Red Day Chronicles
Anpetu Luta Owapi
SGU Nursing Dept. graduates 5 LPN’s
By: Teddie Rae Herman-Rogers
MISSION - Sinte Gleska University held its 42nd Annual Wounspe Wowapi Yusutapi and its 31st Annual GED Wounspe Wowapi Yusutapi on Friday, August 22nd, 2014, at the Wakinyan Wanbli Multipurpose Building.
Lakol Woicicunze: Sicangu Oyate nahan Sinte Gleska Owayawa Wakatuya
Wakicunza ki Ta Woihanble ki “Ho Wana! Woicicunze Unkicicage pi kte”
The theme of the Commencement exercises was: “Sharing the Sicangu Oyate and Sinte Gleska University Founders’ Vision and ‘Now We Make the Promise to Fulfill the Vision’.”
Before the actual handing out of the diplomas to the grads, the morning of Graduation is a special one with a flurry of activities. Beginning at 8 am, Chief Leonard Crow Dog, Sr., Lakota Instructors, Duane Hollow Horn Bear and Francis Cutt, and SGU President, Lionel Bordeaux conducted the Anpe Wi Hoyekiyapi (Calling on the sun to bring good energy and health to all creation) ceremony. All of SGU’s faculty, instructors, administration, students, and the public were invited to attend the ceremony.
Once the day was blessed for the graduates, the multipurpose building was also blessed with the Ti azilkiyapi (purification) ceremony. These ceremonies represent the uniqueness of our students, and also shows appreciation for them and ensures that their “special” day that they’ve worked so hard for will be just that: very special.
A Wiping of the Tears ceremony was held for those who have lost a loved one this past year. Marty Makes Room for Them drummed and sang the Lakota Memorial Song in memory of: Leland Bordeaux, Norman Keeler, William “Bill” Akard, Donna Larvie, Rosalie Little Thunder, Ernestine Eagle Elk, Alfreda Jumping Elk, Stanley Whipple, Marie War Bonnett/Good Shield, Matilda “Tillie” Black Bear, Calvin Kills In Water, Jr., David Moran, Linda Lambert, Ben Clifford, Feather Rae Colombe, Franklin Spotted Tail, and Cheryl Spotted Tail.
As has been the tradition in years past, the E’yapaha (Master of Ceremonies) was Dr. Everette “Butch” Felix, Sr., who is well known throughout Indian Country for his unique style of entertainment.
As the graduates started showing up around noon and were getting lined up for the graduation’s grand entry, you could feel the excitement. There were 7 receiving their Masters of Education degree, 2 receiving their Master of Arts/Human Services degrees, 10 receiving their Bachelor of Arts, 18 receiving their Bachelor of Science, 21 receiving the Associate of Arts degree, 14 receiving their Associate of Applied Science degrees, and 30 receiving their GEDs.
Cecelis Johnson, Bobbie Leneaugh, Angelina Tronvold, Deanna Houseman, and Rachel Williams are all LPNs of SGU’s Nursing Department who were among the 14 receiving their Associate of Applied Science degrees.
SGU~Allied Health and the SGU Nursing Department, both Institute of Technology programs, are proud of these ladies, their families, and the Instructors, for the completion of their AAS degrees and wish these new LPNs the best in their future endeavors.
Instructors for the Nursing Dept. are Rita Schneider, Melody Otte, Briana Broschat, and Director, Virginia Cozad. Director of the Institute of Technology is Jim Poignee.
After the graduates receive their diplomas, a special ceremony takes place called the Wiyaka un Wicayounihan (Blessing & Tying of Feathers) wherein a feather is tied into the graduates’ hair by a ‘sponsor’ – a person chosen by the grad to tie the feather into their hair. This ritual shows respect for the sponsor, who is chosen because they have special meaning to the grad, and it is an honor to be chosen as a ‘sponsor’. Also, the sponsor, while tying the feather into the grad’s hair is praying at the same time as he/she is tying it in for good health, wicozani, a good life, for all good things to come to the person who is the receiver of the feather. Red Leaf drum group sang the honor song for the graduates.
The tradition of the tying of the feathers takes place because a Native, when recognized for an outstanding achievement, is given an eagle feather for the deed, whether it’s going into the military, going to war, graduating from school, helping and showing compassion to the people, etc. It’s a tradition that goes back for as long as our Tribe can remember.
Four people were honored during the graduation ceremonies for their outstanding contributions to Sinte Gleska University and the Tribe: Mary Jane Spotted Tail, Michael Benge, Matilda “Tillie” Black Bear, and Leland Bordeaux.
Congratulatory speeches addressed to the grads were given by a foray of individuals with positive and distinctive qualities and the highest education you can achieve, such as Dr. David Chicoine, President of South Dakota State University, Dr. David Gipp, Chancellor of United Tribes Technical College, Dr. Don Yu of the Bureau of Indian Education (B.I.E.) & US Department of Education, Dr. Phil Baird, President of United Tribes Technical College, Dr. Lowell Amiotte, Director of South Dakota State Indian Education, and Dr. Cheryl Crazy Bull, President & CEO of the American Indian College Fund. With such supporters as these speakers, it would be hard not to get motivated to continue one’s education, especially when many of them are not only Native American, but are members of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe!
Marty Makes Room for Them sang Sinte Gleska Ta Olowan (Spotted Tail Song) before the conclusion of the graduation ceremonies. A prayer and a meal followed.
This is how we do lunch here at Allied Health, when we're celebrating anyways... Burgers, hotdogs, homemade potato salad, baked beans, chips, fruit cups, and homemade fruit punch... Yummm... Congratulations to the CNA students on their hard work and determination!
Teddie Rae Herman-Rogers
Social Marketing Manager, SGU/Allied Health
Phone: (605) 856-8226
"The SGU Nursing Dept.'s CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) students had their class Finals Tuesday, July 15th; had their Clinical's yesterday at Good Samaritan in Valentine; and, today, July 17th, they will be taking their CNA Skills and Written tests!!
We here at Allied Health cheffed up a cook-out for their lunch break on Tuesday, and we also invited the Rosebud Sioux Tribe's White River Health Care Center's Director, Carol Gregg, and their Director of Nursing, Kathy Krogman, to come and explain what the WRHCC is all about to our students, and what they're looking for when hiring a CNA. "Compassion, Caring, Understanding, Patience..." are among several traits they're looking for.
Ms. Gregg and Ms. Krogman also announced they are looking for CNA's and LPN's to hire! They handed out applications, job descriptions, and the Essential Functions List. We certainly hope some of our CNA's apply and work at the WRHCC! It's where our tribal people live.... The staff motto of WRHCC is: "You work where they live!"
We want to send out a special shout out "Thank You!" to All-Stop, Turtle Creek Crossing Supermarket, and, Buche's for your food/drink donations! We sure appreciate your support of our Nursing Dept. students!
Good Luck CNA's with your tests and your future endeavors!"
Broken promises: The state of health care on Native American Reservations by Tracie White
I traveled to Haiti a month after the 2010 earthquake to report on what was happening there for Stanford Medicine magazine. So when I went to the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota this year with a group of Stanford students, I was incredulous to learn that the average life expectancy in this community was one year lower than Haiti’s – 46 versus 47 - and a full 33 years shorter than the average American.
Statistically speaking, the poor health of Native Americans living the Great Plains of the United States rivals many developing countries. I had no idea. Diabetes, alcoholism, and depression rates are frighteningly high. Suicide rates are 10 times the national average.
My goal in writing my in-depth story, which appears in the current issue of Stanford Medicine and was just recommended as a Longreads pick, was to try to understand how this could possibly be true, and to lend some perspective as to what could be done to change it. What I found was a toxic mix of causative factors: isolation, poverty, poor nutrition, poor education - each of which has its roots in history. What became strikingly clear during my visit to the federally funded Rosebud Indian Health Service Hospital on the reservation was that the United States government has never kept its promises, made in multiple treaties, to provide health care to Native Americans in exchange for land.
From my piece:
One afternoon during a visit to the hospital, I walk from the ER to a separate wing to find the CEO, [Sophie Two Hawk, MD, who also happens to be the first Native American to graduate from the University of South Dakota's medical school]. Her door’s ajar, and she waves me in. She’s dressed in the military-style uniform of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, her long, gray hair pulled back in a braid that drops down her back. She’s doing paperwork — denying a pile of requests from her physicians for additional care for their patients. The requests are appropriate, she says, but the hospital just doesn’t have the money to pay for the care. “If someone shows up with a torn ACL, we can’t afford to fix it,” she says. “He will walk with a limp.” Two Hawk, like many others, links the poor health statistics of Native Americans not only to the lack of adequate (federal) funding but to the community’s tragic history. The hopelessness, the despair — it’s rooted in history.
The story delves into some of that history, including the forced relocation of Native American children to faraway boarding schools, another particularly ugly chapter in history that I knew nothing about. This forced relocation led to “cultural distortion, physical, emotional and sexual abuse, and the ripple effect of loss of parenting skills and communal grief,” a government study states. Hope on the second poorest county in the country – neighboring Pine Ridge Indian Reservation comes in first place – is a struggle to find. But it’s there, particularly in the strong bonds of the community itself:
Leaving Two Hawk, I head to the office next door where another Native American hospital employee, psychologist Rebecca Foster, PhD, works. When I knock on her office door, she’s taking a break to cradle her week-old grandson. Foster and her husband, Dan, also Native and a psychologist at the hospital, have 14 children — seven of those adopted from relatives on the reservation who were unable to care for them. All seven of those children are special needs, like the baby’s father, who was born with fetal alcohol syndrome… ” I see a lot of kids who are depressed, who talk about suicide,” she says, then pauses to look into the eyes of her grand baby. “And yet, kids are still resilient. They still have a desire to have a good life, to be happy, to accomplish things. No matter where you come from, you can never completely destroy that. There are very few kids here who don’t have a dream. What I tell young people is that there is a difference between having to stay here because you are trapped and choosing to be here because you have something to give. One’s a prison, the other is a home.”
An Intro. to “Anpetu Luta Owapi”
Welcome to “Anpetu Luta Owapi”*, or “Red Day Chronicles” as translated from Lakota to English. “Anpetu Luta Owapi” is a blog for those interested in their own personal well-being, emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually, but most importantly, it’s about you taking care of you… however, that may be, whether you enjoy reading, running, biking, hiking, writing, baking, cooking, laughing, praying, playing basketball, beading, watching entertainment, traveling to wacipi’s… whichever path you choose, may it lead down the red road to a healthy lifestyle.
I will be sharing the happenings going on around Sinte Gleska University, and the Rosebud Sioux Reservation, as I see it, and as it is shared with me. If you would like to have your fliers, articles, information, etc...in regards to the promotion of leading a healthy lifestyle, and it fits into any of these categories: health, fitness, sports, fashion, entertainment, humor, beauty, travel, tech., children, recipes, pets, photos, wacipi’s, etc…please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will post them in the “Red Day Chronicles”. I look forward to your correspondence!! =)
Anpetu Luta Yuhapi* (may you have a really good day!)
~ Teddie Rae Herman-Rogers ~
Social Marketing Manager
SGU Allied Health/TAACCCT
P.O. Box 105
Mission, SD 57555
Phone: (605) 856-8158
Luta: Red, scarlet, symbolizing spirituality, good health
Owapi: writings, journal, articles, chronicles
Yuhapi: personal, women speaking, to have, be the owner/keeper of
Wacipi: “powwow”, dance, dancing
Special thanks to Francis Cutt, SGU Lakota Studies Dept., Evelyn White Hawk, SGU Board of Regents, and Maxine Bordeaux-Limon, SGU Administration, for their teachings and patience.