|Mitakuyepi!! Hello my relatives, my fellow Earthlings.
My name is SunRose IronShell and my Lakota name is Tate Topa Najin Wiyan, Stands Four Directions Woman.
I am new to the Farmers footprint family and will be sharing the ways of the earth as it was taught to me by my people. I am Sicangu and Oglala which are subbands of the Lakota, the Titowan Band (Prairie Dwellers) of the Oceti Sakowyn/Seven Council Fires, otherwise known as the Sioux Nation of Indians. We also call ourselves the buffalo people due to our symbiotic relationship with them providing us sustenance.
To celebrate Native American Heritage month, I want to share with you some of the terms you can use to identify my people and explain some of my experiences with them.
Today’s preferred term to identify my people is Indigenous. Merriam Webster defines the word as: produced, growing, living, or occurring natively or naturally in a particular region or environment. To us, the term is a way to clarify all the teachings that tie us to the earth and how we are all connected to the soil.
Our tribal nation clans will always come first in our communities. It is always most respectful to ask an individual how they Identify. Not all tribal individuals will identify as Native American, American Indian or Indigenous but our collective knowledge and shared history will always keep us connected to mother earth. And with that we circle back to the beginning of this post as I leave you with love and remind you we are all of this earth and we will always greet you as a relative and fellow Earthling.