Our experience in South Dakota with Lakota, Dakota and Nakota Elders has taught us that time is of the essence. We lose Elders each year. If we have not added their voices and faces to our collection of more than 300 video clips on our www.wolakotaproject.org site prior to their passing, then their wisdom, story and knowledge passes with them.
We have watched Treopia and her brother Ernest through the years. Many in our state (South Dakota) have benefitted from presentations made by both Treopia and Ernest over time, but we also know that time is passing more rapidly than we wish, and they won’t be around forever. Although Treopia, Ernest, and Scott remain energetic and active, age and time remain critical factors. In our work with Elders in the Dakotas, there have been several that we have lost before scheduling an interview. Death is always a loss, but so much is lost when an Elder passes without having had the opportunity to share fully his or her experiences and knowledge. We hope to preserve the gifts of at least some of the collective wisdom of the Greens for our future generations.