The Smoke of Ancestral History

Sometimes going back through time to learn about my Lakota family has felt like reaching for smoke. 

Many years ago, I thought I heard the name of my grandmother spoken as "Toki Amanwani". The sound of her Lakota name vibrated through me and I wanted to practice it in my mouth until it was familiar. 

Last month, my brother uncovered a written document that correctly spelled her name as, "Tokeyamaniwin" (She Who Walks First). From here forward, you will see me spell her name this way when I write about her or the Tokeyamaniwin Project. 

I will not go back and correct the spelling in my former writings because life is not like that; we learn to unlearn and learn again. Let this be a linear documentation of smoke.

The Tokeyamaniwin Project continues! 

It is my passion to preserve traditional ways of healing; make medicine from native plants on tribal soil; and to bring this medicine to indigenous communities. A huge obstacle I have is finding safe places to stay when I am working in the field or volunteering with the children on the reservation. 

For many reasons, staying in a tent on reservation land is not safe for me. I need a sturdy, movable home and apothecary. I am raising funds to purchase a camper van that will allow me to continue to do this work and bring others with me to serve rural indigenous communities. I am so grateful for any support.

Please contribute to my GoFundMe


Thank you