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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

Song for OSEU 1 by Elder Earl BullheadHespa Olowan wan (A memorial song)
Kola weksuyeye kola weksuyelo heyeye
(Friend) (I remember) (Friend) (I remember) Kola weksuyeye kola iyapelo heyeyeye (Friend) (I remember) (Friend) (They have gone) Makazitomniya akicita ye na he owakiye (All over the world) (Soldier) (Went)(That) (I’m helping) Tuwesecekun kola weksuye kola iyapelo heyeyeye (To whom it may concern) (Friend) (Remember) (Friend) (They have gone) Makazitomniya akicitayena he owakiyelo heyeyeyo (All over the world) (Soldiers went)(I’m helping)
Free Translation: We are honoring all those relatives who have gone to protect our freedom. (Individual’s Lakota name) I remember my friend. They have been all around the world. (E. Bullhead 2012)


OSEU 1 Elder Audio Interviews

OSEU 1 on Mixcloud


OSEU 1 Elder Video Interviews & Learning Questions
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OSEU One: David Bald Eagle



Learn ABOUT
(deep listening, information)
Learn FROM
(deep sharing, transformation)
  1. How are the European “Man-made” laws different from the “Law of Nature”?
  2. How do you learn the Laws of Nature?
  3. What does Oceti Sakowin mean?
  4. When was the flag with the seven stars created?
  5. How are the stars in the sky connected with the seven campfires?
  6. What does “prayer” look like for the people of the Oceti Sakowin?
  7. What are the different dialects of the Oceti Sakowin
  1. What are the laws or rules that I follow or come in contact with on a daily basis? Where do they come from?
  2. Are there laws or rules that I have trouble understanding or following?
  3. Was there ever a time when I found myself suddenly having to follow brand new rules that I knew nothing about? What was that like?
  4. What lessons have I learned from Nature?
  5. What experiences have I had in connection with the stars or constellations?
  6. What is my own concept of prayer?
  7. When have I interacted with people who speak my language, but with a different dialect? How does that effect my perceptions and interactions with them?

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OSEU One: Vernon Ashley



Learn ABOUT
(deep listening, information)
Learn FROM
(deep sharing, transformation)
  1. What are the fruits and foods and wildlife that the Missouri River environment supplied?
  2. What do Canunkpa (tree ears) look like?
  3. Who were the “carriers”? Did the people of the Oceti Sakowin transport and trade foods among the different groups?
  4. What does the “Indian Turnip” look like? How was it traditionally prepared for eating?
  5. What foods were eaten when nothing was in season—like in winter?
  1. What are the foods that grow naturally where I live?
  2. How much of the food that I eat comes from somewhere far away?
  3. What are the implications for us as a society to be more dependent upon imported foods than people in the past?
  4. What are my experiences with gardening or with wild foods or with eating wild game?
  5. How might I be impacted differently when I eat food I’ve grown, gathered or hunted than when I eat food that I’ve bought at a store or restaurant?
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OSEU One: Duane Hollow Horn Bear



Learn ABOUT
(deep listening, information)
Learn FROM
(deep sharing, transformation)
  1. Does everyone in the Oceti Sakowin know their otiwote?
  2. How does knowing your otiwote connect you in a special way with makoce—the earth?
  3. What are some of the stories about why Crazy Horse fought for the Black Hills?
  4. How is the idea of otiwote “spiritual”?
  5. Do people of the Oceti Sakowin always know their otiwote? Is there a specific time they learn of it?
  6. Why is it so important for elders to pass on the wisdom?
  7. What’s the difference between seeing the earth as your mother and owning it?
  8. How is the Black Hills a wizipan, a container?
  9. What did the people of the Oceti Sakowin use from the Black Hills for shelter, food and medicine?
  10. What does it mean to have a relationship with makoce?
  11. How do people “give back” to the earth?
  1. Do I know the specific place where I was born?
  2. Do I have a special relationship to that place?
  3. Are there places that I have a special relationship with? Where are they? Why do I have a special relationship with them?
  4. Are there special places I’d be willing to fight for?
  5. Who are the people I learn wisdom from?
  6. How would it change me to think less about owning something, and more about having a relationship with it?
  7. What things might be easier to see in “relational” ways than in “ownership” ways? What makes the difference?
  8. Are there things I treat in “ownership” ways that I could try seeing more relationally? What might I learn from that?
  9. Do I have a place or a person or some other thing that is my “wizipan” or a container for all I need? Where, whom or what is it?
  10. What might happen if people feel like they have no wizipan, or that their wizipan is empty?
  11. Are there ways that I “give back” to some place, person or thing that acts as my wizipan?
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OSEU One: Stephanie Charging Eagle



Learn ABOUT
(deep listening, information)
Learn FROM
(deep sharing, transformation)
  1. What is “stewardship” and how is it different from “ownership”?
  2. How were different groups within the Oceti Sakowin stewards for different areas? How did this impact the entire Oceti Sakowin?
  3. How does the idea of unci maka change your relationship with where you live?
  4. What are there some examples of people “taking advantage” of unci maka?
  5. How is the connection with the land spiritual?
  6. How is the people’s identity connected with unci maka? How is identity “lost” when the land is taken?
  7. Who are the stewards of the Black Hills?
  8. Who are the stewards of the Pipestone Quarry?
  9. What is the difference between deeding land to individuals and deeding land to the family? Why is this important today? How does it impact the people of the Oceti Sakowin?
  10. How is land connected with the concept of Tiospaye?
  11. What are the misunderstandings that have happened in South Dakota because of differences in concepts of land ownership?
  1. Are there things or places that I have stewardship over?
  2. Do I have a relationship with the place where I live?
  3. How is my “identity” shaped by where I live?
  4. What is my family’s sense of “shared ownership” vs. each of us having our separate things? What things are “my family’s” and what things are “mine”? What is the best balance of ownership in a family?
  5. Do I have a place I know, no matter where I go, I can “always come back” to?
  6. Have I or my family ever had a misunderstanding with someone else or with another group over the concept of ownership? How was it resolved? Was it resolved?
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OSEU One: Faith Spotted Eagle



Learn ABOUT
(deep listening, information)
Learn FROM
(deep sharing, transformation)
  1. What is the Wind Cave origin story?
  2. Who are the pte oyate and how did the people of the Oceti Sakowin descend from them?
  3. What are the “further links” that tie the people to the blood of the Buffalo?
  4. What other ways did your grandfather or your elders teach you? Was it always by observing something in nature?
  5. What is “star knowledge”?
  6. Who are the “star people”?
  7. What further connections between people and stars out in the “universe” do you expect to become clear with time?
  8. What are the rites of passage that are a part of the Oceti Sakowin? How are they connected with the outdoors?
  9. How do the people of the Oceti Sakowin see the summer solstice as a beginning? How is it seen as an end by the people of the “Western Cup”?
  1. What stories of origin impact my life?
  2. Do I feel kinship with others from whom I have descended? Who are they? How does this kinship impact my life now?
  3. Are their lessons I have learned from observing nature?
  4. Do I have some sort of elder or teacher or “grandfather” or “grandmother” who helps me to learn?
  5. Are there “rites of passage” that I have experienced or expect to experience? How do they change those who go through them?
  6. Do I see life milestones primarily as endings or as beginnings? What difference does it make?
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OSEU One: Gladys Hawk



Learn ABOUT
(deep listening, information)
Learn FROM
(deep sharing, transformation)
  1. What is the difference between “living off” the land, “living with” the Land and simply “living on” the land?
  2. In what way is the Land your grandmother?
  3. What things does “mother earth” provide for the people?
  1. Who has provided for me… a Grandmother? Grandfather? Mother? Father? Other? What kind of relationship develops when someone becomes a provider?
  2. Have I ever felt like a place or a region was my provider? Why or why not?
  3. What’s an appropriate response to a provider? How should the one being cared for show appreciation?
  4. What might appreciation look like if “mother earth” is my provider?
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OSEU One: Jace DeCory



Learn ABOUT
(deep listening, information)
Learn FROM
(deep sharing, transformation)
  1. How do the Lakota view spirituality in connection with the Black Hills?
  2. In what way are rocks, plants and animals your relatives? How does that effect your relationship with them?
  3. What is “smudging”?
  4. What is the origin story connected with Wind Cave? Inyan Kaga?
  5. What is emergence? What do you mean when you say you come from mother earth?
  6. How many different stories of emergence are there?
  7. How do you see the change from Pte Oyate (Buffalo Nation) to Ikce Wicasa, Ikce Winyan (Common men and women) as happening? How does this fit with theories about evolution?
  8. What are the sacred places in and around the Black Hills?
  9. What is the significance that “everything is sacred” and things just take “different forms”?
  1. What is my view or definition of spirituality?
  2. What is my relationship with the various rocks, plants and animals I come into contact with? Do I feel a kinship in any way to them? Which ones?
  3. What experiences have I had in connection with caves, caverns or being underground? How have those experiences affected me?
  4. Are there ways that I have “emerged” from one place or stage into another? What are those ways?
  5. Are there ways I have evolved?
  6. What do I believe about various theories of evolution?
  7. What places are sacred to me or to people in my family?
  8. If I see something or someone as sacred, how does it change the ways I relate to that person or thing?
  9. How might seeing others as sacred but just taking “other forms” help me to develop deeper understandings of myself and the world around me?