In the north central United States stands a simple house that has endured a hundred blizzards and as many burning hot summers, and it is a place not far from where a great warrior, spiritual leader, and advocate of human rights, was finally laid to rest, and it is this place that may well represent the emptiness and abandonment of a way of life that older people like me will remember and appreciate with fondness – for when he died, the world had lost a statesman, a frontrunner of American Human Rights, and an iconic figure in American history. His beliefs were deeply rooted in the need to help his nation. He believed the universe was bound together by all natural life, from plants, animals, humans, water, and even the Earth itself. His name was Tȟatȟáŋka Íyotake and he believed and felt that he was connected to everything and to everyone in the universe.
Photo & Text Copyright, Mitch Battese 2013