Pine Ridge Men Visit Community

By Myers, Jimmy | St. Joseph News-Press, December 12, 2012 | Go to article overview

Pine Ridge Men Visit Community


Myers, Jimmy, St. Joseph News-Press


Lionel Yellowhawk's direct descendents personally gave safe passage to the Lewis and Clark Expedition through areas of South Dakota, which made his visit to St. Joseph's historic areas Tuesday and Wednesday all the more interesting.

"Here we are,' said Mr. Yellowhawk, "200 years later it's us coming back down the river.'

Mr. Yellowhawk and his uncle, Francis White Lance, came from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota, a notoriously poor section of the U.S., where unemployment is exceptionally high.

The men are guests of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which invited them for the annual Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Jim Grechus established a relationship with members of the reservation about 20 years ago. He said the church is working to develop a long-term "relationship of solidarity' with two towns on the reservation.

"It's a mutual relationship,' he said. "Not only do they have a physical need, we also gain in our spiritual satisfaction.'

Mr. White Lance is a medicine man who teaches Lakota history, culture and language. He's also got a doctorate in theology and does what he can to help his people.

"It's extreme,' he said. "The people who have jobs are doing OK. But there is 87 percent unemployment and those people aren't doing so OK.'

Mr. White Lance saw a familiar name on a plaque on one of his stops " Pierre Dorian, a trapper and interpreter for Lewis and Clark, who is one of his descendants. …

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