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The WoLakota Learning Model reminds us:

  1. Being is placed ahead of all perceived Doings
  2. Listen deeply to a Being to come to know that Being by his or her own definitions
  3. Doings (the naming, the stories, the values, accomplishments, etc. of others) are heard and appreciated as the wisdom of fellow Beings
  4. Sharing deeply the truth of my own Doings (names, stories, values, accomplishments, etc.) comes in response to deep listening and with the goal of mutual understanding


"Seek first to understand, then to be understood." — Stephen R. Covey

"Opening yourself to another worldview will assist you in understanding what occurs both in and outside of native communities." --Lakota Elder Dottie LeBeau

OSEU 5 Song by Elder Earl Bullhead
Pehin Hanska
(Long Hair Custer)

Pehin Hanska natanyahipelo heyeye
(Long hair, Custer) (Came to count coup)
Lakota kohan natanyahipelo heyeye
(Allies, friends) (In the meantime) (Count coup)
Milahanska k un ceyantanpedo heyeyo
(Long knives) (Once was) (Crying counting coup)

Free Translation: Custer came to count coup, but the Dakota were already counting coup. The Long Knives are crying counting coup. (E. Bullhead 2012)

Pehin Hanska by Sd Wolakota on Mixcloud


OSEU Elder Audio Interviews



OSEU Elder Interviews & Learning Questions
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OSEU Five: Duane Hollow Horn Bear


Learn ABOUT
(deep listening, information)
Learn FROM
(deep sharing, transformation)
  1. How does creation need me?
  2. How can stories help me to understand?
  3. What are the virtues?
  4. What does it mean to "carry a song"?
  5. What's the connection between stories and songs?
  6. How is seeing life as a circle different than seeing things as a line?
  7. How much do unborn children know about their surroundings outside the womb?
  8. What are the Lakota stages of growth in the life of a person?
  9. Do all eagles practice this mate selection process?
  10. How do you know which stories have important meaning for you?
  11. How do you listen to criticism without taking it into your heart?
  12. Why does it sometimes take so many hearings of a story before we can understand it?
  1. What are my beliefs concerning the creation and existence of the world and the universe?
  2. What stories have been important to my own growth?
  3. What are the virtues that were promoted as I was growing up?
  4. What songs have been important in shaping who I am?
  5. How might it be helpful to see life as a cycle rather than a timeline? Can it be both? How might both ways of seeing be helpful?
  6. What are my earliest memories? How do they impact me today?
  7. Are there stages that I have gone through in my life? What are they?
  8. What's the lesson for me in the eagle story?
  9. What's important to me in choosing or selecting a spouse or a partner or even a friend?
  10. Do I deal with criticism well? Do I learn from criticism? What kind of feedback helps me most?
  11. Are there stories that have changed in their meaning as I have grown older? What are they? What has caused them to change?
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OSEU Five: Vernon Ashley


Learn ABOUT
(deep listening, information)
Learn FROM
(deep sharing, transformation)
  1. When was the Lakota language turned into a written language?
  2. How many Iktome stories are there?
  3. What does it mean to turn the spider over?
  1. What kinds of knowledge or understanding do I have that come from oral language? What kinds come from written language? Which are more trustworthy? Which are more powerful? Why?
  2. What stories do I know about a "trickster" character? What can these teach us?
  3. How do I deal with manipulative or tricky people? Am I manipulative or tricky?
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OSEU Five: Stephanie Charging Eagle


Learn ABOUT
(deep listening, information)
Learn FROM
(deep sharing, transformation)
  1. Did the Oceti Sakowin used to gather every summer?
  2. What occasions bring the people together these days?
  3. How do the people of the Oceti Sakowin interact today? For what purposes?
  4. Have people lost some of their ability to listen?
  5. Why is it so important to listen to the stories and songs of elders?
  6. Is there a time for the young people to speak? When is that time?
  7. What is critical listening?
  8. How have tools like Google changed the way the Lakota people learn?
  9. How important is it to not change the stories? Are there parts that can change and things that shouldn't? What things should not be changed?
  1. What family gatherings or reunions have I been a part of? How often do these happen?
  2. Does my family have special gathering occasions? What are they?
  3. Who are the people I listen most to? How do I know they are good people to listen to?
  4. Who are my "elders"?
  5. Are there people who listen closely to learn from me? Am I a good storyteller or teacher?
  6. Do I listen and read critically? What tools do I use to decide if something is true and trustworthy or not?
  7. What stories in my life are most unchanging? What stories in my life have evolved over time to fit my needs or situations?
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OSEU Five: Faith Spotted Eagle


Learn ABOUT
(deep listening, information)
Learn FROM
(deep sharing, transformation)
  1. How often did your grandmother tell you stories?
  2. What are some Oyakapi stories?
  3. What is a Winter Count?
  4. What are some Ohunkaki stories?
  5. What is the difference in purpose between Oyakapi and Ohunkaki stories?
  6. Which four days are your storytelling days?
  7. Who is Ella DeLoria?
  8. Why is it important to tell the same stories over and over again?
  9. Is it important to write these stories down? How is that helpful? Is it ever bad to commit an oral story to writing?
  1. What are my memories of storytelling and campfires or lamp or candlelight?
  2. Who keeps track of my family's important stories?
  3. What stories do I know in which the animals talk? What is the purpose of these stories?
  4. Are there stories I like to hear, read or watch (TV or Movies) over and over again? Why? How to they change with time?
  5. What things do I write down? Are there stories I want to keep for the future? What are they?
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OSEU Five: Gladys Hawk


Learn ABOUT
(deep listening, information)
Learn FROM
(deep sharing, transformation)
  1. What was it like to not have electricity? Did this help the storytelling?
  2. Why did you sleep with your grandmother?
  3. Do you think people have more trouble visualizing stories in their minds today?
  4. How much did the stories change over time?
  5. What lessons did you learn from your grandmother's stories?
  6. What is good etiquette?
  7. How important is getting together later with brothers and sisters and cousins to talk about the stories? How does this change or add to your understanding of the lessons?
  1. Have I ever taken a break from electricity? From technology? Why? What did I learn from this?
  2. What stories have I heard late at night at a sleepover? Have I ever had a sleepover with a grandparent?
  3. What were some of the etiquette lessons I was taught by my parents or grandparents or other adults?
  4. Are there some times when I have gotten together with others to talk through a story we've all heard or experienced? What was most valuable about that experience? How does hearing the perspectives of others change my own understanding?
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OSEU Five: Jace DeCory


Learn ABOUT
(deep listening, information)
Learn FROM
(deep sharing, transformation)
  1. What is a "Wasicu way" of seeing?
  2. Why is it important to honor multiple versions of stories or ways of understanding?
  3. How do you decide if a grandparent or elder story is just "different" or is actually "incorrect"?
  1. What are the unique "ways of seeing" that I or my family have? Am I aware of them?
  2. Do I tend to see the differing perspectives of others as "wrong" or simply as "different"? What are the implications of these two attitudes?
  3. What strategies for understanding do I take when I get differing perspectives from multiple trustworthy sources? How do I go about arriving at my own opinion, decision or choice?