I am an old woman now. The buffaloes and black-tail deer are gone, and our Indian ways are almost gone. Sometimes I find it hard to believe that I ever lived them.

My little son grew up in the school. He can read books, and he owns cattle and has a farm. He is a leader among our Hidatsa people, helping teach them to follow the white man's road.

He is kind to me. We no longer live in an earth lodge, but in a house with chimneys, and my son's wife cooks by a shove.

But for me, I cannot forget our old ways.

Often in summer I rise at daybreak and steal out to the corn fields, and as I hoe the corn I sing to it, as we did when I was young. No one cares for our corn songs now.

Sometimes in the evening I sit, looking out on the big Missouri. The sun sets, and dusk steals over the water. In the shadows I see again to see our Indian village, with smoke curling upward from the earth lodges, and in the river's roar I hear the yells of the warriors, and the laughter of little children of old.

It is but an old woman's dream. Then I see but shadows and hear only the roar of the river, and tears come into my eyes. Our Indian life, I know, is gone forever.

Waheenee - Hidatsa (North Dakota) -Old Native American Woman

Facts about Native Americans

High suicide rate
In 2007, American Indian and Alaska Native youths, 15 to 24 years old, were committing suicide at a rate more than three times the national average for their age group of 13 per 100,000 people.

Alcohol & Native Americans
Higher rates of suicide have long been tied to alcoholism and drug use, depression and poverty that are prevalent in many American Indian communities.

A world of misunderstanding
It’s one of the most misrepresented and most misunderstood cultures in America.For centuries, American Indian culture has been attacked and exploited by our new dominant culture. Traditions, language and spiritual beliefs of so many of the American Indian nations are almost completely extinguished.

Health Concerns
30% of Native Americans have had a serious psychological distress, compared to 11% of the general population.

Native Americans & Education
Many U.S. teachers discuss Native American history and culture, especially at Thanksgiving time. Unfortunately, the portrayal of Native Americans is often stereotypical, inaccurate, or outdated.

There are an estimated 2.5 million Native Americans in the U.S. About half of the Native American population lives on or near reservations; the other half lives in other rural areas and in urban areas.

Forced Relocation

Responses to "Old Native American Woman's Dream"

  1. Unknown says:

    I have watched your three videos White Wolf, all three were very enjoyable. The first one is so very sad though, it is shocking the way they treat your people in such a rich country. The governments in America and Canada should be ashamed of themselves, treating decent people in such a shabby way. It is terrible so much of the young folk committing suicide.
    Your photography is just amazing, the flower detail is so beautiful. Your third video was a pleasure to watch also. Thank you so much.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The story was very touching. It gave me a better perspective of the how some Native American elders feel about the changing of their culture. I agree that Native American history is not taught in schools to the extent which it should be taught. I hope in the future, the schools will put more emphasis on Native American history and culture as this land belonged to the Native Americans first. Pilamaya. ~Otter

  3. Thinking of Native Americans in stereotypes makes it easier to ignore the suffering inflicted by White men on a proud and old people.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I started watching the videos and immediately tears came to my eyes. It is a shame what happened to your people.I will never forget what these videos have taught me. Lori

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