Nipponzan Mihogi and Oyama:

"The Longest Walk of 1978" was a spiritual walk organized by the Indian Movements from throughout the United States. This spiritaul walk was a cross-continental (Pacific Ocean shores to Atlantic shores) march to protest against the greatest Anti-Indian Congress in the U.S. Government. Many laws (legislations) were being created that would effect Indian lands, resources (fishing, timber, water,etc.), treaties, children and religion. The Big Mountain resistance occurred in late 1977, and the elders decided that their isssue should be a part of this walk so, myself, Bahe Katenay, volunteered to join the walk. I asked Dennis Banks for permission to join the walk, and he invited me with excitement because finally a Dineh representative was to join. A medicineman from Big Mountain made prayers and told me to carry sacred offerings on the walk. I was to offer it to the first great river that the walk was going to cross. Before the walk cross the Colorado River near Grand Junction, Colorado, Lakota spiritual leaders joined me while we offered these sacred stones and pollen to the river.

In March 1978, the 'Walk' rested near Pueblo, Colorado, and that was when more Buddhist monks and nuns chanted each morning and evenings. The medicineman and a few elders came from Big Mountain to visit and support the march during this Walk-Camp, and the medicineman did more prayers and offerings. He then instructed me to begin telling all the Indian nations about relocation and coal mining on Black Mesa. For the next five months on the walk, I spoke about the Big Mountain situation, and that is when our Dineh issue became known to the Indian nations, American people and international representatives. Nipponzan Mihogi continued to pray for peace everday as they walk alongside the Indian walkers. I was not aware that these Buddhist walkers were gathering information about all the Indian issues and sending it back to Japan. Guruji Fugi joined "The Longest Walk of 1978" for the final march into Washington D.C. and nearly 50 Buddhist drums created the most powerful drum beats that I have ever heard, and which I still hear to this day. At the end of the march, some Lakota people invited me to watch a Sundance so, I traveled directly from the east coast to South Dakota. The first Sundance I saw was at Porcupine, South Dakota (just down the creek from Wounded Knee), and I watched Larry Anderson (AIM Advisor to Big Mountain) dance and pierce. He told me that I should come to Greengrass where the Sundance was to honor "The Longest Walk of 1978." After returning to Big Mountain, I went to participate in the first Sundance at Greengrass near Eagle Butte, S.D. There I saw the Buddhist monks and nuns: Nippashi-shoni, Asabida-shoni, Ishibashi-shoni, Juni-san and Asabida's sister. From that time on, I felt that I was given a gift or an instrument to share with the Big Mountain resistance. These instruments or gifts was the Sundance Way for purification, and "Nym Myo Ho Ren Gey Kyo" to keep us thinking of Peace as we struggle against relocation. In early September of 1978, I was driving through Hopi country to see Thomas Banyacya, to talk him about the relocation issues and to invite the traditional Hopi elders to come to Big Mountain for a meeting, an old school bus was going slow on the road and inside the bus I saw fimilar shaved, bald heads. There was a bus-load of Buddhist monks and nuns which I passed and went on the see Thomas. While I was at Thomas's house this bus-load of Japanese and Ainu people showed up, and the rest of the evening was filled with good food, and a lot of discussion about how to be united and save our beloved mother earth. The Buddhist monks and nuns continued to visit and pray for peace on Hopi and Dineh lands. The 1980 "Spiritual Walk" passed through Big Mountain and these monks and nuns finally spent the longest time in "Oyama" praying, massaging elders, cooking, laughing and trying to learn the Dineh language. In 1981, the Survival Camp started because the BIA threaten to take complete control of HPL, and some Buddhist people stayed at the Surv. Camp to help. Nippashi Masao, Asabida-shoni, Juni-san and Shimanuki-shoni all help the Dineh and Hopi traditional resistance throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s. Besides them, Miyata Kiyoshi (a documentary film maker) brought more interest about the Dineh/Big Mountain Situation to Japanese people. So, today the Dineh of Oyama (Great Mountain) and the Japanese people (The Yellow Nation) have share much, have become a family and still continue to pray for peace.



"The Longest Walk of 1978" and Larry Anderson, a Vietnam and a Wounded Knee veteran and a Dineh, helped facilitate the dialogue between the Lakota Spiritual Leaders and the Dineh elder resistors of Big Mountain. From 1979 until 1983, myself and Larry traveled numerous times to South Dakota and met with many Lakota Movement Leaders, Medicineman, Chiefs, and Woman Leaders, and with each groups or individuals we discuss bringing the Sundance into Dineh country. Many of these meetings with the Lakota Nation occurred during Survival School Pow-wows, Treaty Conferences, AIM Conferences, Wounded Knee Memorial gatherings, and just simple visits to homes of leaders. Each time we returned to Big Mountain I told the Dineh elders about our progress in the dialogue with the Lakota Nations. By 1982, the Dineh elders finally accepted the Sundance Way to be held on their lands.

It was the ancient Prophecies which brought about the understanding of the Lakota Sundance Way. Lakota prophecy states that the Sundance Sacred Hoop was to someday travel throughout Turtle Island, and that this will bring many Red Nations into this Sacred Hoop of Unity. According to the Lakotas, this way has traveled before during the times of Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull and Paiute spiritual man, Wavohka. Once again, it was time for the Sundance to travel to the southwest part of Turtle Island where the land and the nations need purification so that they can fight in saving their ancestral lands.
The Dineh prophecy also, told of a day when Dineh humans will sacrifice pieces of their fleshes in order to ask Great Spirit to protect their homelands. The Dineh ancient ceremonies also used the Sacred Hoop as a symbol of unity and as a cycle in life. The plains Indian Sundance was to be used by the Big Mountain Dineh and carry it for the rest of their Dineh relatives, but this was to be done under the guidance of the Lakota spiritual leaders. The Sundance of Dineh country is to be use only for purifying our minds and body so that we can go out and defend the ancient lands from those who wish to remove the elders or from those who decides to mine the sacred grounds.

The first Sundance was held at the Survival Camp of Big Mountain Sovereign Dineh Nation in August 1983. The fourth year of Sundance would be on July 6, 1986, the deadline date for the completion of relocating all Dineh families. Under the instruction of the Lakota Sundance Chiefs, they proclaimed that the Sundance Sacred Hoop should never to be entered by the White race. "The Yellow People and the Black People will be allowed to dance and pierce alongside their Red relatives. For this reason is because, the Yellow People have suffered under the Atomic technologies that the EuroAmerican white has drop upon their sacred shrines and innocent childrens. The Black People have also, suffered from the enslavement, kidnappings and forced to become mercenaries against the Red Nations, and this was also, committed by the Euro-American Whites. Maybe, someday We the Red Nations will allow the White People to dance in this Sacred Sundance, but they (EuroAmericans) have a long way to go in helping to heal the wounds that were inflicted upon our ancestors throughout the last five centuries."

This article was put into writing by myself, in order to make an understanding of Big Mountain resistance's role in the international affairs involving Japanese Support for the protection of the culture of the Dineh and Hopi Ways. This article can also be helpful in understanding the purposes of the Lakota Sundance Way in Dineh country, as well as understanding how the Nipponzan Mihoji Buddhist Way has spiritually support the efforts of the Big Mountain struggle. Though, I may have been a noticable figure in my acceptance to sharing with and learning from the diversity that Creator has put upon this earth, I cherish these honors to be a part of these processes of Spiritual Unity. [Final Note: The discussion in detail about how the Dineh prophecy relates to sacrifices of the thy flesh has been ommitted due to its highly sacred content, and can not be discuss outside the spiritual circles of Dineh or Lakota medicinepeople.]

In the Spirit of Chief Barboncito, Bahe