Wounded Knee 4-Directions Skatepark

Fri, Aug 14, 2009

Raven's Cry

WANTED TO KEEP YOU IN THE LOOP OF AN AWESOME VENTURE TO BUILD A MAJOR SKATEPARK FOR THE KIDS of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota, Oglala Lakota country…. A VISION of Murf’s of Wounded Knee Skateboards and Walt†(Oglala Lakota) of Nakota Designs connections.

FIRST TRIP to Pine Ridge

The trip to Pine Ridge (my birthplace and hometown) with Murf of Wounded Knee Skateboards was awesome. Together we made some strides in bringing Murf’s vision to life of building a major Wounded Knee 4-Directions Skatepark on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Even the bigger vision of the Wounded Knee 4-Direction Skateparks to accommodate the many communities of the reservation.

Our initial plan is to build a major skatepark in the larger Kyle community… and maybe three smaller versions in the Pine Ridge area with Tusweca Tiospaye Preserving Lakota Way of Life Through Our Youth http://www.tuswecatiospaye.org/ …. one in the Thunder valley area with Thunder Valley Native Youth On the Move… and one in the Wounded Knee/Manderson area. We have support with Pearl Jam’s Jeff Ament and others… its gonna rock!!!

Our first stop was at the Oglala Lakota College, got the full tour from my mother Marilyn Pourier, and sister Jonnie Clifford including the tour of their historical museum, based on the history of what took place at Wounded Knee, with pics and voice narration, it was moving. We hope to get back as Tony Brave, Media Coordinator at OLC hopes to interview us about the skatepark(s).

We were able to get a meeting Birgil Kills Straight Executive Director of the Oglala Sioux Parks & Recreation Authority and organizer of the Big Foot Memorial Ride Remembering Wounded Knee. We spent over two hours with him, listening to the stories of the ride and his awesome knowledge of Lakota philosophy. His input was extremely valuable and we look forward to keeping in contact with him for the journey ahead.

We also had an opportunity to meet with Butch Mouseau an organizer with of Cangleska who gave us some great direction on possible land opportunities.

We also meet with Thunder Valley CDC’s Nick Tilsen on their community development plans and toured the land where the development will take place, very promising outlook. At Thunder Valley CDC we were able to meet with the youth interns and let them know our plans and of our support in all they are doing for the local community. Nick gave us a tour of the Thunder Valley E-Tanka Cafe and of the Tanka Bar NANF headquarters… all brand creative Nakota Designs is involved with.

We also ran into Robbie Romero famous native musician who I have met before during the North American indigenous Games, who overheard out presentation to the youth and expressed a great interest in what we were speaking of… I shared with him the whole story and our involvement wit the All Nations Skate JAM… he said how about setting up with them at the World Indigenous Music Festival in RIO.. hmmm?.. more details to come on that later.

Spent an evening with my crazy family, barbecue at my father’s Duane Pourier (Murf and Dad are good buddies)… where we also was able to have a conversation with my Auntie Vicki Sherman who was the principal at Todd County High School two years ago during the year of that native communities youth suicide epidemic, her story and her words really moved us and reassured us what we are doing for the native youth through skateboarding is an awesome thing.

Friday and Saturday most of our time was spent at Mike Carlow Jrs Sundance…. the prayers there and the power of Lakota spirituality was beyond description… Murf and I was were truly moved and honored to be there. During breaks we were able to speak with other individuals about the skatepark plans, including my good friend Scott Means (son of Russell Means AIM activist and actor) who expressed interest in getting involved with us on the project, Scott works with native youth in Rapid City SD, he is a very respected individual in Lakota country… Scott is the man.

Murf and I was also able to spend some time in Pine Ridge with some of the Pine Ridge community youth at a local wooden skate half pipe ramp, which was just destroyed and in need of serious repair… the kids were awesome and had very little there to skate on. One kid Leroy Janis was very helpful in sharing information about the movement of skate-culture on the rez… Leroy’s dad. Louie was sundancing for the people during this time… he honored Murf with a sundance sage band. Awesome family.

At the sundance we had a conversation with Rob Lawrence a local Lakota singer whose family has kept the songs alive amongst our Lakota peoples for decades, his son just over four years old sang songs for Murf and I at the ND truck during breaks, he was soo awesome.. little kid was just belting out one Lakota song after another.

On the last day of the Sundance Murf and I was invited to sweatlodge with the dancers, a real honor… we were speechless… actually all Murf could say was “hardcore man!!”… great experience for both of us.

One of my cousins Scottie Clifford showed Murf and I around the rez, Wounded Knee, Porcupine, Evergreen and shared is knowledge about possible places we could setup skateparks within these areas of the rez… big possibilities through Scottie as well. He is onboard with Murfs vision… Scottie is an awesome muscian and has a huge career ahead of him.

Murf and I spent some time with my dad Duane Pourier again and his horses… he shared stories with us about his great grandfather Baptise “Big Bat” Pourier who is quite famous in Lakota country and abroad… driving on the Pourier land was most soothing. Spending time with my brother Larry each night and looking at the stars was very relaxing… seeing the night time stars with no city lights, is a sight like no other.

After all we did on the rez it was time jump back on the road for our 6 hour trek back to Colorado before Murfs flight to NEW YORK… we organized a skate session with Curt Baker and members of TEAM PAIN, Erik Johansen, Bruce Adams SkateColorado, Chris Mearkle East Coast Ramp Design and some of our Nakota Dogs Skate Movement crew. Curt invited us to come skate in a park the are building, not even completed yet, felt very privileged, quite an honor… It totally rocked.

Murf and I parted our separate ways and vowed “what happens on the rez stays on the rez”…lol…. ?including the UFO we seen… did I say UFO? naw.

it was a kick-ass trip!!! totally friggin rocked it.

Wanted to keep each of you in the loop of our venture… BIG EPIC THINGS AHEAD FOR the native kids in Lakota Country.

thanks for all you do to make a difference in the lives of the youth of today.

Walt Pourier
Creative Director

Nakota Designs Inc.
2022 East 134th Way
Thornton, CO 80241


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