I first met Cheryl Angel in 2018 in Makȟóšiča, The Badlands. My husband, 3 Teyuna Mamos, their representative and a translator were traveling on what would become a 10,000 mile tour during which the Mamos performed daily pagamento, literally payment to Earth for supporting and sustaining all of creation. When nature is in harmony, we as humans are able to feel that accord, responding by relaxing and experiencing balance.
Cheryl, a Huichol Elder and his granddaughter, arrived to camp with us one night. During a meal we shared together we watched lighting – at first a distant flicker and shortly a powerful precursor to a fierce storm. In the morning tents had broken and blown away and we woke under an open sky a little worse for wear but grateful to be together.
Cheryl taught me what it meant to be a good relative in Lakota terms. It’s simple. Treat all flora and fauna like the cherished family members they are. I’m grateful to be one of Cheryl’s relatives.
Cheryl was at Standing Rock from beginning to end. She’s a Water Keeper, she’s cared for people and Earth since she can remember. She recently said to me “When you loose everything, you realize the Creator supports you. You start to understand gratitude.” She speaks from experience.
Today I asked her what she would share today. She said “What it is to be a good relative”.
Cheryl, at first single handedly taking care of 30 COVID positive homeless people in a hotel in Rapid City, is now is part of a grassroots COVID response team caring for on average 40 people a day. She’s supported by her sister, 2 sons, a Meals for Relatives program and the new Oglala Lakota Chapter of the International Indigenous Youth Council. The Teyuna Foundation will be doing what we can to help as well and are in the process of becoming a fiscal sponsor for Oglala Lakota youth and Meals for Relatives.
“The tragic toll that covid-19 has upon our relatives is not unnoticed by the grassroots families whose response to covid-19 is centered on providing direct devices using time honored holistic traditions of plant medicine and nutrition that our own grandmothers used to care for and treat illness. With those timeless practices in hand the youth have stepped up to prevent further spread of covid-19 by integrating them with modern technology.” says Cheryl
Meeting ID: 818 0492 8231
9:00AM Pacific Time; 10:00AM Mountain Time; 5:00PM UTC
Come be inspired by what a few can do for the many, lend an ear to the wisdom of a cherished Elder Lakota Grandmother and learn how you can help. Invite a relative.
“Decolonization when you start recognizing everyone as your relative without lines of separation. When you treat individuals like solutions.”