Our past few Blogs have dealt with people of color in the United States. The following traces his heritage back to the beginning of our country, and a man whom we all treasure..
BLACK ELK (Heȟáka Sápa) was born along the Little Powder River (at a site thought to be in the present-day state of
in 1863. According to the Lakota way of measuring time (referred to as Winter counts), Black Elk was born "the Winter When the
Four Crows Were Killed on Tongue River". Wyoming
Curious about Christianity, he began to watch and study. In 1885, he learned about Kateri Tekakwitha and signed the petition supporting the cause for her canonization. In 1904, he met a Jesuit priest who invited him to study Christianity at Holy Rosary Mission, near
Pine Ridge, South Dakota.
On the feast of St. Nicholas, December 6, he was baptized Nicholas William. St. Nicholas, appealed to him because he exhibited a model of Christian charity that resonated with his role as a traditional spiritual leader and his own generosity in service to the Native People.
|Wife & daughter|
Believing that Wakantanka, the Great Spirit, called him to greater service, he became a Christian and practiced his Lakota ways as well as the Catholic religion. He was comfortable praying with his pipe and his rosary and participated in Mass and Lakota ceremonies on a regular basis.