"…I feel it is so important for everyone who believes, and practices Lakota religion, to be encouraged in their faith by being able to see our Sacred Pipe.
It is really the people's pipe, it belongs to the Nation's who believe in the teachings. It is not a tool of spiritual materialism, belonging to a select few.
I believe, as Grandfather Fools Crow tried to teach us, that anyone is welcome, as long as they are pure of heart, and follow the rules…"
— Suzanne Dupree, Looking Back Woman
IN HER OWN WORDS
All the conflict, hatred, and bigotry that has come from the so-called Protection of Ceremonies Proclamation at Green Grass prompted me to come forward.
There is already much that has been lost as far as prayers and people being threatened when they tried to finish Sun Dance commitments they had already made prior to the Proclamation.
All peoples prayers are needed, all should be included in the Hoop of Life.
Grandfather Fools Crow would be the last person who would approve of this kind of petition. It is diametrically opposed to his teachings and the ancient ways of our ancestors.
How can anyone say who is or is not qualified to perform ceremonies?
Is it not the Creator who touches ones heart and calls them to the altar?
By demanding language, blood quantum and other self-serving requirements, dogma and doctrine are being injected into our spiritual ways where none has existed for thousands of years.
We must not tell people what they must believe.
By closing the door to our faith and ancient rites to "outsiders", the Proclamation closes the sacred Hoop that is supposed to include all life.
Instead of having compassion for the thousands of people worldwide who sincerely wish to learn the ceremonies, they are met with a closed fist.
Instead of taking the awesome task to teach them, the writer of the Proclamation wants to corner the market and dictate who may or may not come into the circle.
The Proclamation asks for federal government intervention into to our religious practices. It asks bureaucrats and politicians to tamper with the hard fought and won American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978 – that needs to be strengthened, not weakened by narrow minded protectionist dogma.
I find it interesting that not a single grandmother was allowed to speak during the meeting when it was decided to write the Proclamation.
In fact, all women were excluded from discussions. It was not like that in the old days. The Grandmother's had the respect of everyone, and they were the last word.
The Grandmothers are really who I am standing up for.
It is important that balance between men and women be honored once again for decision making for the good of all people. We must have the democratic process we possessed in ancient times.
These people are calling themselves traditional when they are not really representing a traditional viewpoint. Without the presence and participation of women at these meetings and ceremonies they are acting like immature little boys.
I feel it is so important for everyone who believes, and practices Lakota religion, to be encouraged in their faith by being able to see our Sacred Pipe.
It is really the people's pipe, it belongs to the nation's who believe in the teachings. It is not a tool of spiritual materialism, belonging to a select few.
I believe, as Grandfather Fools Crow tried to teach us, that anyone is welcome, as long as they are pure of heart, and follow the rules.
The Proclamation brought about a great deal controversy. It divided the people and did not bring the sacred Hoop together.
There is a serious misdirection of our society and all brought about by small group who believe they have the macho spiritual power to do so.
This situation helped to call me forward.
By allowing the C'anupa Wakan to be photographed, the Elders from that time set in motion the ways we were to conduct ourselves with these sacred ceremonies.
They did this for a reason. I believe the reason is to enable me to stand up and bring this information to the people at this time.
What I say about what I have is of no importance. It is the questions that arise from this, not necessarily the answers that are important.
Above all, it is what my elders believe or question that is of importance.
The teachings of this pipe are more important than what we may resolve here. It is vital to all people that the teachings of the Pipe be known.
I believe whoever has possession of The Pipe should be doing the White Buffalo Calf Ceremony at Sun Dance, as Grandfather Fools Crow and other Lakota medicine men and woman have in the past. The pipe should be used to strengthen our faith and relationship with our Creator.
I know Lakota, Dakota and Nakota Elder's would like to see it made available to our nation at this time, it is the property of the people, not a select few.
"After I pass away, I intend to pass this Pipe to the Seven Council Fires who will appoint representatives, a man and a woman from each of the seven Sioux tribes to be used in ceremony for future generations.
A man and a woman is necessary to maintain balance. My wish is that this Pipe will always be used for the betterment of the people and never for personal profit."
That was why I lobbied for World Heritage status for the Turtle Mountain Region. I want to do ceremony there again, with the Seven Council Fire Stones, bringing the Seven Council Fires together as the deciding body for the use of this C'anupa Wakan for future generation's ceremonial use and protected by this body of seven men and seven women from spiritual materialism.
I like keeping close to the Mother Earth. I love working outdoors with my animals. I am a poor person with very few material possessions, but that is the way I like it.
Guess I , I would be called a Buffalo Dreamer. I like working with bald eagle and other types of medicines too. I perform ceremonies with the sacred Pipe each and every day – several times a day.
I know when things are going to happen. For example, I once gave the newspaper some valuable documents. I was told in a dream that very night to get them out now!
The newspaper man thought I was nuts but I went and picked them up and the newspaper office burned down two days later. If I had left them in his care, they would have been lost forever.
I will use the sacred Pipe in my possession to help raise consciousness across the world about the Seven Sacred Ceremonies.
I have not performed large public ceremonies because of the possibility of violence.
My life and others would be in jeopardy from people who do not wish for the truth to be known.
It is my hope that one day this will not prevent me from fulfilling the destiny the Creator has placed in my hands.
I do not carry the Pipe, the Pipe carries me.
I am preparing to deliver a special message to the people.
The time and location has not been decided as certain things must come to pass before that day arrives.
We pray the message will bring about a wonderful new day for the Oyate and all peoples of the earth.
I have put all this in the Creators hands. In the meantime, I will keep the sacred Pipe safe and pray with thanks and praise each day.