2005 UN Ambassador
Shield of Yuwita
©2005 by Wambli Sina Win (Sally Higgins)
Ho, Wakan Tanka, Great Mystery
I pray to you in our greatest moment of need
To the cold winds of destruction and endless expanse of time.
Recognize my face before it is only a memory.
Resurrect this dream that I hold so near and dear
within the dimensions of my heart when I was young
and could still see those wrinkled faces which spoke
the seeds of faith, love and understanding and courage
into the fertile prairies of my soul.
Help us to remember the inspiration, values and desires
our Grandfathers and Grandmothers held so high in regard
as they held us safely for the world to see and next to their hearts
as they dreamed of a better life for our generation and those yet to come.
Wakan Tanka, Great Mystery, Grandfather, I remember the bullet wounds
and tattooed numbers upon my Grandfather and Grandmother’s arms
when they held me as a child
Wakan Tanka, Great Mystery, my heart is sad when I recall
the blood stained ground of Wounded Knee and the massacres
around the world that people have committed in the name of supremacy
and falsely in the name of God.
I am in sorry, Great Mystery, when I look upon this modern
“civilized” age and see injustice, racism, prejudice and silent displays of hate
towards my people and others who have had their fires extinguished.
Wakan Tanka, Great Mystery, I am shocked when I see
that the blood stained ground of Wounded Knee, Germany, Alaska,
Australia, and Africa is now covered in mountains of overwhelming paperwork,
Sanitized in history books and renewe in courtrooms across the Earth.
Great Mystery, I pray the dream of my youth and others are not extinguished,
for what do I have without dreams?
What do I have without hope, love, faith, understanding and courage?
What do I have, Great Mystery, what do we have when we cannot see beyond
the mountains of poverty, racism, discrimination, self doubt and paperwork?
Great Mystery, we have a dream and it is grand!
I feel it coursing through my veins,
I feel the power of the questions that rustle like leaves upon
the landscape of your faces as you hear this prayer.
Great Mystery, I see it now in the hearts of the people beating together
Aaas a low thunder of dreamers
Wakan Tanka, Great Mystery, I feel the warriors of old
revitalized in the hearts of the new.
Wakan Tanka, Great Mystery, I felt defeated.
I felt I had missed my opportunity in life. I felt constrained by social indifference
and self doubt but now I feel the moment of greatness is upon us.
Wakan Tanka, Great Mystery, I feel those dreamers who thought themselves alone
collecting behind a shield of faith, dedication and organization
converging to change the order and station
of their lives, destinations and futures.
Wakan Tanka, I am not alone.
I felt I would die from my sorrows but I am alive and in grand company.
I look to the West and I see a Grandfather, a Grandmother, a brother, a sister, a friend
I look to the North and I see a Grandfather, a Grandmother, a brother, a sister, a friend,
I look to the East and I see a Grandfather, a Grandmother, a brother, a sister, a friend,
I loo to the South and I see a Grandfather, a Grandmother, a brother, a sister, a friend.
I look towards Grandmother Earth and I see a foundation of strength to stand upon.
I look towards the clouds and I see the vast depths of love and understanding we must have
for the Great Mystery, you are and I look into myself and find a dream I had lost.
The Shield of Yuwita, the United Dreamers Foundation, and see a great destiny.
We shall climb this mountain together for the betterment of mankind.
Ho, Wakan Tanka, Great Mystery, I thank you for your answers found within myself
and the people you love.
Wopila, Mitakuye Oyasin.
Wambli Sina Win and her grandfather, Tahca Ushte, Chief Lame Deer taken in 1974 at Dakota Wesleyan University, Mitchell, SD.
©2011 By Wambli Sina Win, J.D.
Wambli Sina Win
Wambli Sina Win is an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe who was born on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation and raised on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Wambli Sina Win graduated from Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, SD in 1974 and returned as a high school teacher for the Crazy Horse High School, her hometown in Wanblee, South Dakota. While raising her children, she moved to Oklahoma and earned a Juris Doctorate from the University of Oklahoma College of Law in 1993. Wambli has worked as an attorney in private practice, as well as a tribal attorney. She served as a Tribal Judge for the Oglala Sioux Tribal Court and was proud to have trained the first Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) volunteers for the tribe in the late 1990s. Thereafter, Wambli prosecuted criminal cases in Indian country in the district of SD as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in SD during the administration of Attorney General Janet Reno until she was hired by the Bureau of Indian Affairs to become a Legal Instructor for federal officers in Artesia, NM.
Wambli’s son, Wiconi, following in his Heyoka grandfather’s footsteps, in 2003, warned of a vision he had about a U.S. Supreme Court case, which would have devastating consequences in the future for all Native Americans. He said this case would be about “Eminent Domain” and the federal government would be ruthless towards the tribes. Wiconi stated that the concept of eminent domain would be expanded and it would be the vehicle by which the U.S. government would divest the tribes of their remaining lands, resources and property. He implored Wambli to warn the people and to go to the United Nations where she could warn the Indigenous Peoples of this danger. The Rosebud Sioux Tribe passed a Resolution to make Wambli Sina Win their Ambassador so she could speak on their behalf at the United Nations.
In June of 2005, during the week that Wambli Sina Win was in Geneva, Switzerland, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling in Kelo v. City of New London, Connecticut which expanded the power of eminent domain from takings or condemnation of land or property for public purposes to include takings or condemnation of property for purely commercial or private purposes. This power authorizes the government, including the federal government, to partner with private business entities to obtain land, resources or property that the government intends to use to make money. There will be some payment, however when it comes to sacred sites or lands, the price will never be enough. As the Ambassador to the United Nations, Wambli was invited to give the opening prayer, the Shield of Yuwita, during the “2005 International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.” She also read into the record an intervention or statement on behalf of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, “U.S. Supreme Court Eminent Domain Ruling and Global Implications” as the Lakota UN Ambassador to the Commission on Human Rights, Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, Fifty-seventh Session, working group on Indigenous Populations, twenty third session, Geneva, Switzerland.
Wambli returned to Oklahoma to write and to be near her children and grandchildren. At this time, she teaches Criminal Justice courses as an Associate Professor and is the Dean of the Rennard Strickland School of Tribal Law and Criminal Justice at Bacone College.