You know it’s true what they say about saying “yes”? Yes, you do. Since I started this #365give Challenge and became more open to giving things, good things happened to me. I even got some tax money back! 😀 But the coolest thing is meeting some really interesting people. One of them is Leo Yankton, a Native American from Oglala Lakota, Pine Ridge Reservation.
You know that moment when you’re watching a YouTube video of someone and next thing they are texting you on Facebook? yup. While watching the video below, Leo texted me saying:
Hello, my EXTREMELY beautiful new friend and ally… I was told you may be able to help me link to people who would want to help with crowd funding my White Clay Nebraska Tipi manufacturing company I am going to start to help replace the despair that placed caused for over a hundred years feeding my tribe alcohol (Oglala Lakota) let me know if you have any advice or assistance you’re willing to bless me with.
Now, I didn’t share this to make you curious about how beautiful I am – because you know it… he meant it spiritually – but to take the message as it was sent to you. And now you can join me and Leo into this communal mission of helping people.
This is the first time when I am doing a research on Native Americans and I have to say it’s overwhelming… It reminded me the things I’ve heard and seen about the Aboriginals in Australia and what they went through. Using the same addictive substances from alcohol and sugar, Leo’s tribe has been going through hell not having the chance to better lives.
After having a thought childhood with no electricity, no dad, not enough clothes for school, Leo moved away to the city where he cut his hair and stopped his traditional practices. For him to feel accepted and liked, he started fighting and soon he believed to be a popular awesome kid. Unfortunately, it took him some jail time to realize how superficial and unlike him were all those things. Soon after he went back to his cultural singing, and his spirituality, Leo started building the good life that he’s having now.
Last year, Leo was an active part of the water protection at the Standing Rock camps. He said in an interview for Danwatch:
Standing Rock was an awakening. A worldwide awakening. And it was an awakening of the mainstream. At Standing Rock people were abused by the police who were protecting the oil corporation. People would come to the camp to heal and they would feel extremely welcomed in the camp, so the abuses didn’t matter that much as the spiritual experience.
Watch the documentary about the protests at Standing Rock on Netflix. Trailer:
At Standing Rock, he was giving people supplies and in return, they gave him a teepee. That’s how he came up with the idea of starting a manufacturing tipi company that could create jobs for his people.
Asked about the differences between the Native culture and the American one, Leo says is like comparing an eagle to a pig. Eagles fly calmly while pigs consume everything in a filthy way. He also believes that there is “an ongoing movement for going back to being an eagle – spiritual – where everyone could become indigenous to planet Earth again”.
Watch Leo’s story and feel free to contact me or him if you have any ideas on how he can have a successful crowdfunding campaign to make a change in people’s lives.
I wish he would be successful and transform WhiteClay – what is now a ghost town – a great start for Leo’s tribe to a better life!
Oh, what I gave to Leo was my pieces of advice on how he should start and run a crowdfunding campaign. And even though the crowdfunding was my master’s thesis subject, I am still not sure which crowdfunding platform would be best for Leo’s project to start his business. We were discussing GoFundMe.com or OneMission.fund. Do you have any ideas which one would help him the most? 😀