Tillie Black Bear: Her family, boarding schools & life on the Rosebud Reservation

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Lakota Domestic Violence Activist Tillie Black Bear: Her family, growing up in the boarding school era, and life (then and now) on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota

Near Lake Superior, Tillie Black Bear faces west while singing the four directions prayer in Lakota on September 2008 at Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Michigan. (Turtle Island Project Photo by Greg Peterson)

This the third in a series of videos about Tillie Black Bear and her visit to Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Michigan in the fall of 2008..

In this video, Black Bear talks about her family, the boarding school era, the Rosebud Reservation and life now – and then – on the Rosebud.

Black Bear is the executive director and one of the founders of the White Buffalo Calf Woman Society (WBCWS).

For 31 years, the WBCWS that serves the Lakota Sioux Rosebud Reservation in Mission, South Dakota.

Black Bear spoke to the Northern Michigan University 2008 Uniting Neighbors in the Experience of Diversity (UNITED) Conference on September 23, 2008.

Black Bear spoke in the Great Lakes Room of the NMU University center and later held an informal discussion with the public.

Some quotes and paraphrases from Tillie Black Bear:

I come from … a family of people who – back in the 60s and 50s – could not practice our traditional spirituality, it had gone underground with it – it had gone underground – the pipe.
And practiced those ways until the late 60s and early 70s.

I know by 1978 they did the Native American Religious Freedom Act.

We were able to do these things out in the open.
Leaned traditional ways  from her mother, stepfather, teachers in her family

My family was one of the first ones that brought the Sundance back to Rosebud in 1960 and they had to go to Washington D.C. and get special permission to be able to do it out in the open.
The Sundance is held out in the country.

I come from that rich tradition of resistance and it’s helped me become who I am as a woman.

I grew up with the boarding school background and in the years up until I graduated I was always like a visitor in my own home.
I come from a family of 11 (two older brothers, Tillie is third child, and the oldest of six girls).

The only time I ever went home was at Christmas time and during the summers for a couple months
So I was like a visitor in my own home but I hung onto speaking Lakota.
When I first went to school I spoke probably not more than four or five English words.
I remember going to first grade and even before that I could not speak English.
They came to the door at my grandmothers old log house and asked for my mother. She worked for this nurse.
I could say work nurse – work nurse

There was a small public school in our town – not more than 50 students.
After two weeks they sent home a note to my mother saying I wasn’t quite school ready.    I should start the next year because I could not speak English.

I was like 4 or 5 years old and my mother

Playing at home with cousin – people people came to visit – uncles (mom’s two younger brothers) and said I thought she started school.

Her uncle said:
Tillie was so smart she finished her first year in two weeks.
This is the kind of family I grew up with – rich in humor and keeping ourselves humble.

Tillie then went on to college.

I was probably one of the first Indian women from our tribes in 1970 to get a bachelor’s degree in sociology. One of the first to get a master’s degree in 1974. Went back and did a doctoral study but I am one of those people with the ABD behind my back – all but dissertation.

When we look at who we are as woman. We really have to look at where we come from as women.

Black Bears visit was coordinated by the NMU Center for Native American Studies and the non-profit Turtle Island Project in Munising, Michigan.

The Turtle Island Project (TIP) has held several concerts and other events to raises funds for the WBCWS. TIP Director Rev. Dr. Lynn Hubbard travels several times a year to the Rosebud Reservation.

Black Bear was greeted by Dr. Judith Puncochar, an NMU Professor and an organizer of the annual UNITED Conference

Tillie Black Bear was introduced by Grace Chaillier, an NMU Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Center for Native American Studies and a registered member of the Sicangu Lakota band of the Rosebud Sioux – the same tribe as Black Bear.

Please watch the other Turtle Island Project videos on Tillie Black Bear’s talk in northern Michigan.

Black Bear addresses the Lakota teen suicide crisis, domestic violence, people respecting people and many other important issues.

The Turtle Island Project thanks Tillie Black Bear, NMU Center for Native American Studies, Uniting Neighbors in the Experience of Diversity (UNITED) and White Buffalo Calf Woman Society, Inc.
——-
Tillie Black Bear. Executive Director
White Buffalo Calf Woman Society, Inc.


October is Domestic Violence Month

Tillie Black Bear is an enrolled member of the Sicangu Lakota Nation/Rosebud Sioux Tribe.

She is presently the Executive Director of the White Buffalo Calf Woman Society, Inc., which operates the oldest shelter for women who have been battered or raped on Indian reservations; and is the first shelter for women of color in the U.S. (1978).

Tillie Black Bear is recognized throughout the state, nationally, and in Indian Country as one of the leading experts on violence against women and children.

She is a founding mother of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) and a founder of the South Dakota Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (SDCADV&SA) both in 1978.

She was the first woman of color to chair NCADV and continues to sit on the Board of Director for the SDCADV&SA.

Black Bear presently serves on the advisory board of National Sexual Assault Resource Center, Pennsylvania and is past member of the professional advisory board of the National Domestic Violence Hotline, Austin, TX.

Tillie Black Bear is pictured on Sept. 23, 2008 in Marquette, MI with Dr. José Cuellar of La Raza Studies at San Francisco State University, who spoke on “The Four Enemies of Diversity.”

Black Bear and Dr. Cuellar were both featured speakers at the 2008 UNITED Conference at Northern Michigan University.

Tillie Black Bear is currently a council member for Clan Star a technical resources for tribal grantees through Department of Justice.

Tillie Black Bear was the recipient of an award from the U.S. Department of Justice for her work with victims of crime in April,1988; and in 1989 was one of President Bushs Point of Light.

In 1999 at the Millennium Conference on Domestic Violence in Chicago, IL, Black Bear was one of 10 individuals recognized as one of the founders of the domestic violence movement in the United States.

She was awarded an Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award in December, 2000 by President Clinton.

In May, 2003 Black Bear was a recipient of the first annual LifeTime Achievement Award from LifeTime Television.

Black Bear was selected as one of 21 Leaders for the 21st Century award by Womens eNews in 2004.

In 2005, she received an award from NOW.

She is retired from Sinte Gleska University as a part-time instructor in Human Services; Casey Foundation as a licensed foster parent.

Currently, Black Bear works as a teacher of 13 years teaching students taking a course on cross-cultural ministry at Catholic Theological Union through Shalom Ministries out of Chicago, IL.

Black Bear and colleague Sally Roesch Wagner, Ph.D. have completed a poster series on D/Lakota women elders on each of the nine Dakota/Lakota Nations in South Dakota entitled: D/Lakota Women Keepers of the Nation.

Another collaborative work is workshops on issues of Racism and Cultural Diversity, which has taken them to South Dakota, Vermont, New York, Minnesota, Nebraska and Iowa.

Black Bear has worked as a therapist, certified school counselor, administrator, college instructor and comptroller.

She holds a Master of Art (1974) from the University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD; Bachelor of Science (1971), Northern State University, Aberdeen, SD.

She has served on the St. Francis Indian School Board of Directors, St. Francis, SD; and Sinte Gleska University Board of Regents, Mission, SD.

Black Bear is single mother of 3 girls, grandmother of thirteen and survivor of domestic violence.

Related Links:

Northern Michigan University (NMU)

NMU on Wikipedia

NMU Center for Native American Studies:

Center for Native American Studies

Northern Michigan University

112F Whitman Hall

Marquette, MI

49855

906-227-1397
906-227-1396 (fax)

e-mail:
nasa@nmu.edu

April Lindala, Director
Center for Native American Studies

(906) 227-1397
(906) 227-1396 (fax)

Adriana Greci Green, Assistant Professor
112C Whitman Hall
Phone: 906-227-2374
Fax: 906-227-1396
E-mail Prof. Green


Grace Chaillier

NMU Adjunct Assistant Professor

Sicangu Lakota band of the Rosebud Sioux

112G Whitman Hall

(906) 227-1390

White Buffalo Calf Woman Society, Inc. (WBCWS)

PO Box 227
Mission, S.D.
57555

605-856-2317
605-856-2494 (fax)

Official website of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe – Sicangu Lakota

Uniting Neighbors in the Experience of Diversity (UNITED):
Northern Michigan University
September 21-23, 2008

Other UNITED links:

http://webb.nmu.edu/UNITED/SiteSections/2008Schedule.shtml

http://webb.nmu.edu/Webb/PDFs/UNITED/UNITED_2008.pdf

http://webb.nmu.edu/UNITED/SiteSections/GD989.shtml

Organizers:
Dr. Judith Puncochar
NMU Professor
906-227-1366

e-mail Dr. Puncochar

Turtle Island Project
137 East Onota Street
Munising, MI.
49862

Rev. Dr. Lynn Hubbard, TIP Co-founder, Director

Rev. Dr. George Cairns, TIP Co-Founder, Board President

Turtle Island Project Director Rev. Dr. Lynn Hubbard of Munising, MI was a guest speaker at the 2007 and 2008 UNITED Conference at NMU. Rev. Hubbard is pastor of the Eden on the Bay Lutheran Church in Munising, MI.

Please see the videos on his talks on TIP TV.

For more information on the TIP call 906-202-0590 or 906-401-0109

Turtle Island TV (blipTV)

Turtle Island TV (youtube)

Turtle Island (myspace)

email:
TurtleIslandProject@charter.net

In recent years, the Turtle Island Project has held several free concerts and other events to raise money for the White Buffalo Calf Woman Society. The latest concert was held in Munising, Michigan in Dec. 2008

Anishinaabe News:
NMU Native American student-run newspaper

Check out these web addresses to read more about the Lakota (and other Native American tribes) Prayer & Song to the Four Directions:

http://www.bci.org/prophecy-fulfilled/wbcalf.htm

http://www.manataka.org/page696.html

http://1onewolf.com/lakota/spirit1.htm

http://www.lakotabooks.com/news.htm

http://www.jstor.org/pss/3317793

http://www.aktalakota.org/index.cfm?cat=54&artid=130

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_hb5088/is_/ai_n25221365

http://music.msn.com/music/album/calvin-standing-bear/wakan-olowan-lakota-pipe-ceremonial-and-spiritual-songs

http://musicishere.com/artists/Calvin_Standing_Bear/Wakan_Olowan-Lakota_Pipe_Ceremonial_&_Spiritual_Songs

http://payplay.fm/cstandingbear

http://www.imeem.com/shantiliu/music/yADoFkws/native_americans_prayer_for_the_four_directions

http://audreysblog.yuku.com/topic/403

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJKf8ts1gps&feature=related

http://www.highonlife1.com/four_directions_prayer.htm

http://music.yahoo.com/track/1452994

——-
Lakota Sioux & Rosebud Reservation:

http://www.rosebudsiouxtribe-nsn.gov/history.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosebud_Indian_Reservation

http://www.tradecorridor.com/rosebud/spirit.htm

http://www.sicangufund.org/rosebud/index.html

http://www.travelsd.com/ourhistory/sioux/tribes/rosebud.asp

http://pie.midco.net/lmrose/sicangu.htm

http://www.tolweb.org/treehouses/?treehouse_id=4571

http://www.nps.gov/archive/jeff/LewisClark2/TheJourney/NativeAmericans/LakotaSioux.htm

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About yoopernewsman

I am a news reporter, writer and investigative journalist and began my career about 40 years ago as a young teenager in Augusta, GA after moving south during the middle of high school. I'm a news reporter, writer & investigative journalist specializing in street news, plus Indigenous, civil rights & environment reporting. Currently volunteer media advisor for numerous American Indian & environment related nonprofits that include the Navajo Lutheran Mission in Rock Point, AZ & its executive director Rev. Dr. Lynn Hubbard, the nonprofit Cedar Tree Institute (CTI) in Marquette, MI & its many projects founded by Rev. Jon Magnuson, Author Joy Ibsen of Trout Creek, MI, Celtic Christianity Today (CCT) founded by Rev. Dr. George Cairns, the Turtle Island Project founded by pastors Hubbard & Cairns. In its third summer, the CTI Zaagkii Wings & Seeds Project & its volunteers built a16-foot geodesic dome solar-powered greenhouse that was built in this summer at the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) in an effort to restore native species plants to northern Michigan. It's located at the tribe's Natural Resources Department north of L'Anse along Lake Superior. During the summer of 2010, Zaagkii Project teens built & painted 25 beautiful reliquaries that are boxes made from pine & cedar that are used to store seeds for planting & included samples of Native American medicine including sweetgrass, cedar, sage & tobacco. From April-June 2009, I promoted the EarthKeeper Tree Project that planted 12,000 trees across northern Michigan. Co-edited "Unafraid," the second book by Author Joy Ibsen of Trout Creek, MI that was printed in May 2009 based on her father's handwritten sermons she found in shoebox. I edited numerous videos for nonprofit CCT. Began career 35 years ago as teenager in Augusta, GA after moving south during middle of high school. I was co-coordinator of the 1986 original James Brown Appreciation Day in Augusta, GA, where the Godfather of Soul was always trashed by local media who didn't report anything positive about the music icon. Mr. Terence Dicks was the other co-coordinator & most recently served as chair of the Augusta Human Relations Commission and serves on the Georgia Clients Council. Mr. Brown taught us to "fight the good fight" by battling all forms of racism & evil while not uttering a bad word about those who try to block justice, respect, fairness & kindness to all. As a child, I lived in the Harbert, Michigan home built by late poet Carl Sandburg, where the legendary author penned some of his greatest works including his Chicago works & Lincoln papers. The four-story home had a sundeck on the top & a cool walk-in safe in the basement. The neighborhood (Birchwood) has numerous cottages used for other purposes by Sandburg like the milk house where they milked goats. My parents remodeled fourth floor of the home that stands atop the Lake Michigan sand dunes/bluffs. They found items that belonged to Mr. Sandburg concealed in the walls including prescription bottles with his name, reading glasses, & a small, thin metal stamp with his name. I've worked for dozens of newspapers & radio & TV stations in GA & MI. I'm volunteer media advisor for several interfaith environmental projects involving Native Americans across Upper Peninsula of MI including the Turtle Island Project, The Zaagkii Project, the Interfaith Earth Healing Initiative, EarthKeeper Initiative & the Manoomin (Wild Rice) Project. The Zaagkii Wings & Seeds Project restores bee & butterfly habitat to help pollination of plants following death of billions of bees. Keweenaw Bay Indian Community youth & Marquette teens built butterfly houses, planted/distributed 26,000 native plants to help pollinators. The Earth Healing Initiative assisted EPA Great Lakes 2008 Earth Day Challenge. EHI helped organize interfaith participation across eight states for the 100 plus recycling projects (April 2008) involving recycling millions of pounds of electronic waste & proper disposal of millions of pills/pharmaceuticals. EPA goals were exceeded by 500%. Under an EPA grant, EHI provided free media services for the cities/groups/tribes including videos & press releases. The EarthKeeper environment projects include an annual Earth Day Clean Sweep (2005-2007) at 24 free drop-off sites across a 400 mile area of northern Michigan that collected over 370 tons of household hazardous waste. The 2007 EarthKeeper Pharmaceutical Clean Sweep collected over one ton of drugs plus $500,000 in narcotics in only three hours. Some 2,000 residents participated & many brought in pharmaceuticals for their family, friends & neighbors. In 2006, 10,000 people dropped off over 320 tons of old/broken computers, cell phones & other electronic waste, all of which was recycled. In 2005, residents turned in 45 tons of household poisons & vehicle batteries. The Manoomin (Wild Rice) Project teaches teens to respect nature & themselves by having American Indian guides escort them to remote lakes & streams in northern Michigan to plant/care for wild rice. The teens test water quality to determine the best conditions for the once native grain to survive. The Turtle Island Project was co-founded in July 2007 by Rev. Lynn Hubbard of Rock Point, AR (Ex. Dir. of the Navajo Lutheran Mission) & Rev. Dr. George Cairns of Chesterton, IN, United Church of Christ minister & research professor for the Chicago Theological Seminary. TIP promotes respect for culture & heritage of indigenous peoples like American Indians. TIP is a platform for American Indians to be heard unedited by whites. Rev. Hubbard says whites don't have the knowledge or right to speak on behalf of Native Americans. I specialize in civil rights, outdoor, environmental, cops & courts reporting thanks to my late mentor Jay Mann (Jan Tillman Hutchens), an investigative reporter in Augusta, who lived by the books "Illusions" & "Jonathon Livingston Seagull." Love to fish, hunt, camp & skydive. Belong to Delta Chi national fraternity. I was active in Junior Achievement, band played cornet. With my dear friend, the Rev. Terence A. Dicks, we were the co-coordinators of the 1986 original James Brown Appreciation Day in Augusta, GA, where the Godfather of Soul was always trashed by the local media who found no reasons to print or report anything positive about the music icon. I am honored to help the human rights activist Terence Dicks - with some of his projects including the nonprofit Georgia Center for Children and Education - and the economic initiative he founded titled "Claiming A Street Named King." I am the volunteer media advisor for several environmental projects across Michigan's Upper Peninsula including EarthKeeper II - an Initiative of the nonprofit Cedar Tree Institute in Marquette, MI. EarthKeepers II is an Interfaith Energy Conservation and Community Garden Initiative across the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Goals: Restore Native Plants and Protect the Great Lakes from Toxins like Airborne Mercury in cooperation with the EPA Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, U.S. Forest Service, 10 faith traditions and Native American tribes like the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Previously known as the Earth Keeper Initiative - that project included many environmental projects including an annual Earth Day Clean sweep at two dozen free drop off sites across a 400 mile area of northern Michigan. The target of the 2007 Earth Keeper Pharmaceutical Clean Sweep are all kinds of medicines. In 2006, some 10,000 people dropped off over 320 tons of old/broken computers, cell phones and other electronic waste, all of which was recycled. In 2005, residents turned in 45 tons of household poisons and vehicle batteries. The Manoomin (Wild Rice) Project taught at-risk teens (just sentenced in juvenile court) to respect nature and themselves by having American Indian guides escort them to very remote lakes and streams in northern Michigan to plant and care for wild rice. The teens conducted water quality and other tests to determine the best conditions for the once native grain to survive. I have always specialized in civil rights, outdoor, environmental, cops and courts reporting thanks to my late mentor Jay Mann (Jan Tillman Hutchens), an investigative reporter in Augusta, who lived by the book "Illusions."
This entry was posted in abused, air, American Indian, Angel Wilson, animals, Argus Leader, Argus Leader newspaper, author, benefit, benefit concert, child, children, Christmas, Christopher Columbus, Clay Wilson, Conquistador, Conquistadors, corrupt, corruption, culture, cultures, death, degradation, depressed, depression, Derrick Jensen, despair, Doctrine of Discovery, domestic violence, drunk, Earth, east, environment, European Settlers, evil, exploit, exploitation, explorer, explorers, Falling Rock Cafe, Falling Rock Cafe and Bookstore, father, fire, four directions, free, gambling, genocide, goodness, grave, Great Sioux Nation, guitar, heritage, hope, hopelessness, humor, indigenous, indigenous people, Jihad, joblessness, king, King of Spain, lake superior, Lakota, language, Lara Neel, laugh, Lino “JJ” Spotted Elk Jr., Lino Spotted Elk, Marie Wilcox, Michigan, mission, mother, Munising, Munising Bay, music, Native American, nature, newspaper, NMU UNITED Conference, non-profit, nonviolent, north, Northern Michigan University, poor, poverty, power, power corrupts, prayer, prejudice, racism, rape, Rev. Dr. George Cairns, Rev. Dr. Lynn Hubbard, rich, Rosebud Indian Reservation, Rosebud Reservation, sacred, Santa Claus, satire, SD, sexual assault, Sicangu, Sicangu Lakota, silenced, sing, Sioux, Sioux Falls, Sioux Nation, sky, son, song, songs, south, South Dakota, Spain, spirit, Spirit Jihad, Spirits, St. Francis cemetery, state of emergency, Steve Young, Stoney Larvie, suicide, teen suicide, teens, third world, Tillie Black Bear, tribal, tribe, Turtle Island, Turtle Island Project, Uncategorized, unemployed, Uniting Neighbors in the Experience of Diversity, Upper Peninsula, waves, WBCWS, wealthy, west, White Buffalo Calf Woman Society, whites, woman, women, youth and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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