The Alex White Plume Story: Hemp at Pine Ridge


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Alex White Plume’s tiyospaye (extended family) is his government.


 “Within our family we have our own governing system. Our children are also helpers. They help do everything. I am the oldest male and I pulled my whole family together so I have a governing system.”


There are four bands of Lakota living on Pine Ridge.

“When you talk about us and when you think about us, you’ve got to think about us as four bands.”

The four bands can be identified by their Principal: (1) Red Cloud’s band; (2) Crazy Horse’s band; (3) Bull Bear’s band; and (4) Young Man Afraid of His Horse.

“Those are the four bands that exist here—of the Oglala band. We make the Oglala band, us four. We are just a small family in that whole band.”

“Did you ever hear of the Wounded Knee ride? That Big Foot memorial ride? I was the one who led that; I started that. We used to go up to where Big Foot’s camp was at Eagle Butte Reservation and ride to Wounded Knee every year for five years. We did it for five years—from ’86 to ’90—and when it was over our kids didn’t want to leave it. 'We want to do it ‘til we speak Lakota, ‘til you teach us to speak Lakota.'

"So every year they’ve been keeping it going. The races start about 10:00 and end about 5:00 and then we’ll have celebrations after that. We always have Honorings of the winners. In our family every kid that makes an accomplishment we have Honorings and it’s just a lot of fun down there.”

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webwork by davewest