Those who come from the United States will be of:
The Lakota represent the largest group of the Sioux Nation. It includes seven clans: the Oglalas, the Hunkpapas, the Minnecoujou, the Sans-Arcs, the Brulés, the Two Kettles and the Blackfoot Sioux. Their hunting territory covers a surface equal to France. They belong to the language group Siouan.
It was the French who came from Canada who were the first whites to meet the Sioux, in Minnesota, around 1680.
More than any other nation in North America, the Lakota are known for their valiant fighting against the invasion of their country by the Whites (pioneers, gold miners and the government). The most famous major leaders: Sitting Bull, Red Cloud, Crazy Horse, Big Foot and Gall were of the Lakota.
The Lakota signed The Treaty of Fort Laramie in 1851 with the American Government, which allowed the passage of caravans of pioneers across the plains towards California and defines the territory of each tribe. In 1855, the massacre of Ash Hollow by William S Harney, marked the beginning of the Indian wars for the Northern Plains which lasted for almost forty years.
The Lakota formed an alliance with the Cheyenne and Arapaho. An alliance which was often victorious up until 26 June 1876, where close to « Little Big Horn » they destroyed the 7th Cavalry Regiment commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Custer. This battle was the last victory of the Sioux resistance to the white conquest. They were definitively subdued in 1891.
Our guests come mainly from the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, created in 1889, under the name of camp 334, for native prisoners of war. Just as the Native American reserves throughout the United States, the community of approximately 40,000 people can’t say they haven’t been affected by development.
The reserve has a rate of unemployment of more than 80%, the average income per person is 3.000 € per year, more than half of the inhabitants live below the poverty threshold. For several years there have been reports of uranium residues (from mines operated by the Canadian company CAMACO) in the water (supposedly safe to drink) which could be the cause of the very high rate of birth defects and stillborn babies.
The « Lakota » have always been considered as « very religious ». They had always understood the importance of the respect for all forms of life on earth. Mitákuye Oyás’in (we are all connected) holds all of the vision of the Lakota spirituality. Everything comes to a single origin whatever the name one gives Him. This origin (this supreme force) is: Wakȟán Tȟánka (the Great Spirit), the macrocosm, the microcosm, the light and the darkness, the masculine and the feminine, etc.
We felt we had to share the words of Bernard Dubant on this topic:
« They had a quite rare art of living from which an excellence was obtained from the little they added to the original natural foundation. They were as one with the sun, the moon, the sky and all the animals and men. Between them, there was no brutality, they never took advantage of the weakness of others. There were no bad words in their language, therefore no bad talk; no more than drink that disturbs the spirit, therefore no drunkards. It was time that we civilized them ».
Ojibwa (or Anishinaabeg), belong to the Group of the Algonquian language. Today, they are nearly 400,000 who live around the Great Lakes. Almost 100,000 members live in Canada divided into 125 bands. They are almost certainly, in terms of the quantity of individuals, the first Native American nation in North America.
They are known for their birch canoes, spiritual manuscripts of birch bark (on which they have recorded their history), their wild rice, their wigwams and for having been the only nation to have defeated the Sioux (at the end of the 17th century).
In the United States, they have never been driven back by the military as were the majority of other tribes, however as a result of many treaties they were forced to stay on agreed parts of their territories.
The « Midewiwin, » is a covert religious organization open to women as well as men. It is composed of healers called « Mide » which assume the role of spiritual leaders. They organize ceremonies, practice sacred healing methods, and strive to maintain a respectful balance between all things and all beings according to their vision of the world. This institution has not disappeared but is still very present in Ojibwa country.
The Païute, are peoples occupying the arid lands of the south-west of the United States. Paiute, in their language (numic branch of languages Uto-Aztèques) means « the people of the water » (Ute: people and Paï: water).
Their mode of life was adapted to the desert environment in which they lived. Each clan or tribe occupied a specific territory, usually located around a lake or marsh which provided them with water and fish. They also hunted antelope and rabbit. They supplemented their diet with nuts and roots.
It wasn’t until 1840 that they had contact with the whites in their territories. Violence with the settlers was inevitable but they were not responsible for their annihilation. It was the diseases that were introduced by the whites, initially smallpox, which was the main cause of their decline.
The Paiutes currently live on several reserves in western Nevada, the largest of which are those of Pyramid Lake, Walker River and Fort McDermit. They represent a population of approximately 6,000 people