The Rosebud Sioux Tribe recognized the ongoing need to walk the walk of environmentalism during the 2012 Unci Maka Celebration. “As Lakota, we’re supposed to be taking care of our earth, but it doesn’t seem to be happening that way,” said Kevin Boyd, Environmental Protection director.
He continued to discuss the need for Rosebud Sioux Tribal members to take a personal responsibility toward keeping the reservation clean as a means to protect water sources. The celebration included speakers from various tribal departments and agencies, including Water Resources, Sicangu Oyate Land Office, Tribal Land Enterprise, Solid Waste as well as environmental histories and accounts from tribal elders Jessie Clairmont, Sandra Black Bear and Marie Randall.
She continued to emphasize the return to traditional philosophies as a way to practice good environmental stewardship now and for future generations.
“I’m a Sicangu winyan, I was born and raised here … Red Leaf community was where I was born and raised by my two uncis who taught me how to live. There’s only four values of life and seven virtues to live by; but sometimes it’s very hard to live by those laws: wisdom; respect and generosity. Generosity, you share the best of what you have, share it with one another and don’t use the paper to hurt one another … teach these takojas these values and they can live with them.”