By Emma Truchan
Today was our third day of leadership camp, and also our third day of getting up at 7 a.m. I really enjoy working with the Lakota students and getting to know them. In the morning, we had an archery competition where I found out I was not very good at archery. Elroy, a Lakota leader, taught us all the proper rules of archery. I really enjoyed the Lakota prayer and song we did, after we were done shooting, to bless the day.
Another thing I enjoyed today was listening to David Swallow and his wife Nyla talk about their culture and share their knowledge. Nyla shared her knowledge about different plants in South Dakota that can be used as medicine. I really liked listening to her talk because it’s cool to see how she stays with the old traditional ways. Also David played a hand drum for us and sang in Lakota so that we could all do a round dance. That was really amazing because it made a lot of people smile and it felt good to move as one. It was so nice that David was kind enough to show us a Lakota tradition.
My favorite part of the day was getting the chance to ride horses. Harry, a Lakota rancher, let us meet his horses and ride them. First I started out riding saddle, but then I rode a horse bareback which was really fun. At the end, some of the more experienced riders had a race on their horses which was really cool to see. I admired Harry also for showing a lot of hospitality and kindness to people he had never met before. Overall I am really enjoying my time at Pine Ridge.