The Four Worlds International Institute

Pine Ridge, South Dakota-Prisoner of War Camp 334

Incredible TED Talk-Aaron Huey’s effort to photograph poverty in the USA led him to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, where the heart breaking struggle of the Lakota people compelled him to refocus his life. Five years of work later, his haunting photos intertwine with a shocking history lesson in this bold, courageous talk! September 2010 in Denver, CO.

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Comment by Warren Petoskey on January 28, 2012 at 9:34am

I have studied and researched so much over the years and the pain is so real in my life, that it is difficult to listen to this kind of message. I know it is true, but I don't know how much heartache one can stand. I continue to address the residuals of historical trauma and the boarding school being a survivor and continue to use resources such as this as additional advocacy. I know I am posting this long after this was posted on 4W's. I hope you can understand.

Comment by Aurora Whitebird on January 3, 2011 at 8:25am
Driving from Rapid City out to Pine Ridge, the first thing we see is long expanses of the plains, and a few trees. Then we see a church to the right,  a bit farther down the road a church to the left, and this is repeated for several miles as we enter the reservation lands.  Then after driving another 30-40 minutes through rolling plains we see a few small shacks, and then an arbor standing alone in sillouette against the sky, and then we begin to see more humble shacks,abandoned cars, some with people living in them, dogs wandering around, finally a few rows of  cinder block homes, and a gas station. This is the better part of town.  What Aaron says is painfully accurate and blinding in its proof of the absolute degradation of a once proud and beautiful people. And the part that the churches and the government play in this genocide is different than Kosovo how??? May the Creator bring true justice for the people. Thank you to all who care and will do something to demand action.
Comment by Phil Lane Jr. on January 2, 2011 at 5:14am

The True History Through Our Eyes

Dear Relatives,

A good brother sent me a heartfelt message. With his permission, I am sharing his words and insights with you. He is an Elder and Veteran that has given his love and dedicated  service to the People for many
generations. Extend your hand of friendship when you have a moment.

With Warm and Loving Greetings,

Brother Phil

From Warren Petoskey to You. 


My great grandmother was so busy trying to be a local socialite that she would never recognize her Lakotah blood. The story I have heard is that a few people were saved by the Lakotah from a
wagon train that had been attacked by another people. My great
grandmother's relative married a Lakotah man and my great grandmother is
one of her descendants. Because it was not talked about I do not know
who my Lakotah relatives are. I will never forget the Lakotah Elder I
first told this story to and he put his hand on my shoulder and welcomed
me home.

The video TED made contains some inaccuracies. The number of
Indigenous people occupying this Turtle Island was between 18 to 122
million in the year 1700. The other inaccuracy was that it was the
Catholic Church which held a council in 1800 to determine whether we
were human or animals. They decided we were not animals, but also
decided that we were not human either. We were designated "wards" of the
federal government with the idea that we were incapable of handling our
own affairs and the federal government would do our necessary thinking
for us.

 We, as a people, continue to deal with a federal government and religious agencies who still support Manifest Destiny. Most are not aware that the federal government intended to create two reservations in
the U.S. prior to the Civil War and instill conditions on those
reservations none of us would survive from. I have always thought the
Civil War occurred because the Creator was not going to allow us to be
exterminated. Black Elk and Frank Fools Crow continue to teach us what
we need to do.

 It is useless to appeal to the federal courts or the decency we think the agents of the agency should represent. They are dishonest and dishonourable. There is a Creator who manifested Himself to our people
the western Nevadan desert and instructed us as to what to do. He is
coming again and He is going to restore what has been taken. He cares of
us. All we have to do is turn to Him for our protection and the
provisions we need.

 I will be 66 soon. I am also a citizen of the Waganakising Odawak Nation. I have done what the Elders told us to do. I have lived in the western world and learned all that I can and bring what I have learned
back to our people. I will continue to do this until I walk on.

Warren Petosky

Comment by Stephen Bamford on January 1, 2011 at 3:09pm

Chief Lane inspired me with this video, to write the following I have sent out to others who might not be aware of the historical facts.  The words below are what I sent out.  If you are so inclined, you may copy it and use it in the spirit Chief Lane offered it. 

Hello Everyone,


Many of you have seen videos at a remarkable web site called which is at the forefront of bringing important issues to public awareness. 


I have been given a link to this video of Aaron Huey’s photographic journal and lecture.  It is very powerful and not for the feint of heart.  Yet even those among us who are feint of heart may find that place within that holds ever strong in the face of all adversity.  It is about 15 minutes long.  And if ever anyone needed a Reader’s Digest version of this history, this is it.


Like the man who sent this to me, you, too can take action in your own way to help rectify this great wrong. 


For those among us in the U.S. we can write to our elected representatives at the federal level by finding their on-line web forms at the following: 


President Obama:


U.S. Senators:/body>

Comment by Chuck Fraser on January 1, 2011 at 2:09pm
Spoken as a true ally concerning the genocidal treatment of the Lakota people, and indeed, Indigenous people the world over by the oppressive colonial/imperialist elite.  I laugh, as do many Indigenous friends, when folks talk about post colonialism, sorry, they say, we must have missed that email, you say colonialism is over??  When then did this documentary just portray?? That would be like the Nazis at a concentration camp telling our Jewish brothers and sisters that the holocaust is over, forget about it. The new colonization is actually globalization. When one sees how imperalist forces have devastated other countries, i always say, just look how they treated the First Nations people in their respective countries. Global forces  or ideology have not changed, it has always been about greed, at any price, and they will use gattling-guns or bibles to obtain other peoples lands and wealth.  Today, they use such weapons as mass media, computers, corrupt governments, and other sophiticated brain washing techniques to continue the oppression/genocide of Indigenous people. The final solution is still in motion, especially in the crisis of the environment ie: global warming, melting ice-caps, loss of polar bears. gorillas, genocides, invasions, and not honouring old treatys.  Indigenous people have a right to their traditional lands, cultures, and have a right to be properly compensated for the stealing of said lands by extreme force! They are the land and the land are they, inseperatable. President Obama has the oppurtunity to show the world, that he, is bringing the peace he calls for around the world, here at home by honouring all treaties, and working to turn the tides on past and present atrocities committed against First Peoples in the USA; only then can he speak to other countries to work towards peace and love towards one another.  This approach is an Indigenous way of sustaining life on Mother Earth.  The time has come to stop the genocide.  Lets start Mr. President by freeing Leonard Peltier, in the spirit of Nelson Mandela, Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, let this political prisoner go!!   Thank-you for being an ally and presenting this presentation, hopefully it will enlighten viewers and change hearts and minds so others can become allies in this altruistic struggle for justice and hope. Peace and Love, an ally, Chuck Fraser.
Comment by Peter Magurean III on January 1, 2011 at 12:53pm

Just now I was relaxing and watching BOOK TV on C-Span.  Thomas Powers, the author who wrote "The Killing of Crazy Horse" is on, and I decided to multi-task and open my computer to check out emails......And I find this haunting and courageous TED talk on Chief Phil Lane, Jr.'s site.......


This message about the Lakota people must help us understand the terrible way the USA Government had treated our Native American brothers and sisters.  Phil, thank you for bringing this important program by Aaron Huey to all.  We must do something to begin the healing that must come about before we can correct the constant and repeated betrayals of our brothers and sisters!

Comment by Aurora Whitebird on January 1, 2011 at 8:24am
Everytime I watch this I cry, and I ask "when do the "Washicu" look closer to home and start helping our own people, because if they cant do that, they have no business in church, no business asking for more goodies from thier god and not realizing that one day, their god will ask for payment for this travesty.
Comment by Douglas Ou-ee-ii-jay-ii Jack on December 31, 2010 at 7:58pm

Aaron Huey's presentation on the Lakota people and their repeated betrayal by the USA follows from their earlier fleeing from the Great Lake States and as a people who earlier welcomed First Nation refugees from across Turtle Island south, north and  east in the previous 300 years from 1500 to 1800 AD.

The bankrupt colonial system both spiritually and economically has not the funds for even symbolic restitution. However all of us reconnecting to our universal indigenous heritage from every place around the world can understand not only what we have lost but what we are losing everyday from living at odds with each other and with nature.  Indigene Community   'Indigenous' from the Latin means 'generating from within' or 'self-generating' as opposed to 'exogenous' meaning 'other-generating'.

Comment by Corinne Branch on December 31, 2010 at 4:55pm

From one heart -  a humble prayer.

From one voice - a noise in the crowd.

But hearts and voices joined together?  

I think we can move mountains.    



Comment by Aurora Whitebird on December 31, 2010 at 4:04pm

It is heartbreaking to know that in this age of dramatic technology, our elders and their relatives still sacrifice to stay on their lands and I have been there, it is all true, and disgraceful.  This country should take care of its own before tellling other countries what to do,

Thank you for sharing this, I hope it will do some good.

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