|ON THE REZ ROAD|
The Cheyenne River Reservation grew quiet for a while after the first White Buffalo Calf Pipe Ceremony and Sun Dance in 1970.
The first White Buffalo Calf Pipe Revival Ceremony was conducted by Fools Crow in 1970, & it was called the Calling for a Vision, & Calvin Dupree was one of the dancers at Frank Fools Crow’s arbor.
The 1971 White Buffalo Calf Pipe Ceremony & accompanying Sun Dance was the first “public” ceremony, after having the proper vision by Calvin Dupree.
It was the second year, in the series of 5 years of White Buffalo Calf Pipe Revival Ceremonies & accompanying Sun Dances, which began at Pine Ridge South Dakota, & finished the series of 5 years of WBCP Revival Ceremony & accompanying Sun Dances at Green Grass, South Dakota.
It is to be noted here, that of all the pictures Ceremonial Chief & Holy Man, Franks Fools Crow allowed to be taken at these White Buffalo Calf Pipe Revival Ceremony & accompanying Sun Dances, the fraudulently acknowledged 19th Generation WBCP Keeper, Arvol Looking Horse is not pictured in any of them, or at the ceremonies, or even in any of the back round shots.
As Lakota Elders were trying desperately to save the traditional Lakota spiritual ceremonies and old cultural values, constant encroachment by modern society and its attendant moral decay were tearing the Lakota people apart.
Trouble was all over Tetuwan Lakota country, greed and political oppression & manipulation from tribal governments, federal & state government added more fuel to the fire.
Crime on the reservation was at an all-time high. Gangs of ruffians wearing the banner of political reform terrorized the people. Beatings, rape, robbery and murder were common-place.
Indian militants (AIM) were organizing everywhere on the reservations. There was not one single goal or target they had in mind, or even an intelligent list of demands, they simply lashed out.
Or were they (AIM) simply lashing out?
(Or doing the very bidding of their handler, enabler-protector?)
It was not until after their (AIM’s) government staged event & occupation dubbed the Seige of Wounded Knee in 1973, & the support they-AIM appeared to receive from various elders, including Fools Crow, that the American Indian Movement gained credibility, and they were able to articulate their grievances….which resulted in a multi-million dollar endless money tree of donations for AIM’s personal & financial enrichment.
In the meantime, Calvin Dupree and his daughter had returned to Seattle where they both settled back into quiet academic life.
Calvin was teaching, & in the position heading Community College Education, Indian Education & Minority Affairs for the State of Washington, and Suzanne was a student.
The reservation frightened Suzanne & had since she was a child, with its abuses & unfairness to the Lakota people.
She did not understand the constant political evil undercurrent & turmoil that seemed to envelop every Lakota family in some sort of personal tragedy.
She had her eyes opened to the corruption & cruelty, & was against the rampant crimes ongoing.
She did not feel safe there & worried for her Lakota relatives who remained living there.
Suzanne says that she did not feel like she belonged there, & if she were there, she would be abused as others were.
It was war-zone, & these Lakota reservations were not places she wanted to be for very long after ceremonies.
A place, where anything could happen to a Lakota man, woman or child & no one would bother to investigate, or even ask what had happened to the individual.
The Lakota people knew what had happened, but they also knew not to ask too many questions, or give their opinions on the issue….lest it be them next.
Life in the Seattle area was comfortable for Calvin’s family, & the Cannunpa Wakan was safe, well cared for by Calvin who performed daily duties & prayer ceremonies with the Pte Hincala Cannunpa Kin, according to Lakota spiritual protocols.
Frank Fools Crow’s first objective was now accomplished, the most Sacred in Tetuwan history, culture & spirituality was now safely off the reservation, & away from the hands of those of evil, who would misuse and abuse the Pipe-Cannunpa Wakan & It’s legacy to all mankind.
|THE NAMING CEREMONY|
|During the Sun Dance in 1975, Suzanne danced in support of her father & went to the Tree of Life. She laid her hands on the center pole, & prayed just before the Sun Dancers began to pull backwards against the tethers buried in their chests tied to the pole.|
Suzanne remembers she was concerned about her father & could almost feel the tremendous pain he was enduring, so she kept her eye on him throughout the Sun Dance.
After the dancers had broken loose, the Cannunpa Wakan ceremony was conducted.
During closing ceremonies, Fools Crow, John Fire Lame Deer, Chauncey Dupris, & other Lakota spiritual elders summoned the 21 year-old Suzanne Dupree and others participating in their naming ceremony as well into the circle.
The timid Suzanne shyly walked with her father into the circle & stood as Fools Crow spoke quietly with each person.
Finally as it came her turn, Calvin Dupree stepped forward and gifted Fools Crow with tobacco.
Accepting the gift, Fools Crow looked deeply into Suzanne’s eyes and said, “You shall be called, Looking Back Woman.”
“You are named after a Lakota relative from the 1890 Wounded Knee.”
Calvin Dupree looked surprised and frowned when he heard the name….
He was not sure Suzanne was up to the task of living her name, Looking Back Woman…. for her Lakota people.
He quickly took Fools Crow aside and gifted him with more tobacco, & a carton of cigarettes asking that the name be changed.
Fools Crow refused saying, “Heche tou elo!”
“This is her name from the beginning and to the end.”
Then a crowd of people lined up in front of Looking Back Woman, Hakikta Win…each presenting her with a variety of traditional Lakota bead work… medallions, chokers, head bands, ear rings, and other gifts amid hand shaking, hugs, & kisses of close relatives…
Finally the traditional Lakota medicine man, LBW’s Uncle, Chauncey Dupris stepped forward and said, “This is a gift for you from your Lakota people, I remade the bowl for you with my own hands.”
The pipe is very beautiful, says Suzanne. “It is very unique, and is made entirely from the red pipe stone, including the stem.”
It is made in three parts, and has colored ribbons hang from the stem symbolizing the four sacred directions.
“I still have that pipe to this day.”
There is some conjecture about the name, Looking Back Woman, among those close to Suzanne.
She thinks possibly Fools Crow may have given her that name because while she was at the Tree of Life at the Sun Dance, she continually turned her head to keep an eye on her father….looking back at him as he danced & blew his eagle bone whistle.
Others say the name refers to a passage in the story about the White Buffalo Calf Woman that says she paused, turned and looked back at the Lakota people one last time before she disappeared over the horizon.
Still others say the name came from a Lakota woman who escaped from Wounded Knee in 1890, just as Fools Crow said in Lakota… when he named Suzanne her adult Lakota name Hakikta Win.
Interestingly, it is said the Sacred (buffalo legbone Pipe) was at Wounded Knee on that terrible day of massacre, and it was a Lakota woman called Looking Back Woman, who saved the Pte Hincala Cannunpa Kin from desecration & destruction at the hands of our enemies.
The second step in Fools Crow’s plan was now complete.
As dictated by Tetuwan Lakota protocol, Suzanne completed her Isha Ta Awi Cha Lowan — Preparing for Womanhood ceremony in the summer 1972 at Rosebud, and in 1975, in August Suzanne participated at the Sun Dance in support of her father.
Now, Hakikta Win had been recognized and honored with a name befitting her new walk in life, Looking Back Woman, by Ceremonial Chief & Holy Man Frank Fools Crow, other Spiritual Elders, her Lakota people & in front of all people participating & assembled there.
|TWO DEATHS AND THE PASSING OF THE PIPE|
Many years passed, and everyone in the Fools Crow camp was quiet about the Pipe.
One way to protect the Pipe was not to talk about it.
Others kept quiet because silence had become a way of life on the reservation amid all the violence and political turmoil.
Fools Crow was now passing his eighties and having serious health problems.
The Dupree family did not participate in the Sun Dance and Calf Pipe Ceremony at Green Grass after 1975, but for many years Calvin continued to bring the Sacred Pipe to Fools Crow for his other spiritual ceremonies.
On November 27, 1989, the Ceremonial Chief of the Western Tetuwans passed away.
At the time of his death, Fools Crow was living in a dilapidated trailer on his daughter’s property with no electrical power or water.
He was a poor man throughout his life, but his last years were especially difficult.
Thomas Mails, his long time friend and biographer reports that Fools Crow was an angry man during his closing years.
He did not like the way his Lakota people were falling prey to selfish, angry behavior, greed, betraying one another & taking government hand-outs.
Most of all he did not like it that his Lakota people were turning their back on traditional Tetuwan Lakota ways.
Frank Fools Crow was especially angry with the (AIM) militants whom he once appeared to have supported during the US government- SD state govt. staged event-occupation, dubbed by the media as the “Seige of Wounded Knee.”
” Where numerous (12) AIM supporters were murdered, their bodies hidden… to keep the group of 100 real, authentic Lakota (former AIM) supporters from leaving only a few weeks into the “Seige,” newspaper articles from that same time frame reveal.
Interest in American Indian culture among dominant white society was growing rapidly in the 1980s.
Everybody wanted to be a medicine man and preach the Indian gospel.
Many fraudulent 1st Nations (or non-Indian) shamans were running around the country looking for easy pickings among the spiritually & emotionally hungry white masses.
They-AIMsters were selling Sacred ceremonies for big bucks, and that is what angered Fools Crow the most.
To make matters worse, the only people on the reservation outside tribal government who had any power to stop the desecration of holy ceremonies were the very AIM militants, and AIM were among the worst offenders.
Back in the 1960s and 1970s, Fools Crow anticipated the sad events that were slowly unfolding in the late 1980s.
The dreadful social circumstances he feared the most were transpiring at the time of his death.
The provisions Frank Fools Crow made for the safety and proper care of the Cannunpa Wakan may not have been all that he wanted for his children, the Lakota people, but it most likely was the only consoling bright spot in his mind and heart when he crossed over.
Five years after Fools Crow passed away, Calvin Dupree died on June 22, 1994 while in Alberta, Canada.
He had been ill with liver cancer for over a year, & near the end he was passing in and out of a coma….
After suddenly regaining consciousness one day about a week before his passing, Calvin Dupree called Suzanne, his daughter to his bedside and told her to bring him the Cannunpa.
As Bill Loutcel, colleague & fellow academic of Calvin’s from the University of Lethbridge looked on, Calvin said to Suzanne as she held the Sacred Pipe…
“This is the past, present and future of your Nation.
Do not allow them to pass from your hand.
If the He [the Creator] loves you, He will not abandon you.”
Then, Calvin Dupree went back to sleep, it was the last words to his daughter Calvin would speak to her.
Suzanne was surprised at the clarity of his thoughts & words during those sad last moments.
She often thinks about those prophetic words and the depth of his understanding of true traditional Tetuwan Lakota spiritual ways.
Calvin was the honored Lakota appointed caretaker of the Sacred Cannunpa Wakan according to Lakota spiritual protocols & through his vision, to rebuild the Hoop of Life for all living things upon Mother Earth….
He walked silently and reverently with the Pipe, never once calling attention to himself or seeking accolades as the “Keeper of the Sacred Bundle”.
Quietly & confidently he walked with the eagles and the buffalo into the Spirit world beyond.
Government red tape took six weeks to transfer Calvin Dupree’s body from Canada to the old Dupree Cemetery on the Cheyenne River Reservation.
Services at the old Dupree cemetery featured a 21-gun salute by veterans of World War II and a large crowd of friends and relatives.
Suzanne was not present during Calvin’s funeral services because she was instructed by her father to leave his bedside and go home, so the Pipe would remain kept safe.
Suzanne followed her father’s instructions to the letter, regardless of not being there to bid her dear father goodbye for the formal gathering in Lethbridge, & later in Dupree, SD after he was interned to the Dupree cemetery.
In 2000, Suzanne left the protection of her haven in Canada and ventured south to Ellensburg, Washington.
While visiting with the people who were standing JR, (& connected to the Reeves & Lestmeister) one of her most prized Paint stallions; she learned from her cousin, Lisa, that some so-called Lakota traditionals had gotten into her father’s coffin looking for the White Buffalo Calf Pipe after he had arrived for burial.
“You know they have been looking for that Cannunpa.”
“The phoney traditionals got into your dad’s coffin looking for the Pipe,” her cousin said pointing to the Sacred Bundle.
Suzanne was shocked, nearly beside herself with grief that anyone would disturb the dead, her beloved father…. but, very glad she had learned of it then in 2000, rather than in 1994 when her Father died, lest she fall prey to their-AIM’s baiting her, to bring the Cannunpa & the rest of the Sacred Lakota items entrusted to her…. to their-AIM’s evil awaiting hands.
No efforts were ever made to verify this story by Lisa, Suzanne Lakota cousin… or to pursue the alleged perpetrators, but the story has found its way into the hushed conversations of many Lakota & others through the years.
Suzanne believes those responsible for this barbaric act will receive a visit one day, if they have not already, from the spirit of retribution.
(Of the many murdered, molested-raped victims & survivors of AIM, & the less unfortunate…who never left Wounded Knee or South Dakota alive.)
Since the time of her father’s passing, Suzanne has always had the Pte Hincala Cannunpa Kin in her possession & well-protected.
Today, Suzanne Dupree — Looking Back Woman — still holds the Cannunpa Wakan.
But, many things have changed over the years, such as whom has given protection & immunity to AIM all these years, and many things are about to change….
In the court of public opinion…..
Go up that political ladder, until we see the light of justice at the top….!