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Drenched in Culture

I was very fortunate to have a friend invite me to the 2021 Lower Sioux Wacipi near Redwood Falls, MN mid-June. I decided to do more research on the event, to understand the reason for the gathering and to learn more about the Indian peoples history in this area. Try as I might, all I read was heartbreak and worse. I read about all the atrocities wrought by soldiers against so many different Indian nations, the slaughter and genocide trying to wipe out nations of people. Although the event was open to the public, as it's a family gathering held on reservation land, I felt like an intruder. Should I photograph anyone? Should I leave? The chanting and dancing and drums were haunting. Some people feel overwhelming guilt. I don't feel that at all. I can't answer for my ancestors. I can only acknowledge today witnessing "the healing generation", the haunting eyes of many of the elders, their minds remembering, languages lost but hopefully soon to be reborne, and hope my presence was seen out of reverence and not trespass.

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