Chief Arvol Looking Horse leads pipe ceremony

Chief Arvol Lookinghorse, 19th generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe, led a pipe ceremony on Pilot Knob on October 3, 2009. Chief Lookinghorse has spent his life working for religious freedom, protection of sacred sites, and cultural survival. He was aided by Sheldon Wolfchild from Lower Sioux, Chris Leith from Prairie Island, Melvin Grey Owl from Crow Creek, and Melvin Lee from Santee, who all spoke about the importance of preserving Dakota sacred sites. Chief Looking Horse stated that sacred sites are the “power points, the grid,” for Dakota, Lakota, and Nakota peoples. After the ceremony there was a feast/lunch and wopida (a “thank you” giveaway) in which the speakers and visitors were honored. It was a cloudy day, but at various times the sun shone brightly on those gathered and two eagles flew overhead.

Pilot Knob, October 3, 2009, including from left to right, Sheldon Wolfchild, Chris Leith, Arvol Looking Horse, Melvin Grey Owl, and Melvin Lee. At the time the picture was taken, Melvin Lee was speaking eloquently about the effort that it had taken to prevent development on Pilot Knob and the need to do the same for other sacred places.

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