The Auction of the Sacred

| 8/16/2012 4:08:34 PM

 Lakota road sign 

Winona LaDukeWinona LaDuke (Anishinaabe) is an internationally acclaimed author, orator & activist. A graduate of Harvard & Antioch with advanced degrees in rural economic development, LaDuke has devoted her life to protecting the lands & lifeways of Native communities. Her most recent book is Recovering the Sacred: the Power of Naming and Claiming (South End Press). LaDuke was recognized as an Utne Reader Visionary in 2001. Keep up with her at Honor the Earth.  

Editor's note: This post was originally published by Last Real Indians.


As the wind breathes out of Wind Cave in my face, I am reminded of the creation of humans and my own small place in this magnificent world.  Wind Cave National Park is named for the Cave itself, called Washun Niya, or the Breathing Hole of Mother Earth,  by the Lakota People.  In this creation story, it is from here that they emerged to this world.

It is a complex cave system, according to scientists,  we may only have a sense of 5% of the cave’s volume and breadth, and likely even less of its power.  In the vernacular of some, this might be known as the “ known unknown.”  To most Indigenous peoples, there is an understanding of the Great Mystery.

8/22/2012 10:44:06 PM

I readed your article and it upset me very much! I think all tribal chiefs of all the different tribes should band together and stop these types of auctions. If there any way possible the tribes should band together and reclaim all their lands through these types of sales. By doing so reclaim some of their hertiage for their tribes and all tribes. As a people we have lost so much through time and history! I personally have lost mine through my ancestors trying to hiding in plain sight. Without certain papers I can never reclaim what my family truely lost. All I have is the stories I was told by my beloved ancestors of how they tried to protect themselves and their love ones. But also what it personally cost them of their hertiage and tribe's connection. So act now tribal chiefs and save your tribe's hertiage before it too is lost as my family's was. I would never wish this pain on any future generation children. They need you to grow up strong and believing in their tribe's strength, customs, and beliefs to force them that they can stand tall in both worlds. One foot planted deeply in the past and the other foot planted deeply in the world around them!

Mara Cohen
8/19/2012 6:03:23 AM

Please, if you have ever had a care for Earth-Get the word out on this auction, and please-go to and connect to contribute to the effort to buy this sacred place back, and in the custody of the Tribes.

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