Grass, American Indian Patriot” written by Angela A. Green Boleyn, and completed in the Moon of the Tipsin Buds, 1961, dedicated to all Grass family members, and later gifted by her family heirs at her request, to the remaining Grass family dynasty. At the Grass familys’ behest, the original manuscripts and supportive documents and photos are now safely housed in the archives and copyrighted by the South Dakota Historical Society. With all the necessary permissions in place, we soon hope to edit and publish these manuscripts in book and ebook formats for general readership. If you would like to help towards reaching that goal, please click here.

Welcome Back Home Wolakota KINSHIP: The simple beauty of what we hold in our hands at this time is to walk into each day in the now, in dignity, wisdom, respect and honor of our ancient life ways of kinship – kinship with the land and each other -and walk in a better way to make our nations and relationships with one another and all of Mother Earth’s nations strong once again – Mitakuye Oyasin – that the people may live.

Kinship relationship in practice fosters Harmony, Balance, Abundance, Peace – this a spiritual practice, and in walking this in practice – in the way we think, speak, live, walk in our daily lives – we become the ceremony, and this understanding is deeply embedded within the many generations of the daily lives of those of the traditional LAKOTA, DAKOTA, NAKOTA Nations.

Kinship relationship understanding starts first in the heart, then the home, then from there blossoms into the practice of the nation and the effect us two-leggeds have upon the natural environment in which we live.

Many words have been said, and there is much more of great importance on this website and in the publishing of a long held book for these times yet to read, yet as we learn the greater truths about our nation not accurately reported in the majority of history books – each of us now especially needs to ask ourselves….

will the tongues in our shoes follow the tongues in our mouths?

It seems so easy to point fingers, cast blame, but that has proven to be ineffectual, and is the hardest of ways, as we have seen during this past century full of many pains and troubles for our nation as well as all of Mother Earths’ nations, while the traditional spiritual Chiefs have awaited a good and safe time to bring out the information to point our hearts and our nations to a way of mending the circle again (the sacred hoop)..

OUR CHALLENGE: This web site is here to challenge hearts to awaken anew to the spirit of the ancestors’ way of life and thought, and bring it forward to live and walk on our sacred Mother Earth in a right way again now, so that the people of the traditional LAKOTA, DAKOTA, NAKOTA Nations may live in Harmony, Balance, Abundance, Peace and spearhead a new way of living example and teaching to honor and preserve life force on our planet.

Many have forgotten that each part of us effects the whole of us, my relatives. It is time to reclaim our proud and effective heritage from generations of suffering, mourning and self-pity. It is time to stand tall, clean up our homes, our lives, our communities and ways of “doing business” to ways that reflect our most sacred beliefs. We are the caretakers of the earth!

A drive down our poverty ridden reservation streets shows this is and has not been in practice or within our power and/or intent for a long time now with so many outside influences contaminating and suppressing. But this is not surprising – mankind’s “modern” cities have been built on destructive principles and even the “richest” of cities now live in “poverty” within the natural cycles and life force energies of Mother Earths natural way. But we can change back again, we can reclaim much of what seems to have been lost in the destructive practices of a greedy, materialistic society that has mis-used the gifts of stone nation (gold, silver, precious gems from deep within Mother Earth) to divide, conquer and destroy many nations, all in the name of a false idea of what is “profitable”. We, a traditionally land based people, can help one another and ourselves to put back the pieces and restore our rich heritage, and now is the time to show the world who we are by the way we quietly, proudly, bravely and resolutely walk and live in a sacred manner.

This cannot be a political quest, for politics are from a world not of our making, and as you know, politics continually change with the times and the leaders, and there is always too much room for argument and misunderstandings and too much emphasis on “power and control” which is not our way. Land based peoples have always understood that true power belongs to the natural world – of stars, suns, moons, the life-ways of grass, trees, ocean and skies. We have had ample time now and many examples to see over time that mankind’s destructive ways are out of harmony with these life nurturing forces is a dead end road.

Our dynasty of Chiefs has always striven to rise above the debasement of the destructive mindset of “civilized” man, patiently waiting for the safe and good time to act for the good of all, focusing their hope and intent on our ancient system of thought and understanding, by holding to the wisdom ways of our ancestors and holding resolutely to the words of the treaties our ancestors prayerfully signed, even at seemingly great loss to our people and our ways for a time, all held close in the heart in the wisdom of the ways of kinship, respect and relationship for the time of good Springtime to blossom again.

In the wisdom of the circle of life, Spring always follows the death throws of Winter. And just so, though mostly hidden from the outside world, the dynasty of our nation has survived the very long hard winter of our tribes’ many troubles and testings, yet this dynasty now continues to remain for us, sent from many generations from cautious ancestors and wisdom keepers who have been watching and waiting for the good time to bring forth the time proven effective ways to help our people again after so long existing within the strong influences of a dominating culture that has forged a very misunderstood and hostile environment from both inside and outside of our nations.

WHAT WE HAVE ENDURED: What greater hostilities to a nation could be extended than all that we have already experienced? Genocide of our relatives the buffalo nation and our source of sustenance, also diseased blankets in an effort to kill us all, continual warfare against us, tearing us away from and robbing all our land and stripping it of its natural beauty and abundant resources, a continuing and oppressive imposed dependence on the dominating culture resulting in our learning to mistrust ourselves, our old ways, and one another, resulting in ongoing poverty, unemployment, and a confused, corrupted, albeit sometimes well-intended interjection of re-education and religious and political rules imposed upon us to make us conform to a dysfunctional way of life that continues to destroy, not only us, but all the natural resources on Mother Earth.

With the slow excruciating progression of this disease upon our culture, languages, natural land honoring life ways and healthful diet and traditions, from inside and outside infested by prejudice and misinformation and from every corner of history books, movies, and press (written most often by those who do not even know our ways of kinship), slowly and methodically this erosion of everything great that we are has looked like total destruction. Yet their still remain small pieces, and each small piece is rich with hope and information enough to rebirth and retain our great culture. As below, so above – as above, so below.

And the final insult by the dominant culture – all this continues to be “hidden” as general news coverage gives more press to poverty, Genocide and oppression outside U.S. borders. As our old ones pass and our blood lines continue to thin, we justifiably feel threatened with the real danger of meeting the final obliteration of our culture as so many hundreds of tribes before us have experienced. And yet, as a united whole in the spirit of our hearts, for the most part, we can choose to hold our integrity in that our traditional and spiritual councils have kept to our part of the treaties down to this very day, holding to the hope that the promises made there will one day be heard, understood and honored as Creator has directed and put in the hearts of our treating signing ancestors.

We have more than survived. We have endured – and now the gifts of our heritage are returning to us once again at the right time and way, to help us find a foothold as a nation, a spirit directed people, who can rebirth to the wisdom of our ancestors while creating in our current world practical ways to live our lives with integrity and respect.

It’s ALL about the land – and our good kinship relationships with all OUR RELATIONS thereupon.

Yes, we have seen much pain, and with many, many prayers and talking with one another, hopefully by now, we have gained wisdom from our suffering so that finally we may see with clear bright eyes what goodness lies ahead for us.

It is time to let go of the sadness, along with all bitterness, in order to bring the circle round again into the Harmony, Balance, Abundance, Peace intended for us by our Creator, to be practiced in each of our hearts, our homes, and in the heart of this great nation for this people to LIVE!

It’s ALL about the land – and our good kinship relationships with all OUR RELATIONS thereupon.

OUR GREATEST RESOURCE AND ASSET: Our greatest resource and asset has been with us all along, and too many have been blinded to it for too long, which has caused us our greatest pain and embarrassment – some may have forgotten – but our kinship remains. We have each other and ourselves.

Mitakuye Oyasin.

May your travels through this website and, once published, through the pages of the life story of John Grass, may you gain a heart of insight, wisdom and a renewed spirit. As we each continue to grow to understand the deeper knowledge of the importance of kinship, cultivating good balance in relationship within ourselves, our families, our circle of friendships, our natural dynastic tribal system, and look at better ways to live and relate in this age to all nations on Mother Earth, may we find the most effective, peace and life honoring ways to express our freedom and wholeness to bless ALL our relations.

It is a simple fact – all prophecies come true, and now is the time to relearn what our hearts already know, that love, generosity and kindness are great and dignified powers, so much greater powers than fear and all that go with it.

The grass grows tall again in Paha Sapa, at Inyan Kara, and as each awakens to and takes pride and responsibility in the gifts each have been given for this sacred time in our history, we learn anew how to walk in a sacred manner.

This is not about demonstrations, fighting against anything or making strong gesturing, nor even just blindly “suffering” (as Christian influences/attitudes have encouraged) nor just hopelessly “enduring”. Many have tried these things as a walk or lifestyle, only to end up in disappointment and discouragement all the more so. These things have never served us well in the long run as they run contrary to the celebration of life and the honoring of true freedom and respect of harmony and balance that we carry in our genes, through our true cultural traditions and life-ways passed on to us from the ancestors.

It’s ALL about the land – and our good kinship relationships with all OUR RELATIONS thereupon.

THAT THE PEOPLE MAY LIVE NOW AND INTO THE FUTURE: This is fully about living, breathing, appreciating the simple and most sacred gift we have been given – LIFE – and placing our kinship and relationship responsibilities high again as we rediscover the life ways of living in a true, meaningful, and sacred sense as real human beings again – fully wolakota. It’s so much more than a piece of paper or the color of our skin or eyes – but in a better way, for a new time, it’s about heart. This is the only way and place for what is left of our culture to survive in a good way – through individual, daily, practice in what we think, speak, walk, do. In our hearts we each much ask ourselves now in our personal journey…

1. Where may I fit Harmony, Balance, Abundance, Peace into my every thought, word, and action upon our Mother Earth?

2. How may I best use my talents to better myself, my family, my nation and all my relations?

3. How may I strengthen my kinship ties with wisdom, respect, balance and dignity to honor Mitakuye Oyasin?

4. Will I be ready when my nation succeeds in restoring and preserving our broad land base, our unique and beautiful languages, traditional, cultural, and spiritual ways of life for our people now and for future generations of all nations and where, how may I fit my talents and abilities into honoring this? (Nake nula waun yelo/yeh)

When each recognizes this grand response-ability as humans – as land based, land honoring and land friendly people (as our most wise and abundant ancestors lived in kinship with all life powers) the natural nations will again truly thrive. To learn to LIVE in the ways of our ancestors yet find a balance within this current world -this is the challenge! It begins with reclaiming good relationship with the land.

It’s ALL about the land, diversity – and our good kinship relationships with all nations thereupon.

As our traditional Chiefs and wise elders have planted the long guarded seeds and now continue to see it spread out leaves, to educate, communicate, strengthen, and witness this way of life active again in the strong and courageous hearts of good people walking the ways of Harmony, Balance, Abundance, Peace – Kinship – there will once again stand a strong, numerous and proud people like a large flowering tree, the buffalo nation, Lakota Dakota Nakota Oyate – the nation. For Those Who Wear Honor Well (once again), and naturally, as was promised all along, all the dreams and prophecies will have come full circle as so many have seen in visions and dreams for this time.

Wisdom Keepers and Relatives

Wisdom keepers are the ones who carry the ancient or old ways in their hearts. They are the those who feel a deep responsibility to the present and future inhabitants of the planet. Their origins are shrouded in the misty past, millenniums ago. They have always been around and are spiritual elders of all tribes and peoples. The responsibility they shoulder isn’t always one they feel comfortable with. They are chosen and sometimes accept reluctantly, because you must say things people might not want to hear. You must call attention to events and circumstances that sometimes make people feel uncomfortable, or that they are in denial of. This is done for the future of those who live now and those yet to be born. It’s a tradition that is passed down to those who will take seriously the giving of this knowledge and guidance to their fellow human beings. It is not about themselves but others. They open themselves up to guidance from higher realms and channel that information to all who will listen and take it to their heart. Wisdom Keepers sometimes emerge from their former selves to their true calling, which on some level they always knew. They see things that aren’t apparent to most. It is a blessing but can almost be a curse, because the worst feeling to a wisdom keeper is, that what they say will fall on deaf ears. They know they can’t ever give up. Giving up would be turning their back on their purpose. But they will move on, and search for one who has ears. The most important thing is to find someone who is open to recognize the critical importance, receive and act on this wisdom and relationship, so the lineage will continue. Not an easy task since today, each of us must effectively move past the conditioning of the current dominant culture to first recognize, as our precious relatives (regardless of appearance, gender, past mistakes, race, language or culture, as EACH “OTHER” of US) whose dream it is for unity and peace for all our relations.
Mitakuye Oyasin.

Indigenous Healing Poster

Where do we take it from here?

We are ALL relatives, human BE-ings (not DO-ings).

How do we heal ourselves and our nations and the world?

Download the coaching app designed in 2022 for these times: