Hunkpapa elder Cedric Goodhouse Sr will be undergoing kidney transplant surgery in March and, as we all can appreciate, medical treatment of this magnitude is exceedingly expensive. While Cedric carries his own health insurance that will pay some of the costs, it won't cover the entire $250k medical bill. We--his family, friends, and colleagues--are collecting donations to help defray some of that balance and to support his wife Evelyn and their grandchildren while he recovers. All donations will go directly to Cedric and his immediate family.
HEALER--Cedric was born Waŋblí Wahúkheza (Eagle Lance) on the Standing Rock Reservation in the Dakotas. As a young man, he studied at Haskell Indian Nations University in Kansas and, upon being drafted, recieved training as medic in the US Army. Upon leaving the military, he parlayed his medical skills into working for the first ambulance service for Standing Rock. This experience, in turn, led him to a life-long passion of integrating traditional Lakota healing practices with standard drug-and-alcohol treatment methodologies to create a holistic recovery process for the Lakota community. He remains a certified addiction counselor for South Dakota and Minnesota.
PLANNER & PROTECTOR--In addition to tending to the physical and mental well being of his community, Cedric's also worked tirelessly to protect Lakota lands and resources as the Executive Director of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Department of Environmental Regulations and as Community Planner Chairman of the Long Soldier District for Fort Yates (the largest community at Standing Rock). Currently, he's an active member of the Elders' Preservation Council, which ensures the sacredness of Lakota traditions and safeguards cultural sites, including those impacted by the Dakota Access Pipeline.
SPEAKER & TEACHER--Current data estimates that there are roughly 2,000 fluent speakers of Lakȟótiyapi (the Lakota language) remaining in North America. Cedric and his wife are two of these rare gems, and they spend considerable time and energy ensuring that the next generations of Lakota retain their language as well. Evelyn has been honored for her teaching work in local schools, and Cedric continues to speak, sing, and teach Lakȟótiyapi within their community and as a representative of the Lakota people.
ARTIST & PERFORMER--But Cedric isn't just a guardian with a compassionate heart, he's also an accomplished cultural artist. Despite systematic efforts by state and federal authorities to strip lands and culture from indigenous communities, Cedric's family retained and passed down traditional knowledge that he employs today in making regalia, musical instruments, clothing, weapons, and ceremonial items such carved buffalo-bone spoons given to young Lakota girls during coming-of-age ceremonies. If that skill set isn't impressive enough, he also composes songs for important community events and projects, such as the Pink Shawl Project for Breast Cancer.
DESCENDANT & VETERAN--Cedric's lifelong dedication to his community and culture comes as no surprise to those who know his family's history. His ancestors have been present at many events that comprise our shared American history. His maternal great-grandparents, Red Hair (grandfather) and Makes Gourd (grandmother) came from Spring Creek (on what is now the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota) and were members of a Hunkpapa band that also included the legendary Sitting Bull (Tȟatȟáŋka Íyotake). On June 25 1876, while camped along the Greasy Grass in a village of extended family groups, they were attacked by the U.S. 7th Cavalry under the command of Lieutenant Colonel George A. Custer. During the battle, Red Hair suffered two cuts to his face. From that day forward, he solemnly painted those scars for important tribal ceremonies and carried the name "Striped Face."
Cedric is also descended from relatives killed during the Massacre at Wounded Knee, when the US Army attacked and killed 300 Lakota elders, women, and children. Today, Cedric holds their names in reserve, protecting them with silence until they receive a proper Lakota burial.
Despite his family's history of violent suppression at the hands of the US government, many members (including himself as mentioned before) have a proud history of military service. Both of his parents served during WWII, and his father, an Episcopalian priest, went on to additionally serve in Korea. But proving that Lakota hearts remain strong, his family honored his last wishes and buried him in common clothes rather than in clerical vestments because he was "Lakota first." His son now carries that same heart strength, dedication, and love for the Lakota people.
Please help us support Cedric in the same spirit that he's served his community for many decades.
Cedric's fan club
- Nathaniel Kimmey
- Kim Williams-Osborne
Organizer and beneficiary
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