I chose this broadcast because it is a subject that is very close to my heart. I am half Native. My father is full-blooded Sioux, from a Lakota tribe. So I was definantly very interested in how Speaking of Faith would go about his story. I was also wondering if I might learn some things I am unaware of. I was impressed.
The story of Sitting Bull is mostly portrayed in war and defiance. But this SOF broadcast digs into the spirit of the man and what he was truly about. His way as a Medicine Man, Visionary, and a protector of his people. Tatanka (his birth name) was a spiritual man, as most Natives were in those days, who was merely trying to preserve his peoples ways. Ms. Tippett interviews his great-grandson in this broadcast and we get the luxury of not only hearing about the ways of the Lakota but also some stories of Tatanka's childhood.
I really like how Mr LaPointe (Tatanka's great-grandson) explained how the use of paint on the body when going into battle was not used to cause fear in the "enemy" but to protect the spirit of the individual wearing the paint. They would go on a Vision Quest prior to battle and were shown the markings that they would need. Very cool and very spiritual.
As for Tatanka the few stories of his childhood were remarkable. As a young boy going on his first hunt he chose to kill a large buffalo bull instead of a smaller cow. He didn't want to kill the cow because it was a mother to a calf. He respected life enough to know that calf needed it's mother to survive. So he would rather take the chance of putting himself in danger than killing two lives.
I see a lot of Tatanka's life closely aligning to the life of Christ. He was viewed as a Visionary, Chief, medicine Man, and he died trying to protect his people. He was highly spiritual and compassionate. It is so upsetting to me that that part of him has been overlooked or not paid credence to. Some of the things the "white people" did to force his hand were abominable and instead of taking blame the government has depicted events in a way that made Tatanka look horrible!
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