Last month we learned about the complicated history between Native Americans and western systems of education. The nation’s legacy of forced assimilation also includes spirituality. Sacred ceremonies like sweat lodges and Sun Dances were federal crimes until the late 1970’s. But those traditions survive and are practiced today across South Dakota.
In Vermillion–or Wase Wakpa, as it’s known in Lakota–two men reflect on a friendship they hope ripples throughout their community for a long time to come.