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Support the Lakota Exiles Ride

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Dear friends, 

Throughout each year, the Lakota Nation in South Dakota embark on several cross-country journeys on horseback commemorating events in their past, known as Rides. The rides are a way that the people can come together as a community to honor their relatives and ancestors, to guide the young ones in ways of being, to remember the immense tragedies and injustice they endured through centuries of the US colonizing system, to support each other, and to pray. 

I have been honored to join my friends on the Wounded Knee and Dakota 38+2 Rides for the past 5 years. These rides take place each December, and commemorate the massacre of Wounded Knee in 1890 and the mass hanging of 1862 at the hands of the American government. The December rides go across 300 miles on horseback, they last for over 2 weeks, and traverse frozen terrain in often below-freezing temperatures. The courage, endurance, and heart summoned from both horse and rider bind the community together--as do sharing of stories, singing, laughing, and cooking all along the way. 

This year, for the first time, the rides will change course and will leave South Dakota altogether due to the pandemic. The ride will start in Nebraska and then head north to Mankato, Minnesota to commemorate the Dakota 38+2 killing. This new course will be called the Exiles Ride, honoring their relatives who were forcibly removed from their land --which has happened in nearly every native community in North America. Now the riders must again leave their land. In South Dakota, the rise in COVID has no doubt been heightened by incompetent and dangerous leadership. Since the onset of COVID, Governor Kristi Noem has worked to diminish the policy and efforts of tribal leaders to protect their people and borders. She also encouraged Trump's 4th of July and the Sturgis rallies across tribal and sacred land, and against the sovereign will and policy of the leaders. To date, she has neglected to mandate masks or stay-at-home orders.  

In spite of this, the riders are committed to making this sacred journey that brings so much hope to their people, and provides a real way the youth can connect with their community and culture. As an adopted family member of the Screaming Eagles group, I will be joining the Exiles Ride this year. We are also committed to keeping everyone safe, including the communities that we pass through. As a part of this commitment, we are camping all along the way in teepees and tents(!!)--instead of staying overnight at schools, community centers, or churches as we usually do.  

This year I am raising funds to buy extra warm clothing, sleeping bags, and camping equipment needed for living and sleeping out in the extreme cold, and PPE needed for safety. Food for horse and rider are also always in need, along with fuel, equipment, horse trailers, and other travel and cooking costs. Each dollar raised will support this ride, and means so much to the community--showing them that together we remember the past, and are connected now in our shared vision of supporting each other and honoring the natural world. 

I urge you to please help support this movement of the Lakota community that responds to the great injustices they have faced and their current hardships. Please contribute if you can now, and join the call of this prayer ride committed to healing their people - and us all.

Thank you with all my heart, 


  • Maja Schelldorfer
    • $50 
    • 3 yrs
  • Joseph Hewlings
    • $25 
    • 4 yrs
  • Jason Mattix
    • $150 
    • 4 yrs
  • Nora McQuaide
    • $20 
    • 4 yrs
  • Karen Carini
    • $50 
    • 4 yrs


Ziggy Khan
San Francisco, CA

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