Saturday, October 20, 2012

A Wisdom Keeper, Marcella Ryan LeBeau

Marcella Ryan LeBeau is a member of the Two Kettle Band of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and lives in Eagle Butte, South Dakota. Her Lakota name is Wigmuke Waste Win (Pretty Rainbow Woman).
Thank you Pretty Rainbow Woman
for your wisdom, your beauty,
your service to our country!
I have been so very honored to hear of this most beautiful woman through my dear friends Jane and Walter Littlemoon
who met her when speaking to a group recently as they talked about
"The Thick Dark Fog" out in South Dakota.
It seems the room was filled as people listened to Walter tell of the making of the documentary, his life in the Indian Boarding schools, the truamas lived and life as it was known
When it came time for discussions, questions and a request for others to come forward, to be interviewed with their stories in their words just as they were, and then added to the voices of others; some were hesitant, some were angry, some were tearful and others were forceful in their standing to speak.
And then a most elegant and beautiful woman stood.
She was this woman, and her voice touched the hearts and eyes of all that were present, 
and as Jane told  me of this most powerful evening I almost begged for a photograph and kept asking "when will you sit over coffee with that woman of 92 years and hear her stories and grow from her wisdom Jane"?
I've thought of her so very often,
and then last night I received an email from Jane with her photograph and a write up about her, and my heart was glad, as she looked almost as I visioned her!
Interesting how I would like to touch her hands, to be touched by her hands, to hear her stories and benefit from her words and her wisdom.  There is something very powerful and strong about this woman that speaks to my heart.
I have a feeling that she will sit at the kitchen table with Jane and Walter in the near future, I'm not sure why, but I can see it happening. She will lend her face, her voice, her wisdom to the interviews that will continue the circle of understanding and knowledge being spread now with the release and continued widening of 
The Thick Dark Fog
that is being seen across the lands and waters now.
It is growing, it is being seen and talked about as Walter and Jane are going more and more places and speaking to more and more groups, Universities and communities on the impact of intergenerational trauma, sorrow and grief while stepping through the fog brought about by such horror of those boarding schools.
This beautiful woman will also help with that, she will spread the word, encourage others to come forward with their stories, their pain revealed and validated while knowing that the light is there for healing ways through the telling of stories and being heard.
Others are talking, they are being heard, perhaps for the first time being truly understood now having a word for all they have endured in silence or blanketed acceptance and powerlessness for so long a time.  Stories that are filled with such pain must be told to be released, shared to be validated and set free from that place of such depth and sorrow.
What began as Walter Littlemoon and Jane sitting at their kitchen table with a pot of coffee or many pots near by, a pen and paper ...
Walter starting and stopping while writing his memoirs for his family; opening a steel trap of emotions laden with horror and sorrow buried deep, has now turned into a film that involves others who went through the hell of the Indian Boarding schools and did such harm to innocent little children who once could run in fields and play with open hearts and loving families while speaking their languages and feeling the wind flow through their hair and praying to their Creator.
The Government changed all that with the goal of "kill the Indian and save the wo/man"
and in the process giving post trauamatic stress, complex post trauamatic disorder a face unlike anyone has ever known.
Yet, this is now a time of growth, a time of healing ways and change is happening as more come forward to tell the stories to allow the healing to begin and to offer hope to others.
It is a time to honor, to give great thanks
to Walter Littlemoon, to Jane, to those in the film and to a 
wonderful woman who served our country and is known as a storyteller.
This is Marcella in 
serving our nation, a nurse, a warrior
a beautiful woman.
      Thank you for your service
thank you for your life that you continue to live with such grace, integrity and pride.
[This is taken from the Turtle Island Story Teller page:]
 Her great-grandfather, Chief Joseph Four Bear (Mato Topa), signed the Fort Laramie Treaty in 1868. Her grandmother, Louise Bear Face, was related to Rain In The Face who took part in the Battle of the Little Horn. Marcella served as a nurse in WWII becoming a 1 st Lieutenant in the Army Nurse Corps. The army service took her from the USA to Wales, England, France and Belgium. Since receiving the French Legion of Honor Award on June 6, 2004 in Paris France, at the occasion of the 60 th Anniversary of D-Day, Marcella has been requested to participate at many Veterans' events, speaking of her military experience in World War II. Marcella served one term as District 5 council representative for the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. She is also honored to speak to the youth at elementary, high school and college venues when she is invited.
In 1992 and 1995 Marcella and her son, Richard went to Glasgow, Scotland with interest in the return of the Ghost Dance Shirt that was taken from Wounded Knee in 1890. After negotiations the ghost shirt was returned by the Kelvin Grove Museum. George Craeger, with the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show, sold some artifacts to the museum and donated a Ghost Shirt. It's now held at the Heritage Cultural Center at the South Dakota Historical Society in Pierre, South Dakota.
After retiring as the Director of Nursing from the Indian Health Service in Eagle Butte, Marcella and her granddaughter, Bonnie opened a machine quilting shop located in Eagle Butte. They make a variety of quilts. The main feature of their shop is the star quilt frequently used by the Lakota people for honoring and naming ceremonies, memorial give aways, etc. which are traditional of this area's native people.
Marcella having raised a family of eight children is an advocate for the Lakota language and culture, youth, veterans, elderly, upholding treaties, and wellness.
Marcella LeBeau
PO Box 805
Eagle Butte, SD 57625
It is important to share, important to recognize those Elders of ours, this is one woman I would be honored to thank personally and share a cup of coffee with.
Oh how I would love to hear her tell a story, but I'm certain that Jane will share a few with me, it's just a matter of time.
If you have not read Walter's book, please know you can order it on Amazon,
and look for 
The Thick Dark Fog
on PBS or call your local stations to inquire and see it when it gets to your area!
You just never know when my friends might be in your town talking about it, I hope you get an opportunity to meet them!
There ya go,
Jane and Walter!

     Wherever you are today,
I wish you enough, I wish you blessings in all things and right way relations!
Oh my, Dot/Mom/Cob is heading to FL tomorrow, best get moving to get this joint ready! haha
Be well friends,
Walk in Beauty


fluff said...

Thank you Dr. Sherry for the words and message today. Indeed a Wisdom Keeper Marcella Ryan LeBeau. What a lovely lady she is also. Surely would be one to sit down and listen to for days and days of her life and wisdom.
That is great that your Mom Dot will be spending some time there in Florida. Be safe Dot/Mom/Cobb and have a grand time.
Wishing everyone a very happy Saturday and hope the sun is shining on you today. /Sandy♥

fluff said...

Dr. Sherry, I just came back to see the video you posted. Not long ago, I tearfully watched a documentary on the history channel and saw exerts of this same video and Walter Littlemoon and others talking about their experiences in the Indian Boarding schools. It saddened me so to think this happened to so many precious children and allowed to happen. The video you posted brought back that program and the sadness I felt at what I saw and heard. God Bless Walter Littlemoon and all of those for all they went through as children under such horrid events as that. May they find healing in expression and in story telling. /Sandy♥

oshkosh said...

Just now getting here late. When I pulled up today's blog and saw her, I froze, literally!!! Then the cold chills. Could not read the blog fast enough to learn what all it said. Makes one want to sit at her feet, and hang on her every word....and YES, notes galore!! THANK YOU FOR POSTING THIS.

Andrews said...

Thank you Dr. Sherry for the words and message today. Indeed a Wisdom Keeper Marcella Ryan LeBeau. What a lovely lady she is also. Surely would be one to sit down and listen to for days and days of her life and wisdom. That is great that your Mom Dot will be spending some time there in Florida. Be safe Dot/Mom/Cobb and have a grand time. Wishing everyone a very happy Saturday and hope the sun is shining on you today. /Sandy♥

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