Waylon Black Crow Visits Gonzaga
On Friday, October 4, Mr. Pugliese’s Lakota History course hosted Waylon Black Crow, a traditional Lakota medicine man who was visiting the east coast from the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota.
A new one-semester class offered through the Social Studies department, the Lakota History course discusses the history of white/Lakota relations and conflicts, the culture and religious beliefs of the Lakota people, the challenges and complexities of life on the Pine Ridge reservation, and the modern history of Lakota and pan-Indian activism. Through close study of a particular community, the course seeks to introduce students to a wider understanding of the American Indian experience as an ongoing fight for justice and survival.
This visit by Waylon Black Crow represented a unique opportunity for students to bring their classroom work and discussions into the real world, and to talk to and learn from a member of the community they have been studying. Mr. Black Crow spoke about the Lakota creation story, the role of spirits and prophecy in Lakota spiritual life, and basics of Lakota spirituality such as the Red Road and the Four Directions. He also shared several prayer songs with the students while playing his hand drum.
“The students really appreciated the visit and were impressed with Mr. Black Crow's knowledge and generosity,” says Mr. Pugliese. “His talk was able to take them to depths that are not possible simply by reading or hearing about them secondhand.”