Blog 3: Commonwealth
August 2, 2018

I had the opportunity to learn so much during my internship with Ogallala Commons, including what a Commonwealth is. A commonwealth is a group of assets belonging to a community. I determined which assets my community thrived in, but I believe a certain asset that a community thrives in the most is what make it unique. Living on the Rosebud Reservation, I see that my community and the Lakota people thrive the most in our spirituality,through our strong connection to the higher power, as well as in our sense of place.

My father has always told me how our spirituality and the seven sacred ceremonies have helped the people lead long healthy lives and survive  hardships, even genocide.. There are certain seasons when some of these sacred ceremonies must be practiced, but there are other ways that we maintain our spirituality, such as praying, smudging with sage, or throwing tobacco out for the ancestors. I believe spirituality helps my community thrive and is a doorway  to our culture, identity, and language.

A sense of place is somewhere we call home or feel at peace. For the Lakota people I believe that would be our tribal lands,the place that holds so much history and where our ancestors persisted. What also gives us that sense of place is the power of family, culture, and spirituality Although there are other assets in which my community continues to grow, I believe all aspects are important… It was interesting being educated more about the topic of commonwealth.

 

Here is a picture of spiritual leader Roy Stone Sr. (left) saying a prayer for the youth at an event. On the right is my father who is singing a prayer song in my Lakota language.

 

A sense of place. A place where you feel at home or at peace.